Documents and photographs associated with Agnes Anna Szymanski Reiter, 1901–1999

Collection Title
Documents and photographs associated with Agnes Anna Szymanski Reiter, 1901–1999

Biographical summary
Agnes Anna Szymanski was born June 29, 1901 in Lauenburg, Pomerania, Germany (now Lębork, Poland). She immigrated with her cousin Helena Formella Ebel to the United States in 1923, settling in Chicago, Illinois, with her cousin and sponsor Jacob Ebel. In 1930 she married Joseph J. Reiter, a real estate and insurance business owner. The couple had one child, daughter Agnes Marie Reiter Dzombak, born Feb. 17, 1931. Joseph Reiter died in 1936. In 1938, Agnes traveled to Germany for a visit with the hope to stay, but relatives warned her of the impending war, and she returned to Chicago. She worked as a supervisor of the stenographer pool at US Rubber until her retirement in 1966. Her daughter Agnes Marie Reiter married William Dzombak on Nov. 2, 1953, and settled in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Agnes Szymanski Reiter died on August 5, 1999, and is buried in St. Vincent Cemetery, Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Description of contents 

Letters 

Folder 1

Eighteen picture postcards, most showing images of Danzig or Zoppot. Four have writing on them, all dated from 1918, in the old German script. One addressed to Aga Szymanski in Lauenburg, three to Agnes Szymanski in Danzig.

Seventeen picture postcards, no writing. Most with images “Aus der Heimat,” by Paul Hommel.

Forty-five postcards and notes, written in the old German script, dating from 1916-1923. Most are addressed to Agnes Szymanski.

Letters, photos, and announcements from / related to Gertrud Scheuermann, Berlin. Dated from 1946-1964.

Folder 2

Letters and postcards, written in old German script, dating from 1920 to 1924

Folder 3

Letters written in old German script, dating from 1925 to 1929. Primarily to Agnes Szymanski, living in Chicago.

Folder 4

Letters written in old German script, dating from 1930 to 1938. Primarily to Agnes Szymanski Reiter, living in Chicago.

Folder 5
Letters written in old German script, dating from 1939 to 1947. Primarily to Agnes Szymanski Reiter, living in Chicago. Includes information on care packages to the Szymanski family living in Germany. Envelope of five buttons: “I Own a Liberty Bond,” “War Savings Service W.S.S.,” “Third Liberty Loan,” “Fourth Liberty Loan” with red-white-blue“Volunteer” ribbon attached, and “2nd War Fund Campaigner.”

Folder 6

Letters written in German, often in the old German script, dating from 1948 to 1957. Primarily to Agnes Szymanski Reiter, living in Chicago.

Folder 7

Letters written in German, dating from 1958 to 1967. Much few instances of old German script. Primarily to Agnes Szymanski Reiter, living in Chicago.

Folder 8

Letters written in German, dating from 1968 to 1977. Primarily to Agnes Szymanski Reiter, living in Chicago.

Folder 9

Letters and cards, dating from 1978 to 1988. Primarily to Agnes Szymanski Reiter, living in Chicago and, sometime around 1983, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Includes birthday wishes from Nancy and Ronald Reagan.

Documents
Autograph book belonging to Agnes Szymanski, with inscriptions dating between 1918 and 1923. 

Tagebuch, Agnes Szymanski. 220 pages. Four inserted sheets. Handwritten in old German script. Some pages blank. First entry: Danzig, den 5. Nov. 1918. Last entry: Mittwoch 26. März [1919].

Copy of sponsorship affidavit sworn by Jacob Ebel, Cook County, Illinois, for his cousin Agnes Szymanski, dated June 19, 1923.

Copy of obituary notice for Mrs. Agnes Anna Reiter, Latrobe Bulletin, August 16, 1999.

Notes for the archive of Agnes Anna (Szymanski) Reiter (7 pages), compiled and written by Agnes’s granddaughter Laura Dzombak Warren.

Folder containing photographs, postcards, and letters related to Father Francis Markert (1910-1960), a friend of the Reiters who was editor of the Amerikanisches Familienblatt und Missionsbote (Techny, Ill. Mission Press, Society of the Divine Word).

Photographs
Album (18.5 x 23.5 cm.) holding forty-nine (49) photographs of people in Lauenburg, Zeppot (Sopot), Danzig (Gdansk), and other Pomeranian locations, 1920s.

Marriage portrait of Agnes Szymanski Reiter and Joseph J. Reiter, 1930. In folder, 36 x 26 cm. A. (August) Heinemann photography studio, 5043 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago, Ill.

Photograph of Joseph and Agnes Reiter, 1930, with their Packard in front of the home of Joseph’s sisters at 8757 S. Laflin St., Chicago, Ill. 16 x 21 cm.

Photograph of Joseph and Agnes Reiter, with daughter Agnes Reiter, and the employees of Joseph J. Reiter Real Estate office, 1543 W. 51st St., Chicago, Ill., ca 1935. 16 x 21 cm.
Stamped: Hermann Lusche, 2633 Narragansett Ave., Chicago.

Portrait of Joseph J Reiter, ca. 1936. In folder, 33 x 25 cm.
A. (August) Heinemann photography studio, 5043 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago, Ill.

Two color photographs of Agnes A. Szymanski Reiter, ca. 1966, Chicago, Ill. 18 x 12.5 cm.

Folder containing honeymoon photographs for Agnes and Joseph Reiter, 1930. Locations include: the Alamo, Grand Canyon, a California beach, Busch Gardens, Universal Studios, Colorado Springs, and San Francisco.

Folder containing family photographs dating from the 1920s (including one of Agnes Szmanski and her cousin Lena aboard ship for their trip to America, Nov. 1923) through the 1980s.

Books
Album vom Harz mit 100 Bildern. Halberstadt: R. Lederbogen, ca. 1920.
Inscribed: Für Agnes! Harzreise im Sommer, 1922. Viktor Szymanski.

Dzombak, Laura and Kathleen Warren. Life Picture Book of Agnes Anna Szymanski Reiter. Self-published, Blurb, 2019. On dust jacket: The Life of Agnes Szymanski Reiter. 190 pp., ill (chiefly col.). Photographs and primary source documents detailing the life and story of Agnes Anna Szymanski Reiter, June 29, 1910August 6, 1999.

Szymanski, Paul. Gesangbuch für die Katholische Pfarrgemeinde Lauenburg i. Pom. 2. Auflage. Lauenburg i. .Pom.: Kurt Schwerdtfeger, 1921. Inscribed Agnes Szymanski.

Donor
Laura Dzombak Warren

Location
FH Szymanski