Marcin Bembenek 1821 Kashuba - 1878 Winona
Magdalena Stoltmann 1829 Nowa Laska - 1883 Winona

Marcin, Magdalena, and their eight children (listed in the 1870 US Census as "Bine") emigrated to Winona via Quebec in 1867 aboard the ship "Barbarossa." Magdalena gave birth to their youngest child in Winona in 1869. In 1870 or 1871, Marcin started a general merchandise store and saloon at 271-273 East Second Street. His saloon was a pretty rough place: in April of 1873 he was stabbed in the arm by two men when he refused to serve them alcohol on Election Day. He beat them both soundly anyway. All the same, he was a respected member of the Kashubian community; in 1871 he was one of four men who presided over the meeting which resulted in the creation of Saint Stanislaus Kostka Parish. After Marcin’s death, the Bembeneks’ second son Jan Baltasar "John B." took over the store until 1886, when a railroad track was built along Second Street, thereby driving many of the retail establishments away. John B. Bambenek later served several years as the Chief Commissioner of Winona County and, after that, as manager of the city's water plant. A grandson, John C. Bambenek, served for more than 20 years as Winona County Treasurer.

The picture below, which was obtained on, shows Marcin and Magdalena with their four oldest children: Wojciech “Albert” Bambenek (1849-1929), Marianna Bambenek Wicka (1852-1934),  Jan Baltasar “John B.”  Bambenek (1854-1938), and Walenty “William” Bambenek (1856-1888). To judge from the age of the two little boys, the picture was probably taken in the Old Country; this might suggest that they had more disposable cash than most of their fellow Kashubians.

Marcin and Magdalena Bembenek with four of their children