Biography of Alexander Pyterek

Birth: Alexander was born on 27 Feb 1851in the small village of Gulcz, in the parish of Lubasz to Valentine Pyterek and Catherine Polfus. His godparents were Paul and Agnes Kosmider. Valentine (Walenty) Pyterek was listed as an agricola (small farmer) on his children's birth records and his death record in 1864. He was listed as a wirt (German word for innkeeper) on the civil registration of his marriage record found in the Czarnkow county record.

Immigration: According to the 1900 US Census. Alexander immigrated in 1873. So far I cannot find his immigration records. Alexander Pyterek naturalized on 29 October 1878 in the circuit Court of Cook County. Judge John G. Rodgers presided. Alexander appeared on the 188 Chicago voters registration and was listed as living on 87th and Erie Street. On the 1892 registartion he was listed at Baltimore and 87th Street.

Marriage: Alexander Pyterek married Helena Murkowski from the town of Kcynia on 21 May 1876, in the parish of St. Stanislaus Koska in Chicago. On their City of Chicago marriage license, Alexander's name was spelled Pitryk. They were married by Father Vincent Barzynski, the famous architect of the Polish Catholic Church in Chicago.

Residence: In the 1880 US census, the Pytereks (then spelled Pitrick) were living 273 Bradley Street what is now considered the "Old Polish Downtown. They belonged to St. Stanislaw Kostka, the oldest Polish parish in Chicago. Mary Pyterek's father Alexander had been working in a tannery along with his two bothers Walenty and Joseph. When Joseph died of cancer in 1881 at the age of 30, Alexander moved his family to the neighborhood of South Chicago, where the steel industry was growing. He built a home at 8640 Baltimore Avenue, and with other early Polish settlers founded the parish of Immaculate Conception. Mary lived at this house until her death in 1958.


  1. Wladislawa (Lottie) Pyterek (1877-1906), married Jan Sobolewski, a friend of the Orbik family also from Tajenko.

  2. Marianna Pyterek ( 1879-1956), married Stanislaw Orbik from Tajenko in 1900.

  3. Francis Pyterek (1881-1964), married Jan Sobolewski after her sister Lottie died in 1906.

  4. John Pyterek (1884-1887).

  5. Hipolit (AKA Leopold) Pyterek (1886-1975), married Agnes Polewski, family from Piaski and Karsk. He ran Pyterek Funeral Home in South Chicago.

Death: Alexander Pyterek died of cancer in 1909 in Chicago. He is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Calumet City.

Other Family Information: On the 1900 US Census, Alexander was listed as an expressman (deliveryman). He was an express man  for the B&O Railroad and would often ride on top of the coal cars. One day he fell off a car and badly injured his ribs. He developed cancer and relatives say a doctor would periodically visit and burn off the cancer with a red hot poker. He succumbed to the disease in 1909.