Menasha – Winarski Family

In continuing my research on the Winarski/Lichnerewicz lines, since I’m having some trouble finding information on the parents and family of my maternal great-great grandfather, Frank Winarski before he emigrated to America, I thought I would focus on the family’s time in Menasha, Wisconsin. I know that at first he was a farmer, then for a time he was the proprietor of the Fox River House in Menasha. After that ended around 1916 or 1917, I don’t know what he was up to. However, as I learned through my research about the Fox River House, sometimes city directories can be very helpful to see what an ancestor was doing at a certain point in time. I took a look at the 1920-1921 Menasha City Directory, and found some interesting information.

Frank, Agnes, Bernard and Paul Winarski are all listed in the directory. Agnes, Bernard and Paul were all children of Frank, and at this point, Agnes is 18 and the sons were quite a bit older and still living at home with their parents. The family lived at 500 1st Street in Menasha. The house appears to no longer exist, here is about where it should be:

Winarski Agnes emp MP&CCo b 500 1st
Agnes is listed as working as an employee at the Menasha Printing & Carton Company. In the 1920 census, her occupation is reported as Cottrell machine in the printing industry, so that is what she was doing at the company.

David Galassie describes the company and includes a photograph from 1905 in his interesting blog about Menasha.

The company was first known as Menasha Carton Company (building on the left), later merged with the Menasha Printing Company (building on the right), and then they both became known as the Menasha Printing and Carton Company. Eventually, the company became known as the Menasha Products Company , and then Marathon Corporation after a merger with Green Bay and James River Corporation of Richmond, Virginia. Thank you David for the photo and details!

Winarski Bernard lab b 500 1st
Bernard (or Ben as he was called), was 30 years old at this point and his occupation is listed as laborer, however, there is no company listed. In the 1920 census, he is reported as a stockman in a paper company. I’m going to assume this is the same job.

Winarski Frank (Julia) mach b 500 1st
Frank is listed as a machinist in the directory, but it is not listed where he is working. In the 1920 census, he is reported as working as a millright in a paper mill. A millright is a high-precision craftsman or skilled tradesman who installs, dismantles, maintains, repairs, reassembles, and moves machinery in factories; related but distant crafts include machinists.

Winarski Paul lab J Strange P Co. b 500 1st
Paul is 27 years old at this point in time and is listed as working as a laborer at the John Strange Paper Company. In the 1920 census, he is listed as a pipe fitter in a paper mill, so we get more of an idea as to what he was doing at the company.

I googled the company and apparently it began as a wooden pail and butter tub factory. In 1888, the company began fabricating manila paper, strong wrapping paper and newsprint. It was one of the first companies to make Kraft wrapping paper, the paper was used in butcher shops throughout the entire mid-section of the United States.

Thanks for reading!

Fox River House, Menasha, Wisconsin

Decades ago, someone told me that Frank and Julia Winarski used to own some kind of lodge in Menasha, Wisconsin. I asked my parents and they had never heard of this—I have absolutely no idea who told me this information.

I started researching this when I found the obituaries for Frank and Julia in The Menasha Record newspaper. Thanks to that subscription, by searching for the name of Frank Winarski, I found numerous articles between 1913 and 1916 that confirmed he was the proprietor of the Fox River House in Menasha. The building was originally built in 1875 and is currently vacant.

Source: Wisconsin Historial Society

Most of the articles were either about fights going on, or taking bids to build a moving picture house next door. In October 6, 1915 Frank appeared before the city council to find out why the council turned him down for a liquor license for the property.

A couple of months later, the Wausau Daily Herald reported on January 21, 1916 that the Fox River House would be closing as the owner (Frank) stated that without a liquor license it would not be profitable.

So then the trick was to verify that that Frank Winarski is my family’s Frank Winarski. I found a great blog about the city of Menasha by David Galassie, who is an expert in that area, and emailed him. He was kind enough to send me a bunch of links, one of which was for an Oshkosh city directory from 1914. Lo and behold, on page 87, Frank Winarski is listed as the proprietor with his wife Julia, and they are listed as living at 230 Main, which is the address of the property. A Paul Winarski is also listed as working as a mason and living at the property. That was enough confirmation for me as I know for certain my family’s Frank and Julia had a son named Paul.

This is when I really love the internet, there are so many resources available I don’t know if I ever could have solved this puzzle without it!

Wordless Wednesday — Winarski

This is a two for one but not really a photo Wordless Wednesday. One of the toughest lines I have been researching is the Winarski line, my maternal grandmother’s mother’s line. Well thanks to Ancestry’s newspaper database, $5.95, and a search for the name “Frank Winarski”, I was super thrilled to find a couple of obituaries in “The Menasha Record”, a newspaper in Menasha, Wisconsin.

The first obituary is for Julia Winarski, Frank Winarski’s wife, who died on August 22, 1929 and lived in Menasha. The obituary does not even mention her first name, which irritated me but times were very different back then.

The second is of Frank, who died on October 19, 1935. It mentions he was a pioneer of the fifth ward in Menasha. Unless it is a mistake, Frank must have remarried since it says his wife survived him and Julia died 6 years before.

One of Frank and Julia’s daughters was Margaret Winarski, who married Edward Schoudel, and who is the mother of my maternal grandmother, Madeline (Schoudel) Bass. The information in these obituaries have certainly given me more avenues to research!

Notice the Schoudel name is mistakenly spelled differently in each obituary, Shoerdel and Shoudell. How many different ways has that name been spelled?