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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Friday, March 13, 2009

Math's Diary--Part Five--May 10th to 15th, 1914

(This is part of a notebook diary kept by Math Hesch during a trip he took with his brother Ted in the spring of 1914. Click DIARY on the sidebar to see only the diary entries. Enjoy!)

"Well, this is May 10--Saturday--11:30 P.M.
Dance in Gushwitz.
I am in the dance now, lots of fun to see the German ones dance.
Sure heard nice songs. They all sang for us tonight.
They think more of us than they would of the King.
(To see pictures of Guschwitz as it was then, click POSTCARDS).

Joe Wolf is now on this place (he must mean the Otremba homeplace).
Jane Bouch is Mrs. Wolf. She is 80 years old, her man is dead.
Old man John Bouch is dead for 40 years.

This is a 9 acre farm. Old trees can be seen here yet.
The old 8 feet wall still stands.
The old apple tree is in bloom, the pear tree is near 60 feet high.
It is sure nice. They danced on one inch ground, some dust.

Well we ate barley soup in the house where Ma was born.
(Traditional Barley soup in Poland at the time would have been carrots, onions, turnips, potatoes, and barley, with a beef soup bone, depending on what was available).

May 11--Sunday--11:30 Are in Comprachtchutz on our way to Oppeln.
This Comprachtcheutz is a big town.
( Komprachtsch├╝tz...Komprachcice....6 miles NW of Guschwitz)
We are 6,449 miles from home now & are taking a smoke with old King Bill in Oppeln.

Well, we were in Oppeln Church. I never seen so many go to church--over 5,000 went in.

May 12--Monday--Just shook a game of dice who pays for breakfast, Theo or me. He lost.
Seen many ships in the Oder.

Well we are in St. Anna's Berg now & watching the miners work.

See the next post for videos of Annaberg!

(Translation of:
Lourdes chapel at St. Annaberg
"In the prewar years of the First World War was on the northern slope of Mount St. Anne in a quarry operation. Because the blasting and the excavation of the basalt stone buildings of the church and the convent at risk, reached the Franciscans, supported by Archbishop ordinariate in Wroclaw, the cessation of quarry operations. The ausgesprengte now, mighty crater was partially buried and in the years 1912 to 1914 in Lourdes cave transformed. In the cave below the sanctuary may be more than 15,000 pilgrims gathered").

Some hill here, can see whole old country. They are digging rock here.

(St Annasberg was/is a tourist attraction and pilgrimage destination SE of Opole. The sepia postcard (above) was how it looked around 1890, I think. Then someone thought to develope it--perhaps the Catholics? lol St Ann was Jesus' grandmother, and special to Polish people. From what we can tell from translations online, there's even a "relic" there. These two photos are from a Flickr set about a June 2007 tour).

Well, I was in church-it sure stands high. Can't tell how high...nothing extra for looks.
As I am writing this, I am on the hill of St. Annas Berg. Just seen the new building they are putting up of old rock, and looks a 1,000 years old. Still is only 2 years old.

Could get a job here but not us. 25 pfennig one hour.
(One American dollar was worth 4.23 marks in 1914, and a mark was 100 6 cents an hour)
There are 13 saloon's and hotels in this small town, all in a bunch.

May 13--Tuesday--Well, we seen all that was to be seen. A man took us all over for 2 marks. Oh, it was nice. Seen oil berg, Kalvarnenberg & such things.
("They rise for the most part at the foot of the Calvarienberg (1070 ft.), which is composed of dolomitic limestone" and "Selmeczbanya is encircled by high mountains, notably the isolated peak of the Calvarienberg (2385 ft.) on the S.W., on which are situated a castle and a church, and the Paradiesberg (2400 ft.) on the N.W.")
They have light here in the night when they have money, only now they are broke.
Can see 1,000's of coal miners near to Russia.
Smoke--you can't look 2 miles that is so. Been in this smoke for the last 3 hours.
Are going through Kattowitz ( a town in the Prussian province of Silesia near the Russian frontier. Pop. (1905), 35,772. There were large ironworks, foundries and machine shops in the town, and near it zinc and anthracite mines), about as big as St. Paul.

May 14--Wednesday--As I am writing this I am sitting on Ostereich and have my feet on Russland, right on the boundary line.

(Wow--Larry just found this: DREIKAISERECK Evidently, it was a tourist attraction, complete with a tower in honor of the three Empires (Emperors) that came together there).

Can see Russland soldiers watching the line.

Wine 2 glasses, 80 pfennig. Some land.
Good kids here, just have 8 & 10 years and they smoke.
Just threw money over the line into Russia for the kids.

Now we are in Trzebinia, Ostereich.
("Coals are found in the Cracow district at Jaworzno, at Siersza near Trzebinia and at Dabrowa" ....Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911).
Only it is all polish kronen money is all they know here. We are on the end now and will turn around. There are many beggars around here.

May 15--Thursday--just left Myslowitz...
(See map above--Myslowitz was a rail hub, too. "A town of Germany, in the Prussian province of Silesia. Pop. (1905), 15,845. Extensive coal-mines are worked, and among its other industries are flax-spinning and brick-making"--not to mention tourism!). is on the edge of Germany going to Berlin, good for a 8 hour ride.
We have 450 miles to make & have 480 minutes to make it in.
We are on the fastest thing old Bill has".

Kaiser Wilhelm

Stay tuned for Part Six when our intrepid wanderers experience BERLIN!

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