History: St. Mary Czestochowa (Junction)

Transcriber: Leon G. Konieczny
Email: leon@wiclarkcountyhistory.org

----Source: From the personal recollections of Joanne Szczech Konieczny, February 20, 2005.--

St. Mary's Czestochowa Parish at Junction, located northeast of Stanley, WI.

The original settlers, exclusively of Polish descent, began their residence in the Junction area around 1901, migrating from Poland by way of Pennsylvania and Chicago. They cleared the wooded rocky area and began making their living from the soil. At first they went to St. Mary's church in Stanley, an English speaking parish, but many went to St. Hedwig's, east of Thorp, to hear a Polish speaking Priest.

On June 9, 1907, Mr. John Janik gave 10 acres of land for a new church, and a wooden frame church to seat 100 was built on that location. Mr. John Kot offered 4 acres of land for the Cemetery. Mr. John Staszko offered to build the church for $125.00 with labor to be provided by men of the parish. $600.00 was borrowed from the local bank and the church was completed on Nov. 13,1907, with the First mass offered on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8,1907. It was a glorious and happy day for the people of Junction to have a church in their midst, ringing the "Angelus" and guiding their thoughts to the creator of Heaven and Earth. (by the way, my mother often told me, when she was a little girl she would run thru the woods to ring the bells for the "Angelus" which was rang three times a day. If any of you remember, the Angelus was prayed at 6:00 AM, noon, and 6:00 PM. At first her parents, Alexander and Katherine Symbal, only had like 3 acres of land cleared, so that's why the run thru the woods.)

The first marriages solemnized in the new church were those of Stella Wozniak & John Pacholski and Anna Slowiak & Michael Symbal. (Michael Symbal is a brother to my Grandfather, Alexander Symbal). The Church records show Victoria Gutowski was baptized on Dec.26, 1908 (I believe she is the mother of Charles Gutowski and Alex Gutowski, who married my Dad's 2 sisters, Bernice and Julia Szczech). The first person buried in the cemetery on July 8,1908, is Constance Zapisek, who accidentally drowned at age 22.

The first years the parish was a mission church to St. Hedwigs. In 1913, the Bishop designated it as an independent Parish, and a newly ordained Priest, Father Francis Barszczak became the first resident Pastor. With the cooperation of the parish a new rectory, a stone/brick building was completed within a year at a cost of $6,000.00.

In 1944 the people of Junction felt the need for a new church to be built to replace the old wood frame building, which served their needs til now. In May 1949, the ground was broken for a new church by the Pastor, Rev. Jerome Kamla. The new church was completed in March of 1950. It was constructed at a cost of $74,946.26 under the architectural firm of Klinger & Associates of Eau Claire and the Paulson Construction Co. of Medford,WI. Much of the labor was supplied by men of the parish. (And I know Uncle Stanley Urbas had a big part in the building of this church,too. At that time I was working and living in Milwaukee,WI.)

On July 9th 1950, the new church was solemnly blessed and dedicated by His Excellency, Most Rev. John P. Tracy, Bishop of LaCrosse (By the way, I was confirmed by him in the early '40's). Rev. Stanley Andrzewewski preached the sermon in Polish at the dedication.

P.S. I received my First Holy Communion from him as did most of my siblings before my parents moved to a larger farm east of Thorp. But Junction is where i grew up so I have many good memories of this church. I sang in the choir for years and learned to appreciate the liturgical year of the church.

Although , St. Mary's is situated in what is known as "Junction," the more popular name for the area derives from the famed shrine in Poland known as Our Lady of Czestochowa. The national shrine in Poland is world famous. The word "Czestochowa" in Polish might be translated as "intermittently disappearing." The shrine in Poland is alleged to be so named because the devout church goers there, walking over hill and dale, intermittently lost sight of the shrine as they descended into the hills and valleys enroute to worship.

A beautiful painting of "Our Lady of Czestochowa," brought from Poland in 1907 by Mr. Paul Zapisek, was placed first in the original church and now hangs over the main altar in the new church. The picture is called "The Black Madonna".




Re: History: St. Mary Czestochowa (Junction)

Contact: D Munguia

Is the church still in existance? My great grandfather was the man who donated the land, Mr. John Janick. Would like to find out some family history? My family is the Theodore Poplawski. Where in Stanley can I ask for records? I'm sure that had to be papers of him donating the land. Thanks. Di Munguia


Re: History: St. Mary Czestochowa (Junction)
Contact:  Leon Konieczny

Yes, you are right about the land. This is taken from the 1983 Diamond Jubilee book of St. Mary Czestochowa:

" ...Unfortunately, dissention broke out on a minor issue, that of the location of the church. Mr. Paul Zapisek offered two acres.... followed by the offer of 6 acres by Ignatius Wisniewski and two acres by Anthony Misiewicz..... As a compromise, John Janik offered five acres which seemed most suitable at the time, but this was also rejected..... Mr. John Janik made another offer; this time he was willing to give 10 acres. It was received with joy and unanimously accepted.... The group thanked Mr. John Janik, and Mr. John Kot immediately offered four acres of land for the cemetery which was also accepted...."  The original building was completed in 1907 and the new church in 1950 (a number of relatives and family friends helped in the completion of that church.  Hope this helps.  Leon Konieczny


Re: History: St. Mary Czestochowa (Junction)

Contact: Margie LaCerra

In reseraching my great grandfather, Teofil Kosinski, I've turned to his brother Michael/Nicholas Kosinski who is buried there. I've visited and found the grave of him and his wife, but is there a microfilm on the church (I'm assuming the chapel was the site of the funeral services from 1926 to 1946?. I'd like to see if a town of birth in Poland is listed. Every doc. I've obtained came up empty including the death certificate. I've been working on this family for 15 years to no avail. Thank you for any help.  Margie LaCerra


Re: History: St. Mary Czestochowa (Junction)

Contact: Christina Tworek
I have been reading from web pages about Thorp, Stanley, and now St. Mary of Czestochowa with great interest. My father's family, the Tworeks, lived in that area in the early 1900s. I am trying to get more information about them. I have my father's birth certificate issued by the State of Wisconsin based on a baptismal record from St. Mary's Church, Stanley, WI, which I am assuming is St. Mary of Czestochowa. Is the church still in existence? If so, what is its address and phone number? I would like to obtain the baptismal records or birth certificates of my father's siblings and the death certificate of my grandfather. I don't have a lot of information to go on. Also some documents I have found say Thorp (e), Clark County, and some say Stanley, Chippewa County is where they lived. I guess my grandparents lived on the border of those two counties???? I found a 1915 plat map on line showing my grandparents' farm, and a burial of an infant, probably my father's little brother, in the Czestochowa Cemetery. Thanks. Any help would be appreciated. Christina Tworek


Re: History: St. Mary Czestochowa (Junction)

Contact: Don Garbarski
Maternal grandparents, John & Mary Blasczyk were members from the early years. I spent my summers on their farm and the Tony Garbarski farm on the County Line Road in the 30's and 40's. My mother Julia Blasczyk married Stanley Garbarski in St. Mary's church in 1923. I remember many of the Slowiak and Symbal families.  I'm looking for information on Frances Blasczyk who died in 1923. Where is she buried? I have noone left in the family that has the information.

Can someone help?!! Don Garbarski


Re: History: St. Mary Czestochowa (Junction)

Contact:  Stacie Schmidt
Also, when Thorp was founded, I believe it was spelled Thorpe. I'm not sure when the "e" was dropped, but I have a newspaper with the history when it turned 100 that I can look it up for you. Apparently the church is right between Stanley and Thorp. Thorp is in Clark county and most of Stanley is in Chippewa county, so it can get very confusing.  Stacie Schmidt

Re: History: St. Mary Czestochowa (Junction)
Contact:  Leon Konieczny
Yes, Thorp was originally spelled with an "e."  It can be confusing. The first home in the current city of Thorp was built in the town of Withee, and the city sits right on the border between the towns of Withee and Thorp. Both townships were originally a part of the town of Hixon. The town of Thorp was carved out of Hixon in 1876, and the town of Withee in 1880.  The city of Stanley lies just west of the town of Thorp, in Chippewa county.  St. Mary Czestochowa is a little over 1.5 miles east of Stanley and 3.5 miles north. It is about 5 miles west of the City of Thorp, and again, 3.5 miles north. It is located at the place called Junction, as many years ago there was a railroad junction there, as well as a cheese factory, store, and White Eagle School (which my mother attended). Leon Konieczny



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