From the famous line of Kmietowiczowie family are descended many noble and prominent people starting from the leader of the Chochołowskie rising from 1846 – Józef Leopold. Krynica owes a lot to Franciszek Kmietowicz senior and his son - Franciszek Ksawery.
Franciszek Kmietowicz was the first doctor to have settled for good in Krynica. He was born in 1863 in Nowy Sącz, where he graduated from the junior high school. He studied Medicine at the Jagiellonian University of Cracow. He did a degree in Medicine in 1890. He became a junior member of teaching staff of the Faculty of Medicine. After that he spent a short period of time at the University of Vienna. However, he was such a devoted patriot that he couldn’t stay long far away from his beloved region. He decided to settle for good in Krynica in 1891, where he became a community doctor. From then on he had worked for the spa. His patients remembered him as an extremely altruistic doctor – a friend who had always time to help people using his knowledge and rich experience. Nobody was left without help. He supported the rich as well as the poor, very often without taking any money from the latter.
For many years (1914 – 1927) he was holding the post of the mayor of Krynica and at the same time president of the Spa Committee. It showed his outstanding skills and a great trust put in him by the inhabitants of Krynica. In his term of office a town hall and two markets (today’s borough office) were built. Health resort was at its heyday. He was a coauthor of the modern economy of those days: of plans of the waterworks, sewage system, new mineral baths and many other investments, due to which after the WWI Krynica became a modern health resort of the European standards. For his merits he was presented with a Military Order Polonia Restituta in 1928.
He was very attached, even an ardent lover of Krynica and its surroundings. It is reflected in a wide bibliography of his works. He extolled the beauty and virtues of this region in many scientific dissertations, monographs on Krynica and articles published in the technical magazines of spa treatment.
Kmietowicz family living in Krynica from 1891 is connected with two villas: ‘Kosynier’ (today’s house of Music School, doctor received patients from 1891 to 1925) and ‘Dewajtis’, where he moved in 1925 with his wife Kazimiera of maiden name Rzaski and his 5 sons: Franciszek – later doctor of medicine and assistant professor of the Lviv Institute of the Experimental Pharmacology ; Karol – an architect; Kazimierz – a doctor of medicine, later spa doctor in Krynica; Stanisław – a merchant; and Tadeusz – an agronomist. In this building they had the first in Krynica x-ray and analytical laboratory and a physiotherapy office. In ‘Dewajtis’ villa many ornithological and nature specimens of the region of Krynica were collected that doctor had gathered throughout his life. After many years a museum of his name was launched there and its custodian became a branch of the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society (PTTK) in Krynica and then a Borough Office which because of the lack of money for maintenance closed down the museum in 1991. Its collection was brought under state control.
Kmietowicz senior established a Kazimierz Pułaski park in Krynica and helped to build the first in Poland monument of Kazimierz Pułaski that was unveiled in 1929.
Franciszek Ksawery Kmietowicz junior was born in Krynica in 1892 as the oldest son of Franciszek Kmietowicz senior. After graduating from the junior high school in Nowy Sącz, he started studies at the Faculty of Medicine of the Jagiellonian University and then he continued studies at the University of Lviv. In Nowy Sącz he was a member of the secret ‘Philomath Circle’, in Lviv he was a president of the Polish Youth Association. He took part in the organisation of the ‘Rifle Troops’. He actively participated in the events of the WWII. After the war he did PhD and started to work at the Lviv Institute of the Experimental Pharmacology. He was interested in the influence of the mineral waters on human and animal organism. At the second Convention of Doctors in Krynica he discussed as the first carbonic acid anhydride dry baths. He not only was a scientist, but he also was engaged in balneology like his father was.
He established in Krynica Physiotherapy Institution, analytical laboratory and he installed the first in the health resort x-ray apparatus. The WWII interrupted his advanced research and scientific works. He died on September 2, 1940 in Lviv.