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, December 6, 2009

The eve of St Nick...

This particular holiday makes the Hesch connection to Bohemia/Czech Republic WAY more real to me:

The sixth of December is all Nicholas’s name day in the Czech Republic and for the kiddies and parents alike this is a sure sign that Christmas is just around the corner. On the eve of this special day, (5th December), St Nicholas arrives with company to visit all the children in their homes. For those children who have been well-behaved he bears sweets, fruit and small gifts. For the naughty ones a frightening demon brings old potatoes or coal. So that the children are not scared out of their wits, an angel also stands by St Nick’s side. This trio of costumed figures can be found in the streets of every Czech town on this evening.

I definitely remember St Nick and a devil visiting us when I was about was the most scared I'd ever been!  I'm pretty sure dad didn't realize what Gibbs Kelzenberg had in mind when he agreed to have "St Nick" visit our house....we had to kneel down and recite prayers, which I barely knew. 
OMG, it was awful!  It was the last time that part of the "holiday" was played out at our 
In later years, there'd be a knock on the door, and no one would be outside--just a bag on candy and nuts on the step.  Most years, it was a total surprise, cuz no other kids at school kept this charming holiday.

Added later:
In fact, here's an article from my hometown newspaper on December 11, 2009--looks like other German/Bohemian kids were victims too:


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