Bio: Bloczynski, Jan and Viktorya (Letarski)
Surnames: Bloczynski, Letarski, Schueller, Milkowski, Norlock, Klawinski
----Source: Rietbrock Centennial (1880 - 1980), Census Records, State Birth & Marriage Records
Pioneer Farms, Rietbrock, Marathon Co., Wisconsin
It was during the year of the Chicago fire, 1871, when Jan and Viktorya (Letarski) Bloczynski became urged to move from Milwaukee to the great free and open spaces. For five years they studied their plans. One hot, October afternoon, during the Indian summer of 1876, they arrived in the Town of Rietbrock. They arrived, yes. But, what unwelcome newcomers! There was not a living soul to greet them. And our present nearby railroad stations at Edgar and Athens, where were they? Well, that was over one hundred years ago. They traveled from Wausau, which was then the nearest railroad station, to Rib Falls, in a wagon drawn by a team of oxen. For two weeks, the women and children of the pioneer group made their living quarters within the Henry Baseman blacksmith shop, while the men and boys blazed a trail, and cut down enough trees for an ox team to pass through the dark forests. Having loaded four hundred feet of lumber upon a wagon, the ox team, followed by men with bundles in their arms, began their westward journey. Jan and Viktorya exchanged carrying, upon arms, the baby of their family, Dominica (Sister Christina), who was then three years of age. After wading through swamps, and groping their way in the dark evening shadows for many long hours, they finally reached their destination which soon had been incorporated under the name of Ponia- towski, who was loved by his Polish people. Bloczyn- skis settled in the central part of Section 14. In later years, it was purchased by their grandson Thomas Myszka. It is here that Thomas's wife Helen still lives at the present time.
Jan and Viktorya camped for the first several days on the hill, which now is a part of the Oliver Schueller farm. Until their first log cabin was built, they found shelter under a roof of thicket and evergreen brush. Together with them, the Milkowski, the Norlock, and the Klawinski families were the first to live where no white man had ever lived before. Four weeks later, this little group of Rietbrock's "Daniel Boones"-the solitary pioneers-was followed by six more families, who were also Milwaukee emigrants; and all of them were harbored temporarily at the Rietbrock camp.
© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.