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, August 30, 2012

Where did small town papers get their "news"?

If you've ever seen an actual copy of a small town newspaper from the early 1900s, you probably realize that much of what was printed was...well, NOT relevant.  Did a person in Little Falls care if someone in India claimed to find a 2-headed cobra?  Was it important to Foley to know what Mrs. Vanderbilt wore to tea or to folks in Brainerd that a ship went down near Salerno last month?  I always wondered where those bits of "news" came from. They were so silly and pointless, but they made the paper look like there was lots of news.  
Anyway, last night Larry said he'd found something cool in the Brainerd Dispatch newspaper--did I want to see? (Yes, he's often this funny).  What he found was a series of charming cartoons from 1912, by one Magnus we looked him up, and found that his cartoons were widely distributed thru something called the Western Newspaper Union.
(Our thanks to the Iron Range Historical Society for this):
"The Western Newspaper Union (WNU) provided ready-print pages used by many weekly small-town newspapers. The Gilbert Hearld used these inside pages in the 1920’s and 1930’s, when type-setting was done
manually. This was a tedious process, often done by boy apprentices, called printer’s devils. The first pre-printed pages appeared at the start of the Civil War in 1865, because of a labor shortage due to the war. As more modern printing machines were developed and the costs of printing and distribution were rising, the WNU ceased providing these pages on March 29, 1952...The popular cartoonist, Magnus Kettner, was featured by the WNU for many years. His grass-roots cartoons reflected his
insight into human nature and his keen sense of humor. His distinctive signature identified each of his cartoons".

Aside:   I think of the Little Falls Transcript as particularly guilty of using ready-print "news", but YAY, the Pierz Journal rarely did...

These are clickable!

Larry had to explain a couple of these (he was a fairly typical boy, I think), but I get most of it.  

Just think how funny dad would have found them!


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