Julius Wargo and Elizabeth Kotis, 1906

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Doing some crazy 1000+ result wide cast searches on one of the ancestry websites came back with a great hit, and gave me the info to order my great-grandfather’s parents’ marriage certificate from the New York City archives. His name was misspelled when transcribed, and her name is actually Kotis… but somehow it popped up.
Gyula Varga and Erszebet Kotis came to the US from Hungary in 1906 and settled in Pennsylvania for a decade before moving to Buffalo around 1917. They obviously stopped long enough in New York City to get married upon their initial arrival.

It’s the first time I’ve been able to find anything on either of them from before the 1910 census, when they lived in Pennsylvania coal country– and told the census worker that they came from Hungary in 1906.

From Marion Heights, Pennsylvania, they moved to Abby Street in South Buffalo around 1917, and Julius got a job a few blocks away at Donner-Republic Steel along the Buffalo River.

He died in January, 1919, leaving his widow with six kids and a very limited knowledge of English.

I wish I had a photo of him– especially since his first name is my middle name (I was named after his son, my mom’s grandfather, Stephen Julius Wargo.)

Elizabeth Wargo lived until 1962– and is fondly remembered by many of her great-grandchildren (including my mom.)
My great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Kotis Wargo, holding my grandmother, June Wargo Coyle, 1931.

 

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.