This black and white digital photograph was taken at the Mount Calvary Cemetery around 1910. Taken around the monument of Anton Stiller, it depicts Helen Miras, daughter of Anton, to the right of the monument and her daughter Florence to the left. The remaining individuals are unknown. At the time of this photograph, Florence was 4-5 years old. Anton Stiller was the first Polish settler in Grand Rapids, Michigan from Trzemeszno, Poland, and was also the founder of St. Adalbert's Church and St. Adalbert's Aid Society. To the right of the group is one of the decorative Stations of the Cross that extended through the cemetery at that time.
Gift of David Trepke
David Trepke (donor) Helen N. Miras (depicts) Alternate names: Helen N. Stiller Helen N. Stiller was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on February 23rd, 1877 to Anton and Victoria Stiller who were the first Polish settlers in Grand Rapids from Trzemeszno, Poland. She married Joseph Miras on October 4th, 1902, and together they had a daughter Florence, born in 1904. She died on June 21st, 1950, and is buried in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Grand Rapids. Florence E. Trepke (depicts) Alternate names: Florence E. Miras Florence Eleanor Miras was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1904 to Joseph and Helen Miras. She married Charles Frank "Casimir" Trepke on April 27th, 1926, and together they had two children, Louise and Robert. She died in 1988 and is buried in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Grand Rapids.
Florence was the granddaughter of Anton and Victoria Stiller who were the first Polish settlers in Grand Rapids, Michigan from Trzemeszno, Poland. Anton was also the founder of St. Adalbert's Aid Society and St. Adalbert's Church. Anton Stiller (is related to) Alternate names: Anthony Stiller, Antoniego Stiller, Antonius Sztyller Anton Stiller (Antonius Sztyller) was born in Poland on January 6th, 1835 to Hersz and Hinde Sztyller. He married Victoria Natenszus in 1857 and together they emigrated to the United States in 1867. They are recorded as the first Polish settlers in Grand Rapids, Michigan from Trzemeszno, Poland. Upon his arrival, Stiller opened a tailor shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan which he operated until around 1888. In 1872, he founded St. Adalbert's Aid Society, an organization built to support Polish immigrants and help them settle into the city. It was the first established Polish Society in Michigan. He also founded St. Adalbert's Church in 1880 with the assistance of Father Aaron Strauser. Polish settlers in Grand Rapids often attended St. Mary's Church which had a predominantly German congregation. As the Polish population grew, Stiller saw a need for a Polish Catholic church, and St. Adalbert's Church was born. Throughout his life, Stiller continued operating various businesses like real estate and a cigar shop, often employing other Polish settlers in his shops. His legacy continues to live on at 5th Street Hall, located at 701 5th Street NW, and the Basilica of St. Adalbert in Grand Rapids. Stiller passed away on August 27th, 1903, and is buried in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Grand Rapids.