Author - John Radzilowski
United States - Americas - 2005/02/15 - Minnesota Historical Society Press
Polish Americans have been part of Minnesota history since before the state's founding. Taking up farms along newly laid rail networks, Polish immigrants fanned across the countryside in small but important concentrations. In cities like Winona and St. Paul, Northeast Minneapolis and Duluth, as well as on the Iron Range, Polish American workers helped drive a growing industrial and agricultural economy-and established their own cultural identity within the state. Polish Americans, many of them political refugees, created and sustained a wide range of community institutions from churches and schools to cultural groups and social clubs in Minnesota. They developed a significant literary tradition, published newspapers, and were instrumental in establishing the state's early labor movement. Author John Radzilowski tells the stories of individuals like Stan Wasie, a Polish immigrant boy who grew up to become a pioneer in the trucking industry, founding Merchants Motor Freight in Northeast Minneapolis in 1927. By the 1950s the successful company had 800 vehicles and its own terminals. A concise history of the Poles in Minnesota and the influence they have had on the state's politics, history, and culture.