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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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It would help, genealogically,  to have a sort of timeline in my head, with entries for significant events in the last 200 years.  So far, I only have imaginary chunks marked Otremba, Sand, Hesch, Rausch, Janson and Naber, but each family is separate, and I forget that one family was here setting up housekeeping and having babies while another was still waiting for a ship to leave Bremerhaven or Hamburg.

Our Heschs left Europe before 1870--we assume Paul and Mathias arrived here earlier than their parents and little brother--and this week, Larry and I have been perusing the 1870 Federal Census (MN and WI), as well as the Minnesota 1875 census, to see who was where, when.

In 1870, Mary Otremba was 17, and still at home with her parents Anton and Catherine, in 'Pierce', Mn.  By 1875, Paul and Mary were married less than a year, and living in Pierce, too.  They were still in Pierz in 1880, but now they had a 4 year old daughter named Rosa.

I looked through the entire Waumandee, Wisconsin  census for 1870.  It's faded terribly in 140 years so it's hard to read, but I didn't see Mathias Hesch there.  He would have been a farm hand, most likely, as a young man alone...but he and Agnes Trachofsky weren't married until 1879, in Waumandee, and Larry and I have reason to believe that Mathias traveled here on the same ship as the Trachofskys.

Ahh, here he is--in the town of Buffalo, working for a  Carl Williams, in 1870, at 21 years old.  COOL!
(Larry found this tonight ☺--Thanks!)

Interesting:  in the 1870 census for Pierce, Larry found Albert and Anna Trachovsky ►, who we believe were Agnes' brother and wife, so there was a third reason to move to Pierz eventually.

And, as shown above, the Anton Otremba family was already here:

In the fall of 1868 the Anton Otremba family came to America. They had seen an article in the German papers in which Fr. Pierz, the missionary priest, announced that a German Catholic colony was settling in the Rich Prairrie area. He described the country and told of the good qualities of the soil and the climate. This induced the Otremba family to come to the US. They got as far as St. Cloud, Minnesota by railroad. There they bought a team of oxen and a wagon and seven head of cattle and started for Rich Prairie township. They located on a 160 acre homestead in section 32 of what is now Pierz township. As it was late in the fall when they arrived and there were no buildings nor any lumber to be had, they built a dugout in the ground and covered it with poles and long slough grass. They lived in this over the winter. For the cattle they had to make hay of dried grass which did not have much nourishment. There was no protection for the cattle during the winter. The cattle died in the spring. The following year they built a log house and log barn and began clearing and grubbing the land. 
Anton donated the first church bell to St. Michaels Catolic church at Buckman and it rang it's first death toll for him on February 5, 1883. Catherine Otremba donated the large bell to the church when the new church was being built and it rang it's first death toll for her on January 13, 1902. 

And in 1870, St Cloud was the local metropolis, along with Sauk Rapids.  Where the census for an agricultural township had an ag production schedule, a city had an industry production schedule, and WOW is St Cloud's ever interesting.  There are about 75 businesses listed, with brewers, blacksmiths, millers, tinners, wagonmakers, butchers, builders, saddlers, watchmakers, a photographer, a millner, a plow maker, a publisher and a cigar maker.  It's worth looking at, just cuz its so interesting.

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