Domzalski, Walter Henry
(Sept. 12, 1884 - Aug. 11, 1949)
Insurance underwriter and attorney
The family and pictures of Michael Domzalski (Oct. 7, 1860 - June 14, 1939), the first Polish insurance underwriter in Detroit, are covered in Polish Eaglet (Fall 2003) by Kenneth A. Merique, Gen Forum by Rebecca Zalman, and other genealogists in Michigan. This is essentially a brief account of the first Domzalski born in Michigan, if not in the United States, the first lawyer of the same name, and a magician of sorts.
Walter Henry was the first of nine children born to Michael Domzalski, who came from Lubawa, Poland, in 1879 to work in the coal mines of Pennsylvania and then moved to Detroit in 1880, and Maryanna Pieganowski, who also came from Lubawa to marry Michael in 1883. The city of Lubawa, first mentioned by Pope Innocent III in 1216, was captured by Poland after the battle of Grunwald in 1410. After schooling in St. Albertus parochial school. Central High School, St. Mary's College, and the University of Detroit, Walter, also called Wladyslaw, Domzalski went into the insurance business with his father and opened a law office in Detroit. Another brother would also become an insurance agent, three would become lawyers, one would become a doctor, and one would drop out of a seminary. Until the 1920s, Walter lived over his law office with Mary Konkel, whom he married October 3, 1905, and their three children ‹ Mary, William, and Helen -- and then in a lavish home, where magicians like Blackstone and Fogo entertained his family and guests.
"As a youngster," Kenneth Merique wrote in the Polish Eaglet, "l vividly recall visiting the once-stately residence of the Walter Domzalski family. This residence, located at 8835 E. Outer Darive, Detroit, was the site of many lavish parties during the 1920s and 1930s. Walter Domzalski was an amateur magician and enjoyed the company of fellow prestidigitators."
Not much is known of his unsuccessful campaign as a Republican candidate for the Michigan state senate the year Herbert Hoover was elected president of the United States.
His grave is in Mount Olive Cemetery, Detroit. Whether it is the same insurance agency that Michael Domzalski founded in the 19th century, Bruno F. Domzalski of the same family has an insurance agency at St. Clair Shores in Michigan.
From: Edward Pinkowski (2009)
Domzalski, Ladislaus H.
Lawyer. Attorney for the city of Detroit, Mich. Member of Detroit Bar Association and Michigan Bar Association. Residence: 8835 E. Outer Drive, Detroit, Mich.
From: "Who's Who in Polish America" by Rev. Francis Bolek, Editor-in-Chief; Harbinger House, New York, 1943