I've been wondering about the relationship between towns in Stearns Co and the Buckman/Pierz area...how come Sands and Jansons lived in both places?
Sure, there's good soil in both areas...and there were Germans throughout the area. We know immigrants tended to settle near their countryfolk, but it wasn't as town-for-town as you'd expect (like a mass migration from Oberschlag to Buckman, for instance). If the earlier settlers spoke German, "das ist gut genug".
My GGGrandfather, Peter Sand, eventually settled in Le Sauk township, but his brothers homesteaded in Grove and Oak townships to the west. Looking at the plat maps from 1925, Grove township had Sands, Fuchs, Welles, Meyers, Kulzers and Terhaars who owned land near Meire Grove and Greenwald. In Oak township (New Munich and Freeport), Sand, Welle, Terhaar, Thielen, Metzger and Sebastian Janson had farms. Albany township shows Schwinghammers, Eibensteiners and Fuchs; Krain township: Math and John Muyres.
(A small digression..lol:
Larry found this cool academic study of the Sauk Valley, if you're interested. On the map below, the blue lines encompass the Sauk River valley, a particularly German area of Minnesota. It became a much-studied enclave because German ethics and traditions lasted there much longer than in other predominantly German areas of Minnesota. ◄This excerpt talks about why the Sauk valley appealed to them.
BUT, back to the connection between New Munich and Buckman--it was the railroad! The Soo line was direct, cheap, and much faster than horse and wagon. Most likely, every train had a passenger car or two, in both directions. Visiting (and helping out) would have been "relatively" easy, while the distance kept things cordial.