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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Saturday, October 23, 2010

OK, today I want to settle, once and for all, the burning question we've all been loosing sleep over: 
Where in St Cloud, exactly, was the German Catholic church?

Why does it matter?  Because our great grandparents Mike SAND and Louisa RAUSCH were married there on 28 October 1876, AND they were considered the "first marriage" in Buckman.

For awhile, I thought St Mary's was the German church, and it was, but only after 1921. 
 There were three ethnically based churches in St Cloud--St John Cantius on 3rd street was the Polish Church, Holy Angels near the river was the English church, and Immaculate Conception was the German church.  
But wait, you say...  
Ach, you're so impatient!

See?  At the time, 9th Ave N was 9th all the way--it didn't become 10th for a few blocks as it does now.  And we have pictures that show Immaculate Conception in St Cloud before it burned to the ground in 1920:

 These 4 postcards are scanned from a book called Postcard History Series--ST CLOUD, by Harold Zosel and are cards mostly from his own collection.  A client lent me the book last week, and DAMN, it answers questions!

After the fire in 1920, the diocese realized that the original site was too valuable for a church, so St Mary's was built where it is now, a block to the south, (to the right of the school here),  facing east, not north.

(BTW, Holy Angels was the pro-cathedral in St Cloud all this time--but it burned too, in 1933.
 St Mary's, built to echo St Peters in Rome and finished in 1931, became the Cathedral in St Cloud).

(◄See the church on the horizon?)

◄THIS is Immaculate Conception as Michael Sand and Louisa Rausch would have known it.
Yes, it's like  many Catholic churches I've been in over the years, but looking at this one is....just cool.  It's a connection, ya know?


  1. Have you read what was the cause of the fires. There a quite a few Catholic Churches in the Pittsburgh are that burnt too.

  2. Hi, Claudia--I know Holy Angels was hit by lightning, but don't know about Immaculate Conception. Probably lightning and furnaces were the cause of most of those fires, but saving the church sometimes had to do with how many Catholics were in the fire