Skip to main content

Angela Mischke papers

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: IHRC1608


Papers (1908-1969) of Angela Mischke (b. 1905), a Polish American, consist of an autobiography.


  • 1908-1969


Language of Materials



Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRCA.


Mischke arrived at Ellis Island with her family in 1913. They settled in Chicago, Illinois, joining her father who had come to the United States five years previously. Mischke attended parochial schools through eighth grade, then, at age fourteen, left to work first as a baste puller in the tailor shop where her father worked, and then in a glove factory. She took evening business courses and had a series of office jobs, among them work for a patent-medicine manufacturer. She also worked for the Polish National Alliance until her marriage. She was active in a local Polish singing group, "Chor Warszawski," in the Holy Trinity Parish Literary Circle, and in the Holy Trinity church choir.

The following questions and responses come from the autobiographies obtained through the Finnish American Family History Project. Each immigrant was asked to provide answers to the listed questions. Most biographies are in English; some are in the immigrant's native language. 0199 Mischke, Angela.[Autobiography in English.] 15pp.

1. Country of origin? Angela Mischke was born in Poland.

2. Occupation in native country? Mischke's father was a farmer. After his departure to the U.S., Mischke's mother managed the farm. She also did needlework.

3. Reason for immigration? Mischke's father came to the U.S. to earn money to pay off the farm mortgage. He wanted his family to come, because he felt the U.S. was a land of opportunity.

4. Date of immigration? Mischke came to the U.S. in 1913. Her father had immigrated five years earlier.

5. Did the author repatriate or remain in the U.S.? Mischke remained in the U.S.

6. State(s) and city(s) of settlement in the U.S.? The family settled in Chicago, Illinois.

7. Occupation(s) in the U.S.? Mischke's father worked as a presser in a tailor's shop. Her mother also worked in the tailor's shop. At the age of twelve Mischke worked in a bakery. She later worked in the tailor's shop, then became employed at a glove factory. She took business courses later and applied for an office job.

8. Political affiliations in the U.S.? (also ethnic affiliations?) No information.

9. Labor or occupational affiliations in the U.S.? No information.

10. Information on family life?-nuclear and/or extended family? Both parents worked, so the children did the housework. One brother played sports, although Mischke's father objected. When Mischke worked, all money was handed over to the parents.

11. Information on courtship or gender roles? Mischke's brothers were sent to high school. As a girl, Mischke was sent to work. Mischke married and had three children.

12. Information on the wider ethnic community? The neighborhood was Polish. There were some Jews.

13. Experiences with discrimination or political persecution? No information.

14. Any other outstanding features worthy of notice? Life in the U.S. was a hard adjustment, especially the adjustment from life in the Polish countryside to life in an American city. The family could not afford books, but installments from novels in Polish newspapers were collected and provided a library. Mischke's father gave his children a card to the Polish National Alliance Library. They lived in an apartment where the landlord never made repairs. Mischke described life in her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois. She wrote about the Polish theater.

15. Any account of the immigration process, voyage, Ellis Island inspection? Mischke with her mother, two brothers, and an aunt left Antwerp, Belgium on a Belgian ship. Before boarding, a medical examination was given. She and her brothers were detained for eye infections. They travelled third class and Mischke recalled that the ship was very crowded. They arrived at Ellis Island, then took a train from New York City to Chicago, Illinois.


1 linear inch


Collection acquired from Angela Mischke of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1977.

IHRC Archives
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding Aid in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Immigration History Research Center Archives Collecting Area