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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Friday, October 14, 2011

Who was Michael Majerus?

As I read Horst Hanneken's book about Buckman (see the sidebar to order), I'm amazed by all the interesting or obscure facts he's included.  For instance, when the new St Michael's Church was dedicated in 1903, the list of who donated furnishings included Frank Otremba (Statue of St Raphael), Mike Sand (statue of the BVM), Mrs. Paul Hesch (the sanctuary lamp and the St Anthony statue).  The statue of St Aloysius was donated by " all the  boys bearing his name" ☺...and the unusual statue of St Michael, above the main altar, was donated by a Luxemburger named Michael, probably a friend of Mike Sand, who happened to live in St Cloud.  That was Michael Majerus.

"So?"  (I heard you!)

Well, I recognized the name partly because of trips to Calvary Cemetery in St Cloud as a Find a Grave volunteer.  95% of the headstones there are 'normal' size, like those in the Buckman cemetery, but there are a few statues on prominent graves, one of which could be our statue's sterner, buffer, more colorless brother.  There he is, treading on his own dragon, over the MAJERUS family plot.

I suspect Mike Majerus heard the story of how the church was named from our Luxemburger great grandfather, Mike Sand: The naming rights were given to the highest bid, which was $65.00, contributed by Michael Osterich and Michael Sand of Buckman.  How could Michael Majerus resist?

BTW, here's a bonus St Michael's fact: The large bell in the steeple was baptized Catherine, after Mrs. Anton Otremba (our great grandmothers' parents).  Her husband had donated the bell for the original church in 1881, and 20 years later, she donated the second bell.  They both 
still ring from St Michael's belfry today.  Isn't that cool?

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