Dombrowski Millinery aka Dombrowsky

This is an 1887 bill for a “Head dress, Trimming, Points” for $4.25, which is $124.09 in 2022 dollars. Expensive. The shop was run by a Miss C. B. Dombrowsky, dealer in fine millinery, plumes, and tips, at 426 Main Street. Miss Harris paid $4.00, leaving $0.25 on account. Here, on her own receipts, Dombrowsky is spelled with an -sky.
Miss Dombrowski, 426 Main street, announces a grand spring opening of new, nobby, early imported pattern hats and bonnets, on Saturday, March 10. All are cordially invited.
Racine Daily Journal, March 9, 1894, first entry
426 Main street is repeated, and Dombrowski spelled with an -ski.
Beautiful Millinery Parlors
The millinery parlors of Miss Constance Dombrowski, on Main street, never presented a more beautiful appearance than to day. The interior is a regular bower of loveliness. One hundred roses are scattered here and there; the chandeliers are outfitted with smilax and tropical plants occupy conspicuous places. The show window is particularly attractive. In addition to these very artistic decorations are hats, bonnets, ribbons and everything to be found in a first class millinery establishment. The styles are of the very latest and most of the articles are imported. Tomorrow the spring opening will take place and Miss Dombrowski and her charming sister will take great pleasure in showing the ladies of Racine all of the styles. Miss Dombrowski is certainly to be congratulated upon having the most beautiful and complete millinery store in the city.
Racine Daily Journal, March 9, 1894
Here, Dombrowski is spelled with an -ski.
“Charming sister” is probably Margaret Dombrowski.
Racine Daily Journal, April 13, 1897
Get a Dombrowski Hat And be in Style, and have it becoming at 414 Main St.

August 24, 1895. Obituary of August J. Dombrowski

Sudden Death, August 24, 1895
August J. Dombrowski Expires Suddenly of Heart Disease.
August J. Dombrowski, an old and honored citizen, died suddent at an early hour this morning at his home, 1424 Marguette street, of heart failure, aged 61 years and 11 months. Deceased was enjoying perfect health yesterday and worked an hour overtime at the Racine Basket factory where he was employed. His wife awoke and discovered that he was in a dying condition and Dr. F. N. Sauer was sent for, but when he arrived Mr. Dombrowski was dead. On account of the suddenness of death, Coronor Stripple was called and held an inquest. The testimony was in effect that Mr. Dombrowski retired in as good health as usual, that his wife discovered he was dying and remedies were applied and the doctor summoned. The jury, composed of Sigwald Nelson, F. S. Hone, H. Ritter, John Gerhauser, John Stecher and G. Kaiser, returned a verdict that death resulted from heart failure.

Deceased was a blacksmith but had not worked at it for a number of years. He had been a resident of the city for about 20 years and was honored and respected by all who knew him. He was a member of the Sacred Heart society. A wife, four daughters, Mrs. Mary Dietrich of Denver, Colo.; Mrs. William Leimback, Misses Constance and Alice Dombrowski of this city, and two sons, Michael Dombrowski of Walla Walla, Washington, and Frank Dombrowski of this city, survive to mourn the death of a kind husband and father. Time of funeral will be announced.

Miss Dombrowski Prepared for Business.
Miss Dombrowski attended Marshall Field's millinery opening yesterday and is now prepared to take orders for the latest styles for Easter hats and bonnets.

Miss Dombrowski, with her sister Margaret, started buying early, as Miss Margaret has opened a millinery store in Milwaukee, 648 Grove street, and is buying for the two stores they bought much cheaper, and will give the ladies of Racine a chance to buy their hats cheap for cash. Both stores will be run on a cash basis and that means success in business and a small profit.

Miss Margaret Dombrowski has wored in her sister's store for years, and on the anniversary, last Monday, April 2, opened a store in Milwaukee and all wish her a success in business, and as she has had the benefit of her sister's experience for years, she is deserving of success. Miss Dombrowski's home will be in Milwaukee, as her parents have moved there. Mis Constance Dombrowski will remain in Racine and will continue to run her business as heretofore. She will be better posted in styles and will always keep on hand the latest designs at 414 Main street.

Hair goods on hand and orders taken. Hair bought and sold.
Racine Daily Journal, April 4, 1900
Margaret Dombrowski leaves Racine store, starts her own store in Milwaukee.
Constance would have been 41 years old at the time of this story, and Margaret would have been 26 years old.

Last evening Miss Dombrowski reported to the police that her bicycle had been stolen from in front of her Main street store. Shortly after Policeman Bose caught a 10-year-old boy riding the missing wheel and took him in charge. The lad said that his name was James Rooney; that another boy, whose name he did not know, gave him the wheel at the lower end of the street, with instructions to return it to the place from where it had been taken. The little fellow was permitted to go home and lost no time in going.
Racine Daily Journal, July 20, 1901
Now we know how the 42 year old Constance got around — on bicycle!

Racine Daily Journal, April 20, 1911. Rupert Wickham’s viewing will be at 414 Main Street, Miss Dombrowski’s residence, and also where Rupert Wickham died.

Racine Journal News, March 27, 1912
Constance Dombrowski received $22,000 estate from Rupert Wickham on his death.
$22,000 in 1912 is equivalent to $630,028 in 2022 dollars.
Constance was 51 years old in 1912. Who was Rupert Wickham?
Rupert Wickham was a single man living at 1414 Main Street who died at age 79 in 1911 and left a $40,000 estate ($1.2 million in 2022 dollars). He was not married and had a niece living in Illinois. He actually died in Miss Dombrowski’s residence.

516 College Avenue, now knows as the Constance Dombrowski Building, was built in 1913, and is now in the National Register of Historic Places

Give name and location of this modern apartment house, with the nicely furnished rooms at reasonable rates, steam heat, hot and cold running water, sanitary baths, also nicely furnished three room apartment for housekeeping.
The Dombrowski
516 College Ave.
Phone 2275.
Constance B. Dombrowski
Racine Journal News, March 26, 1915
The Dombrowski apartments, 516 College Ave.

Racine Journal News, June 9, 1915
For Sale — Lots at Horlick’s Park; Inquire The Dombrowskis, 516 College Ave.

Racine Journal News, June 17, 1915
It seems like too much of a coincidence that there would be a Wickham Addition with a Rupert Boulevard and a Constance Drive without there somehow being a connection to Constance Dombrowski and Rupert Wickham’s relationship. Friends? More than friends? Anyway, not married, even if Miss Dombrowski got most of his estate when he died. Here Miss Dombrowski is liquidating the land four years after Rupert Wickham’s death.

Racine Journal News, September 28, 1918
The school board is still debating purchasing property for a new high school and junior high school. Actual new schools opening had to wait until ten years later. The Dombrowskis apparently own land at Horlick’s Park. The alternate location that the school board is considering is on 12th street. Later, Miss Constance Dombrowski deeded 10 acres of land to the city, and McKinley School was built on that property.

Racine Journal News, October 9, 1923
Constance Dombrowski is having some land condemned by the city to widen Spring street, and she is getting $416.86 for three parcels of land. $416.86 in 1923 is equivalent to $6,581 in 2022 dollars.

Racine Journal News, February 9, 1924
Constance Dombrowski sells more land to the board of education for $30,000.
$30,000 in 1924 is equivalent to $471,580 in 2022 dollars.
Racine Journal News, December 16, 1925
Orders Taken for Doll Wigs for Christmas; also orders taken for millinery. 516 College Ave. Miss Dombrowski. Phone Jackson 2275

Racine Journal Times, May 14, 1936
Miss Constance B. Dombrowski, 76, died Wednesday at her home, 516 College avenue. Born in Prussia, Oct. 17, 1859, a daughter of the later John Dombrowski, she came to America in 1865, and to Racine 1876, receiving her early education in Baltimore.

In 1884 Miss Dombrowski started a millinery store at 426 Main street, later moving to 415 Main street and from there to College avenue.

Miss Dombrowski was a member of the Polish Singers of the National Alliance of America. She sang at the convention of the alliance in Chicago during the World's fair in 1893, and also at numerous other conventions, concerts, home talen entertainments and other functions in Racine and elsewhere. She was a member of St. Mary's church.

Surviving are three sisters, Mrs. Mary Diedrich of Buffalo, N. Y., Mis Margaret and Miss Alic Dombrowski, both of Joliet, Ill. 

Funeral services wil be held at 9 a. m. Friday in St. Mary's church, Rev. Anthony M. Erz officiating. Burial will be in Holy Cross cemetery. The body may be viewed this evening at the Thronson funeral home.
Racine Journal Times, May 14, 1936
Obituary of Miss Constance B. Dombrowski
Constance B. Dombrowski, 1859 to 1936, born in Poland, owner of the millinery shop
Josephine Dombrowski, 1857 to 1923
Holy Cross Cemetery, Racine, Wis.
516 College Avenue in July, 2017