History: Poniatowski, Wisconsin

Contact: Stan


Surnames: Schrieber, Gesicki, Poniatowski, Narlock, Buck, Ringle, Johnson, Ody, Lukowicz, Blaszka, Jermann, Chesak, Wisnewiski


----Source: Rietbrock Centennial (1880 - 1980)

Poniatowski, Wisconsin--History of the Town

When a group of Polish settlers wanted to name their village after Rietbrock, he informed them about their patriot, Poniatowski, and suggested they name it after him, which they did, in about the year of 1879. Old picture furnished by John R. Gesicki, Ben Straub Photo, Edgar, Wis. GENERAL "JOZEF ANTONI PONIATOWSKI" Born- May 7, 1763, Vienna Died - Oct. 19, 1813 Leipzig

An officer in the Austrian Army, Poniatowski was transferred to the Polish Army in 1789 at the request of his uncle, King Stanislaw II Augustus Poniatowski of Poland.

He distinguished himself against the Russians in 1792 and took part in Tadeusz Koxciuszko Anti- Russian revolt in 1794. Poniatowski retired in 1795, after the third partition of Poland; but he was named commander-in-chief of the Duchy of Warsaw by Napoleon in 1807. He led a Polish corps in Napolean's Russian Campaign of 1812 and during the Battle of Leipzig October 16-19, 1813, and was made a Marshal of France. On the last day of the battle the wounded marshal died in an attempt to cross the Elster River on horseback.

Descendants of the famous general are Joseph, who has a John Deere dealership in Brooklyn, N.Y., and John Poniatowski of Detroit. The latter visited at one time in Poniatowski with John R. Gesicki, the clerk of the Town of Rietbrock.2

'Taken from Encyclopedia Britannica; 73-74 edition; Volume 8, Page 110 Information procured from Marathon County Historical Society, Wausau, Wis. 'information procured from John R. Gesicki. There were many transactions in buying and selling of property after 1870 in the Town of Rietbrock. Some of the first to be recorded are as follows: The first known transaction of Section 14, 22, 23, Township 29 - Range 4 E was in 1854 as Thomas W. Taylor sold the property to James and Maria Buck of Milwaukee.

In 1870 James and Maria Buck, thru agent John Ringle (who was a Marathon County Clerk and then went into the Real Estate business), sold 640 acres to Daniel Johnson and Frederick Rietbrock for $240.00. In another transaction, 320 acres in Section 23 were acquired by Johnson and Rietbrock in the same year. In 1876, Rietbrock and Johnson started selling portions of this property to Paul Narlock. In 1878, Narlock of Town of Rib Falls sold a parcel of land to Pauline Ody - charging a 7% interest. In 1878, Paul Narlock sold a parcel to John Literski; this land has stayed in the Literski family since then. In 1879, Pauline and Joseph Ody sold 3 acres to Frank Jermann, and 272 acres to Joseph Blaszka of Poniatowski.

With the settler's hard work the present church was completed in 1890. John Lukowicz, who was a photo- Josephi of Joseph Blaszka.

In 1881, Frank Jermann sold 8 acres to Martin Chesak and son Joseph - coming here from Washing- ton County, Wisconsin. A "COURT HOUSE" was built by the first settlers, somewhere between 1875- 1878. It was here where they held their gatherings, for a time - until it was gutted by fire. As the years progressed, the first log church was built by the settlers and completed in the fall of 1879. In 1882, Mathias Braun moved here, 1/2 mile north of Poniatowski and in 1883 built a sawmill. (Refer to write-up). In the early days the mail came through three times a week, on a run from Wausau to Poniatowski, with a stage coach-like surrey and two horses. Later it was hauled by Anton Wisnewski to and from Edgar with a horse and buggy and then by his daughter Julia Wisnewski (refer to Trawicki write-up) until her marriage to Martin Trawicki in 1898. It was then hauled by her sister Frances Wisnewski (Nowicki) from 1898 until her marriage to John Nowicki in November of 1903. As more rural roads were being built the mail was delivered by mail carriers. The first postmaster of Poniatowski was L. Schwager. He was succeeded by Joseph Chesak in 1881.

The post office was located in what is now a Gesicki warehouse and the first store was located south of the present one.  Photographer in the surrounding area, was also a carpenter who installed and made the first pews and altars for that church.

MR. CLEAN - Poniatowski's greeting card off Highway 29 was clean as a whistle for Governor Schrieber's stop at Rietbrock Municipal Building. The day was just as pretty as the sign.  



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