Friday, March 14, 2014

Joseph Koshuba--one Year Later

Joseph Koshuba in 1916

One year ago, I published the first entry of this blog.  Since I began to research about my extended family, I discovered several things—first of just writing about my family history isn’t very interesting to most readers, unless you are closely related to my extended family. However, one of the most viewed posts on this blog is the "Genealogy of the Kleviak-Koshuba Family."    As I continued to research, I found that the history and culture surrounding my ancestors was far more interesting than just listing who was descended from whom.  And, I did find through research a lot more about my extended family, but that information didn’t fall into my lap, I had to find the sources that connected my to these ancestors.

The first  blog entry was about my great uncle, Joseph Koshuba.  Almost everything I knew about him then was incorrect, so I though that I will update his story. 

Jopseph Koshuba was born in Ouzernaya, Galicia, Ukraine, November 18, 1885, the son of Theodore Kociuba and Maria Kleviak.  He had three brothers, John, born in 1891, Stephen, born in 1899 and Myhaljo (Mike), died 1928.   His two sisters, Teckla Wons, was born in 1883 and Anna Grashkiw, born in 1897. 

Joseph came to the United States in 1904 at the age of 18.  In the 1910 census, he was living in a rooming house in St Paul, Minnesota, working as a laborer. By 1912, he was the owner of National Window Cleaning Company in St Paul. 

Advertisement for Joesph Koshuba's Window Washing Company, 1912

He married Florence Elizabeth Holmberg in February 1913, and they had three children. Frederick, born 1914, Catherine Florence born January 1915, and Marie Olga born in June 1917. 

By 1915, he owned his own home at 886 Central in St Paul.  He applied for US citizenship.  He registered for the World War I draft in 1918.  He was living the American dream.   He died suddenly, at home on January 17, 1919 of chronic myocarditis. 

Joseph’s family continued to live in the home at 886 Central, for about 10 years.  His daughters attended Central High School, his son, Fred went to work. Florence never remarried.  Marie Olga married John Poppler in St Paul in 1937.  Florence and Catherine moved to California around this time.  Florence died in Los Angeles in 1938, at the age of 1944. I can find no other records for Catherine. Marie Olga and her family moved to California in the 1940’s, she divorced and remarried. She died in San Diego in 1993.
The Koshuba Home at 886 Central, St Paul.  It recently sold for $75,000.

As you can see, tragedy affected  the Koshuba family, and it continued.  Brother Mike Koshuba died in a car accident in Hammond Indiana in 1928. In 1941, Fred died in a car accident in Dolton, Illinois at the age of 27.  He was married to Charlotte, living in Detroit, Michigan, and working at the Ford Motor Company.  Stephen Koshuba’s wife, Helen, left him in 1931 with a six year old daughter. In 1940, brother John died of suicide at the age of 49. John Koshuba’s son, named Joseph after his uncle, died of cancer in 1957 at the age of 37, leaving a wife and two young children.  
The other Koshuba children lived long and happy lives, Teckla Wons died in 1976, in St Paul, Anna Graskiw died in 1977 in Minneapolis and Stephen died in 1982 in Denver Colorado.