Parisville, Michigan: First Polish Community in USA
by Arthur A. Wagner
October 3, 2002
Which was the first Polish settlement in the U.S., Panna Maria, Texas, or Parisville, Michigan? That is a thorny question because their founding was almost simultaneous.
The late Harry Milostan, a Mt. Clemens attorney, made it one of his life goals to establish that Parisville was the first Polish settlement in the U.S. He preached that gospel to any audience, including me when I first met him. His book, "Parisville Poles: First Polish Settlers in the U.S.A.?" (Mt. Clemens: MASSPAC, 1977) was published under the pseudonym Natsolim.
He gets to the point of his book on page 92, where he states that the first Michigan settler of Polish ancestry was F. Susalla, who registered a claim or deed on September 16, 1854, allegedly three months earlier than the founding of Panna Maria. He also claims that Polish settlers (he uses the term Polanders) had been in Michigan since 1850, when they began to clear some farm lands. On p. 112 he states that the first Poles in Michigan began arriving in 1848, many by way of Canada. He cites an article in the journal, "Sodalis" (Orchard Lake, Ss. Cyril & Methodius Seminary, January, 1955), which also alleges that Parisville was the first Polish settlement in the U.S. and gives Fr. Leopold Moczygemba’s arrival date in Texas as 1852.
Read More: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~atpc/polonia/usa/plam-parisville.html