Szancer’s Mill

Henryk Szancer (1825-1885) was born in Żywiec. In 1846 he opened first steam mill in Tarnów. In 1859 Szancer and his business partner opened the first semolina steam mill in the whole Galicia and quickly increased its production, influencing the modernization of mill industry in Galicia. Soon they built similar mills in Przemyśl, Stanisławów and Bochnia and in 1865 ran the second steam mill in Tarnów. Henryk Szancer was also a respectable benefactor, a member of the Town Council and was given a diploma of Tarnów’s honorary citizenship. As a token of gratitude for his service he was decorated by the Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph with a medal of his name. Szancer’s tombstone survived at Jewish cemetery in Tarnów. Beside the Hebrew inscriptions on his grave there is also a Polish text. It is probably the oldest Polish writing in this cemetery. The inscription and Polish spelling of the name may prove the Szancers’ assimilation to Polish culture.