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
Cuyahoga County, Ohio Biographies
Names A to G
Names H to P
Names Q to Z
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