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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Saturday, December 8, 2018

In the Small World department..

Here we are on a family history blog, mostly talking about things that happened YEARS ago, right?  But then, because my 11 year old grandson plays  basketball, my son, terribly shy Hesch-gene person that he is, starts talking to the guy sitting next to him: Mike, the dad of another player. They compare notes on where their families come from, as you do, and Mike mentions Pierz.  Well!  
Turns out Mike's mom was a Grittner--we're related thru the Nabers on mom's side as well as the Sands on dad's side, not to mention family stories featuring Grittners (from the Pierz Journal).  

Mike's grandma Elaine was a Block, daughter of Herman and Angie Block. (That's my Josh on the left, and Mike on the right, above). Elaine's in her 90s, and lives in the Villa.  Doesn't he look familiar?  ๐Ÿ˜Š This tickles me!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Math Hesch in the news again, sorta...

 St Michaels Church Bazaar in Buckman, Mn is held every summer on or close to the feast day of St Michael the Archangel (August 29th) and it's a really fun event.
The bazaar is a homecoming day for friends and relatives who've moved away or lost touch somehow.  This year was no different--and it made the Little Falls newspaper again, too.  
If you've been keeping tabs on the blog, you'll remember Paul Vincent Doyle, the adopted son of our widowed great grandma Mary (Otremba) Hesch.  Paul Vincent and his wife Aila had one child, a son they named Kenneth. And Kenneth had one son--another Paul ๐Ÿ˜Š who lives in the cities but didn't know about any of this--woohoo!  Finding Hesch History online was pretty amazing, and "young" Paul determined to make connections.  Here's the Little Falls Record story about it--recognize anybody else?

Sunday, August 12, 2018

How to pronounce "Przewalski"

Oh, Facebook!
It's too hot to be outside, so I'm sitting at the computer, reading stuff. Here's an article from the Smithsonian magazine:

"...These horses, named for the Russian explorer who first scientifically described them, are sometimes referred to as “p-horses”...[for Przewalski].
(Read more:

Sure, the horses are cute--they're smaller than domestic horses, and have a zebra-like mane--but that's not why I noticed.  It's the pronunciation, of course, of Przewalski (pronounced sha-VAL-skithat reminds me of Buckman and the Przybilla family, (originally pronounced as Sha-billa).  
Nope, I didn't know how it was pronounced at first, but knew it probably wasn't Prz-wal-ski.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Loretta (Schmolke) Smith (1916-2018)

Here's an unexpected link to the past:  We've mentioned John and Pauline Schmolke (neighbors and friends of John and Ket Hesch in Buckman in 1925) and identified them in a family pic from the year John Hesch died.  Loretta was John and Paulines' daughter, and would have been 10 when that photo was taken. (I might have mistaken the Schmolkes in the 1925 photo, but I hope not--the link is too amazing).  RIP, Loretta..

 Loretta M. Smith, 101, of Lititz, passed peacefully on July 19, 2018, at Moravian Manor, Lititz, PA, less than a month short of her 102nd birthday. Born in Buckman, MN, on August 13, 1916, she was the 3rd of 12 children of the late John M. Schmolke and Pauline (Beka) Schmolke. After graduating from St. Francis High School in Little Falls, MN she went on to attend College of St. Benedict in St Joseph, MN and receive a degree in English and Library Science. She shared her knowledge with others as a high school English teacher and Drama coach in Little Falls, MN, Mandan, ND, and Neah Bay, WA and as a librarian in Hampton, MN and New London, CT. Loretta met her husband, the late Paul Smith in St Paul, Mn. They married in 1946 at Saint Augustine by the Sea Catholic Church in Honolulu, HI. She and Paul spent the first 3 years of their married life in Honolulu where their two oldest of 8 children were born. Paul’s work took them back to the mainland in 1949. After retiring they would move back to the big island of Hawaii, build a home and spend another 15 years there. After Paul’s passing in 1986, Loretta purchased a home in Lititz. Loretta enjoyed live theatre, old movies, ice cream, Chinese food, C-SPAN, reading, writing, swimming and making snow angels. She even spent 2 hours kayaking at Speedwell shortly after her 100th birthday. Loretta was known for her water color paintings and would hand make unique cards for family members and friends for special occasions. Loretta was an international traveler and ventured to various countries in Asia and Europe up to the age of 94. Loretta loved sending and receiving cards and letters, most recently she enjoyed staying connected to her family by Facetiming on her iPad. She was a devout Catholic and active member at St. James Catholic Church in Lititz, where she was a part of the Silver Liners and participated in the annual White Elephant Sale. She will be dearly missed by her children; Loretta LaBree (Bernie), Paul Smith (Lynn), Trudy Peters (Don), John Smith (Becky), Anna Webster (Jim), Helen Cookey (Niels), Ceil Wells (Rob), and Calvin Koerner. She will also be survived by her siblings; Sr. Margaret Schmolke OSF, Helen Schmolke RN, Pat Schmolke RN, Carol Larson, Tom Schmolke and Francis Schmolke USN. Surviving as well are 17 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren as well as many, dear nieces, nephews and friends. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Paul Smith, her parents, John and Pauline Schmolke, her youngest daughter, Toni Koerner, and 5 of her siblings, Fr. Joel Schmolke OFM, Sr. Thomasine Schmolke OSF, Lt. Cecelia Schmolke RN USA, Cely Schmolke USMC, and Jerry Schmolke USA. A viewing was held Wednesday July 25, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory at 3110 Lititz Pike, Lititz, PA 17543. Guests were welcome to join the family in a Rosary Service prior to the viewing at 6:40 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. at St. James Catholic Church located at 505 Woodcrest Ave, Lititz, PA 17543. Prior to Mass, guests will be received from 10:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. Memorial donations in Loretta’s memory can be made to the Moravian Manor Benevolent Fund at 300 W Lemon St. Lititz, PA 17543 or online at

Friday, June 1, 2018

More about the Mischkes

Wow, it's so cool that once in awhile, I'll hear from people who're related to Buckman folks (so possibly related to Heschs one way or another ๐Ÿ˜Š).  Case in point: here's a clarification of a photo we published back in January, 2012, about the John & Theresa (Peschel) Mischke family.  Neat, huh?

Top row – Leo, Hermina, Ida, Carl, Agnes, Mary, Jack. Bottom row – Joseph, Benno, John, Fridolin, Theresa, Hildegarde. John and Theresa (Peschel) Mischke lived on a farm in Buckman, MN. Theresa liked to garden, and let her grandkids eat the tomatoes right off the vine. Hermina became a nun, and changed her name to Sr. Hildine Mischke, OSB. She was a cook in the convent. Mary also became a nun, Sr. Marian Mischke, OSB, and taught first grade for many years in Richfield, MN. Jack opened a Gambles store in Richmond, MN. Fr. Benno was provincial of the order for 12 years, and started a Crosier mission in New Guinea. He was also a photographer. Fr. Fritz (Fridolin) was a parish priest in parishes around Onamia, MN. Ida married Joseph Maier, and lived on a farm in Buckman, raising 6 kids. Her youngest, Gloria, was born when Ida was 45 years old and Gloria’s youngest sibling was 12 years old. It was a surprise for the whole family, as Ida didn’t let anyone know she was pregnant. Joseph had a farm and was an accountant. Agnes married Joseph Gall and lived on a farm. Hildegarde married Felix Kujawa, and lived in Buckman. The couple owned and operated Minneapolis Moline, a machinery shop that later sold the first RCA televisions.

Hooray and many thanks to Darla Hamann (daughter of the above mentioned Gloria)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Buckman News--the Peschels

Here's a bit of interesting info sent today by our corespondent (and possible relative?) Rick Schlosser.  Hey, it's always fun to hear about Buckman from another families' POV ๐Ÿ˜Š.  Thanks, Rick!

It has been quite a while since we corresponded. I hope you are doing well.
I'm sharing some more information of the Peschel family.
To my knowledge the Peschels were from the Tulowice area of Upper Silesia which is now in southwestern Poland.

Clip from the paper of 10-10-1914. One of the Peschels spotted the fire at the jail.

Wedding of my Aunt Sophie Peschel to Pete Golombieski

Frank Peschel & Liquor Do's and Don'ts


This Johann had had eight children including Johann Jr who died 3 years before his father in 1919. Hedwig and Mary are listed in this clip by their married names.

If this this tree of my Great Grandfather Johann Peschel is not correct I would appreciate any correction. (Click to enlarge).

His son, my Grandfather Johann, father of Mary my mother.

Johann Peschel 1828-1922
Ship Passage 1890

Johann Peschel 1859-1919
Ship Passage 1882

Peschel Homestead Land Description

A recent image:

Thank you much!

Rick Schlosser"

This is so COOL--Thanks, Rick!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Laura sent pictures ☺

What a treat to see "new" pictures of people I recognize and loved.  Laura says these were taken in the 1950s, looks like at the farm west of Buckman.  She said the little boy was a kid from town who loved spending time at the Hesch farm.  They obviously welcomed him ☺. Laura doesn't remember his first name, but his family name was Empey.
By this time, a couple of the girls were married with kids of their own. I suspect it was one of Helen's trips home from Los Angeles, always an occasion for a happy sibs get-together.

I can probably name five or six here, but there'd be a lotta guessing going on ☺

Here's Adeline and Bob, with Joanie, Karen and Renee, the baby.  Renee was born in 1949 and Bob died in August of 1951 so this has to be summer, 1950.
Thanks for the pictures, Laura!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A needle in a recipe book

(Is it heartless to go on posting without Larry?  I hope not--here's something that I know he'd like, and as people always say after someone dies, "he would have wanted me" to keep posting just for the fun of it, which was why we started HH in the first place). 

 Yesterday, I found a sewing needle that's undoubtedly from the 1940's. Exciting, right?

But here's the whole story, which is just cool:

I volunteer at the Stearns History Museum in St Cloud.  I'm currently scanning the pages of a book.  I sit next to Elizabeth who's one of the archivists who are indexing the collection.  She's found amazing stuff and ho-hum stuff and "why-are-we-keeping-this?" stuff.  Yesterday, she was recording a box of random cookbooks (one of five boxes) that have been donated but don't fit in other collections.  One of her tasks as she documents is to remove metal staples or pins she finds in the materials because they rust and destroy documents. 
When there's something really remarkable, she shows me ☺--yay!

This particular book started as a 9" x 5" fancy fabric sample book (1920s?), one swatch on each card stock page.  The fabric was gone, of course.  Each page was originally blank on the back, a perfect book to re-use for recipes and mementos.  There were a lot of newspaper recipes that this woman intended to try, you could tell, and the occasional obituary or article she wanted to keep.  It was all stuff important to her.  We couldn't tell who she was, tho most of the clippings seemed to be from the 1940s. 

I can imagine myself doing what she did:  two clippings pinned together with a straight pin, and another 2-3 pinned together, and 2 more....finally, when they fell out of the book once too often, she pinned the whole stack together with a needle.  There were 9 pins and the needle in that stack! 
How am I different than the woman who kept that book?  I saved a needle just because she saved it in her recipe book, and because it's been stuck between those pages for 70 years or so.  We're all the same, aren't we? Now I have a precious needle.
Oh, and here's a recipe she hand-wrote, in case you want to try it.  Looks like she made them more than once ☺

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Larry Robert Royston (1960-2017)

In the spring of 2005, I answered a question posed on a blog called "Love and the Happy Cynic".  I was flattered when I got an answer--I mean, bloggers were BMOC, with thousands of followers, right?  But this guy actually wrote back, and wanted to talk.  Turned out he lived in a little town in Georgia with his wife Jan.  He'd grown up in Hawaii, knew tons about European history, was well read and very funny, and had young-onset Parkinson's Disease.

That was Larry, the co-author of Hesch History.  We emailed and chatted most days, tried to make each other laugh.  We often discussed books or the news, as you do, and one day he asked what I knew about my ancestors.  I vaguely recalled a story about a great grandfather falling out of a wagon and dying three days later....I thought he was German, and that he lived in Buckman, Minnesota.  That was about it.

So started an adventure that kept us both interested for years.  HH began in January 2009, and it's now over 1300 posts.  We tapered off in the last year, partly because of Larry's PD, but mostly because we ran out of new sources to tap.  He was an inspiration, zeroing in on small facts that turned into days of fun research (Francis DeVivaldi, Uncle Math's Diary, the Olympic, among tons of other topics).  Because of Larry, I went to Europe to find the places we discovered (and because Marion persuaded me ☺ ).

It's been a wonderful twelve years, knowing Larry.  I'm heartbroken that he's gone.  I've lost a dear friend, and honestly, he loved knowing more about our little family than you do.
Rest in peace, dear friend.
I'll miss you always

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Firing up a steam locomotive

Dad's uncle Frank Hesch was a fireman on the railroad, and eventually an engineer (out of Duluth, I think).  In the years that Frank's brother Math was reporting the Buckman News, he often mentioned that Frank stopped home to visit their mom. 
When you hear "fireman on the RR", it brings to mind the infernal backbreaking labor of shoveling coal into the firebox of an engine for miles on end--and here's a video that shows the 6-7 hour job it was to fire up an engine, condensed to 37 minutes.  If you prefer to see only what Frank did, check minute 11, and again at minute 16 or so.  Made me sweat just to watch.  The last few minutes are fun cuz the guy toots the whistle, and moves the locomotive out of the shed.  Wow!