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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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cannons and busses

 Two or three interesting but unrelated news items here:  the first, a Little Falls Herald clipping from 1898 that would have been a result of the Spanish-American war heating up. It's stunning to imagine three flat cars with a huge cannon on each rolling thru Little Falls.  At the time, America was fighting with the Spanish off both coasts (or thought we were).  With over 4,000 miles of coasts and a number of large cities there, big guns were made and expedited. The closest photo I could find online was this one from a collectors website.  It looks like it could be 28 feet long, I suppose.  It's definitely still impressive over 100 years later.

From a Facebook page called "St Cloud Remembered" comes this 1928 photo of the bus you could take to and from the cities.  It's parked in front of the Breen Hotel, later the Germain Hotel.  The businesses we'd remember from that corner were a Fanny Farmer candy shop, and an optician around the corner.  Q: What cafe was right across the street in the building hidden by the back of the bus?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Die alten böhmischen Heschs

 Photos you'll recognize if you've been paying attention, this is Agnes Trachofsky Hesch and her husband Mathias Hesch.  Their story is HERE, and in the masthead, above.  I was scrolling thru my myriad photos and realized that I never posted the beautiful sepia one below.
Agnes died in 1929, and Mathias in 1931, so the photo would have been from the 20s when they were in their 70s. Looks like Josh gets his "tallish forehead" from the Hesch side!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

More fun from the Pierz Journal

 Ah, thank gawd Lucky Strike was around when "our boys" needed cigarettes, and that James J Hill had an opinion of women's dress when asked ☺...

When I visited Florida a few years ago, I went to my hosts' kitchen sink for a drink of water. I let the tap run for a bit.  They laughed and said I could stand there all day and the water would still be warm--it's never cold from the tap like it is here in Minnesota.
Back in the early 1900s, people stored food in the well house if they wanted it to last or wanted it cool, and that worked.  The idea of harvesting, storing and selling ice caught on because cold would be better than cool, doncha know.

 If you knew who this referred to, it'd seem daring, and if you didn't, you'd NEED to find out, I think...☺

 I copied this letter-opening illustration because it looks wrong somehow.   If you mimic it, tho, holding your hands in the same way, it works. Argh. WHAT is it that's wrong?

These two clips came from the same issue of the PJ.  It was a slow news day, obviously.  

BTW, right now, here in St Joe, it's 5° and cloudy, but it "feels like" -16° below.  
You're welcome.      

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Comparing 1880, 1890 and 1900 in Morrison Co.

These statistics interest me especially regarding the countries our folks came from, of course.  We know our Sands came from Luxembourg, as did the Neisius family, the Zenners, the Brixius and Majerus families among many others, but the census in 1900 says there was only one immigrant from there.  By then, people just said "Germany"--it was easier.  
Same with the Austria-Bohemia distinction: in 1900, Paul Hesch claimed Austria instead of Bohemia:
"After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, the territory became part of the Habsburg's larger Austrian Empire, and subsequently the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867. Bohemia retained its name and formal status as a separate Kingdom of Bohemia until 1918..." (Wikipedia)
Otrembas, Rauschs, Schmolkes and many others came from "German Poland", "Austrian Poland" or "Russian Poland", while over 1,100 claimed Germany.

It's fascinating, too, how quickly Europeans in Morrison Co increased, from 618 in 1860 to 22,891 in 1900. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Less than 1500 feet from the school

 With my skeptical, publicity-aware brain, this little controversy seems almost staged, but chances are it was just snarkiness on the part of the unknown Buckman news reporter.  (Btw, the reporter was NOT yet Uncle Math Hesch, who was 8 years old when this happened ☺).
I thought, too, that the whole "so many feet from a school" was a later invention, but evidently not.  If you know Buckman, it seems like the saloon was actually there first and it was the school that was built too close!

"Our saloonkeeper, Jos. Hortsch, went to Little Falls and got his liquor license again.  A certain person went to Little Falls to prevent getting the license, but he got it anyway.  He invites all the boys to call on him."

"That Buckman Saloon
Buckman, March 2?, 1898

Editor Herald:
It was stated in last week's Herald that a certain person went to Little Falls from Buckman to prevent Jos. Hortsch from getting a license.  The law is to have no saloon within 1500 feet of a schoolhouse, but there have been saloons ever since 1893 from 400 to 800 feet from the school house, and the certain person was not at Little Falls to be against license, but is going to start a saloon in the fall within 1500 feet of the school house, and just went to Little Falls to see if the county commissioners had a right to violate the school laws.
Yours truly, 
The Certain Person"

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

"Catholic Day" in Pierz and St Cloud

I'm sure you remember a post from December, 2012, about the massive confirmation celebration in Pierz in the fall of 1910.  We were aware of it because a postcard Larry found of St Joseph's church had an arch and banner in front and horses (and a parade with brass bands and a dozen neighborhood priests in attendance). 

We found a write-up in the paper, but no real explanation at the time...not until these two articles!  Evidently it was based mainly around St Joseph societies and other societies organized in Catholic parishes.  I think it'd been celebrated well before Spring, 1899. Read on ☺

 The German Roman Catholic Benevolent Society of Minnesota will meet at St Cloud Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  Sunday will be what is known as "Catholic Day" and the various St Joseph societies in this region will be represented.  Members from Pierz, Buckman and Little Falls will attend. A special train which starts from Perham will go down Sunday leaving Little Falls at 8:55 AM.  The city band will accompany the local members to St Cloud and will take part in the parade.
Father Altendorf will celebrate mass at the church of the Sacred Heart Sunday morning at 7:30 and after mass the members of the local societies will assemble at the parochial school to march to the depot.
St Cloud is making great preparations to entertain the visitors and all who go will certainly not only be well entertained but will receive impressions of lasting value."

 "Bishop Trobec will visit Pierz and arrive here June 20th at one o'clock PM.  About 100 persons on horseback, the different societies and the two brass bands will meet him.  Three triumphal arches will be erected in the village.
On Wednesday June 21 in the forenoon there will be a high mass and after mass confirmation will take place.  At 3 o'clock PM the St Joseph society will keep Catholic Day, and the program will be as follows:
Music, Brass Band, "Champion."
President's Address.
Welcome speech by Father Stephan.
Church choir, Song.
Address by John Gueneman, St Paul.
Mannerchor Song.
Music by String Band.
Address by Christ Billstein.
Church choir Song.
Music by String Band.
Mannerchor.                                                                                                         Address by Prof. G. Stelzl, St Cloud.
                                                   Te Deum, with music".

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Neuhaus "White Lady"

Ooooo--A ghost story! From an article in an Ohio newspaper in 1871.  Larry found it on the Library of Congress website (fifth column). No, it probably wasn't breaking news to anyone in Urbana, Ohio that March, but it would have been a good story, and if you were practicing your English, the connection with Europe would have been interesting.
More than likely, the original Pawel Hesch and his son Martin (and his son Johann) knew about the legend and probably believed there was a White Lady who roamed the castle.  Did they tell the story to our great grandfather Paul, and did he take it with him to America?  Was it maybe something he told his own kids  on the homestead west of Buckman?
I find it really odd that the author says it was the SAME White Lady haunting castles all over Europe.  Couldn't central casting find any other disgruntled dead women to haunt their own castles?
(BTW, Neuhaus was the German name for Jindrichuv Hradec, the larger town less than 5 miles from where our ancestors lived...)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What to do with old photographs

Last month, cousin Sue stopped in with her husband John.  They were home from Nebraska, this time not for a funeral.  We had a wonderful chat, and I showed her pics I have of her as a child.  She hadn't seen a few of them, ever.
I never thought about this before--some of the photos I inherited when mom died are pictures of cousins and aunts and uncles.  They were taken when those relatives were at our house for first communions or birthdays, but you know what?  Those cousins never saw the pics because they were taken by mom, so they stayed at our house.  YOU probably have photos in your collections too, of people who would love those photos if they only knew they existed.  The internet and a scanner make it much more possible now, too, or just send the originals.  What a gift!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Math's Diary scans Page 6

Twenty seven
Twenty nine

Twenty eight

...and then, they were back in Minnesota, ready to go on with their lives here.

Math's Diary scans Page 5

Twenty one

Twenty two
Twenty three

Twenty four
Twenty five

Twenty six

Math's Diary scans Page 4





Math's Diary scans Page 3