Marianna (Wierzba) Mandra 1809 Bytow - 1904 Pine Creek

In the early 1860s a remarkable widow named Marianna (nee Wierzbowa) Mądra Dabrowska (1808 Bytów-1904 Pine Creek) joined five of her six daughters in Trempealeau County. Katarzyna Mądra and her husband Piotr Kiedrowski were likely the first to arrive, as they are attested in Winona by the 1860 US Census. A second daughter, Magdalena Mądra, settled with her husband Marcin Galewski (who had arrived with the Bronks on the Elbe in 1859 but not settled in Winona) near Whistler’s Pass. The matriarch Marianna lived with the Galewskis to help with their eight children. and also served as the area’s midwife.


Marianna Mondra's story is interesting because she was clearly the motivating force behind the emigration of her daughters and their husbands. Although her husband Jozef Madry Dabrowski had died in 1856, she led her family to make a life in the United States; despite being a widow in her late fifties, she herself became a respected and honored member of the Pine Creek community because of her work as a midwife.