Borkowski

{Submitted by John Borkowski, III, written Flora L. VerStraten}

John
has been very instrumental in the clean up of the Piney Fork Cemetery. I met John in the spring of 2004 while he was compiling information on a Piney Fork reunion book. John’s family, beginning with his grandparents, was the first generation to settle in Jefferson County, emigrating from Poland at the turn of the 20th century. John’s grandfather, John Borkowski I, was born in Poland in 1885 and died in 1959. He is buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Cleveland. John I married Steffie Popkie who was born in 1893 and died of the flu epidemic in 1918. She is buried in the St. Casmir’s cemetery in Adena. John’s grandfather moved from Adena, Jefferson County, where he owned a store named the Miners Supply, to Piney Fork in 1918, in a two bedroom house with five children and a new wife that had four children. John’s grandfather was an ambitious & industrious man. At the beginning of the depression he purchased a farm on Briar Ridge (Piney Fork) and struck a deal with the government to provide eggs, meat, milk, butter and chickens to the poor people living in the Piney Fork area. He was very good with finances and worked as an accountant, also. John I leased a spring to bootleggers, which provided water for their stills.

John’s father worked on the farm until 1936 when he bought a farm on State Route 152 which was two miles from Piney Fork. His farm encompassed the Wheeler Cemetery property. He then sold the farm in 1944 to Frank Rozenek. John III grew up on County Road 8, just two miles from Piney Fork. John’s father, John II worked for the coal company from 1936 to 1976.

Piney Fork held its first Community Reunion July 13, 2003, and in attendance was over 300 people. John thought it would be a good idea to write a little book about Piney Fork and include a few photos. Well, the idea blossomed and he ended up publishing a "Piney Fork Reunion Book" which consisted of 128 pages of text and 101 pages of photos.

The people involved in planning the first Piney Fork Community Reunion were: Butch & Carol Garcia, Pam & Keith Berry, Mary Ann Boyd, Nedra Hartzell, Fran & Bill Rensi, Nancy & Ed Wells. Township Trustees; Bill Cermak, Ron Malin, Ray Amoroso (now deceased) and clerk, Tina Felix. John can be contacted for questions about the annual Piney Fork Reunions or for information on how to purchase a Piney Fork Reunion book at johnborkowski@sbcglobal.net

Homestead  Photo Taken in 1918 On Briar Ridge
{Family Photo L to R}
John Borkowski, II (1914) Edward (1916).  On John I lap is Pearl (1918) Herman (1912) Helen  (1910).