Bio: Kulas, John and Mary
Surnames: Kulas, Wozniak, Trawicki, Lapinski, Naiman
----Source: 1880 - 1980 Rietbrock, Marathon Co., Wis. Centennial, pg. 44
Mary and John Kulas
John and Mary Kulas were attracted to their homestead by an advertisement, which offered land for sale at a reasonable price, placed in a Milwaukee newspaper by Frederick Rietbrock. It was late in the summer of 1877 when Mary, John, and Andrew-age 2 -migrated to that part of the Town of Stettin, Marathon County, which later became the Town of Rietbrock. They selected the SY2 of NW 4 of Section 11 as their homestead site.
Seven other relatives made the move north with them. They were accompanied by Mary's parents, Mr. & Mrs. Stanley Wozniak and their three daughters, Anna, Rose, and Kate, and their year-old son, Frank, and also Stanley's brother Leo, a single man. They settled on the adjoining N of the NW 4 of Section 11.
Having had experience in the hard work of digging wells by hand in the Milwaukee area, and with winter approaching, they selected a rise on the forest floor at the base of which flowed a stream of clear spring water. Near the east line of the eighty acres, this point is approximately one mile due north of Poniatowski.
Kulas, with the assistance of the Wozniaks, proceeded to excavate a shelter in the ground, covering the same with poles and split pine logs for a roof; this was to become their habitation for their first winter in the wilderness. They occupied themselves that winter with preparation of materials for a log cabin and log barn, erected during the summer of 1878, near the location of the dug-out.
Some years later-after the Town of Rietbrock constructed the road between Sections 10 and 11, and their home site was still being served by only a trail from a point one-half mile north of Poniatowski-they abandoned the original log buildings and constructed a frame house and another log barn near the west line of the eighty, adjacent to the new road. That frame dwelling, together with an addition to accommodate the growing family, served them well-as it did their son Stan and his family in later years. The original eighty acres with its improvements was sold in 1974, after having been in possession of the Kulas family for 97 years.
Mary and John were the parents of eight children, namely: Andres, Agnes (Mrs. Julius Naiman), Mike, Stan, Anna (Mrs. Joe Lapinski), Mary (Mrs. Frank Trawicki), John Jr., and Frank. Only John Jr., of Athens, and Frank, of Milwaukee, survive. Mrs. Mary Kulas passed away in 1914 at the age of 54 years. John Kulas lived to the age of 90, passing away in 1939. Both were laid to rest in Holy Family cemetery in Poniatowski.
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