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 9, 2011

Florian Meyer 1833-1878

It's so much fun to recognize an extended-family name in another source, especially when it's not expected.  Sure, you might expect to find familiar names in a history book of the county in question, but what other historian devotes pages and pages to early accidental/violent deaths and suicides?  Nathan Richardson did.  He was writing in 1880, so this stuff was fresh as well as tragic.  They're interesting accounts, too.

We'd just this week been puzzling about the Meyer family, as it connects to Pierz and the Otrembas, and by marriage to the Heschs.  Billy Meyer is on the far right there►, right behind grandpa and next to his wife Anna Otremba, see?  I know gramma mentioned him, but I don't recall the context.

It turns out Gramma Elizabeth (Sand) Hesch was related to Billy thru her mom's sister Mary, who had married Florian Meyer.  ◄Here they are in the 1875 Minnesota Census, and there's little son William...who was 2 months old, NOT 24.
(Yes, there was another William Meyer at the same time two farms over.  The son of Nic Meyer, that William was 9 in 1875, so he would have been locally known as William or Bill, and the younger cousin would have been Billy).

OK, got all that?
Larry and I searched census records for those years, but this is the only census Florian (b 1833) is mentioned--so, why wasn't he in the 1880 census?

The book I mentioned at the top surprised me with a paragraph about Florian, Billy's dad: 

Florian Meyer, a German farmer in the town of Pierz, attended a party in his neighborhood on the evening of February 11th, 1878, at which several of the guests indulged quite freely in drinking beer, which was furnished in abundance.  Mr Meyer, as usual for him on such occasions, became boisterous and abusive to those against whom he entertained any hard feelings.  There being several such persons present, a general quarrel ensued, and a fight commenced in the house.  Those engaged in it were pushed outdoors and during the affray Mr Meyer was stabbed in the left breast, apparently with a small knife.  The cut proved fatal, and he died.  At the two terms of court that have been held in this county since the affair occurred, strenuous efforts were made to discover the man who committed the crime, which have only resulted in throwing suspicion upon two different parties, whom I do not feel at liberty to name.  
 (A big Hearted Paleface Man, page 311)

I know, I know--it's hard to believe crankiness in one of our ancestors, but there it is.  Mary Rausch Meyer was a widow by 1878, when Billy was almost 3.  He probably barely remembered his dad. 

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