Hedwig Baranowski (1886 - 1963)

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Nicknames: "hattie"
Birthplace: WI, USA
Death: Died in Milwaukee, WI, USA
Managed by: Richard Ruswick
Last Updated:

About Hedwig Baranowski

The first woman deputy sheriff in Milwaukee County being appointed on August 6, 1922. During her subsequent 32-year career as a deputy, she served under 14 different sheriffs and held such posts as bailiff in the juvenile court and courtroom deputy handling women prisons in the district court. The charges under care ranged from those who were merely drunk and disorderly to convicted murderers. According to the Milwaukee Journal, the qualifications for her job were "emotional stamina, resilience of spirit, human understanding, and a limitless compassion." "Miss Hattie" (as she was affectionately known) handled it all with a motherly, comfortable way and a generous spirit. She was especially loved of all the women deputies, often going beyond her job description. Her acts of kindness ranged from giving coats for women prisoners released in December, to taking them to church on Sunday, to finding them jobs. Even at the end of her long career, she was able to see "a lot of good in everybody," but she refused to let the prisoners blame others for their actions. She stated that, "All too many of the women prisoners were girls that came to Milwaukee friendless. When they arrived in jail, they said they hated Milwaukee -- and I always told them it wasn't Milwaukee, but themselves and the friends they had made that deserved the blame." She retired May 5, 1954 after a leg injury resulting from a fall left her unable to continue.

Prior to her appointment as deputy sheriff, she had served as a matron in the old county jail at N. Broadway and E. Wells Streets starting in 1914.

In 1949, she fought off a challenge by the county service commission to force her retirement under the alleged grounds that she was physically unfit.

An early picture of Hattie Baranowski along with the first all-female jury in the county can be found here.

Relation to other profiles on the Milwaukee Polonia Project:

Sister of Dr. Stanley Baranowski

Sister-in-law of Dr. Francis Wasielewski

Sister of sister-in-law of Arthur G. Czerwinski

Sources

""Good in All,' Says Retiring Jail Matron", Milwaukee Journal, April 29, 1954, p. 1.

"Miss Hattie Baranowski", Milwaukee Journal, January 31, 1963, p. 4.

"Mrs. Musso Hates to Leave Kind People at Jail", Milwaukee Journal, May 30, 1915, p. 3.

"Oust Woman Deputy Here", Milwaukee Journal, July 10, 1947, p. 25.

"Sheriff Defends Woman Deputy, 63", Milwaukee Journal, July 1, 1947, p. 3.

"Women Deputy Sheriffs Relate Career Experiences, Befriend Women Prisoners", Milwaukee Journal, April 7, 1957, p. 10.

Note: Page numbers refer to pages on Google News.



      
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Hattie Baranowski's Timeline

1886
October, 1886
WI, USA
1963
January 30, 1963
Age 76
Milwaukee, WI, USA
????
Milwaukee, WI, USA