Julius Piekarek (1858-1897) and Julia Leczonierska (1858-1922)


Julius Piekarek and Julia Leczonierska (possibly Leszczyńska) were born in Poland and died in Detroit, Michigan.  They married in Poland about 1883.


Children of Julius and Julia:

  • John Piekarek (1885-1934) married Anna Goike (1887-1946)
  • Leonard Piekarek (1886-1926) married Agatha Zander (1889-1968)
  • Martha Barbara Piekarek (1889-1977) married Frederick John Schroeder (1887-1917), George Washington Munson (1889-1977)
  • Joseph H. Piekarek (1892-1955) married Julia Marchinak (1896-1967)
  • Helen Madeline Piekarek (1895-1992) married Frank Burns Rice, Sr. (1896-1963)
  • Cecilia Piekarek (1897-1897) lived four days


US Census records:

  • 1900, 342 Superior, Detroit, Michigan; Julia and five children in the household.
  • 1910, 458 Illinois St., Detroit, Michigan; Julia and three children in the household.


The information in this paragraph comes from Ruth Konkel, granddaughter of Julius and Julia.  Julius had at least two brothers, Edward and August.  At their father's estate in Pelplin, Poland, many people were employed to take care of beef, veal, pork, poultry, fruit, flour, and grain.  Oil was produced by horse-driven press; the horse would go in a circle to operate the press.  Oil was made from vegetables, grain, and fruit and supplied to stores in Pelplin and nearby Rożental.  Their father was German Lutheran and their mother was Polish Catholic, and their father converted to her religion.  However, when their mother died, their father married a Lutheran woman and returned to the Lutheran religion.


A thorough search of records by an experienced Polish genealogist found no evidence of the family living in or near Pelplin, so it is possible that Ruth got the town wrong.  Records have been found that suggest that the family lived in the Poznań region of Poland.


Julius and Julia came to America in 1888 with sons John and Leonard, and settled in Detroit.  The younger children were born in Detroit.


Detroit city directories from 1889-1891 list Julius Piekarek as a carpenter living at 166 Leland and 102 St. Joseph in Detroit.  According to information from Ruth, Julius built, with the help of neighbors, a hardware store and barbershop at St. Aubin and Palmer in Detroit, with two apartments overhead and a two-story house on the back of the lot.  One night their house caught on fire, and daughter Helen, who was a baby at the time, started crying from the smoke which awakened everyone in time.

In August of 1897, Julius died of a burst appendix; the only known photo of him (shown here) is post-mortem.  At the time of his death, Julia was pregnant.  She gave birth in November to daughter Cecilia, who lived only four days.
Julia did dressmaking and her sons, John and Leonard, went to work at an early age to support the family.  The 1900 US Census shows 16-year-old John working as a carpenter and 13-year-old Leonard working as a "day laborer."  Detroit city directories show the family living at 1232 St. Aubin in 1899; 341 Superior from 1900-1905; and 458 Illinois from 1906-1916.  Their church was St. Albertus at 4231 St. Aubin, Detroit’s first Polish Catholic parish.
Julia is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery (Section 46, Lot 49), 17100 Van Dyke St. (at McNichols Rd.) in Detroit, near the grave of her son Joseph.  As illustrated by her gravestone, the family name had been Americanized from Piekarek to Pickareck.  Julius is buried at Mt. Elliott Cemetery (Section D, Tier 9, Grave 15, no stone), 1701 Mt. Elliott in Detroit.