Between 1820 and 1914, 2.2 million people of Polish descent came to the USA. Some say that as many as a quarter of a million Poles crossed the Atlantic to settle in cities like New York. Many had lived in its capital Warsaw, which is a must-visit city, and settled in small towns named Warsaw in many states. Many of the new USA immigrants from Poland settled in Texas, Michigan, and Illinois. They tended to favor the Northeast. Because Poles decided to live in cities like Chicago, which still has a large Polish population, there are few towns in this country named after their capital Warsaw. So the roughly 10,000,000 people of Polish descent now living in the USA do not live in towns named Warsaw.
The internet folks that track this kind of thing tell you that there are 17 towns named Warsaw, but most of them are unincorporated. The Warsaw in the state of Georgia has gone completely out of business. The Warsaw in Texas is now classified as unincorporated. Part of this is because the Poles who came to Texas lived in a community known as Panna Maria, which today is also said to be unincorporated. There has never been a major Warsaw in Michigan. The Warsaw in Illinois has declined to about 1,600 people southwest of Keokuk, Iowa. Its glory days when it opposed Mormons in nearby Nauvoo are long gone. Most former Poles in Illinois now live in Chicago.
Early on Poland produced notable Poles who seriously influenced US history. Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Casimir Pulaski became Revolutionary War heroes. The Warsaw in Indiana produced 2 writers, Ambrose Bierce and Theodore Dreiser, who developed national reputations. This Midwest Warsaw remains the largest Warsaw in this nation. It is a stand-alone community of about 13,500 people south of Elkhart and Goshen, IN and is known as the “orthopedic capital of the world”.
The other viable Warsaws in America are in places like Virginia, western Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Missouri. The Warsaw in New York State is a town near Buffalo with close to 5,000 people. Sleepy Warsaw, KY is a town of about 1,800 on the Ohio River not too far from Louisville. Ruth & I were close to Warsaw, OH when we visited Cuyahoga National Park last week. Many of the immigrant Poles who have left small Warsaws for large cities have left behind impressive churches and other cultural identifiers. They emigrated to our country in 3 waves for almost 100 years.
The main Warsaw in Poland is a city of close to 2 million. It has many fine tourist attractions worth seeing. Much of it had to be rebuilt after World War II.