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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Thursday, November 24, 2011

St Cloud, Minnesota in 1951

I have this (possibly wrong) idea that obsessive record-keeping is a German trait.  After all, when we've found German village websites, they include a listing of the burgermeisters for the last 500 years no matter how short their tenure, and population numbers by Catholic, Jew and Protestant.
I suppose you'd care if your great X10 grandpa was mayor in 1590-91, but otherwise...?
Sorry!  I'm actually leading up to something here--and that's how grateful I am that the state of Minnesota shared this trait, even tho it wasn't nearly obsessive enough for (Austrian/German/Polish) me.  (And yes, we have featured it before on Hesch History).
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a website with photos of outstate Mn taken from the air.  It's called LANDVIEW and there are parts of the state pictured as early as the 1930s.  It takes a bit of putzing to figure out how to use it, but DAMN, it's fun.
 Do you recognize the St Cloud  VA campus pictured above?   By 1951 it was 25-30 years old already, and it was often part of Sunday rides when we were kids.  Remember the stone walls and flower gardens along the Sauk River, the chickens and the herd of Holsteins in that big barn, the greenhouse, and the huge vegetable gardens, all maintained by patients?  Not much of that's left, and the entrance lane is just trees now, no coleus and marigolds spelling out VETERANS ADMIN or GOD BLESS USA.  That was always impressive, and I look for traces of those things when I have a client there.  Anyway, it's cool to see it again here, the way I remember it.

Here's the photo I took it from--St Cloud as we first knew it when we moved there in 1952:
(BTW, if clicking a picture doesn't enlarge it, try right-clicking on the pic and choose "open in new tab".  Then, when it's loaded, go to that new tab and click the map again--it should enlarge beautifully)....
 If you still have the Paint program on your computer, try opening it there.  The resolution is excellent in these old black and white photos.  You can get close enough to find the broom factory and the round house, and--wow--I didn't realize that Cooper Avenue originally extended  past the VA, did you? And, see little Whitney Airport, at the top?
Extra points if you can find the Car Shops in Waite Park, where Crossroads would eventually be, or the courthouse downtown..  
Ok, here's downtown--quick, where was Tschumperlin-Williams Funeral Home?  Gambles?  Herbergers?  Petters??
See? I KNEW you'd love this!!  ☺

1 comment:

  1. I volunteer to search records for clients at the Archives of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. I can honestly say that the Germans are the best and most meticulous record keepers of all the ethnic churches.