Popiel (Chosciak Popiel) Pawel (1870-1936), a squire, an equestrian, a writer. Born on 2-25-1936 in Ruszcza near Krakow, he was a grandson of Pawel (vide), son of Marcin (1834-1890), an owner of Kurozweki and Natalia Jezierski (1846-1918), daughter of Karol. After her husband's death she joined the order of Carmelitan. Popiel attended the King Jan III High School no. 3 in Krakow, where he passed the graduation exam in 1887, then he studied law at the university in Bonn. As a young man he used to take a part in his grandfather's intellectual Thursday meetings at the Krakow house, where he contracted passion for history and art. After his father Popiel took the Kurozweki estate in Stopnica County (4 900 acres, 3 000 acres of forest), which he enlarged adding to it a farm Kotuszow bought for her wife's Maria Mankowki dowry money. The castle in Kurozweki, carefully restored by the couple and modernized (electric lighting and central heating - rare in contemporary countryside of Kielce region) was a center of the social and cultural life and, in connection with the local order of the Sisters of Clemency, religious (recollections for teachers). The estate was heavily mortgaged when Popiel took it over and that caused deforestation. Popiel with true passion took on afforestation and succeed. Also, he wrote some columns on forestry published in "Sylwana".

Popiel's other passion was horse breeding and riding. As a young man he took part in the famous sport events (Plawiany races), for many years he was raising in Kurozweki full- and half-blood horses. In spite of modest practice, he became an authority in theory of horse breeding. He maintained contacts with other Polish and foreigner breeders, he was a consultant to many (being fluent in horse pedigree), wrote monographs of the herds (among others Stado pelnej krwi w Chorzelowie, W. 1928; Hodowla i stado pelnej krwi angielskiej Ludwika Grabowskiego w Sernikach, W. 1935), he wrote many articles, reports and memories in magazines: "Jezdziec i Hodowca", "Przeglad Wyscigowy", "Rolnik", "Gazeta Rolnicza", "Poradnik Gospodarczy", "Przeglad Hodowlany". He popularized the Polish horse breeding and Polish equestrians abroad as a correspondent of the periodics: "Die Sportwelt", "Sanct Georg Zeitung", "Le sport Universel Illustré", "Le Jockey".

Writing became his nature when being over sixty; he allowed his son to run the estate and divided his time between travelling on the horseback in summer and writing during winter. During 1931-1935 he traveled on the horse (the Single - of his breeding) several thousand kilometers a year, (totaling 16 000 kilometers in five years), visiting the gentry in their estates, the herds and cavalry regiments and historic monuments. This adventure he described with elegant style and language in four publications (343 pages of print) being a sort of mix of gentry and horse chronicle with historic narration. The publications were printed in magazines: 2918 kilometrow na koniu – Wycieczka krajoznawcza w dorzeczu Wisly, Sanu, Bugu, Wieprza, Skawy, Styru, Nidy, Prosny, Warty, Brdy, Noteci i Pilicy, Kr. 1933 ("Czasu"); Do Bialowiezy i kraju Huculow na koniu, Lw. 1934 ("Rolnik"); Wislanym szlakiem do polskiego morza na koniu, Lw. 1935 ("Rolnik"). Often Popiel was called a Don Quixote, whom he might resemble being seen always on the horse back and always travelling. Popiel addressed his writings mainly to the youth, hoping that they will choose under his influence tourism on the horse back in lieu of motorcar. Apart from writing on his voyages, he worked on the monograph of the Popiels family. His book The Popiel family with nickname Chosciak bearing Sulima Coat of Arms (Krakow 1936) is not-so-good a source of the complicated family history in the past centuries, however, in its part related to the descendants of the Sandomierz castellan Pawel become quite truthful. Popiel was a conservative, what was well visible in his articles published in "Czas".

Too tiresome tourism not suitable for the aging gentleman (he traveled in any weather, drenching and drying on the horse) took its toll. In closing of the 11-12-1935 article on his last trip, Popiel wrote to the readers on his sickness. He died due to the tuberculosis of the throat on June 23, 1936 in Kurozweki, buried in the chapel of the Kurozweki church.

Married since 1897 with Maria Mankowski (1876-1968) Popiel had five children: Maria (1898-1975), a nun in the congregation Sacré Coeur, Zofia (b. 1900), a wife to Krzysztof Radziwill, Marcin (b. 1904) the administrator of Kurozweki, then a priest and a parson in Szewna near Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski, where he created a big recollection center and restored a historic church, Jadwiga (b. 1906), psychology doctor of the Jagiellonian University, a pedagogue and a librarian, Stanislaw (1910-1981), the heir of Kurozweki, an officer in the 1939 campaign, the POW  in the German camp and a Chief Executive Officer in Belgian banks in Congo (later Zaire).


Fot. W publikacjach Popiela: Do Bialowiezy…, Wislanym szlakiem…, Ku naszym kresom…,; - Unrug W., Uznanski J., Bibliografia zawartosci tygodnika "Jezdziec i Hodowca" 1922-1939, Kr. 1958; Slown. Geogr. (Kurozweki); Przewodnik po gospodarstwach krajowych, W. 1896 s. 11; - Dobiecki Z., Pawel Popiel, "Jezdziec i Hodowca" 1936 nr 21 (fot.); Morawski K.M., Pawel Chosciak Popiel, "Kur. Pol." 1936 nr 179; tenze, W sercu Sandomierszczyzny, tamze 1935 nr 334; - Popiel P., Rodzina Popielow…, Kr. 1936 s. 74; - Nekrologi (bez podpisu) z r. 1936; "Czas" nr 177, "Gaz. Rolnicza" nr 361, 899; "przegl. Wyscigowy" nr 36; "Rolnik" lipiec (fot.), "Die Sportwelt" nr 4 z VII; Maszynopisy w posiadaniu Jadwigi Popiel: Ks. Konstanty Michalski, Mowa wygloszona w dzien pogrzebu Pawla Popiela…, dn 27 VI 1936; Roza z Popielow Roztworowska, Wspomnienie; - Materialy i informacje dostarczone przez Jadwige Popiel z Krakowa.

Emanuel Roztworowski

Translation from Polish to English: sp

 

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