Info on the Sendtko Family in Michigan

William Sendtko and Emma Kunitzer on their wedding day.
Ida, Esther, Bill, Martha, Daniel at 922 Hill St. St. Saginaw
Martha, Esther, Danniel, Ida, Lena, Bill

Name: William (Frederick) Sendtko


Birth: 29 Mar 1886 Olecko, East Prussia (Also known as Bittkoven, Maggrabowa and Treuberg)

Death: 27 Oct 1951 Sagnaw, MI – killed as a passenger in a car accident.

Burial: Oakwood Cem. Sagianw, Mi

Father: Johann Sendtko (~1870-)

Mother: Marie Kolmesko (~1870-1906)

Marriage: 18 Feb 1917 Sagnaw, MI


Spouse: Emma Kunitzer


Birth: 12 Jul 1895 Chicago, IL  Death: 10 Oct 1962 Sagnaw, MI

Burial: Oakwood Cem. Sagianw

Father: Adolph E Kunitzer (1855-1917)

Mother: Mathilda Schnek (1863-1916)




Ida M. Sendtko

Birth: 2 Nov 1918, Saginaw, MI  Death: 7 Jan 2010 Sebewaing, MI

Spouse: Walter Fiebig (1920-~2000)  Marriage: 27 Nov 1948


Esther Emma Sendtko

Birth: 29 Sep 1920, Saginaw, MI  Death: 28 May 1998 Saginaw, MI

Never married.


William Max Sendtko 

Birth: 2 Dec 1921, Saginaw, MI  Death: 20 Jul 1988 Bay City, MI

Spouse: Lorris Mina Schwab (1927-1991)  Marriage: 1 Oct 1949


Martha Marie Sendtko

Birth: 2 Jan 1923, Saginaw, MI.   Death: 24 Sep 1995 Sebewaing, MI

Spouse: Lawrence Koch (1925-2012) Marriage: 27 Apr 1963 Saginaw, MI


Daniel Martin Sendtko

Birth: 1 Mar 1926 Sagnaw, MI  Death: 28 Sep 2009 Hemlock, MI

Spouse: Leona Lucille Weiss (1927-2005)  Marriage: 23 Oct 1948 Sagnaw, MI

Hermansau Rd in Saginaw in 1918
Olecko is just west of Suwatki
The old Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Saginaw.
Kaisern Auguste Victoria, the ship William Sendtko arrived on.
A party at Skidway Lake, Loris, her children, Emma and Lena.
2314 Hill St, Saginaw

William Sendtko was  born on 29 March 1886 in what is now Olecko, Poland.  It has also gone by the names Bittkoven, Treuberg, and Magrabowa . It was part of East Prussia when he lived there.

His parents were Marie Kolnesko (1870-1906, maybe) and Johann Sendtko according to William’s marriage license in 1917.  There are several Johann Sendtko possibilities from the records of Olecko that could be his father.  Marie’s last name has been spelled many ways: Kolnesko, Kolneske, I’ve used the way that is in the Ortsfamilienbuch Krei Oletzko/Treuberg database. That database doesn’t show any Wilhelm Sendtkos in the Olecko records.

Willhelm’s father Johann died before 1891 in a war and Marie remarried Martin Bossy (1861-1936).  They had one son Eduard Franz Bossy (1891-1951) and a daughter Ida Marie Bossy (1898-1968).  There may be another daughter, Luella Bosse (1912 – ?)  In which case, Marie didn’t die in 1906.

His daughter Esther said that William was the overseer of a huge farm. He rode horses all day, every day to check on the crops and give orders to farm workers.  He left Germany to get away from his step-father who gave everything to his natural children.

His son Daniel said that he was drafted into the German military when he was 18 (1904) and he heard from an officer that war was coming so he decided to leave Germany.

OLECKO TIMELINE (from the Wikipedia web site) 

Olecko is located in north eastern Poland just south of Kalingrad.

1525 The Duchy of Prussia officially adopted Lutheranism and all of the Germanic people had that faith, but the Polish remained Catholic.

1544 there was a hunting lodge called Olecko, located on Great Olecko Lake.  

1560 The town of Maggrabowa was founded on January 1, 1560 by Albert, Duke of Prussia, a vassal of Poland.  The name comes from Polish for Margrave’s town. The Polish Catholics kept using the name of Olecko. That has always been the name of the county.

1619 the Castle of Olecko was built for regional administration by the Duke of Prussia.

1657 the Duchy of Prussia became independent of Poland.

1701 it became part of the Kingdom of Prussia 

1807 Polish soldiers were stationed there during Napoleon’s campaign against Prussia.  

1871 it became part of the German Empire.

1825 only half of the residents spoke German 

1836 the Catholic priests organized an unsuccessful protest against Germanization measures.

1919 Poland became independent of Germany and Russia after World War I, and the treaty of Versailles required that a vote be taken by the people to decide their future.  

1920 In Oletzko, pro-German militia attacked Polish activists and the vote result for the area was 3,903 for Germany and none for Poland. 

1928 The town was renamed Treuburg (loyal castle).

1945 After World War II the German population was expelled and replaced by Polish settlers.


William arrived in America on Dec. 4, 1912 aboard the steamer Kaisern Auguste Victoria.  Aboard the ship he met men who were going to Saginaw for jobs in the lumber industry and they convinced him to go there too.

He had the Sendtko Dairy in Saginaw and also was a teamster who ran a streetcar.  He met Emma Kunitzer on the street car and married her on 18 Feb. 1917.

(A map of Saginaw from 1908 shows several street car rail lines and stations.)

In 1925 he sponsored the immigration of his half-sister Ida Marie Bossy and her cousin Lena Bossy.  

William and Emma had five children who grew up working on the farm.  Daniel said he never wanted to smell horse manure again.

Esther Sendtko wrote in the 1980s:  “Our mom and dad lived on Hill St. & that house burned down.  This house was a large 2 story with a full porch on front & one side also.  It was war time and money was tight so mom & dad built only a bungalow style new house and it was this house that was torn down (2314 Hill St. to build I-675) except for the  double garage which was sold and people added on to it to make a ranch style house.”

William died on 27 October 1951 in a freak accident.  He was riding in a car driven by Fred Burk.  They were going to work at the Michigan Sugar Company in Carrolton and the car was struck by a train at the Oak St. railroad crossing. Daniel said the driver tried to beat the train and lost.  William died instantly.  At that time the family lived at 3912 Hermansau.  They also may have owned a home at 2314 Hill St.  Daniel built his home at 3874 Hermansau, on part of the farm property.  He built a small cinder block home next door for Emma.