Katherine Styble Cisek

Calling on my friends who love doing historic research about our area and its people. Norine Panacker, who lives in Middletown, is researching her family history and is trying to learn more about her grandma, Katherine Styble Cisek. What she has learned so far is Katherine lived with her family in Brooklyn where the family ran a hardware store in the early part of the 20th century. Catherine married John Siecinski in 1914 and by all accounts were a delightfully happy and devoted couple. Apparently at some point Catherine, who was Polish, became an au pair for the William Treat family who summered in Atlantic Highlands or Highlands. She was the nanny for the three Treat children, Sanford, Florence and Grace. The Treat family had a long history in America, and Norine is wondering if anyone knows where the family lived or summered here and if the house is still standing. She would love to see the house and rekindle some wonderful memories of her grandma. If you have any hints or know anything about the Treat family, please let me know so I can pass it on. Some of my most learned historian friends have not been able to uncover much or a connection between the Treat family and either Highlands or Atlantic Highlands, other than they do not appear on the 1940 census, leading several of us to believe perhaps they summered in the hills in one of the two towns. Mr. Treat, we learned, was the president of Hull, Grippen & Co., a New York based hardware and furnishing store in the city in the late 19th century, so possibly the same business the Ciseks were in. The company had a reputation particularly for dealing in stoves and cooking ranges, with one of the owners holding several patents for ranges, stoves and fireplace grates. By the 20th century, the firm was more involved with builders hardware and contractor supplies. Mr. Treat apparently lived in Richmond Hill, graduated from Yale Business School, and went into the hardware business with his uncle before coming to New York. His son, Sanford, who was an army officer stationed at Fort Dix during World War I, and later became vice president and manager of Hull, Grippen. Corinne shared this lovely note with me which many of you might find of interest to read now in the 21st century. It’s dated 1928 and was written by William Treat’s widow, Sanford’s mom, showing a warm relationship between her and Catherine.

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