Biography of Joseph F. Sawicki
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

JOSEPH F. SAWICKI, judge of the Municipal Court of Cleveland, has been an active member of the bar of that city about twenty years and is a former representative of Cuyahoga County in the State Legislature. He also has a national reputation as a leader among the Polish Americans.

Judge Sawicki was born March 18, 1881, at Gorzno, Poland, close to the border of Russia and Germany. His father, Peter P. Sawicki, came to the United States and to Cleveland in 1883. A few months later he went back to Poland. In 1885 he arrived again in Cleveland, and in the spring of the following year was joined by his family. He was for a number of years engaged in mason contracting, and later established himself in the shoe business, and so continued a prosperous business in that line at Cleveland. Peter P. Sawicki married Bogutnila Jurkowska. Her father was a soldier, a Polish Legionary patriot, who fleeing from Russia settled in German Poland. He reached the age of ninety six, and was esteemed for the unusual qualities of his mind. The mother of Judge Sawicki died in Cleveland January 22, 1915. She was the mother of fourteen children, eleven of whom were born in America.

Joseph F. Sawicki was five years old when brought to Cleveland, and grew up in this city, attending the St. Stanislaus Parochial School, the public schools, St. Ignatius College, and completed his legal education in Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Law School of Baldwin Wallace University. He was graduated with the Bachelor of Laws degree in 1904 and in the same year admitted to the Ohio bar. In a few years he had achieved a successful place in the Cleveland bar, with a large general practice. In 1905 he was elected a member of the Ohio General Assembly, being the youngest member of the House in the session of 1906 and was also the first Polander elected a member of the Ohio Legislature. In 1910 he was again elected, and his two terms of service made him favorably known over the state as well as in his home community of Cleveland. On January 1, 1919, he was appointed a judge of the Municipal Court, and in the following November was regularly elected to the municipal bench for a term of six years.

Throughout his professional career he has ranked as one of the leaders in the Polish community of Cleveland. His activities in behalf of the welfare of his native country and of his Polish fellow citizens have won him honor and distinction both at home and abroad. He is a member of the Polish National Alliance, of the Alliance of Poles in America, is president of the Supreme Council National Committee of America, chairman of the Ohio State Polish Citizens' Committee, a member of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America and the Polish Falcons of America. During the World war he was a member and director of the National Polish Committee of America, and chairman of the Polish Relief Committee of the State of Ohio. At a meeting held in the Hotel Gotham at New York City, December 21, 1923, presided over by Ignatz Jan Paderewski, former premier of Poland, and world famous musician, Judge Sawicki was created a knight of the Order of Restoration of Poland "Polonia Pertituta" and was decorated with the white gold Commander's Cross, indicating his rank in the order. Judge Sawicki is honorary president of the Polish American Chamber of Industry, of which he served as president for six terms. He is president of the board of directors of the Bank of Cleveland, is president of the Cleveland Polish Aid Society, a director of the Warsaw Savings and Loan Association, a director of the Travelers Aid Society, a member of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, the City and Kiwanis clubs, the Cleveland Museum of Art, trustee of the Cleveland Welfare Association, and belongs to the American, Ohio State and Cleveland Bar associations.

In his marriage, which occurred at Detroit, June 24, 1908, Judge Sawicki found not only a wonderful wife and mother, but a woman of distinguished talents and one of the foremost Polish women of America. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Veronica Sadowski, who was born in Poland, daughter of John and Anna Sadowska. Her father was a Polish nobleman, who, losing his patrimony, came to this country practically without means. Eventually he became a successful manufacturing baker in Detroit, where he died in 1906. Mrs. Sawicki's mother is now in her seventy sixth year and resides in Detroit, being possessed of fine mental and physical ability. Mrs. Sawicki was two years old when she came with her parents to Detroit. She was educated in the parochial schools of that city, also attended a convent and a business college, and improved her decided musical gift in the Detroit Conservatory of Music. Mrs. Sawicki was one of the organizers of and the first secretary of the Polish Woman's Union of America. She is a member of the Polish National Alliance, the Polish Catholic Union of America, the Alliance of Poles of the State of Ohio, the Polish Catholic Union of Ohio, the Polish Charitable Association of Cleveland, is president of the Polish Woman's Club of Cleveland, a member of the Federation of Women's Clubs of Cleveland, the Woman's Club of Cleveland, and a director in the Woman's Savings & Loan Association of Cleveland.

Judge and Mrs. Sawicki have four children: Eugene J., born April 4, 1909; Edwin F., born August 26, 1910; Felicia Elizabeth, born August 22, 1913, and Anna Barbara, born January 26, 1917.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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