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, February 1, 2012

Bulow, Post-mortem

Remember all the westerns we saw when we were kids, where the bad guy was shot dead by Marshall Dillon, blown off his horse by the Lone Ranger, or otherwise stopped in his tracks by, say, Clint Eastwood or the Cartwrights?  As we got older and movies became more graphic, there'd be an occasional hanging, too...but they rarely dealt with the body afterwards, except for the last few shovelfuls of dirt, and maybe an improvised cross on Boot Hill.  Okay, so westerns weren't the best resource....
Last night, Larry and I got to talking about the Albert Bulow trial and hanging, in Little Falls in 1889.  We explored the saga in 2009-2010, and found cool side stories, too, but none that mentioned what happened to the body after the hanging.  I typed comments by myself for a few minutes, and suddenly, Larry showed me this clipping:                   (...DAMN, the man's GOOD! ☺)

Taking a Last Look at the Face of Albert Bulow.

Little Falls, July 19--[Special.]--In a little room just across the street from Court House square, the body of Albert Bulow was placed on exhibition and free admittance given to everybody this morning.  The undertaker had been industrious during the early morning hours, and although it was 3 o'clock when the body of the dead murderer was given into his charge, by sunrise the undertaker had embalmed the body, put it in a stained pine coffin and arranged it in a cool place in the room, near the window, where the cool breeze blew through, and was ready for everybody to come and take a look at the remains.  A bunch of roses was laid on the dead man's breast and a band of spotless linen covered up the blue marks which the rope had left upon his neck.  His face was in perfect repose and there was not the slightest indication that it had ever worn other than a peaceful look.
The little room was visited by many hundred people during the forenoon.  Businessmen on their way home to lunch walked around that way and looked at it.  Nearly or quite a hundred women went to see it and the children who were playing about went in and with staring eyes gazed on the coffin.  Everybody was welcome.  Shortly after 2 o'clock a short funeral service was held, and then the body was buried in the cemetery, which lies some distance to the south of the business part of the city.  A crowd followed the coffin to the grave and loitered around until the grave digger piled the dirt back into the hole and forever hid the body of Albert Bulow, the murderer.
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Granted, the circumstances in the article were unusual because Bulow was a cause celebre in Little Falls in the three months he was held before his hanging.  Still, I suspect it's basically what happened to strangers or drifters who ended up dead in frontier towns, I suppose, just maybe without the embalming, roses, funeral service and viewing stuff.

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