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, May 17, 2009

WHO was Armella Hesch?

It seems like some of our relatives from the Buckman area had an affinity with Washington and Oregon. When Larry found this obit, he asked who...? Well, of course, I didn't know, but the name "Buford Ficklin" was certainly distinctive.

Ahh, here's her mom's marriage to Buford. They lived in Portland, but went to Washington to get married, in October, 1948.

According to the obit, Anna's children were Rose, Margaret, Roman, Leo, Leona, Paul and Joseph Hesch.

Then, Sue sent this obit:

These were the children of Joseph Hesch, grandpa Anton's brother!

Anna, their mother, was Anna Heurung, who married John B Otremba after Joseph died, in October, 1926. John B died October 10th, 1948, and Anna married Buford on the 30th. Wow.

Armella was another child of Anna's...born in June of 1927.

OLD News from Buckman

Another of the MARVELS of the internet is entering names in a search engine and finding newspaper articles and links to photos from years ago with those names....from all over the USA.
Here are a few discoveries Larry's made lately:

The wedding of Roman and Emily Dehler in 1947. This is one of 3 "Emily"s my own precious daughter is named after.
This wasn't from a newspaper, but we'd been talking about the Store in Buckman, and Larry found Killian Zenner's picture!

From the Albert Lea MN newspaper in 1934.

Pierz was often misspelled as PIERCE in news articles across the country. This obit from North Dakota in 1963 makes a connection to Pierz--her husband Charles (Karl) was the son of Johann Otremba and Anna Rosina Hesch Schultz.
STRANGE fad: Turtle Painting! This was Oakland California in the summer of 1927.

A terrific service from Google: they've digitized whole books (once the copyright is lapsed) and put them online. This article would have been something a person paid to have included in the book, so of course a LOT of our folks aren't just LOOK at all the information!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I know, I know...this blog is for ANCESTORS, but I couldn't resist.

Friday, May 15, 2009

St Michael's School, Buckman, Minnesota

This was the first St Michaels school, built in 1887, and this was the first class. It was located where the church is now. Click the picture to enlarge it, and the one below, too, of just the people.

I've numbered this photo, because I'm pretty sure my other Grandpa (Anton Janson) is #19. He's the right age and his grandsons looked like #19 at the same
(If your ancestor/relative was born between about 1874 (oldest kids) and about 1881 (youngest), and lived in Buckman, look closer...s/he might be HERE!)
Sue thinks #8 is Ket (Catherine Mueller, born 1880), and I expect two of the boys were Joseph and John Sand...

This is what the school looked like until it was torn down in 2012 (?).  Now it's just a blank space behind that big house on the corner.  Kids from Buckman attend school in Pierz:

"The village of Buckman is located six miles south of the city of Pierz. In 1887, a parochial school was opened. When this building no longer met their needs, a two-room schoolhouse was built on the ground where St. Michael’s Church is located. In 1901, Fr. William Lange, decided to build a church where the school resided. The school was moved across the highway from the present church. Later, a four-room school was erected to replace the previous school, because it had become inadequate. In the 1950’s, four more classrooms and bathrooms were added to the structure".
(From the Pierz Holy Trinity website that no longer works).

Evidently, 1990 saw the end of St Michael's in Buckman.
But, THIS was 1939:
#3, Margaret (1921), daughter of John Dehler and Margaret Zenner;

#4, Irene (1924), daughter of Math Hesch and Mary Tetiva;

#6, Rosie (1925), daughter of Anton Hesch and Elizabeth Sand;

#12, Richard (1925), son of August B Dehler and Regina Hortsch.

(BTW, mom started high school in Buckman, and she said they offered Freshman and Sophomore classes in alternate years, so she was a Sophomore first, in 1932....making '39 a Freshman

Do you recognize any others here? Let me know and I'll add the names.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

But what did they look like as ADULTS?

Ok, here's your big chance! If you've been paying attention, you should be able to match A, B, and C with their wedding pictures, right?

I'll even give you hints:
A is Laura and Rodney
B is Alice and Johnny
C is Girlie and George
So, which wedding picture goes with each couple?

How'd ya do?

(I know, I screwed up--taking the quiz myself, I realized I didn't have ALL the right pictures, so I had to go back and add This makes it a trick quiz).

Here's another picture taken the same day as A, B, and C in 1962 in Sleepy Eye, at Laura's house. It might have been Thanksgiving, cuz the film only got developed after Christmas, see?

Oh, and yeah, I think it was a 1960 Plymouth Fury-woohoo!

Der Nordstern Zeitung (Northstar Newspaper)

Here's the announcement of Paul Heschs' death in the German newspaper he would have read. The Nordstern Zeitung was published weekly in St Cloud, and later in La Crosse, Wisconsin by the Nordstern Association, I think.

What a miracle that the paper was archived....then every page was copied to microfilm...the Stearns History Museum in St Cloud has it, browsable...and that I could copy the page, scan it to my computer....reproduce it here....and show YOU. Wow.

Later~I typed what I think it says onto GoogleTranslator. This is pretty close:
"Monday last was one of our best inhabitant of the
54 year-old Mr. Paul Hesch buried. All members of
the community Buckman and many people from
neighboring towns were at the funeral present.

It is well known that Mr Paul Hesch was a hard
worker, a good husband and an honest man.

It is our understanding that he by one of his farms
Wednesday was returning home when the horses
shied and he was thrown from the buggy and was
from the fall injured.
Our Doctor Mr Seguin, treated him during his final
illness until Saturday morning, he blessed the time.
He died as a good Catholic, well-equipped with the
Sacraments and blessings of the Cath. Church.
Our heartfelt condolences to the widow and to the

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Waumandee Connection

Waumandee (WA-mun-dee), Wisconsin is across the river and directly north of Winona, Minnesota. It's about 24 miles by road, and that's why we found so much Hesch information in the Winona newspapers back then. It's interesting, too, to note where the black lines run on the map--they're the railroads.

To recap: The ancestor who came here from Bohemia with his wife (Maria Schlinz) and sons (Paul, Mathias, and Anton) was Johann Hesch. He was born in 1818 and immigrated in 1869. We believe sons Paul and Mathias arrived earlier, but we haven't found them on a ships some credibility to a family story saying Paul, at least, "Came here in an apple barrel".
Paul settled in Buckman, Morrison Co, Minnesota, while Mathias settled in Waumandee, Buffalo Co, Wisconsin, about 230 miles away. Evidently, emmigrant families often tried different places in the US, depending on how many brothers there

In our case, when Johann, Maria and Anton arrived, they travelled as far as Waumandee, and settled there. Mathias married Agnes Trachofsky in 1879, and the first of their 10 children (Valentine) was born in 1880. The last child, Clara, was born in 1899, also in Waumandee.

Val married Lena Dittrich in 1907, and they lived in Waumandee all their lives. They had 5 children: Rudolph, Edna, Leonard, Lucille, and Elizabeth.

Rudolph Hesch married Lucille B Dworschak in June, 1947. They had five kids, too, four of whom live in that area today.
[And ALL of whom we'd LOVE to see at the Reunion!]
Some family names have a greater "online presence" than others: partly depending on when and where they lived, or on what they did for a living. Some (priests, nuns and those who never married), sorta fall off the charts, since they have no descendants.

It's true for this family as well. Pictures of proud Ordination Days, but lost names, and girls who are listed on censuses for 1910 and 1920, but then, never again.
Still, some become "Sr Laura", and the Waumandee Heschs married into lots of them: Rudy's wife, Lucille came from a family of nuns and priests, a Bishop, and an Abbot of St Johns Abbey in Collegeville, Baldwin Dworschak.
We never knew he was related.
The newspaper description of his Uncle Leo's ordination, tho, solves the "Ordination Angels" question once and for all:

Newspaper articles from THIS SITE.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thanks, Moms!

These are only some of the strong, imperfect, capable, loving mothers of the last 150 years of HESCH HISTORY....

The earliest photo here was taken about 1895, and the latest was taken today, Mother's Day, 2009.

A solved MYSTERY, I think...

Remember this photo? When Sue sent it, she said that she had copies of it from NELSONS Photo Studio, so it had to be significant. To me, it looked like May Day cuz of the circle of flowers the middle girl (Agnes) is holding.
Still, WHY would they bother photographing a fairly minor occasion like that? Well, because it wasn't May Day, it was the priests' ORDINATION Day, a much bigger occasion in a Catholic family's life. (This photo would have been about 1912 or so).

The occasion below is much later--1937, I think.  We don't know who the bride was, or the flower girls, but the new priest is Fridolin Mischke.  His brother Benno is the tall one on the left.
Edit: From a description of an ordination in June, 1926, the girl in the middle was the "bride" and carried a wreath of flowers on an embroidered pillow. The two others were "flowergirls". They were part of a procession to the church and probably participated somehow in the service.
MUCH later: The two Crosier priests and two Benedictine nuns were all children of John MISCHKE and Theresa PESCHEL, four of eleven kids in that family.  We figured out who they were and wrote more about them in January, 2012. (Yeah, sometimes it takes awhile ☺)

"Sr. Laura's home--let's take a picture!"

Well, if nothing else, Sr Laura provided a sense of occasion. We probably each have at least a few later photos with her with our own families, right?
Dunno who this kid is, but the photo came from Sue, so it's probably one of John's kids. St Laura professed her final vows in 1910, so the time frame's right.

This had to be at Anton's funeral.

(I've posted this one before, but just noticed that Ted took the picture. His wife Rose (Dehler) Hesch is on the left, and--see? His hat shows at Sr Laura's

(Yup, posted before too).....

....but this one includes brother Joseph Hesch, who died by accident less than a year later, in October, 1926. (John died in January, 1926).

Saturday, May 9, 2009

76 years ago today....

....Laura Hesch and Rodney Stoneberg were married!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Otremba Concertina Band

LOL...Larry found these ads from the Brainerd Dispatch Newspaper c. 1976. Anybody know anything more about them?

Sue sent this picture...ya think THESE guys are OTREMBA? Heck, there IS a concertina be!

Paul Frank Hesch 1907-1955

Yes, ANOTHER Paul...

This cute little boy is my grandpa Anton's brother John's son, Paul. The photo is from the Hesch Store Postcard from 1914 (it's here--scroll WAY down).

We think this is Paul too, on the right...maybe 2 years earlier.
Paul was born in North Dakota, when his parents lived in that sod house, but now, he's back in Minnesota. Going hunting, maybe?

The girl in this photo is Pauls' sister Agnes while she was at school in Duluth. Sue thinks Paul may have been visiting in this picture...what a nice boy!
Eventually, Paul met and married Anna Valentine. She was born in Pierz, the daughter of Matt Valentine and Catherine Suntag. Anna was born 13 May 1910 and died in Waite Park, Mn on 21 January 1994.

Paul was born 7 June 1907, and died 25 September 1955, in Stearns Co, Mn. He and Anna had 6 kids:

Arlene, Donald, Raymond, Rosemary, Hilary and Lenore.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


(I said I love maps, right....?)

HERE'S A MAP (movable, from Google Earth) of Greater Downtown Buckman.

And this key is for the current map below it (same as the black and white one):

#1--St Michaels Church
#2--St Michaels Cemetery
#3-- Creamery
#4--Zenner's Store was here
#5--Britz's Grocery
#6--The first Brandl Motors
#7--The HALL
#8--New water tower
#9--Aproximate old water tower location
#10--The ballpark
#11--The Post Office
#12--The convent
#13--The school
#14--Nabers/Jansons live here in the '20s

Don't worry! The houses in the top left corner of town weren't there when YOU were little.

You're Welcome!

A Bohemian farmyard

Two photos (found on Flickr by Larry and combined by from a photo set of someones' trip to Dolni Zdar and Jindrichuv Hradec (Niedermuhl and Neuhaus), in 2007.

If you recall, villages there were/are a cluster of farm yards with long narrow fields stretching away from the back of each one. This would be a typical set up, I think...there are buildings along the left of the photo, too, see? There was a more formal gate to the street, and this one, to the fields.
Here's a plat map of a neighboring village, Deutsch Moliken (SE of Oberschlagles and Niedermuhl). See how the fields fan out?
Many more of these MAPS, HERE !

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

LINCOLN the buffalo

So, where did 'Buffalo Frank' Otremba get the idea for his Buffalo/cattle cross-breeding venture? We don't know for sure, but here's where he got at least one pair of them: A man from the Waumandee area of on:
From a book called Buffalo County: A Native Son Speaks; Historical Writings Of And About E. F. Ganz (Compiled by The Buffalo County Historical Society)

Thanks go to LARRY and Google books search...both are invaluable!