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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Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Dastardly Outrage in 1877 Belle Prairie, Mn

Larry found this article in the Princeton Union Newspaper of August 17, 1877.  The earliest digitized copies of the Princeton Union at the Library of Congress are from 1876, much earlier than the Pierz Journal, so it's our adjunct news source (not to mention that it was much chattier and often tongue-in-cheek ☺).
Anyway, here's an article they picked up from The Little Falls Transcript.  Fr Pierz was still alive but retired in Germany, so the crime was even more of an outrage.  Don't you wonder if the boys were ever caught?
 A Dastardly Outrage 
The fact has just been made public
that on the 19th day of July, some 
persons entered the Sister's chapel, at
Belle Prairie, by breaking the lock,
and destroying an oil painting of St.
Anthony of Padua, that cost two hun-
dred dollars.  Some of the fixtures in
the building were taken out by the 
same parties and were thrown into the 
river.  The painting was cut into sev-
eral pieces.  This is the most amazing
display of natural and acquired de-
pravity that has occurred in this im-
mediate vicinity for several years.  It
is reported that the deed was perpe-
uated by certain boys whose parents
are Protestants in good standing, but
the charge is denied by the boys and 
their parents.  Whoever the perpe-
trators may be, they richly deserve a
term of service in the penitentiary or
the reform school.  The painting was 
sent to Father Pierz several years ago, 
to be presented to some of the missions
in his circuit, and he presented it to the
mission at Belle Prairie.  Father Pierz
labored on the frontiers and among
the Indians for 65 years, and endured
the hardships, trials and accidents in-
cident to that manner of life.  He was 
engaged in this part of the State for
over 20 years.  In addition to his 
duties as priest, he was at the service
of those who needed medical treat-
ment, either Catholic or Protestants-
and his services in such cases were
free.  His estate in Germany yielded
him a considerable income, which he
freely but judiciously expended to re-
leive needy Indians and others, and his
whole life was occupied with works of
christian love and charity.  Four years 
ago at the age of eighty-seven, his
physical facilities had become so weak
that the Bishop insisted upon his re-
tirement from labor, and he returned
to Germany, where he is still living.
The painting that was lately destroy-
ed, having been presented by Father
Pierz, possessed a value that money 
could not replace, and the perpetrators
of this crime should suffer the penal-
ties of the law to the fullest extent.--
Little Falls Transcript

Hmm, if I go to the MCHS Annual Dinner, I'll ask about it!

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