Illustration: Fig 1:
Jacob Dyrek sitting on front porch with his grandson,
Jack A. Dyrek, in his lap. 1945.
Photo provided by Mildred Dyrek
In 1913, at the age of 30, Jacob Dyrek, a Pole, embarked on a
journey that would carry him across the globe.
Following in the footsteps of thousands who had gone before him and
followed by thousands who would come after, Jacob Dyrek's story is
a classic tale of the experiences shared by more than 350,000 Polish immigrants
to America between 1890 and 1920.
Jacob's journey began in his hometown of Limo Nova, Poland
and was typical of the journey taken by thousands of other Polish immigrants
during that decade. Jacob and the others were fleeing from war-torn
Poland, sensing that a major Polish revolution was to be soon at hand.
Russia, Germany and Polish freedom activists had been squabbling for more
than 100 years over the rule of this area, and the ineffectual rule of
Czar Nicholas offered little hope of protection to the Polish citizens.
The Jewish religion was practiced only in secrecy in some areas because
of the fear of political reprisal and persecution. Poverty was a
wide spread reality to many farmers like Jacob who had to obtain work in
the factories of German "occupied" Poland to gather enough money for the
trip to America.
More about the Dyrek
Family from the McDonough Voice Newspaper 2011
Presidential Railroad Car
of a Landmark Community
Hardcover (June 1989)
Immigrants and Ethnics in Polish Chicago,
by Mary Patrice Erdmans
Pullman : A Study in Company Paternalism :
A Walking Guide to the Pullman
Community in Chicago, Illinois by William Adelman