09 October 2006

The History of the Polin family

Here some
background on my family on the Polin side.
I am
descendant of Peter Polin, who moved to Alma Wisconsin from Switzerland as a young adult with his brother Martin. I read the biography Kathy Kubly wrote. As I live in The Netherlands I was not able to find out the year he was born, thanks to her I know it know for sure (1840). The Polin's (originally from Zillis, Switzerland) moved to San Luis Obispo after Alma and my great grand father Joe -Joseph born about 1868- (Peter's son), moved to Mexico marrying a lady from Sonora, Doña Sarita Tapia. Even though they never learned each other's language they had ten children, among them the twins Martin and my grand father Roberto. He married Emma Loustaunau. They had first the twins Manuel (my father) and Roberto and then came Eduardo. Manuel married Carmen de Palacio Magarola and they had Manuel Eduardo, Monica and me, Marisa.
It is very interesting to know that a huge Swiss immigration occurred mid 19th century to Wisconsin. Back in Zillis, Switzerland they have not much record about it... Only at the the St. Martin's Chuch in Zillis there is a chair graved with the name "Anna Pullinn", could be Peter's and Martin's mother, but I had other information with the now used surname "Polin" starting from 1690.

Kathy Kubly's text:

POLIN, Martin.
History of Northern Wisconsin. Chicago: Western Historical, 1881, p 164 Martin POLIN, merchant, Alma [Buffalo County, Wisconsin], was born 13 February 1840 in Switzerland. In 1857 he came to Alma and clerked for a man named GEETER [DeGEETER?] for a short time. He then went to Stillwater [Washington County], Minnesota, and clerked for Benjamin & Gray. In 1863 he enlisted in Company F, Fifty-fifth Regiment, New York Infantry, and was discharged in 1865. In 1865 he came back to Alma, and was in various businesses until he purchased the store of Tester & Polin, in 1873. [For additional information on Mr. TESTER, see the Buffalo County, Wisconsin, biography of John A. TESTER.]In 1872 he [Martin POLIN] married Magdalena POLIN, a native of Switzerland. They have seven children: Annie, Joshua, Elizabeth, Rosa, Oscar, Olga, and an infant. [The POLIN family is enumerated in the 1880 census of Alma, Buffalo County, Wisconsin: Martin, age forty, merchant, born in Switzerland (about 1840 from his census age, which agrees with the year of birth given in the biography), to parents also born in Switzerland; his wife Magdalena, thirty-eight, born in Switzerland (about 1842) to parents also born there; and six children: (1) Anna M., sixteen, born about 1866; (2) Joseph P., age twelve, born about 1868; Elsbeth, six, born about 1874; Rosa L., age four, born about 1876; Oscar, one year old, born about 1879; and Olga, also one (twin of Oscar?) and thus born about 1879. Since the census contains six instead of seven children, it is likely the infant mentioned in the biography was born between the 1880 enumeration and the date in 1881 when the text went to press. Submitter did not seek this family in later census records. Bracketed material added by submitter (who is not researching these surnames) to support and clarify information given in the biography and to raise questions.]

Tester and Polin General Merchandise Store

Also known as Riverside Gallery 215 N. Main St., Alma
Significant Year: 1861.
Area of Significance: Exploration/Settlement, Architecture, Commerce.
Period of Significance: 1850-1874.
Historic Function: Commerce/Trade, Domestic.

Historic Sub-function: Department Store, Single Dwelling
Current Function: Commerce/Trade, Domestic.
Current Sub-function: Single Dwelling, Specialty Store

The Gallery House Bed and Breakfast (or Tester and Polin)
is a lovely and intriguing home established in 1861, worthy of its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The living room, dining room and grand front deck overlook the Mighty Mississippi. A sighting of eagles in their favorite tree or fishing, passage of the Delta, Mississippi or American Queen riverboats or towboats and spectacular sunsets generate wonderful memories. Jan's multi-course gourmet breakfast and the expanding art collection are also special features of a stay at The Gallery House.
Owner(s): Jan Hopkins.Open Since: 1985 with two rooms,.215 N. Main Street, P.O.Box 55, Alma, Wisconsin 54610, United States.tel: 608/685-4975 fax: 608/685-4977 e-mail: janbnb@win.bright.net

History of Alma, Wisconsin.
In 1848, two young Swiss men arrived in this area to cut the wood which would be used to fuel the steamboats which traveled the Mississippi River. They built a small shack and decided to stay. Others soon followed these early settlers. Until 1857, the newcomers were mostly Swiss immigrants. Perhaps the geographical features of this area reminded them of their native Switzerland. Twelve Mile Bluff was the original name (assigned by pilots of steamboats as they used a prominent cliff as a guide on dark nights) for the settlement.

The first two photo's are from the St. Martins Church in Zillis. The painted wooden ceiling is one of the oldest in Europe.
The third photo is an hoax, it comes from an old winery in Australia, probably as old as the real Tester & Polin shop.
The 4th photo is of Via Mala an important pass in the neighbourhood of Zillis, thanks to that money paid to cross the pass in the middle ages is that the region kept their economy. The last is the Martin Polin Library in Atascadero California.

The text is not completely correct please go to the last posts at the blog Los Polin: http://lospolin.blogspot.com/


Cullen Coates said...

By chance I happened on your write-up on Polink regarding the Polin family in California. My Grandmother was one of the Polin daughters who moved from Wisconsin and My mother, an only child, was one of Elsbeth Polin's favorite early models. We have a lot of information and many original copies of her photography - she was one of the first women photographers in California. I am trying to find the time to collate it and put it into some web publishable form. Glad to see what you have done.

Best Regards

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. I am Francisco J. Polin, Grandson of Don Francisco (Pancho) Polin-Tapia.

Marisa Polin said...

Since I first posted this text I have learned a lot more about the family's past and there are some mistakes that I will correct in a following post to be read at Los Polin blog: http://lospolin.blogspot.com/