Nicola Spina, 1858-1927

Nicola Spina was born in Palermo and was a painter/artisan. We believe he came to live and work in Poggioreale around 1885 and married Agnese Piccione in 1886. They had four children: Rosa (born 1886), Guiseppe (born 1887), Rosaria (born 1891), and Girolama (born 1894). Rosa and Guiseppe were married in Poggioreale and gave them grandchildren. Sadly, they were not able to enjoy their grandchildren for long because their children and grandchildren left for America to seek better lives starting in 1907. Because Agnese would not leave her beloved Poggioreale, she stayed behind with her devoted husband until she died around 1918, it is said, while climbing the steps to the church. The grieving Nicolo left for America in 1919 to spend the rest of his years with his children and grandchildren. He lived in his daughter Rosa’s home with her husband, Salvatore Todaro, and their children. He died among his family on the house on Polk Street on Chicago’s Italian west side.

Rosa Spina, 1891-1950

Agnese Piccione, born in Monreale, Sicily married Nicolo Spina in 1886 while living in Poggioreale. Not much is yet known about her other than she had 4 children named Rosa, Guiseppe, Rosaria, and Girolama. Agnese refused to leave Poggioreale even as each of children left. It is said that she died of a heart attack on the steps of the church in Poggioreale around 1918. She never got to see her children again, nor had she ever met most of her grandchildren.

Guiseppe Spina

Guiseppe Spina was the first of his family to leave Poggioreale to seek a better life for his wife and sons. He went to Chicago with his wife and 2 sons. His wife died unexpectedly, and he eventually remarried.

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