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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Karol J. Szypulski

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 658-661 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

Contents | Portraits | Illustrations | Maps

Portrait of Karol J. Szypulski

Portrait: Karol J. Szypulski

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America owes much to her foreign-born citizens for their splendid contributions to her economic and cultural development. Ever since the days of the Revolution, when men like Lafayette, Kosciuszko and Baron von Steuben crossed the Atlantic to aid the infant country in its struggle for freedom and a republican form of government, men of foreign nations have been attracted to our shores by the opportunities the New World offers for material advancement and for the "pursuit of happiness". On the whole, these newcomers have been men of ideals and ambitions who brought brain and brawn to contribute to the advancement of the society of which they hoped to become an integral part. The sum of their contributions to our national life can never be accurately reckoned, but it is safe to say that it far surpasses the estimates of the average citizen. In Utica this type of foreign-born citizen has an able representative in Karol J. Szypulski, founder and head of the Karol J. Szypulski Clothing Company of No. 512 Columbia street. Mr. Szypulski was born in Poland, on the 22d of October, 1864, and came to the United States in 1890 as a young man of twenty-six. He was a tailor by occupation and soon found work in the tailoring shops of America's greatest clothing center, New York city. Later he went to Binghamton, New York, in the same line of business, and from there came to Utica in 1905. Here he was associated with the Roberts-Wicks Company for a few years. Although he had made considerable progress in the clothing industry by this time and was entirely at home in the land of his adoption, Mr. Szypulski was far from satisfied. His ambition was to own and operate a business of his own, and to this end he had been saving from his earnings for a number of years. In 1908 he established the Karol J. Szypulski Clothing Company, which has now had sixteen years of successful history. This manufacturer's interest has extended beyond the range of the clothing industry, however, to other enterprises of a financial nature, among which should be mentioned the Merchants Bank of Utica, in which he is a stockholder and a director.

In the year 1897 Mr. Szypulski was married to Miss Rose Hart of Binghamton, New York. Since he secured the right to vote in this country he has always supported the candidates and principles of the republican party and is now a member of the Republican Club of this city. During the recent war he was tireless in his efforts to promote the success of the Liberty Loans, the campaigns for funds for the various war activities and the War Savings Stamps. Among his compatriots his influence was especially helpful in securing a one hundred per cent. loyalty to our war work. Mr. Szypulski has long been a prominent member of the Polish National Alliance, for he takes a deep interest in the affairs of the Polish people in this country and through this organization, as well as personally, is doing a great deal of constructive work in aiding them in their efforts to become good citizens. From his own experience he understands the problems and perplexities of the men and women who find themselves in a- strange land, where the people speak a strange tongue. Knowing the stumbling blocks that beset their pathway to success, he is able to point them out and thus assist the newcomer in ways that a native-born citizen could not do. Best of all, his own career is an example of the future that awaits the ambitious immigrant and shines forth as an inspiration to all who care to follow in his path. Mr. Szypulski never hesitated before a hard task, nor lost an opportunity to better himself. Thus, as effort strengthened his powers, he rose step by step to his present successful position in the business world. Another of his characteristics that is worthy of emulation is his support of those things that make for civic betterment and his cooperation with the other leaders in the city through the work of the Chamber of Commerce, in which he is a willing worker.

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