Sunday, November 25, 2007

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.

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the pictures of the cemetery. Have often wanted to travel to Parisville but have not yet made it. I did see the headstones of the family of my great grandmother.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Don and Roger, First and foremost thank you for sharing your compiling and research materials with those of us who are researching our families genealogy. What a wonderful resource for those who may be unable to see up close some of the information that you are sharing.
Thank you, for the time and expense that you have given with all the information that this site contains to us!
Dee from P.H., MI