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, April 14, 2009

Math's Diary--Part Nine--June 10th to 16th, 1914

In which Math and Ted again take to the sea....

(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!)

An ad for the actual trip they were on...see where it says "SOUTHAMPTON" near the middle, there?

June 10--Tuesday--Well we left London at 8:30 this morning & are now again on the Olympic.
For the last 2 hours, the sea is not smooth, a little rough. Now we are in Cherbourg, France, took on near 300 passengers.
June 11--Wednesday--We will soon be in Queenstown, Ireland to take on mail.

We are now one day on the water.

She is slipping-along as smooth as joint oil.

So far only a little foggy, aint bad.
Had a singing bunch on here from 2nd class, sang all the songs you can think of.
Mostly Sweden & dagos on here. They act good so far yet, but all look tough.
We have been sailing along for the past 3 hours, but we still see the land of Ireland.
Many sea gulls can be seen now. One man had his watch stole this morning.

The Pacific Ocean 70,000,000 square miles;
the Atlantic Ocean is 25,000,000 square miles;
the Indian Ocean is 17,000,000 square miles, so they say.

We made 511 miles so far.

I never seen the sea as smooth as it is today.
It is as smooth as you can get it.
A few are sick, maybe 5 in all.
Seen a few fish.

Gum is only 10 cents for 5 sticks. Real cheap it is. (YAY!)

Very windy now, still the waves don't act bad yet. Still, we have a storm coming.

It is lovely now.

We are having a heavy fog.

Ship is going 5 or 6 miles an hour, the fog horn a going all the time.
The engines just keep a moving and that is all.
All is so quiet, only the horn hollers out over the sea in the pitch dark night.
It all looks like a tunnel to me.

Played poker and made 4 dollars.

June 13--Friday--Nice hot morning today.
Seen an oil ship with the smoke stack on one end.
The sea is fine and we are plowing right through for New York.
We made 511 miles the 2nd day and 519 miles the 3rd day.

We had a heavy rain today.

The sea is smooth yet & are going along nice.

Seen many sharks this morning.

June 14 Sunday--Nice day.
They say all you can see is 8 miles or 10 on the water.
The funnels or smoke stacks on here are 150 feet high and the mast over 200.
We have 63 life boats and they hold 48 passengers in each one.
Was all over 2nd class last night. A man showed me around. Aint bad.
We had about 5 sick the first day but none sick now.

Made 65 cents on poker this morning.
Morocco is the name where that old money is used.
It is in Africa.

We are having a storm today.
Still, the boat don't swing, and it blows a man away from the rail.
Worst wind we have had so far.

Had another bad fog. She went so slow could hardly see her move.

June 15--Sunday--She is swinging nice this morning. Still, there aint a bit of wind, can't see why she rocks.
The band is playing now, but I have enough.
One is called the Mad Musician. He looks it too, with all those notes on his clothes.

I know none of these people have "notes on their clothes", but it's the only "Mad Musician" photo we could find, and Vasco probably WAS on the Olympic, but hopefully looking happier than these folks.

Just had a man to show the boss how fast he could close the doors in case he would have to.
He aint slow.

Meet a few ships, still I did not see any.

Just got some news:
last night was Sunday, and it was on a Sunday when the Titanic went down.
That is why she went slow.
"As a result of the disaster, the first International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea was called in London in 1913. The convention drew up rules requiring that every ship have lifeboat space for each person embarked (the Titanic had only 1,178 boat spaces for the 2,224 persons aboard); that lifeboat drills be held during each voyage; and, because the Californian had not heard the distress signals of the Titanic, that ships maintain a 24-hour radio watch. The International Ice Patrol also was established to warn ships of icebergs in the North Atlantic shipping lanes".
(The Olympic was equiped with the required number of lifeboats).

We come near having a wreck!
Another boat was running into us and we were backing up as fast as the Olympic could go.
Still the other one come straight for us till she was so close that they come near hitting.
Then they seen us and of course stopped.
We did not like the news a bit.
Many were up and on the deck waiting for the hit, which did not come, thank God.
They say the other boat was a big one too.

Baltic, a 25,000 ton ship was the one that near struck us.
A postcard of the S. S. BALTIC from Both of these ships were owned by the White Star Lines.

And we near struck a tramp ship, it was very dark.
We made 438 miles today. The close wreck put us behind.

It is 8:30 P.M. now & a raining as hard as it can & hot. Oh jee, I am sweating as I never did.
The smoke goes straight up. Not a bit of breeze.

Still, the sea is not calm. The boat swings real slow & nice.
They have 8,000 mail bags on here--seen a pile of em. Big as a house.

June 16--Monday--We went through the vaccination room this morning but they only got about 10 of em. The rest had theirs, or were Americans.

The sea is nice this morning. We made 521 miles today and are 4 hours late.

One anchor is laying top of the ship, weight 17 tons.
I seen him--some hook--they just pulled out 1,200 feet of 3 inch rope.
There are 1,000's of feet in the rear end of the ship yet.

We have many Sweden girls on here that can't speak a word but Swedish.
Good looking.
We'll get to New York Wednesday.

Am in the dining room & the tug boats are pushing us in, a dozen or more.

Yeah, Math lost his enthusiasm for note-taking on the trip home, but you would, Their amazing adventure was almost over, except for the train ride from NYC to Minnesota....but that'll be Part Ten.

Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. This is wonderful. You do a great job with your little additions.