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Figlock, Anthony & Stella

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Figlock, Anthony & Stella - Page Text Content

S: Anthony and Stella Figlock's Castle

BC: A | A Castle Still Much Loved... | Created with much Love by Kathryn (Karyn Sobol) Rosypal

FC: Anthony and Stella Figlock's Castle

1: Stella "Stasia" Domowicz 1914 age 22 | Anthony "Antos" Figlock 1915 age 22 Anthony 1917 - age 24 | Stella and her younger sister Clara 1914 | Dedicated to the True Love Story of Anthony Figlock and Stella Domowicz which extended beyond time & space.

2: "I love you, not only for what you are, But for what I am when I am with you." -Roy Croft | "Lucky I'm in love with my best friend" | Anthony by his car in 1917; Stella by the car. He bought cars in 1915, 1920, 1925 and 1928. | Anthony and Stella enjoyed taking trips in the car to places like Harvey's Lake, Watkins Glen, NY, their friend Capp's farm in NY and Atlantic City, to name a few places...

3: The best thing about me is you. | (Left) Stella on a date with Anthony (the photographer) in February 1917 (Above) Lovely Stella with sister Clara and Helen Koscielski who later became their sister-in-law (Right) Easter post card from Stella to Anthony

4: Stella and Anthony met on February 12, 1917 at a Kosciuszko Banquet sponsored by St. Cecilia Choir of St. Stanislaw Kostka Parish in Wilkes Barre, PA. In her notes about that evening Stella wrote: "He was so dear and respectable in every way. He lives at 67 Miner Street and is the oldest son in his family." She worked as a live-in companion to Mrs. Baring, Judge Coughlin’s mother. She worked at 915 Wyoming Ave., in Forty-Fort during the week and had Wednesdays and Saturdays off, except for when she stayed with Mrs. Baring at their summer home at Harvey’s Lake, PA. Anthony was smitten with Stella from the first moment he saw her. It was love at first sight for both of them. The very next day Antos, as Stella called him, sent her a post card asking if she got home safe and saying how much he enjoyed her company. The front of the post card read: From Your Knight... Each knight of old loved a maiden fair, And my love for you I now declare! He did not waste any time! Stella was 25 years old at the time and Anthony was 24. In the early 1900s, most folks were married by that age. On Valentines Day, Stella sent him a Valentine post card. On Feb. 20, Antos tested the waters: “Dearest Friend Stasia, ...How did you enjoy yourself at the dance the other night? I think you did not enjoy yourself for I was in your way but I admire your company very much and wish I could have it all time that is if you don't object which I hope you won't, for you know there is nobody like our own from German parents." He then made another date for Wednesday. Anthony was quite a "catch" - handsome, intelligent, educated. Barely 2 weeks after they met, on Feb. 27, Anthony wrote Stella a letter declaring his love for her: "Well, Sweetheart, I am feeling quite lonesome without you. I wish I could possess you always, for I think a lot of you, dearest and the more I see you, the more love is inspiring and I want this love to last before us. I am sure mine won't die out if yours don't, which I think it won't. We will keep putting a little of love on at a time and I am sure it will stay just where we put it. Don't you think so, Sweetheart? For from the first time I glanced at those beautiful eyes of yours, I could see a place for love and true love, so that is why I took a chance and I am not a bit sorry that I did, Dearest. For you know that you can see a thousand but can only and really love one and that is why I took you. So, Dearest, you will always find me a gentleman to you, if you care for me or not, and a true lover if I dare to say... " | Apples are good, but peaches are better, Stasia Domowicz I love you, Won’t you answer my letter. Your everlasting lover, Anthony M. Figlock” 2/27/1017 | A Whirlwind Courtship

5: They'd meet at the fountain on the Wilkes-Barre Square, each taking the street car home. Less than one month after meeting Stella, on March 5, Anthony proposed in a letter: “To My Dearest Sweetheart, I again take great pleasure in writing you a few words of an unexplained love which is in existence between I and you and of which I hope will always keep fresh and keen of which I am sure from my side and I have no doubt on your part. You know that we have a party of a second part picked and I think that by Our Lord's direction on Feb. 12, I have found the party of the second part which will someday, and a day not far away, form a part of my second part and my estate and by saying what I mean the second party I would want to have is you, dearest sweetheart, and by saying you, I mean you only. That is, without your objection, of which I did not hear you say as yet and I hope you will not say no for you mean the world to me, from the very first time I had you to take part by my side at our first meeting at the banquet that night, at which time I realized how nice it would be to have you sit by my side at a real banquet of which there would be no end only by death. And, if I can help, that banquet will come and you will be my happy entertainer for life, of which it would be very much esteemed pleasure to have a pretty maid of honor like you, and of which I would make a happy and prosperous bride and a loving wife. If you permit me to say and do so. I can just picture your beautiful charming smile and those beautiful love-charming eyes which you possess and I think with a maid like you, dearest, for a life partnership, life would be very pleasant and charming and I think - and not only think, but know - so life down here could even beat Heaven ... Your Everlasting Lover, Anthony" On March 9th she wrote; “.. I do like you, not only like you but love you just as much as you love me. Just as you say, love cannot be explained and I hope that we will reach the day of our happiness . As you say, nothing else could part us but death. That's something we all expect every day in the year and I do hope that you and I would live long enough to reach the happy day that is coming to us which I hope the Lord hasn't set the day of death before the happy day of ours.” | Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, I love Stasia M. Domowicz And nobody else but you. 3/5/1917

6: Two Sweethearts Like I and You, Dear Two strong hearts and quite merry A lot of love for each other And then an evening gay two sweethearts’ way A happy face and sunny hair, the best of sweetest smiles you have to spare, the one you know is always there is my sweetheart Stasia Dear. Man with affection I say is myself for I love you, yes, utmost and my heart will always say I love Stasia Domowicz two sweethearts’ way is all I always will say.” With a sweet kiss from me, Darling. 3/9/1917 | On March 11th Anthony wrote: “I love you more than anything in this big world of ours and promise to do so always for I have found a beautiful Rose full of Sunshine when I found you and this is right from the very center of my heart. And just as I am writing those words, I have that sweet little face of yours before me and pressing a hearty kiss upon it and I wish you was here for it would taste much better..." A Lover's Poem I said I could love a girl like you at every hour of my life from the first time I met you till the day that you or I will be taken away. But the day of departure is very far away So that is why I love more each day. And always will, if I must say, And that is why my name starts with A. lover M. Marry you Figlock for last name forever. | When Stella wrote her life story years later, she indicated that Anthony's father Matthew did not like her "because I was just a poor working and Mary Glowacki from Nanticoke was a rich girl with $50,000 for having a baby for her uncle." Matthew urged Anthony to marry Mary Glowacki because she had money. Anthony said, "I don't love Mary and her money. I love Stasia. She's a nice girl and decent." Not many people stood up to the powerful patriarch Matthew Figlak and got their way... but Anthony did. In 1917, Stella heard this rumor and asked Anthony if he was seeing Mary or anyone else. Stella was playing "hard to get" with Anthony, but she also wanted to know the truth about the situation with Mary and if his declared loved was true.

7: The oath sworn in blood must have impressed Stella because in his letter of April 5th Anthony suggests that he has officially proposed and she has accepted: “Dearest Sweetheart Stella, ...I am feeling better today than I ever did in my life, and I suppose you know why I feel that way, for you made me feel that way and what you said I have carved in my heart to stay for Life. I feel so joyful that I can't even write the words to explain and I want you to feel the same as I do, if I only could show you how I feel and how light my heart is, since you gave me the good news of Life and Joy. You would say that I can fly not walk." On April 13th, in his letter, Anthony defies any man to speak badly of his reputation and assures Stella that his is an honest and reputable man who would shed his blood for her if necessary (there is a drop of blood on the letter.) It sounds like they are officially engaged but a date was not yet set for the wedding. Anthony admired Stella not only for her “charming figure” and “kind heart” but also for her keen mind. In his letter of April 17 he wrote: “Dearest, I have a hundred plans on my mind just now, and if I had one like you, many times you could help me solve some of those problems. You would make a good adviser, not only to my heart but also to my whole life...” April 17th - Stella’'s response: “To my dear Lover Anthony - Just a few lines to you. hope this letter will find you well and happy for I am... [Coughlins] are going to the lake Saturday and will spend Sunday all day. I am going with them. I don't know just what time we'll get back Sunday - I think we’'ll get back by supper time. Anyway, call me up Friday and we will arrange about seeing ourself. With bushels of love to you.” This is significant because it proves that as of Friday, April 17th Stella was unaware that they would be married in just 12 days! | Stella wanted to be sure she was Anthony''s "only one". On March 26th Anthony swore his love for Stella, said he was not seeing anyone else and wants only her and signed his declaration in blood. He bares his heart and gently tells Stella to make up her mind: “... I loved you at first sight for I could not help myself and I am not sorry that I did, for you look so loving to me and you are the only one that I want to love. And if I was forced to part with you I think my heart would break, but as fas as parting, I would not go unless Death parted us...So the more I see you the more I can love you and we will set a day which will be the happiest day of mine and your dear life... My heart is set afire with love for you and you are the only sweetheart that I want to keep that love burning forever. So just say would you or not.”

8: The ribbons of your love are woven around my heart... | A Wedding with Just Two Days Notice A poem at the end of Anthony's letter of April 20th indicates that the wedding date was set for June 13, 1917. A letter from Anthony written on Tuesday, April 24 shows no indication on speeding up the wedding to April 29th. He asks Stella if she likes the engagement ring (a large diamond with a baguette on each side, set in a platinum ring) and says he can hardly wait until they can buy two rings to “combine us two forever.” On April 27th the Wilkes-Barre newspaper reported: "PA government has plans all ready for action to enroll thousands of men” and “National Conscription Bill is ready to be passed in which all men ages 18-45 would be drafted, unmarried men first." A recruitment rally was planned in Hudson on Saturday, April 28 at St. Joseph's Church. Matthew Figlak was German. He vehemently wanted to keep his boys out of the war against Germany and was afraid they would get caught up in the patriotic fervor and enlist. Therefore, on Thursday, the Figlak Family asked Stella to agree to push the wedding up to April 29 so that Anthony could avoid the draft as a married man. She agreed but she had to quit her job immediately, they had to get their marriage license on Friday and, with her beloved younger sister, Clara, she had to buy a ready-made store bought wedding gown and ensemble. Both of their parish priests refused to marry them without marriage banns being announced ahead of time, so they were married on Sunday, April 29,1917, at St. Mary’s Church on Washington Street in Wilkes-Barre. A wedding reception was held for the couple at the home of Matthew and Josephine Figlak in Hudson. Aa newspaper article later chastised the group for their rowdy Polish music, dancing and celebrating late into the night. Anthony graduated from Wilkes-Barre High School and St. Thomas College in Scranton, PA. After graduation, he worked as an insurance agent for Prudential Insurance. Stella became a housewife. The couple lived in a 4-room duplex at 65 Miner Street in Hudson, next door to Anthony's parents, for 10 years. From her association with high society as companion to the judge's mother, Stella learned the genteel refinements of life, proper etiquette, table manners and wore the latest fashions, She had a tiny waist and dressed elegantly in lovely clothes with fur trim, boas, stylish hats and beaded purses. She wore make-up and jewelry and made her handsome husband proud of her. Nine months after the wedding, daughter Eleanor was born at home in 1918 and in 1922, son Francis was born there, too. This was the same house in which their father, Anthony, was born. Anthony, and both of his children were delivered by Anthony's grandmother Cunegunda Smolinski, Hudson's popular midwife.

9: Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Figlock with Bernard Figlock and Clara Domowicz April 29, 1917 | Stella carried a bouquet of yellow roses.

10: Cunegunda Andrzejewski Smolinski 1844 - 1929 | Matthew Figlak + Josephine Smolinski 1868 - 1935 1874 - 1925 | Anthony Figlock's Grandmother & Parents

11: Stella Domowicz Figlock's Grandmother & Parents | Mary Przybilinski Karaszkiewicz 1832 - 1919 | Walenty Domowicz 1856 - 1919 | Johanna Karaszkiewicz 1859 - 1933 | and

12: Figlaks R1, Theresa & Helen; R2, Matthew. grand-daughter Eleanor, Josephine; R3, Ziggy, Bernie, Ted | (Above) Figlak's in 1908; (below) Matthew always kept guns at home

13: Earliest photo of Figlak and Smolinski Families at a wedding in 1908 | First Home of Matthew & later Anthony Figlock | 65 Miner Street Anthony M. Figlock was born here on 10/21/1893 | Bernie Figlock's 1st Communion R1 Theresa & Helen Figlock, R2 Ziggy & Bernie Figlock circa 1916

14: Stella said this was one of the happiest days of their lives - when they announced to the family that she was pregnant... Anthony was 24 and Stella was 25 years old. | (Left) Antos and Stasia Figlock Daughter Eleanor was born January 29, 1918 in Hudson, PA

15: (Left) Stella, Anthony and Baby Eleanor - Eleanor's first photograph 1918 Eleanor, age 4, riding a scooter 1922

16: (Left) Coal miners Matthew and his brother Jacob; Matthew wanted his sons to be educated so they would not have to spend their lives in the coal mines. (Right) Matthew & Josephine Figlak with their 1st grandchild Eleanor Figlock 1919

17: "Friends are Flowers that Never Fade" | (Above) Eleanor and her grandmother Johanna Domowicz in 1920 Stella Domowicz Figlock was born on 9/9/1892 in Wilkes-Barre, PA | (Left) Clara, Sally, Stella and Anthony Domowicz 1914

18: Story of My Life By Stella Domowicz Figlock Piechorski In 1910, when I was a girl about 8 years old, I helped with work at home in the Brookside section of Wilkes-Barre, PA. Mother and Father had a grocery store. I waited on people and helped Mother with the housework. When I was 9 years old, I started to go to school to Park Avenue in town (Wilkes-Barre) and I got as far as 3rd grade. I was 12 years old then. I received First Communion and after that Father didn't want me to go to school. He said I should help Mother at home. Father would take the wagon and go with store orders to Parsons, Miners Mills and Hudson and he'd be gone all day at a time. The brothers were working in the mines as mule drivers and at night they went to night school, so Mother had to take over the store and take care of us 10 children. That was mighty hard for her. We all worked and helped Mother and when we had a little extra time, we cut rags into strips and sewed them together to be woven into a throw rug. And then we plucked duck feathers at night. We never had no fun at all, just work. No music. No phonograph. No other music like other people who had at least a phonograph. We had nothing at all. No time for any fun. And we used to pick coal for the whole winter, about 10 tons of coal for three stoves, 1 upstairs, 1 in the kitchen and 1 in the store - a large heating stove. We used to pick coal in the Oakies, the road that goes to Plains. We kids worked real hard. Then Father was building homes and we all helped to carry water pails of cement and taking shingles up on the roof for father and the boys to nail on and put the first paint on a house and inside nailing slats on the walls for plastering. And bringing ashes in an old baby buggy we had, filling the burlap bags 5 or 6 of them. Brother Tony was the horse and we were pushing the buggy and at night we were cutting carpet rags and sewing them. Made balls [out of the sewn-together cut rags]. Each of us had to make one pound a night and pluck duck feathers for pillows and a piezina for each of our beds. We had 5 beds in 3 rooms. No rug on the floor. Just strip carpets. And we were sleeping on straw mattresses. And our light was oil lamps. We had to fill them with kerosene every day and wash the stove chimneys and deliver orders to different families when we came home from school. We had to walk to Park Avenue School and to St. Mary's Church; that was three miles one way. We had no goulashes [boots], no heavy coats, no gloves, just shoes and black stockings. I remember when I took an order to the customers. On the way home there was water in the ditch. It was winter time and I took a slide down it. Father seen me do that and gave me a spanking, put me over a chair and put my dress up and spanked me with a 9 tail strap real hard because I was tearing my shoes doing so. And Tony got it too on the chair with the strap. He helped me to take this order to the customers. It was 100 lbs. of flour, 1 bushel potatoes, 20 lbs. of sugar and other groceries. People had large families at that time, 12 or 15 children. Our Mother had 10 of us. In summer time we never had shoes on all week, barefooted. Only on Sunday to go to church and our feet hurt when we put them on because our feet were swelling from walking barefoot.

19: We had to scrub our floors upstairs and downstairs. No oil cloth (linoleum); just bare floor with two strips of homemade carpet. And the people were so different, They would help one another and were kind and they never took nothing for it. Today is so different; everybody for themselves. Today the children have heaven. Nothing to do, go to school and nothing to do at home. We never had any cake or pie; just for Christmas and Easter Mother would bake a sweet bread with raisins. We all had to work real hard. We never had time to play. We had to wait on people in the grocery store and watch the saloon. When anyone would come, we had to call Mother to wait on them and go back to the store. Father would be out with the orders in Parsons, Plains and Hudson. He'd be gone all day. When I was 14 years old, I had to go to do factory work as a bobbin girl - put bobbins on the machine. I got $2.50 a week and Father said, "You have to get some other work like housework where you can work and get board." So I did get housework and I was getting $10 a month and food. Everything was done by hand. That was real hard but I had to do it the hard way. No schooling. At least if I had 8th grade I could get a better job. Father said the girls don't need no school. They get married and be a housewife all their lives. So how wrong Father was. When Anthony died, I had two children. Eleanor was 10 years old and Francis was 6 years old. We had nine thousand [dollars] debt on the house, car and furniture. And Anthony's funeral in 1928 cost me $750 and $200 for tombstone. So there wasn't hardly anything left and I had to pay Grandpa [Matthew] Figlak, [Anthony's father] $350 on the money Anthony borrowed from him for a $10,000 life insurance. Anthony wanted to get $10,000 insurance on his life and we had no money, so he borrowed. We had only one thousand on him and one thousand on me. When Anthony died, Father Figlak came over and said to me the day after the funeral "Don't forget Anthony owed me 350 dollars." I said, " I know that he does. I didn't get the check as yet. How can I give it to you?" It was so hard for me to run downtown every time to pay on the car, furniture and the house amount and interest. I had to take Francis with me wherever I go. I didn't trust him with nobody. So Grandpa (Matthew Figlak) said to Mrs. Shivala, “Why is she going downtown so often?” He said to her, "I guess she's going to see some bullies downtown. She wouldn't ask them to come here so I wouldn't see them." ...She didn't like him after what he said about me because it wasn't true. How many tears I cried over him. So that's why I married the second time. I didn't want to lose what Anthony left for me. I could sell the house and go away from here altogether but I couldn't. Didn't he always say when we pay this home then I will own my castle with my Queen and children. God have mercy on his Soul. Now is 1973.

20: Matthew, Anthony, pregnant Stella, Josephine and young Eleanor in 1921 | Eleanor was the apple of her Daddy's eye (a rare photo of Anthony in his dirty work clothes) with young Eleanor

21: Francis Matthew Figlock was born on March 8, 1922

22: From about 1920, Anthony worked as an organizer for the United Mine Workers Union of America. Having worked in the mines himself for a while, and coming from a family of coal miners, he genuinely had the best interest of coal miners at heart. | Anthony Figlock was a very intelligent man with high moral principles, which is why he was popular among the miners and people with whom he worked. They trusted him. He recorded miner's complaints in a code that he developed to keep the information safe, in case it ever fell into the wrong hands. He lived at a time when the Maia was beginning to infiltrate the United Mine Workers Union, therefore he had to walk a very dangerous tightrope. Men who did not cooperate with the Mafia were often gunned down, as verified by local news articles. On the one hand, he genuinely wanted to improve the lot of the miners, act upon their complaints against the coal companies and do right by them. However, he also had to keep his Union bosses happy. Anthony was not "street savvy." He was politically naive and remained idealistic until his death. When the miners began making more complaints about the Union than about the coal companies, he found himself in the middle of the controversy. He was paid well precisely because his job was so dangerous. In 1928, he told Stella he had enough of the controversies and constant bickering and wanted to find a new job. He never got the chance... | Anthony (center) with UMWA Union organizers 1920

23: Anthony attended Union Conventions each year - one in Indianapolis in 1921 where he met John L. Lewis. On the train on the way to a Convention, he was shot at and the bullet went through his hat. He was idealistic, honest and trustworthy and assumed that others were, too. His letters showed that at the Convention he was appalled that delegates carried on with ladies of the evening . He even pondered telling their wives, lest they brought home a disease. He took his daughter Eleanor to the next Convention, hoping her presence would spark the men to behave better and it did - she was the star of the event! | Anthony and Stella with their new car in 1925. He loved new fangled gadgets. He had the first car in Hudson in 1915, the first camera in 1917 and a radio in 1927. Every Sunday afternoon, he played the radio on the front porch so neighbors could come and sit on the lawn and listen to the news reports and popular programs. Anthony was a very popular, successful man who was much-admired in the town and among the miners. | Envelope from letter of Anthony to Stella while he was at the 1921 UMWA convention in Indiana

24: Vacationing in Atlantic City | Anthony's sister Theresa, 13, daughter Eleanor, 6, and son Francis, 2 in 1924 | Anthony and Stella in Atlantic City

25: The BEST Summer Ever! | 1924 | Francis, Anthony, Stella and Eleanor

26: The Many Sides of Stella... | Stella was equally at home visiting her sister Sally on Sally's farm in upstate New York (below) or decked out in the most fashionable of styles (right). Known in Hudson as a local fashion icon, she always made her husband proud. | Francis, Eleanor, Stella, Mother-in-law JosephineFiglak and Mother Johanna Domowicz circa 1924

27: Matthew Figlaks liked nice things... | (Above) A Tiffany lamp that Matthew ordered from Germany in 1915 when he build a new house at 67 Miner St. He imported the cypress wood for the house from Germany and installed a lovely imported stained glass window in the stairwell to the 2nd floor. | The Matthew Figlak family was a little better off and more culturally refined than their neighbors. The all liked to read and keep abreast of current events. Matthew had an opinion about everything and enjoyed expressing it. He held offices in several fraternal organizations and always maintained his military bearing. He was a strict father, who raised his children to be responsible citizens. While he enjoyed driving a yellow Huppmobile convertible roadster, he would not let son Ted buy a car until he was in his 20s. Despite the fact that Matthew was such a serious man, Josephine raised her children to be jolly, fun-loving individuals. The boys were known for their practical jokes and pranks and the family loved to laugh and make others laugh. One time Ted gave each of his little sisters - Helen and Theresa - a wooden nickel and told them to go to the store and pick out some candy. They spent a great deal of time choosing just the right treats. When they tried to pay the store keeper with wooden nickels, they were chased out of the store. They cried all the way home and Ted roared with laughter, at their expense. All Matthew Figlak's children had a great sense of humor.

28: Family members came from near and far to attend Josephine's funeral- including family from Michigan. (Left - Front, l-r) Josephine's Son Anthony, Granddaughter Eleanor behind leaves, Son Sigmund (Ziggy), Grandson Francis and Son Ted Figlock; (back) Brother-in-laws George Figlock, George Majewski, and Jacob Figlock, Husband Matthew Figlak, Sister Josephine Figlak Wojcinski, Brother Martin Smolinski, Brother-in-law Joseph Figlak and Son Bernard Figlock | (Right - Back, l-r) George Figlock of Detroit, MI, George Majewski of Glen Lyon, PA, Jacob Figlock, Sigmund (Ziggy) Figlock, Matthew Figlak, Martin Smolinski, Josephine Figlak Wojcinski, Ted Figlock, Joseph Figlak of Detroit, MI and Bernard Figlock

29: Josephine Smolinski Figlak died on September 29, 1925 of a cerebral hemorrage. She was very popular and had a huge funeral with 30 cars. It was the largest funeral procession Hudson had ever seen. She was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery in Hudson, PA. | Josephine was fluent in English, Polish & German. She translated letters for folks and often translated for for the Luzerne County court - unheard of in those days! She had a wonderful sense of humor; her home was always full of laughter. Ogilvie offered her money to endorse their shampoo with her long, thick hair but she refused because it was not true, She used lye soap.

30: In 1927, ten building lots became available on Cotton Ave., Matthew bought 2, and right next door Anthony bought 2 lots. Matthew sold his lots to his nephew Walter, who built a duplex. Anthony built a unique single-family house like non other in Hudson, It had a kitchen, with beautiful wooden cabinets and a separate laundry room, a living room with double oak-and-glass French doors leading to the dining room, with a winding oak staircase that leads to the 3 bedrooms on the 2nd floor, and a full attic on the 3rd floor. It has a concreted basement with a dirt section left as a root cellar and a coal bin. There was a porch on the 2nd floor the width of the house, and a lattice enclosed porch on the 1st floor. Next to the house was a driveway long enough to fit 4 cars, with a 2-car garage at the end, complete with mechanic's pits built under the floor, and an outhouse behind the garage. It was immediately landscaped with bushes, flowers, grass and trees. The house was - and still is - a real showpiece. | Building Stella's "Castle"

31: Anthony had a "castle" built for Stasia and his precious children in a new development, located at 45 Cotton Avenue in Hudson. They moved in at the end of June 1925 and celebrated the 4th of July there with a party.

32: On 2-16-28, Anthony Figlock witnessed a gangland Mafia killing, The Wilkes-Barre newspaper reported: Frank Agatti, deposed president of a Pittsburgh union mine local was shot and killed at District No. 1 United Mine Workers headquarters in W-B. District Organizer Anthony Figlock told police that Agatti's slayer was Sam Bonito, present head of the No. 6 local of the PA Coal Co. in Pittston. Agatti received the contents of a revolver which, according to Figlock, Bonito fired from the pocket of his overcoat. Agatti was hurried to the Mercy Hospital, where he died 20 minutes later. According to Figlock, Agatti was making a report to Figlock and August Lippi, international board member, when Bonito and two other men burst through the door and in a flash Bonito fired. The trio immediately fled. Union officials started after the alleged assailants and also notified police, who shortly afterwards arrested the subject. Local Union No. 6 has been in constant turmoil for the last year with bickering over control of the union. Three weeks ago, Thomas Lillis, a member of the union, was shot and killed as he returned to his home after a union meeting in Pittston. Anthony was scheduled to testify in court as a witness against Sam Bonito on Thursday, Sept. 27, 1928. On Sept. 5th, Sam Bonito’s brother was shot and killed in a brawl. Locals believed it was retribution for the Agatti killing. Anthony was frightened for himself and the safety of his family; he wished to protect them. He bought a $10,000 life insurance policy with money borrowed from his father. A few times a week it was usual for Anthony to socialize at the Hudson Servicemen’s Club. There, Anthony wondered out loud what would happen to his family if he died. Among his friends was an older bachelor named John Piechorski (aka Szynczak and Shimshock). John said that he would never love again because he loved only one woman and she turned down his marriage proposal in order to marry a rich man. So John told Anthony, in front of the saloon keeper and witnesses, that he would take care for Anthony’s family if he died. The week before his court appearance, a lawyer contacted Anthony, asking why he was not shot when Agatti was and suggesting that perhaps Anthony was teh real shooter. Anthony was overwrought with nerves and anxiety. Stella said he couldn’t eat; he couldn’t sleep; and he couldn’t talk about it with her although she tried to get him to talk about it many times. He did not want her to scare her. Weaker men would have capitulated and not testified, but Anthony was a stand-up fellow who always took the high road. He held himself up to a moral code that would not allow him to walk away. On Thurs., Sept. 20, he went to work in W-B and was told that tomorrow he had to drive to Rhode Island and audit the union books there. This was not in his usual jurisdiction but he was told the regular auditor could not do it and the audit had to be done right away but they didn't explain why the urgency. It was cold and rainy that day. He drove to Rhode Island, spent the day in an unheated warehouse office with one other man, and then drove home. On the way home he began feeling sick. He pulled into the driveway that night, Stella opened the garage doors for him, he put away the car and went straight to bed. He said he felt weak and was freezing.

33: Anthony M. Figlock died on September 24, 1928, God rest his soul. | Stella immediately called the doctor who recommended bed rest. On Saturday, the doctor visited and diagnosed it as pneumonia. Stella hired a nurse to give Anthony the care he needed. Anthony tried to remain cheerful and he told Stella how much he loves her and that he would marry her all over again. They were married for 11 years. On Sunday, the doctor visited again. This time he “bled” Anthony and removed a big blood clot. Stella thought something went wrong with his instrument because the doctor cursed out loud and then rushed out of the house saying he was going to the drug store to telephone another doctor, even though he knew Stella had a phone in the house. Soon after, he returned with another doctor and the two men treated Anthony and told her to leave the room. Anthony was delirious from that point on. Stella stayed at his side, but he died got weaker and died on Monday, Sept. 24, 1928 – just 3 days before he was to testify. Was he poisoned in Rhode Island? Did the doctors do something wrong? Was it really pneumonia? Stella consulted a lawyer, trying sue the Union for making Anthony spend the day working in an unheated warehouse office that made him sick. The lawyer said there was no conclusive proof that that's why he got sick. Then she wanted to sue the doctors because something was definitely wrong – but she did not have proof and the doctors stuck up for each other, The lawyer would not take either case. Anthony was upset with the Union who allowed the Mafia to infiltrate its leadership and stopped working for the good of the miners. At the Convention in 1925, miners from the Hudson Coal Co. submitted a list of complaints and nothing was done about them. In July, the local newspaper reported that 17 locals voted to secede from the UMWA and gave Anthony's uncle, Stanley Figlock, the authority to head up the secession. They no longer wanted to listen to J. L. Lewis. This secession would cut into Lewis’ profits and he was not happy about it. So the UMWA was not happy with the Figlocks. Because of Anthony's popularity, like his mother, he had a huge funeral, which included family, friends, miners and union leadership and coworkers from near and far. His sister Theresa said that here were about 30 cars in his funeral procession. He was buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Hudson, PA, two spaces to the left of his mother's grave.

34: After Anthony's death, this note from the Black Hand Society was thrown through Stella's window. It mentions a vendetta that hung over Anthony in the past few weeks, threatens Stella and tells her to pay $1,500 a year - she did not pay and nothing happened.

35: Anthony's death was so sudden that it left Stella stunned! She had so much to contend with and no one to turn to. The only one from the Figlock family who kept in touch with her was her brother-in-law Ziggy, who lived in NYC with his wife. Stella took the children on the train to visit them for Thanksgiving and to get away from all the pain she was feeling every minute of every day. It was a few days of of escape for them all. In the months that followed Anthony's untimely death, Stella was so devastated that she felt she could not go on. She drew up an official document asking Aunt Mary Karaszkiewicz to take care of her children "if something happened to her." She had the children sign it, as well as herself. Stella did not have any financial concerns for the last eleven years, since she married Anthony. He took care of the bills and there was always more than enough for the mortgage, new furniture, and even for his two cars, one which was purchased just a few months before his death. The day of the funeral, Anthony’s father was already asking Stella for the money her husband borrowed for his life insurance policy! Stella went into a deep depression and could not function, so Eleanor, age 10 took over the daily routine. Stella paid off her father-in-law and sold Anthony's two cars but she was left with barely enough to pay for the mortgage and living expenses for a short time. She was beside herself with grief and struggling to keep her family in the”castle” that her husband had so lovingly built for them. She toyed with the idea of taking the children and moving away but could not bring herself to leave her castle and her life. | Last photo taken of Anthony with his daughter Eleanor, 10, and his son, Francis, 6 in 1928.

36: John Piechorski, who also went by Szymczak and Shimshock, married Stella Figlock in October 1929. It was a marriage of convenience. He was looking for someone to take care of him and she needed a steady income to save the "castle" that Anthony built for her and to support the family. | A few months after Anthony’s death. John Piechorski visited Stella and told her about the pact that he had made with Anthony to take care of her and the children. Stella did not believe him, so he took her down to the Hudson Servicemen's Club where witnesses verified that John was telling the truth. John proposed to Stella - a marriage of convenience. He was a coal miner and later worked as a night watchman. He developed black lung disease from working in the coal mines. John was a quiet, hard-working, good natured man, who treated the family well and dearly loved his step-children and later his grandchildren and they loved him. John became very sick and was bedridden in late November of 1949. His step-daughter Eleanor went into the hospital on November 22, where she gave birth to her third daughter, Kathryn (Karyn). John wanted to see his granddaughter so badly that he begged for Eleanor's husband to carry him on his back to the car so he could visit his grandchild. He was too sick to go. John died on Nov. 25, 1949. Eleanor and the baby came home on the day of his funeral. He is buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery under the name of John Shimshock, which is the name he used when he served as a Colonel in the U.S. Army in World War I. His name at birth was John Piechorski. His mother married a Szymczak, who later changed the name to Shimshock, so John went by both names. Throughout their 20 years of marriage, Stella was a dutiful wife but she made it clear that she dearly loved her first husband - even after death - and only tolerated John. In retaliation, John spent much of his time off at the Hudson Servicemen's Club. | 1932

37: The children had wanted pet white rats and Stella said "No" but after Anthony died, she got the rats for Francis, 6, and Eleanor, 10, to help to appease their grief (below). They also got some nice toys (right). Anthony had an old car and just bought a new additional car in 1928 before he died, which Stella had to sell (below right).

38: After Anthony's death, Stella changed. Although she always dressed nicely, she no longer had an interest in wearing the latest fashions or making a fashion statement to please her second husband. Their financial situation was different, too, so she became more frugal. In the 1970s, when pants suits became popular and Stella was encouraged to wear pants, she made it a point to say that she would go to her grave always being a "proper lady" and never having worn pants. And so it was. | Eleanor and Francis swimming at seashore in New Jersey | Eleanor and Francis swimming in back yard with cousin

39: J | John Piechorski was a hard-working, gentle, good-hearted man, who loved his step-children and vice versa. | (Top) Francis and John circa 1932 1917 - Photo of Col. John Shimshock and fellow soldiers and civilians taken in Germany | 1943 Granddaughter Annette Sobol with Pop Pop John

40: Francis and his mother, Stella, in their living room @1938 | Stella with daughter Eleanor in 1940

41: Stella in front of her "castle" on Mother's Day 1940 | Stella in 1942 | Stella in 1970 | Contrary to her daughter, who was a social butterfly, Stella was a very private person. She went to church and had only a few close friends. She dedicated her life to her family. She was an independent lady who enjoyed reading, listening to the latest news and keeping up on current events. She was fascinated when man walked on the moon. She was an excellent cook and enjoyed cooking for Eleanor and her family, who lived very close nearby in Plains, PA. | Stella was a very patient and loving mother and grandmother. She helped her family in any way she could. Called "Nanny" by her grandchildren and great grandchildren, she lived at home - in her castle - for the rest of her life. At the age of 80 and spent only the last 2 months in Mercy Hospital, where she died on December 7, 1973. She was buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery, next to her beloved "Antos." May they both rest in eternal peace and love. | Stella was especially close to her son, Francis, who lived in Forty-Fort, PA - about a half-hour away. He died in 1959, at age 37, under mysterious circum-stances pointing to foul play involving the Syndicate. He, like his Dad, was an honest and trustworthy person; it cost him his life. Stella was crushed!

42: 45 Cotton Avenue 2012 Showplace of Hudson

44: Beautiful Back Yard

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Kathryn Rosypal
  • By: Kathryn R.
  • Joined: over 4 years ago
  • Published Mixbooks: 3
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Figlock, Anthony & Stella
  • The Love Story of Anthony Figlock and Stella Domowicz and the "castle" they called home.
  • Tags: Figlock, Figlak, hudson, Sobol
  • Published: over 4 years ago

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