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Music: Black Bottom (Dance Tune from the 1920s)





            Stephen Grzymalski Barton

              Seattle Washington (circa 1920)









  Stephen Henry Grzymala, was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey on October 18, 1901.  He was the first child of Jan Grzymala and his wife, Alexandra Tafil Grzymala.  He was baptized at St. Stephen church on October 20, 1901.  His godparents were Rosalia Tafil and Josef Skibinski.  The family lived at 32 Hall Avenue, next-door to his grandmotherís brother Jacob Tafil and his wife, Rosalia. 

  Sometime, before the year 1910, the family moved on to the Wilkes-Barre area of Pennsylvania.  There the Grzymalaís resided with relatives and Jan worked the coal mines.

Stephen remembered escaping a house fire as a boy in Pennsylvania, jumping onto a porch roof as the house was burning.

  After leaving Pennsylvania, the family moved on to Chicago, where the family name was changed to Grzymalski.


  Stephen attended St. Barbara Grammar School until the seventh grade and then went to work to help support the family.  There were 13 children born to Jan and Alexandra, but only four survived to become adults; Stephen, Jean, Stanley, and Joseph.

  During the summers as a boy, Stephen often traveled to Allegan Michigan to pick apples and work on his motherís uncle, Casmir's, farm.  Casmir had settled in Michigan after a brief stay in New Jersey with his brother, Jacob. 

  Stephen joined the Army on January 14, 1922. He was stationed in Anchorage Alaska , Fort Lewis in Washington State, and San Francisco California. While in the army Stephen changed his name to Barton, the name he used for the rest of his life.  While in Washington he again came into contact with his cousins Sig and Paul Tafil, who both had settled in Washington after leaving New Jersey. He also entered dance contests while he spent time in Washington.

  Stephen was discharged from the army on September 11, 1923 due to family hardship.  He went to work as a streetcar conductor.  In 1926 he met his future wife Anthonette Matloka.

They were married on June 22, 1927.  They became the parents of three children.

  Stephen died on April 20, 1952.  His descendants number 15 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Stephen  in Anchorage Alaska (circa 1920)



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