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 16, 2010

Genealogical Serendipity

Between Larry and me, there's a massive library of history about Hesch connections, Buckman, Pierz, Morrison county, Minnesota, Bohemia and Europe.  When we find something that's even vaguely related, we file it either on the computer or in tottering piles in our

Those piles aren't the most efficient system, but once in awhile, we need to find a factlet, so one of the piles gets sorted again and then other stuff comes to light--stuff we read before, but didn't realize would connect, or stuff that now requires searching for online....

This morning, Larry said he'd been re-reading a booklet my other grandpa (Janson) published in 1947.  In it, Grandpa said the first school in Buckman was on the corner where Zenners store was later.  We have a photo of the gradeschool class in the next "new" school building in Buckman, which was 1887-88, or 4 years after Jansons arrived in Minnesota:

This school was where St Michaels church is now--if you could fly straight behind it from this angle, you'd find the Paul Hesch farm a mile or so away, and the Janson farm would have been the faint roof in the distance on the left.  The church at the time was across 25, where the brick school would be built eventually.

St Michaels Church, Buckman,  in 1887

Back to serendipity, tho:  Larry asked if I knew who named St Michaels?  The family story was that Mike Sand did, cuz he hauled the most rocks for the foundation of the new church ("six to eight foot thick walls")--a surprizing "fact" since the Sand farm WAS sand--where'd he find rocks? 

Turns out it was a much more prosaic event that bought Mike the right:
From a book called "The Spirit in Central Minnesota: Parishes, priests and people" by Vincent Arthur Yzermans --(1989)--

"Michael Oestreich and Michael Sand pooled their resourses to the amount of $75 and thus had the privilege of choosing the parish's patron saint".
The church we know now was built c. 1903, so what was this little white church called?  Oh--Sands arrived in Minnesota about 1859, but Michael and Louisa were married in 1876 and moved to Buckman sometime after that.  Ok, he could have helped build THIS church, then, and $75 was even more money--wow!
(Yeah, this really is typical of how we discover and make sense of our history...☺)

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