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, June 27, 2010

A Tale of Two Antons

My great grandfather Paul had two brothers--Mathias and Anton--who also ended up in Minnesota, but by a different route than Paul did. (It's all explained on the blog header, above ☺)  Doing research at the Morrison County Historical Society's Weyerhauser Museum on Friday, I found good info about all three brothers, but especially about events after Anton's death.

The story gets confusing because my grandpa (Anton's nephew) was also named Anton.  So for the purpose of telling this episode clearly, here's what we'll do:

Anton the Elder, the one born in Bohemia, will be ATE, and his nephew Anton (my grandpa) will be GNA, just cuz I like stuff like  (Grandpa Anton the Nephew had a second name, so he could be AA, or GNAA, or even GAA, but....gotta settle on one, right?  GNA it is ☺).

ATE never married and died in October,1911 in Agram township, Morrison Co, about a mile from Pierz, Mn.  He left a will, altho is wasn't in his folder at MCHS.  Evidently at the time, when someone died and there was property to distribute, it went thru probate after 3 publications in the local newspaper.
◄(This clipping was attached to something called a Printer's Affidavit, signed by the publisher of the Pierz Journal E.H.Kerkhoff and notary A.P.Stoll on the 23rd of December, 1911).

--Now, a little 'backstory'--pay attention, ok?--when Paul died in 1900, GNA was 17, and ATE lived 4-5 miles away with no one to help him on the rather large farm he'd inherited from his father, Johann.  GNA didn't marry Lizzy Sand till 1910, so it's probable that GNA spent a lot of time with ATE during those 10 years...and it's likely that ATE promised GNA something for all his help...the herd of cows?  Machinery?  Tools?  Anyway, GNA contested the will in court, saying that Mathias had had undue influence on ATE in the last months of his life.  (We thought Mathias and his family moved to Pierz after ATE died, but no, they left Waumandee sometime after the 1910 census and before October 1911.  According to these papers, Mathias and Anton lived together 'as a family' on the farm in Agram).  

I've always wondered why our Hesch connections in Pierz were unacknowledged when I was growing up--dad knew and mentioned Hunzie (John) Hesch, (who was Mathias's son), but we never visited.  When I asked dad who Hunzie was, he wasn't sure.
It's possible that this contesting of the will caused a rift in the family that never healed, since GNA asserted that ATE lost his reason at the end of his life...and GNA lost the appeal.
Families can hold a grudge for a  L O N G time.

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