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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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Selling land in Morrison, a hundred years ago

This opinion piece appeared in the Pierz Journal in the summer of 1912.  For context, the Heschs had been here for 40 years by then, and the War Between the States had ended 46 years earlier.  Electricity and telephones were being installed here and there, and well-to-do meant you probably owned an automobile AND horses.  From what we can tell, it was an exuberant time--rain and crops were bountiful.  I think they felt you could DO whatever you dreamed.  More money for the land?  Sure, it'll come!  The writer knows his readers and the area, and now I want to know where "Stangl's grade" was.

 Awakening of Eastern Morrison

Farms are bought and sold in Pierz and Buckman almost every day.  Monday morning Mike Thul of Buh sold his 160 acre farm to his neighbor, Mike Flicker, and Tuesday Frank Schwankl, Sr sold his farm in West Buh to Mike Nagel.  Wednesday Frank Grell was bartering with a man for his land in North Granite, but whether or not the deal in which an automobile was taken into account, was made, we have not been able to learn.

We seem right now to be in the beginning of a land boom.  If it is true, as those who have studied land prices throughout the northwest say it is, that we here in Morrison county have the cheapest good land in the state, markets considered, the prices of our land will rise as certain as it is that water seeks its level.

If dairying is profitable on $100 or $200 land in Iowa and Wisconsin, there is no reason under the sun why the price of land in Morrison, where we get as high a price for butterfat as is paid anywhere in the United States, should not rise to the level of Iowa and Wisconsin land.  But it takes quite a prophet to fortell when that price will be reached.  Morrison county lands have about doubled in value in the last 10 years.  Farms which were held at $20.00 an acre ten years ago are now valued at $40.00 per acre; wild land has risen in the same proportion.

The jump from twenty to forty dollars an acre was comparatively sudden and easy; but the rise from forty to eighty dollars an acre is sure to be slow and tedious, and may, like the heavy Soo line freight trains climbing Stangl's grade, require now and then a backing up to lower level for a new start.

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