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, March 23, 2011

Another Sauk Rapids mystery

 We find the following in the Sauk Rapids Sentinel of the 18th inst.: Day before yesterday, while the quarrymen, employed by the Sauk Rapids Water Power Company, were engaged in quarrying rock for the dam which is being erected across the Mississippi at this place, they found embedded in the solid granite rock the remains of a human being of gigantic stature.  About seven feet below the surface of the ground, and about three feet and a half beneath the upper stratum of the rock, the remains were found imbeded in the sand, which had evidently been placed in the quadrangular grave which had been dug out of the solid rock to receive the remains of this antedeluvian giant.--The grave was twelve feet in length, four feet wide and about three feet in depth, and is today at least three feet below the present level of the river.  The remains are completely petrified, and are of gigantic dimensions.  The head is massive, measures thirty one and one half inches in circumference, but low in the osfrontis, and very flat on top.  The Femur measures twenty six and a quarter inches, and the Fibula twenty five and a half, while the body is equally long in proportion.  From the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, the length is ten feet nine and a half inches.  The measure around the chest is fifty nine and a half inches.  This giant must have weighed at least about nine hundred pounds, when covered with a proportionable amount of flesh.  The petrified remains, and there is nothing left but the naked bones, now weigh three hundred and four and a quarter pounds.  The thumb and fingers of the left hand, and the left foot from the ankle to the toes are gone; but all the other parts are perfect.  Over the sepulchre of the unknown dead was placed a large flat limestone rock that remained perfectly separated from the surrounding granite rock. 
Finders keepers
The wonderful remains of an antideluvian gigantic race are in the possession of a gentleman who has started with it to his residence east.
The above article was found in the Winona Daily Republican 24  December, 1868.  We figure it's total BS, of course (who quarries rock IN the river, in December?)  
Turns out there was a rash of giants "discovered" around the country in the late 1800s, including one 'found' by Mark Twain.  After reading a few accounts, you realize there were slow news days and bored reporters then too.  
Who could prove this sort of "report" was a fabrication?

BTW, here's north Sauk Rapids today, via Google Earth.  The red tag (upper right) is a former quarry that had filled with water by the time we were kids.  In the spring of 1962, a body was found frozen into the ice there.  Larry and I are researching the story (another post, another day).    Just below that quarry is a large open patch in the trees--see?--it's the abandoned quarry we found by following those old railroad tracks.  It was used later as the town dump.  Maybe it's the compost site now.  Does anybody know?

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