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Photo taken in 1910 at Spike Island in Osceola Mills, Rush Twp, Centre County.
Wincty (William) Raftovich, standing
Jozefa (Jessie), his wife, sitting, holding baby William
Their children: Anthony, Joseph, sitting (in front of Anthony), Anna and Alexandria (Alice), far right.
Wincty immigrated in1892 from Suwalki, Poland located in the northeast corner bordering on Russia. Petition for Naturalization papers states that he immigrated from Suwalki, Russia. The area was composed of Polish and Lithuanian people who were under the Russian Regime. He supposedly was conscripted (drafted) into the Russian Army and was assigned to the Cossack Battalion. Every month 3 numbers were pulled and on the third month his number was drawn and he was released from service. His discharge papers are reported to be in Russian. Within 30 days he was on his way to America. It is believed that his family owned and operated a milling mill and a large farm, which his two brothers took over when his father passed away and ran until partly damaged by the Russians in the world wars and later completely destroyed in WW II.
Wincty married Josefa Stawecki in Houtzdale, PA on 1 May 1900 and in 1904 they purchased 6 acres of land in Spike Island where they raised their 10 children:
Anthony born 1902
Alexanra (Alice) born 1904
Joseph born 1905
Anna born 1907
William born 1909
John born 1911
Jessie born 1914
Frank born 1917
Walter "Butch" born 1920
Irene born 1922
Wincty worked all his life in the soft coal mines and spent most of his time in the Penn Five. Daughter Jessie Dillon remained at the old "Homestead" till her death on 4 June 2003.
Submitted by Lynn Raftovich, daughter-in-law of William Raftovich