Anthony R Poltrack

Anthony R Poltrack

 

Anthony R Poltrack (Grandfather)

 

Smuggled across border to get out of Poland in 1901. Came to U.S. Worked in the coal mines in Pennsylvania as a child (no child labor laws). As a adult, he worked at Yale and Town. His sister Mary worked there as a timekeeper and helped get him a job. Anthony got to be a foreman (would be an engineer in modern times). He was very concerned about the worker’s finger tips that were always being cut. He Invented a shield or safety catch for Yale and Town lock company to prevent loss of fingers of assembly line workers. Still in use. He got $500 for it which is much too high for those days as one could buy a house to live in during those days for that money. He spoke fluent English and knew how to handle the foreigners. He had a wonderful sense of humor and charm. Many evenings he would have a class for those who wanted to be citizens. Naturalized at least 50 citizens through interpretation/translation assistance. He sponsored such a large number that the governor gave him a citation. He was a good citizen. Every evening he would walk to the Advocate (newspaper) office. There was a big bulletin in the window with daily news which he would read and come home and tell his family what was going on. As Lillian said, “I think our interest in politics comes from these reports”.
With the $500, he bought a mansion that had to be razed. Took all the lumber and built two apartments over their bungelow. Kowaleski’s lived in one. All the bathroom fixtures were transferred. Lamps and other things were installed after being taken apart. Lillian remembers various neighbors coming in to admire and pull the chain to flush the toilet. “Goodbye outhouse. Boy, did we feel rich”.
Anthony sold insurance at night after work. Whenever he made a sale he would wake children up with ice cream or a chocolate bar.
Loved animals…dogs always followed him home and in his last years, worked at a veterinarian hospital to be near them.
Helped build the Holy Name Church in Stamford, CT (stone by stone). Owned and operated a hotel in Stamford -(Rockwell ??) and made quite a nice living in real estate until the stock market crash in the 20’s.Smuggled across border to get out of Poland in 1901. Came to U.S. Worked in the coal mines in Pennsylvania as a child (no child labor laws). As a adult, he worked at Yale and Town. His sister Mary worked there as a timekeeper and helped get him a job. Anthony got to be a foreman (would be an engineer in modern times). He was very concerned about the worker’s finger tips that were always being cut. He Invented a shield or safety catch for Yale and Town lock company to prevent loss of fingers of assembly line workers. Still in use. He got $500 for it which is much too high for those days as one could buy a house to live in during those days for that money. He spoke fluent English and knew how to handle the foreigners. He had a wonderful sense of humor and charm. Many evenings he would have a class for those who wanted to be citizens. Naturalized at least 50 citizens through interpretation/translation assistance. He sponsored such a large number that the governor gave him a citation. He was a good citizen. Every evening he would walk to the Advocate (newspaper) office. There was a big bulletin in the window with daily news which he would read and come home and tell his family what was going on. As Lillian said, “I think our interest in politics comes from these reports”.
With the $500, he bought a mansion that had to be razed. Took all the lumber and built two apartments over their bungelow. Kowaleski’s lived in one. All the bathroom fixtures were transferred. Lamps and other things were installed after being taken apart. Lillian remembers various neighbors coming in to admire and pull the chain to flush the toilet. “Goodbye outhouse. Boy, did we feel rich”.
Anthony sold insurance at night after work. Whenever he made a sale he would wake children up with ice cream or a chocolate bar.
Loved animals…dogs always followed him home and in his last years, worked at a veterinarian hospital to be near them.
Helped build the Holy Name Church in Stamford, CT (early foundation)). Owned and operated a hotel in Stamford -(Rockland) and made quite a nice living in real estate until the stock market crash in the 20’s.

–Notes courtesy of Cynthia Northgraves

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