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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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bednars and Kieffers

As I page thru the Pictorial Atlases to find photos of people I recognize, there are lots more pics that don't connect with me at all.  OR, I'll become aware of a family or two, and then, need to go back and search for em.  
This was one of those times ☺.
Last week, I finally met Carolyn, a granddaughter of Frank Sand, our grandma's youngest sib.  Her mom was Amelia, third from left, ok? 

Her aunt Dolores (third from right) married John Kieffer, and apparently someone in her family took this "submit-family-photos-to-be-published-for-posterity" thing more seriously than the Heschs did.  Hooray!

So, you say, remind me how Bednars fit.  'K, look at the top photo--Frank Sand married Catherine Bednar
(I'm posting as many Bednar pics as I found in the Atlases, tho I don't know how they all fit.  They're here for posterity ☺).

 (This was a curious phenomenon among photos in the books:  a person not in the main pic was pasted in on the side--this time, the extra person was a bit bigger than the others.  Oh, well!)

 I think this Joseph is Catherine's brother, his wife Ursula Meyer, and family.  Their obits mention other familiar family names and make some 'Oh wow" connections for us.    

Joseph J. Bednar, 
 May 28, 1995 
 Pierz, Minnesota

Funeral services were May 31 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Pierz with Rev. Kenneth Brenny officiating. Burial was in the parish cemetery.

Joseph J. Bednar was born August 12, 1904 in Pierz Township, MN, the son of the late John and Anna (Meyer) Bednar. He grew up and attended school in Pierz. Joseph was united in marriage to Ursula Meyer on November 17, 1926 in St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Pierz. The couple purchased the family farm east of Genola in 1926 and farmed until retiring in 1962. In 1942, Joe started Bednar Trucking Co. and began taking cattle to St. Paul. He sold Bednar Trucking to his son in 1954. Joseph served as Pierz Township assessor, served years on the Federal Land Bank Board as a director and was chairman of the loan committee. He served 30 years as a director of the Tri-County Coop Board and, at the time of his retirement, was president of the Board. Joe served as director on the Oak Leaf Telephone Company (telephone service to the Pierz area) in Pierz until 1952. He was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Pierz and the Farmers Union. Joe enjoyed baseball, all-star wrestling and fishing.

Survivors include his wife, Ursula Bednar; sons, Sylvester Bednar and wife Maxine of Pierz, Kenneth Bednar and wife Antoinette of Hillman, MN, Roger Bednar and wife Nancy of Pierz; daughters, Marita Marshik and husband Virgil of Annandale, MN, Janice Gordon of Winston-Salem, NC, and Joyce Tomala and husband Roy of South Haven, MN; brother, John Bednar of St. Paul, MN; and daughter-in-law, Noreen Bednar of West Hills, CA; 27 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Allen Bednar; son-in-law, James Gordon; brothers, Chris and Ben Bednar; sisters, Mary Otremba and Martha Bednar.

Honorary pallbearers were Ken Fehrman, Tony Medek, Carly Lochner, Albert Urai, Donald Bednar and Gene Pawlu.

Pallbearers were Gordon Marshik, David, Robert and Joshua Bednar, Paul Tomala and Steven Gordon. 

Ursula Bednar 
May 21, 1999 

Services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church for Ursula Bednar, 91, who died Friday at St. Mary's Villa.Interment will be in the parish cemetery.Friends may call from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday at Shelley-Virnig Funeral Chapel. Christian Mothers will pray a rosary at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the funeral chapel in Pierz followed by parish prayers at 8.

Ursula Bednar was born on a farm near Center Valley in Hillman Township, Morrison County, to Matias and Mary (Billmeyer) Meyer. She was raised near Center Valley, and married Joseph J. Bednar on Nov. 17, 1926, in St. Joseph's Catholic Church. The couple purchased the family farm east of Genola in 1926. She was a homemaker, a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church and a 50-year member of Christian Mothers. She had been a resident of St. Mary's Villa since September 1995.

Survivors include sons and daughters, Sylvester and Roger of Pierz, Kenneth of Hillman, Marita Marshik of Annandale, Janice Gordon of Winston-Salem, N.C., Joyce Tomala of South Haven; brother and sisters, Sylvester of Sauk Rapids, Margaret Weiss of Pierz, Theresa Kastanek of Washington, Madlyn Voltin of South Bend, Ind.; 27 grandchildren; and 32 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, May 28, 1995; son, Allen; brothers, Walter 'Mike,' Reinhard and Wilfred; and sisters, Kathryn Crotty, Loretta Sitzman, Hildegard Duschner and Ida Dahmen. 


  1. hello my name is shirley (bednar) schotl. the picture of the anthony bednar family.anthony is my great geat grandpa.herman bednar is my grandpa next to the nun on left.herman married catherine pauser.had 4 children,baby who died early in life,leroy (my dad) and gloria may. does any one know who the nun is.when i was around 4 grandma (catherine bednar) and me would visit anne meyer in pierz big white house in genola mn. lovely lady always cooking. a lady named lena lovely lady also there. we would visit and eat such good food.who where they.

  2. Hi, I'm Sharon Bednar Pfau, Herman bednar is my grandfather, , Shirley Schotl, is my sister, the nun is Sister Rotilla in the photo, a baby named Norman died as an infant to Herman and Catherine, was born in Omaha Nebraska and buried there, Leroy Bednar was my father died May 1, 1960, in a car accident, my mom was Threasa Woitalla from Harding Mn. Nice seeing the family photos.

  3. Hi Sharon, and a very late hello to Shirley ☺ Glad you found HH. A Q --is Bednar the same as Betnar? The Pierz Journal seemed to use both names interchangeably, and there are grave markers in Morrison Co cemeteries with either name; do they actually connect? Then in St Adelberts, south of Little Falls--it's Bednark. Do you know?

  4. Hi Marlys, this is Sharon Bednar Pfau, thanks for the reply, yes Bednar, Betnar, Betner, Bednark can be same family.... Bednar means, "fassbinder" in German or barrelmaker in English and was a common Czech name.. THe farthest I can go back in Bednar history is Jacob Bednar born 1812 Neubistrintz, Neuhaus, Bohemia. He died in Aug. 24 1901 Pierz MN buried St Josephs Cemetary. Agnes Bednar wife, born 1814, Bohemia, buried Pierz MN. Anton Bednar was my grandpa Hermans father.

  5. It's neat to know what Bednar means. A barrelmaker would have been an important person in Bohemian village life, I think.
    Oh, wow, the record books online go back to 1664 for Nova Bystrice! Just takes a bit of detective work ☺ It'd be cool if you could find Jacob's father & grandfather, etc...but the priests' handwriting wasn't always legible--