From the southwest area of Poland to Chicago Illinois the journey today would be fairly easy. In 1915 however this was a fierce battle ground and fraught with danger. If the war did not kill you the influenza was waiting the wings. Three Mieszala children did not survive the journey.
It took more than four years to complete the journey with several small children but the Micheal and Josefa finally made it to the USA. It was 1920 and the economy in the US was booming but it was still tough for immigrants to make it, but they did.
The couple had 12 children that survived and when the great depression struck in 1930 several were old enough to contribute or support themselves. Tragedy struck Micheal first and he passed away in the late 1930s. Josefa followed in the early 1940s leaving the youngest 4-5 children, including my dad, to a Polish Catholic orphanage. For those not familiar these places were similar in nature to the concentration camps of World War II. See the pictures below of a very thin Frank Mieszala.
I have limited family photos and hope to reach out to my cousins of older siblings to get what I can. To the right are Micheal and Josefa.
Frank well after his escape from the orphanage