A devoted friend to Sioux City immigrants and their families, Mary Treglia (1897-1959) dedicated her life to helping those in need. For over 33 years, she served the immigrant population of Sioux City as director of the Community House.
Mary Treglia was born in Sioux City on October 7, 1897, the only child of Italian immigrants Rose and Anthony Treglia. Her parents left Italy in the 1880s and came to Sioux City where they opened a fruit stand at 415 Pierce. The family lived upstairs. Sadly, Mary’s father died when she was just 22 months old, leaving Rose as the only provider for her little girl. Rose supported herself and her daughter with a confectionary and fruit store located at Sixth and Douglas. She sold candy, fruits, canned goods and her famous boiled ham.
As Mary grew up, she attended public schools in Sioux City and graduated from Central High School. She developed an incredible ability to play baseball and soon discovered that she could throw a baseball farther than most boys in her neighborhood. Sometimes she worked as an umpire for men’s baseball games. Occasionally, she accompanied well-known umpire Bobbie Blank as he traveled across the district where he officiated. Mary gave pre-game exhibitions and amazed the crowds with her ability to catch high balls and throw the ball farther than most men.