An Immigrant Story - Simon Tobianski

Two churches and a building with a road in front.
Simon was a founding member of St. Anthony's of Padua Polish Catholic Church on 7th Street. The convent and rectory remain.

Photo Courtesy Michigan Tech Archives

Simon and Teckla Tobianski began an immigrant story around 1875 when they left Posen, in a section of the Kingdom of Prussia which would later become part of Poland. By 1880 they lived in Calumet, where Simon was a founding member of the Polish Catholic congregation, whose church was built on Seventh Street in 1882. Though he started working for C&H in the 1870s as a laborer, by 1900 Simon was a full-fledged copper miner with a home in Laurium.

 
A two-story home with a two-car garge sits next to a street.
The Tobianskis lived in one side of a duplex on South Kearsarge Street in Laurium. Later, they bought the entire home. It stood on the site of this garage.

NPS Photo

Living with Simon and Teckla were some of their children. Peter, a pharmacist, worked at the C&H Hospital. Martin became a fireman, Leo a plumber, and Margaret a stenographer before her marriage to William McKelvie. Mary was a dressmaker. Elder children Frank, Michael, and Frances had already moved out and started their own families. Daughters Agnes, a Michigan Bell employee, Mary, and Theresa lived together in the family home as adults.

Last updated: January 19, 2018

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