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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

John Lipczynski's Death

Patriot under Two Flags, is Dead

 John Lipczynski, Polish patriot and veteran of the Polish rebellion of 1863, one of the first Poles to settle in Grand Rapids, and an organizer of the Grand Rapids group of the Polish National Alliance, died Saturday night at his home, 411 Eastern Ave. N.E. He was 78 years old.

 He is survived by his widow, Valeria; a son, Joseph of Great Falls, Montana; a daughter, Mrs. Helen Pierce of San Francisco; and two grandchildren, Rugene Fiske and Mildred Lipczynski.

 Born in Trzemeszno, Prussian Poland, in 1839, for 24 years Mr. Lipczynski lived the oppressed life of the subject Pole with his love of country intensified by the fact that his father had suffered like thousands of other patriotic Poles during the rebellion of 1839.

 In April of 1863, with rumors of a rebellion against Russia in the air, Mr. Lipczynski joined the force of about 4,000 Poles assembled in Russian Poland, prepared to strike the blows for freedom.

 Stunned by an exploding shell, as he and a few others rallied around the body of their fallen leader, Mr. Lipczynski was trampled by the Cossack army as he lay on the ground. Found by some of his party hours later, and a faint spark of life detected, he was cared for in a hospital by Madame Monczynska, a Polish noblewoman and nursed back to health.

 In 1869 he moved to Grand Rapids where he lived up to his death. He conducted a pottery establishment here. Mr. Lipczynski was one of the organizers of the Polish National Aid Society in Grand Rapids, which was the fourth one to be formed throughout the country and now numbers 3,000 members.

Grand Rapids Herald, April 9, 1917

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