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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Monday, March 14, 2011

Putting Fin de siècle* Pierz back together

We seem to be graced with more photos of Pierz than we are of Buckman, so we're playing with those.  Larry and I have deducted a few things: for one, the photographer's studio was on the south end (Lower Town, south of the church) because he occasionally took the camera out to the street and snapped village life from basically the same position, over years time. Also, Lower Town was where the village offices were, like the city hall and fire department.►

Upper Town might have had their own fire department, but we're dealing with pics from the south end.  How do we know?  Well, study this picture...note the odd door/window configuration on the city hall, and the wooden fire bell tower that also dried hoses after a fire.  Just keep them in mind...
*Fin de siècle is French for "end of the century". The term sometimes encompasses both the closing and onset of an era, as it was felt to be a period of degeneration, but at the same time a period of hope for a new beginning).  (You never get enough chance to use fancy words, right?)
◄This is south Pierz again, a photo taken from the tower of St Joseph's Catholic Church.  See, on the horizon? There's the city hall and fire bell tower, in the middle.
Are you oriented now?

We're on the south end again, looking back toward the church, see it there?  We're not sure what year this was, but we speculate it was 1895 or so, 20 years before the pic above it.  There's the fire tower again, and the Pierz Journal office on the left looks like 2-3 doors south of the fire hall.

This photo was taken around the same time, I think, and pretty much from the same place.  It's one fourth of a postcard, so the original is tiny.  One difference I can see is the telephone poles switched sides of the street.  So, which photo was earlier?
We wondered who's store that was on the right, above--4 double-hung upstairs windows, a rounded cornice in the middle of the top edge and awnings to keep the afternoon sun 'from heating up the place so bad'.  Yup, Larry found this store front photo, most likely from after 1910 or so--see? all the hitching posts are gone now.
Oh, and before we leave the faded Lower Town pic above--we speculated about what was being built just north of the store there?  Could it have been a hotel?
We know the pic below was taken in 1921 (I added the date on the photo)--there are cars on the street now, and the building on the left says "Drug Store" while the sign on the right edge
 says "HOTEL PI--" but it's not necessarily the same view.  But now, Pierz has fire hydrants and street lights.  Oh, and the Drug Store was owned by a Dr Stock.

This blurb was from "Midwest Pharmacist", the Sept 1921 issue:

OK, still have the picture of the city hall in your head?  Look where the band was standing!  Neat, huh?

Thanks for noticing so MUCH, Larry!

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