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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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Paint, Poles, Religion, Soap and Calves ☺

 I always figured that the lead in lead-based paint was a secret ingredient.  I thought no one acknowledged it was there on your furniture, walls and toys until clever scientists in the 1970's figured it out. Looks like lead was a selling point and a promise, tho.

The Dutch Boy was a familiar trademark that we all associated with this kid, remember? ►

That Minnesota was the center of utility pole supply makes sense when you think of all the logs that were floated down streams and rivers in Minnesota.  Not every tree was big enough to be used for lumber, but that wouldn't have kept them upright in the woods.  Just think: "..15,000,000 poles holding up the wires of the Bell System" in 1924 (probably replacing the fence posts that farmer co-ops used).

(I tried googling the current pole numbers, but couldn't find any statistics.  I assume there are other sources these days, too).

And this, from the diocese of St Cloud and beyond, useful words like interdiction, promulgated and ascertaining, to make the message clearer.

 That Papal Interdiction.
Bishop Marty, speaking of the Papal interdiction against the order of the Knights of Pythias, Odd Fellows and Sons of Temperance, said that the decree had been promulgated throughout the St Cloud diocese on Sunday.  Asked as to what the conditions were upon which those already members of these orders would be allowed the rites of the church he said that it would depend upon the extent of their association with these secret societies.  It was recognized that many carried insurance in these societies.  It was not intended to deprive them of the benefits of this insurance, and the request for a consultation with the bishop or pastor was for the purpose of ascertaining whether they could not continue their membership in a purely formal manner--St Cloud Times
Although Little Falls is in the St Cloud diocese, the decree was not promulgated in the local Catholic churches.  It is likely the decree will be read next Sunday.

 You'd think that selling something called Santa Claus Soap would automatically produce images of sleighs and a jolly chubby elf. The images in this ad send such mixed messages. I suppose there were bad ad agencies back then, too.

This clipping makes me laugh every time I see it.  "Antoine" Hesch would be my great grand uncle, Paul's brother, and the son of (immigrant) John Hesch from the second clipping. John waited 3 months to post an ad, but Anton fed that calf for a whole year before he advertised.  I wonder if this was a legality--that you had to make a 'sincere' effort to find the actual owner before you could sell the animal or make sausage of it. I suspect so.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Lost in the Woods

Last night, Our Man Larry sent this article he found in the Brainerd (Minnesota) Daily Dispatch (December 29, 1955).  He thought it might be a family story, like a cautionary tale about wandering too far or not obeying your parents.  But no, it's all new to me! 'Course, if mom and dad discussed it, it would have been in German, and besides, I was six in 1955.

Cousin Carol is ten years older than I am. At first, I thought "her cousin Gary" might be Aunt Katie's son, but no, he's about my age, so wasn't a teenager either ☺
A fascinating thing about this story, ignoring the fact that it could so easily have been tragic, is that it brought back such a rush of memories.
 I think we visited Uncle Matt and Aunt Eileen at the lake only once or twice, in the summer, and my impression of their house was that it stood in trees as dense as the photo below, on a knoll above a lake.  There was a path to the dock, but you couldn't swim because the bottom there was rocks, weeds and mud.  It sure looked nice tho.

I suppose there were no "what to do if you're lost in the woods" discussions before their adventure.  Who would expect Carol At 16 or Bev at 14 to even think about exploring the woods?
But then, the article says they had 4 matches with them.  How come? In the 50's, you carried matches with your contraband cigs, but swore to your parents that you Did. Not. Smoke.
Ha.  Carol and Gary probably walked down the driveway out of sight, thought they heard a car, and dashed into the woods.  The snow cover in December might have been sparse--enough to track them later, but not enough for them to retrace their steps.  "Hunting"?  Naaaw.  Oh, and when I googled "Big Pine Lake", a completely different lake came up, so they've changed ours to simply "Pine Lake".

Hooray, Larry! ☺

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Genealogy by Social Media or

Sand in our veins 

What a great way to spend a couple freezing days in January!
A little backstory:
You should recall by now that Grandma Lizzy (Sand Hesch) had an older brother named Joseph, who lived in Saskatchewan, Canada.  Joe's wife Antonia was a Poser from Pierz. They were married in Buckman  January 14, 1908.  Eventually they had a son, Michael, two daughters, Mary and Agnes, and an adopted son, Erwin. Here's a (new) photo of most of them in the late 40s, tho we don't know what the occasion was.

I know you're wondering where this photo came from, right?  Well, yesterday and today on Facebook we had a genealogical identi-fest, as Christa posted a photo to see if collectively, we could name everybody in the photo. Here's that photo, and yes, we DID!
Right behind Sr Severine and Sr Teresita are their two brothers, Frank and Joe (both wearing suspenders ☺), and the woman sitting on the right is Veronica** (Vernie Sand Wintermeyer), so five of the ten sibs were together for a reunion in Shaunavon, Sask. in 1964.  I remember Gramma reluctantly deciding she couldn't go along.  I suppose it was partly because the car would have been really over-crowded with Frank driving, Catherine riding shotgun and Gramma, Vernie, and the two nuns packed in the back, tho I would pay to have seen it ☺.
Here's what we came up with: Joe standing and his wife Antonia beside Sr Teresita, Frank's wife Catherine behind Antonia. Mary and Agnes, back row, were Joe's daughters, and Rosa, next to him, was Mike's wife, so maybe the photographer was Mike or Pete.  SOME things should stay a mystery, right?

**That's Vernie Wintermeyer sitting next to Antonia, but Christa remembered that John Wintermeyer died in 1959, so that couldn't be him next to Vernie.
Hooray, Christa, and Thank You! 

This was FUN

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Curly's Prayerbook

Ach, it's surprising how much stuff I "inherited" after mom passed away in 1996...and how much I've forgotten I even have.  There are three boxes the size of peach crates (remember them?), one with black & white photos, another with color photos, and another with flotsam and jetsam.  A few weeks ago, I opened that third box looking for one thing but finding another, as always happens.
There was dad's missal, The St Joseph "Continuous" Sunday Missal, imprimatur 1957.  It was a funny old religion back then, where Catholicism, nuns and priests were basically infallible, and a bazillion angels and saints were hovering, waiting to judge our every demand/request. Remember the word "beseech"?

I have a feeling Curly the Usher picked this book up after it spent a few lost weeks in a back pew.  He needed to be holding a missal if he were demanding that we follow the mass in ours, but I doubt he ever bought it.  He liked pictures, just like we did, and he had a collection.  Inside, every 25 pages or so, dad kept clusters of funeral or prayer cards. Most I recognize, but a couple may have been the original owners' ☺.
The fronts of the cards are on the left, and the corresponding verses on the right.  Click to enlarge...

 Yup, all from the missal.

Bonus: A scan of the famous laminated Confession Guide we all carried around (still makes me feel guilty)...and an odd esoteric prayer that almost explains the indulgence-mindset that Martin Luther found so disgusting (read the bottom paragraph first).

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Math and the New Buckman Constable

More cool stuff!  We're benefiting from Laura's impulse to go through keepsakes, and to send along the ones she thinks we'll appreciate here on HH.
This article is from February, 1965, when a reporter from the cities came up to interview the new constable in Buckman ☺ and his sidekick, Math Hesch.
(Click the article and it'll open larger in a new page).

More thanks to Laura for sharing her dad with us!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Math writes about his sister Mary's funeral

Dad's cousin Laura emailed this morning.  She's going thru keepsakes, she said, and found this letter her dad Math wrote about the funeral of his sister Mary (Hesch) Peterson in Bruno, Minnesota. The photo below was from a year earlier at Grandpa Anton's funeral.  Mary's there in the middle.

Ever the reporter, Math used a handy newspaper form to chronicle the details of the funeral to his daughters who couldn't be there (but who still owed money for flowers ☺). Reading thru the letter, it's so distinctly Math talking, with his guard completely down, and a little of his heart showing...

"Pierz Mn, Thursday Dec 30th-65  10 AM
Well poor sister is layed to rest ___here at 11 AM service was in Bruno church, priest went to cemetery to bury her she looked so natural but thin which you can expect after what she went through. Puly bought $8.00 worth of flowers, 7 girls, $7.00, us one dollar total of 8 so you owe us one dollar. we went there with Reine Janson and wife, "Mate" Adeline also drove with us we were home at 4PM. Thank god it was a nice day yes for 20 miles roads were icey but otherwise nice water was dripping off church roof. those there were these besides us___ Mr Mrs Joe Suess Mr Mrs George Block 
wife Mr Mrs Paul Vincent Doyle Blacky & Mr Mrs Brother Theo Hesch, Theo Hesch 2 daughters Dorothy, Laura Dodds Klein son Kreg her Snooky her daughter and son Kenneth Mr Mrs Math Hesch from near Onamia Sr Laura Mr Mrs Henry Hesch, Rose Hesch Janish Yes there were quite a few there from Joe Peterson relations and friends how silly they also were sr. Mary friends & relation. Oh yes young Tony Hesch of Sandstone was also there I guess that covers it. Yes the ladys aid gave a nice free lunch after the funeral in the church. for shame I did not write down wha pall bearers were Dan Kulig was one Tony Mike and Math Hesch not I her nephew Math Hesch Dorothy Klein son and a Peterson man. Priest gave a real nice sermon about 30 of us went to communion. We left here around 6:30 AM Mate came here since Reine went through Foley East of here we got there about 8:30 AM had coffee break along the road in Hinckley the undertaker left Sandstone at 10 AM for Bruno tho we were by undertaker 1 1/2 hours but time was so short to visit Sr Laura. I lead the rosary once I took a Blessed Virgin medal from here and put it in poor sr Mary hand I put it inside of her oh so cold hand you could not see it in the palm of her cold lifeless hand I kit her cheek & also was so cold poor dear makes tears come to my eyes now. but after all we all got to follow her 70 years is a little more than the average life I guess it is 67 years the average.  Me Ma and I are still very tired tho we had a good nights rest after dinner I'll go to our Priest have a high mass read for Mary for next week. Believe you me Henry Hesch & Puly are two busy people to take care of all. way too much to write one thing for sure it looks there was very little money. so far no will has been found. we doubt if she made one Yes the house in Bruno will be up for sale but lucky if they get over $2,000.00 for it so many expense hosp funeral etc. maybe can give you more full detail later cuz Puly and Henry are running the show as of now. Henry it was always Henry you are administrator now Henry says I don't want no part of it ___ Puly will see the Kesick Banker today ask him to be administrator or mabe get a...."

Thanks, Laura!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Pleasant qualities of American life, to new immigrants

Here's something to make a person think about what we have here in America, what our ancestors worked so hard to give us.  We take it all so for granted, and we're beginning to believe that every product and street and stranger is dangerous...but just read what new-comers to America noticed:
1. My dad is Indian and was born in Trinidad. He says the first thing he ate when he came to the US was pizza. He said that it was magical, and that nothing has ever been as good as that first piece of pizza.
- F*cking-Lannisters
2. I was pleasantly surprised about was how openly Americans discuss everything. Growing up, I was taught the Vietnamese version of the Vietnam War in school. In my mind, I thought in America people would not talk about it since it's a shameful thing and the government would suppress all discussions of it like in Vietnam. When I came here, I saw that people can openly speak about these things even when there are many disagreements.
- anonymous_1983
3. Very seriously, free refills.
- vlaura
4. Free public restrooms and how every establishment has air conditioning.
5. Ramps. Growing up in a wheelchair in a small town in Colombia was difficult as f*ck.
- AlCoCeR_
6. Size servings. Imagine my "HolY ShiEtt! I can eat all that for X money?" face. Yes, I'm fat now.
- Preseedent
7. I was very young when we moved here, but the one thing my parents always mentioned was that whenever we needed help, whether it was navigating the interstate or where to shop, people would go out of their way to help us find what we needed or show us how to do things.
- Samosataco
8. Not getting shot in a drive-by. Seriously, the Canadian media and the way people talk make it seem like the U.S. is full of gun-toting rednecks and gangsters, and your life is in danger every time you step out your door. Some of my friends drove 6 hours straight once through to Ohio without a bathroom break because they were so scared.
Being in California for 15 years, and it's so much nicer, kinder and with fewer guns and chaos that outside media would make it seem.
- slinky999
9. That most white americans aren't actually racists.
- quintonsmylie
10. Hummingbirds outside the window. I mean ... real live humming birds, right outside my window.
- shalpin
11. The fact that no one was threatening to kill my family based off of our religious beliefs.
- DallasStarsFan-SA
12. Showers and running hot water. I was born in the Philippines. Showers and hot water aren't really common in older homes over there. Not having to fill buckets with water and boiling some over a stove top was such a big surprise for me. Experiencing that as a twelve year old was an unforgettable experience. Yet, most people who live here (me included) take it for granted sometimes.
- alyssaxoxo8
13. Small talk. I really didn't expect people to just strike up a conversation with someone they've never met before. I've heard some interesting experiences from strangers while waiting at airport.
- HunkyChunk
14. Air. You don't really notice how REAL fresh air feels like when you've been breathing in polluted air all your life.
- galantleb
15. How hiking, biking and camping is made so easy. Well marked trails, with clearly specified difficulty levels, park rangers to help you, documented rules to follow for a good experience, bike trails documented on Google maps, camping equipment you can buy at Walmart with crisp instructions every step of the way.... and well maintained National and State parks.
Back home, there's a lot of nice places to do outdoorsy stuff in, but most are what Americans would consider back country.
- sensitiveinfomax
16. How safe it was to walk around residential streets alone as a woman.
- buscemi_buttocks
17. Thinking back to when I came with my family from the USSR: Grocery stores. 

Seriously. Where we came from, shelves were bare or at best stocked with drab, low-quality food. When I was a little kid, I loved going to the store just to see all the different crazy things they had that would never be available in the old country -- produce, cereals, candy, you name it. Even though we were too poor to buy all the things I wanted as a kid, just going to see it was fun enough when I was first here.
- HebrewHamm3r
18. The fireworks. I had moved on the 4th of July and I was quite young. But I still remember the fireworks.
- grab_d_rabid_rabbit
19. Not having to haggle prices when buying things, not having to know who to talk to (or bribe) to get any little bit of paperwork filed in a reasonable amount of time, not having to worry about being cheated on every little transaction you have. Just having standard reliable procedures for daily tasks was wonderful. You guys might hate going to the DMV, but let me tell you, it could be much worse.
Then it got even better with automation and e-commerce, and not even really having to interact with people for many tasks.
- alienangel2
20. Honestly? Public libraries. I had no idea such things existed until the public librarian in my neighborhood went to our school and invited us to get a library card. It literally changed my life.
- Esteesmithrowaway
21. I remember how the doors opened on their own when we walked out of the airport, and the soda on the plane ride over was in cans instead of glass bottles; I was also amazed by individual houses, all I had ever known up to that time were large apartment blocks.
- stryv
22. Most public buildings are smoke-free. Most people are decent enough not to smoke in someone else's house or car. Most people don't blow smoke to children and babies. It's pretty amazing.
- MiaMiaPP
23. What surprised me was the social circles that existed in schools and in life. Back in Italy, schools didn't have the nerds, the jocks, the skater kids, emos, or what else have you. People were all basically the same, with minor differences in interests. Most everyone played soccer, was a casual gamer, and hung out in the town square at night. That's it. It may sound like an exaggeration, but 95% of my friends there were exactly like this.
So when I came to school here, I was amazed by how the jocks would hang out at gyms and play 4 different sports after school, while the skaters headed off to find a park. It was so different. And I loved it. Because while I could fit it back in Italy, I was always much more introverted and interested in nerd stuff, and in the US I finally found people who were really like me. It was really unexpected, and you only notice it after spending a lot of time in America.
- The_Chronox
24. That the water that comes out of the tap is perfectly drinkable; a simple thing that's easy to take for granted, but it's amazing to me.
- analogui
25. Snow.
I'm originally from Jamaica where the idea of snow is practically something of make-believe. The closest we'd get to snow was by scraping ice from our freezer. To see snow for the first time was surreal. I remember my dad waking me up at 4 in the morning to look out the window at untouched snow covering the neighborhood. Snow was something I'd always seen in movies. To witness it in person was lovely, and I'll never forget it.
- cocomomo8

More newspaper curiosities

Interesting, isn't it?  We've always assumed that Paul was the real estate wiz, but here's Mary buying 40 acres eleven years after his death.  A deal too good to resist?
 This little smear piece was under the "North Prairie" news heading.  Having read hundreds of pages of the Little Falls Herald, I realize this kind of oblique jab was truly unusual.  Some woman from there was really pissing people off.  Wow.

Knowing our relatives and ancestors in Buckman and Pierz, doesn't it surprise you that a palm reader and phrenologist was even allowed in town?

When I read this clipping in the Little Falls Herald, I'd never heard that the St Germain bridge had ever been "crashed", especially by an "injured" block of granite.  I remember that the bridge was rickety to drive across, and that we were told just to walk across, not march, in the Drum Corps once...but this granite incident would have been some 65 years earlier.  I wonder what the final outcome was. Was this considered a frivolous law suit? Did the city pay?

And here's proof of half the family legend about the two bells in the tower of St Michael's Church in Buckman:
that Anton Otremba bought a bell for the original church, and it rang for the first time at his funeral in February 1883; and when Catherine died in January 1902, this bell rang for the first time at her funeral.

Not all the settlers in Buckman and Pierz came from Bohemia or Germany.  Many came from what we'd think of as Poland, so this article was probably well read and rejoiced over!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Odd stories from the news--1904, 1912, 1917, 1921

 You can draw your own conclusions about these stories.  Luckily the term "autoist" didn't stick, the story from Bowlus is full of odd "facts", there was political snark during elections back then, too, and Reddy Kilowatt had a predecessor named K.W. with a genealogy all his own ☺.

I love this list of circus acts.  Wonder if they were as impressive as they sound..

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Fire! Fire!!

Scrolling thru old Pierz Journal and Little Falls Herald newspaper clippings this morning, I realize there are stories we haven't obsessively covered yet.  Can you believe it?
For instance, How Did Pierz and Buckman Deal With Fires?  Many people couldn't afford and didn't have insurance, or if they did, the amount was small.  Even in a time when a house might have been worth $450, it might be insured for only $50.  (We think most insurance was thru "secret societies" like the Improved Red Men or the Knights of Columbus...otherwise, you just didn't have any insurance).
My curiosity about grandpa and grandma's house fire in 1916 started it all.  It looks like they had some insurance, and they rebuilt in two months with some financial help from St Michael's parishioners.  (The Dixville header was probably because their farm would have been closer to Dixville than Buckman).

I assume both the Heschs and Schlegels were helped  to rebuild by family and neighbors.  There were other fires reported in those years, of course, but this one seemed especially kind, don't you think?

April 16, 1914

 (No, the Schlegel family isn't related as far as I know...☺)

Another fire, this time in the barn behind a Pierz saloon.  It sounds pretty awful.