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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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Math's Diary--Part Two--April 18th to 24th, 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!)

Math said about the Olympic, "Well, we are on the Olympic now some boat" (can you hear him say it?) but I think he was VERY impressed. St Michaels in Buckman or the post office and courthouse in Little Falls were grand, but this boat was stunning. It was the sister ship to the Titanic, which had sunk two years before.

Even for our day, the Titanic and Olympic were big. Imagine, a swimming chamber inside the ship, and 156 fires going onboard at all They would have been fascinated with the mechanics of something so much bigger and more powerful than the team at home, too.

(Added much later:
Found an article in Technical World Magazine from March 1911 with a gushy article about this AMAZING ship.  Wow--it was being built along side the Titanic.  CLICK HERE.

HERE they are, on the Olympics' manifest. Do the arithmatic here: If Math was born in December of 1890, and Ted in June of 1889, would they have been 29 and 31 in 1914? I don't think 26 and 24 must have seemed less cool, somehow!

It took a week to cross the Atlantic, and Math recorded daily mileage when he remembered. Here's a pdf DIAGRAM of the ship...
you can see where the rooms were, where the smoking lounge was, and where their berths were ("Why waste money, we can go steerage, just like Pa did!")

Years later, when the Olympic was dismantled, the Swan Hotel in Alnwick, England bought the interior of the smoking lounge and used it in their dining room. See why I think they were impressed?

"April 18th--Saturday--10:45 A.M. well we are on the Olympic now. Some boat. Will leave soon.
Gone from NY. 1:30 P.M. As I am writing this, we are an hour on the water; it is rather windy.
Well, it is Saturday night, 9 o'clock, am sitting in the smoking room. The room is as nice as you can get it. Had supper. Could not eat it all. Some food.
Rather much music on here. We are going 28 miles an hour now.
Seen a man drunk, wanted to fight with a blue coat on here--some fun.
We have 3 in our room. Beer 4 glasses, 4 bits, so I heard.
April 19--10:15 Nice Sunday. We are having a little wind and we are going straight against it. That is about all for now.
April 20--Monday--Well we made 446 miles first day, 525 the next day. Gee, it is hot today. Had a boxing match on here. I made 20 cents. Had fog tonight. The old horn is blowing every minute.
April 21--Tuesday--Windy morning. The old boat is sure swinging. Some of the passengers are turning inside out. I am a little sick. We are reading the news from the outside world--it is printed on the wall. We have a map here showing how far we go each day. Eat, well, it could not be better. The wireless telegraph brings the news".
[ Telegraph service had only been installed in February of 1914, between New York and Berlin, so it WAS a marvel].
April 22--Wednesday--9 A.M. Nice morning. The water is as smooth as they make em. Met a sail boat last night, seen a few fish. Are going about 27 miles per now. Met a boat at 1PM. All we could see was a little smoke.
Well, this is the 23rd. Seen some sharks and black birds. They are dancing now; it is real nice weather.
It is 7:30 P.M. and near dark.
April 24--Thursday--getting close to Plymouth, England. Can count 25 sail boats & 3 steam boats now. Some fun. Just left Plymouth England--6:30 P.M. on the 24th. Seen nice war boats and hills. Made 503 miles today + 96, in all 3,099.
A fireman just now told me they have 156 fires agoing in this boat all the time.
All matress threw into water, getting the blankets out for wash".
Yeah, that'd be the simplest way to clean a whole boat! lol

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