Submitted by Julia "Gigi" (Piehowicz) Zaccagnini,
Granddaughter of Anthony.
Stanley, Lukasz, Jan (standing), Anthony "Andy" (seated), Katherine, Joseph
Lukasz (Lucas) Piechowicz emigrated from Galicia, Poland to the United States in 1907 with his wife, Katherine Bak (pronounced "Bonk" in the US), and their infant son, Jan. Three more sons, Stanley, Joseph and Anthony "Andy" were born in the United States.
The census records indicate that Lucasz (Lucas) worked in the coal mines at various places in Ohio. According to the birth records of the 3 youngest sons, Joseph was born in Bradley, Jefferson County, Ohio in 1909; Stanley was born in 1910, place unknown, and Anthony (Andy) was born in Caldwell, Noble County, Ohio in 1913. At the time of the 1920 census of Noble County, Lucas owned his home, was 49, had been married 15 years. His Naturalization status was "PA."
Jan (or Joseph) and Stanley Piechowicz
The "c" in the surname was dropped at some point and the spelling became Piehowicz.
The exact date the Piechowicz family moved near Wheeling, in Benwood, Marshall County, is not known. However, Lucas was employed as a Mill Worker at the time of his death on April 9, 1924. He died at Wheeling Hospital of Chronic Myocarditis, with associated Toxemia, at the age of 53. See Death Record.
Nineteen days after the death of Lucas, Jan (John) Piehowicz, the oldest son, was killed in the explosion of the coal mine at Wheeling Steel and Iron Corporation's plant at Benwood. See 1924 Coal Mine Disaster. Jan was only 16. His name was misspelled in the newspaper articles about the disaster but he did, indeed, lose his life in the explosion and was probably one of the last two to be brought out. See Death Record.
Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Wheeling, W. Va.
Katherine (also spelled Catherine) experienced another tragedy when her son, Stanley, was killed on June 26, 1926 at the "corner of 27th and Main St. Whlg." His death certificate states he "fell from truck, crushed under heavy box - fractured skull." Like Jan, he was only 16 years old. Out of the 4 sons, only Joseph and Andy lived to adulthood. Katherine never remarried, and brought Joseph and Andy up by herself. Andy operated "Andy's TV & Radio" in Bellaire, Belmont County, Ohio, until his death in 1974.
Katherine died in the County Home in Marshall County in December 1942. According to family legend, she had fallen, and no one was able to care for her, so they put her in the County Home. In the 1940 Wheeling City Directory, she is listed as "Piehovicz, Kath. widow of Lucas, 532 McMechen." So she obviously moved to the Home between 1940 and her death in December 1942.
In the 1930 census of Union District, Marshall County, Piehowicz is spelled "Pockowicz." Katherine, rents, her monthly rent is $15.00, she does not have a radio set, is 60 yrs. old, a widow. It is also marked that she can read and write. - "Joe" is 21, single, and is a laborer at a steel mill. He can read and write. "Antone" is 17, single, can read and write, and is also a laborer at the steel mill. Anthony attended the St. John's Catholic elementary school in Benwood. He was confirmed June 6, 1926, just a month before Stanley was killed.
Lucas, Katherine, Jan and Stanley are buried at Mt. Calvary, the Catholic Cemetery on National Road in Wheeling, Ohio County, W. Va.
See Mt. Calvary Burial Records.
Joseph married, had children and lived his life in Benwood. He, too, is buried at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Wheeling.
Prior to marrying, while still a young man, Andy used to perform - tap dance - at the Capital Music Hall. He paid for his own lessons while working at the mill. Both remaining sons had a love of music; Andy could play an array of instruments, including the piano. Katherine had a piano in her home and if Andy heard a song, he could just sit down and start playing it. He was a happy, jovial man and was very family-oriented. He was deeply religious and very involved in St. Michael's Church in Bellaire, throughout his adulthood. He married, moved to Bellaire, had children, and lived a good life there.
Andy & Joseph
Andy and his wife are buried at Mt. Calvary (Greenwood) Cemetery in Bellaire, Belmont, County, Ohio.
Somehow, despite the hardships and tragedies of the family, Katherine instilled in her sons the love of God, the commitment to family, the love of music and dance -- and laughter.