This branch of the Austrian Hesch family is descended from Johann Hesch and his wife Marya (Schlinz) Hesch, who came to America from Oberschlagles, Bohemia with three sons: Paul, Mathias, and Anton. +++Johann & Marya settled in Buffalo County, Wisconsin but moved to Pierz, Mn in about 1885. .+++Mathias settled in Waumandee, Wisconsin and moved to Pierz in 1911. +++Anton never married but farmed with his dad in Agram Township, where he died in 1911.+++And Paul, my great grandfather, settled five miles away, in Buckman, Minnesota. He died there in 1900.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A photo of seven Hesch kids from 1925

I had a delightful lunch with Aunt Eileen today.  On the way back to her house, she said she had some pics for me to see.  Gawd, she could have offered pure dark chocolate and I wouldn't have been as interested.  She knows me!

She had two pics of Bev, specifically because they looked so much like me ☺.  Made us both laugh.  There was a photo of Shirley and her grandson, and one taken in California of Uncle Tony, Aunt Fronie and Uncle Matt.  We looked at a brag book of Laurie's grandkids Ambrose and Augustine (honest, Aunt Eileen's great great grand kids)...but the two pictures I asked for were these:
Uncle Matt and Aunt Eileen
Hesch, about 1980
                                 Probably Fall, 1925                                                    

The kids pic is so COOL!  It fits with others we got from Judy after the reunion, but these are dad and all his sibs except Tony, who wasn't born yet.  Wait, let me put em side by side.  I think they might have been taken on the same weekend since the background is the same, even tho the big boys are dressed up.  If dad was 12 or so, the twins would have been 10.


 Rosie was a baby here (born in January), and she looks maybe 6-7 months old, so it was August or September 1925.  Henry was 2, Katie was 4, Fronie was 6. (The gap between the twins and Fronie was because Grandma lost a baby, Stephen, in 1917).  If you enlarge the new pic, you'll see that Mike is wearing the same suit as below--see the lapel pin?
 Here's the new pic, cropped closer.
Isn't this just neat? Click to biggify, too.
L to R--Matt, Mike holding Rosie, Ted
Katie, Henry and Fronie

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beer, Thrift Stamps, and a 'New Joy'

 It's horrifying how companies over the years have used fear to sell their products.  The ruse still works, of course (think of how we suddenly believe every surface is covered with killer germs, or that water in plastic bottles is somehow superior to pure tap water).  It obviously worked too in 1914, when Schlitz ads warned that exposure to light made your beer taste "skunky".  No mention of how much light it took, either.  When I think of how dad bought beer, it was in a case of 24 and those bottles rarely saw daylight.  The case was in the basement, and a few bottles were brought up at a time and cooled in the fridge for when the uncles showed up to play cards.
OTOH, beer is still sold mostly in brown bottles these days, and it's almost never stored on glass shelves in the window, so it worked.


 Next, a novel ad, and from the government, too.  During the First World War, 'patriotic people' were asked to loan money to the government via War Savings Stamps.  A quarter at a time, when a loaf of bread was between 6 and 10 cents. It sounds simple to us now, but then it must have been a real sacrifice.  Still, everyone knew a man who was over there fighting--a much bigger sacrifice. I assume most everyone bought Thrift Stamps in 1918.


I like gum, and certainly Wrigley's Doublemint was around when I was a kid.  I just hadn't realized it was available in 1914, or that it was a "joy"...☺

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Were they brothers?

Have I mentioned how much we adore being the catalyst for family connections? Ok, probably, but you're reading, so it can't be too obnoxious.

This time, it's the rest of the story of an orphan train kid who arrived in St Cloud and was adopted by Grandma Lizzy's cousins' widow and her brother.  Three years ago, we heard from Slim, who's grandpa was John Austin Williams. Yesterday, we heard from Addie, the daughter of William Joseph Williams. Woohoo! What we think we know about them is at those links.  Read them both.  We'll wait.


NOW, we have photos from Addie and Slim to post.  I sent Slim's email address to Addie, so maybe we'll know even more, eventually.
The boy on the left was newly adopted William Sand.
Click to enlarge.
This is Magdalena Sand and her brother Bernard Brodie/Brody,
who adopted and raised William (and adopted sister Amelia/Emily).

William and Emily,
6-7 years old
William and Emily
4-5 years old... 
 Three photos of adoptees William (and Emily) in St Cloud, Minnesota.  As far as we know, they were not related to each other and were adopted from the orphan trains separately.  This post is about William, but Emily was a big part of his life, of course. HH doesn't know anything about her beyond these pics, but they look like their life with Lena and Bernie was good.

 William Sand as an adult, one photo in about 1958, the other in the late 40s.

 OK, here are the few photos we have of John Austin Williams.  WERE they brothers??  Addie said William was 5"7", and here, John looks tall.  Check below, where the pictures are closer in age.






THANK YOU, Slim and Addie!
William Joseph Williams/Sand


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Finding a Christmas tree...a story told in ads











 Happy Holidays to you all!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Stuff you never thought to ask about...

Here's a collection of articles from local-ish papers between 1900 and 1921.  They're a reminder about how MUCH was changing in those years--from the church's opinion about suffrage to  electricity, to miracle cures, to population...







 ...for instance, did you know that the Cold Spring dam was dynamited in 1921, a result of an evidently ongoing dispute?  Or that a mention of great uncle John Hesch going to seek relief for his rheumatism in Wisconsin was likely to see "the Bone Setter"? Cool.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Which Hesch?

Here's one of the instances where our German families' repeated use of the same names drives me nuts. I clipped this item awhile ago, but just this morning started to understand. Sorta.
I think great uncle Math Hesch wrote it, because he thoroughly knew the relationships, and at the same time would have enjoyed the chance that it would confuse readers 95 years later ☺.
"A. A. Hesch bought the old Mike Sand farm, and John Hesch bought the farm from Anton Hesch.  Mr. and Mrs. Hy Block, who live on the Sand place now, will move to Genola where Mr. Block bought the Peter Beka blacksmith shop and also the John Kobilka house which they will occupy in about two months."
Now, "A.A.Hesch" was Math's brother Anton, which people knew.  A.A.'s wife was Lizzy Sand, daughter of Mike Sand, so buying the place was natural, right? The next sentence was meant to obfuscate, tho: "John Hesch bought the farm from Anton Hesch", meaning the Agram farm. This John was a cousin, not their brother*...and this Anton was their uncle (see header ☺).  BUT, uncle Anton had died in 1911.  Why was it mentioned, I wonder?  I doubt that A.A. ever owned the Agram farm, tho it's possible.  (We assumed Cousin John bought that farm from his own dad, Mathias).  So the clipping is actually still a mystery!

Hy (Henry) Block was married to Lena Sand.  They'd moved the the Sand place after their wedding in 1914. 
*Their brother John was an invalid who owned a house and store in Buckman.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

St Cloud's White Way celebration, 1912

“The Great White Way” became one of the nicknames for Broadway (in New York city) in the late 1890s.  The street was one of the first in the country to be fully illuminated by electric light. As the years passed and Broadway became more and more associated with theaters, their well-lit marquees added to the moniker.  Probably every town in America envied NY, and aspired to a White Way of their own.  St Cloud made it in December 1912.


December 20.--The White Way was opened last evening with a great celebration.  The button was pressed at eight o'clock, followed instantly by a flood of light on St Germain street from the intersection with Fifth avenue to Ninth avenue and on Fifth avenue to Second street south.  There are eight standards to each block, four on either side of the street, each standard having five lights.  The turning on of the lights was followed by a grand parade, with three bands, a number of floats, citizens (young and old) dressed in character, and all manner of "stunts".  The frolic was kept up until after midnight, the big crowd being orderly as well as happy.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

News of 1907

Either 1907 was a spectacular year for newsy items, or this is where I started labeling with the year as well as a description.  I'm not transcribing any of these because none are directly about Heschs, they're just funny or interesting.  There's one about a bear, one about logging, and even one about the weather, among other stuff.  Click for legibility.











There was a "secret society" in Little Falls called the Redmen, which later became "the Improved Order of Redmen".  It wasn't the only secret society in Morrison, but it was maybe the most fun for its members, even tho their theme was a disrespectful take off on Indian culture.  It was a different time in history, ya know?




 I always assumed towns came first, with the railroads choosing where to lay the track, thereby enriching a town or killing one too far from the tracks.  According to this, tho, Bowlus, Vater and Hillman were Soo townsites.

I know the next clip is from 1908--deal with it.  I'm including it cuz I already have your attention.  I just wanted you to know that that spring was weird ☺.