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, February 2, 2013

The German State Bank of Pierz, Minn.

 We know the German State Bank of Pierz was a business long before 1916.  The earliest ads I could find in the Pierz Journal were from the PJs first issues in 1909.  The Fuller history book mentions 1902 and 1908, when the bank must have set up "temporarily" in the Nesius building.
Ads for the bank were numerous between 1909 and 1916, often 3-5 blurbs on the same page with a box ad like this one:

Like every good bank ad, they tried to create a little fear that the customer was loosing big time  if he didn't bank with them!  The one below was typical ☺

 Finally in 1916, a lovely new building of their own was finished, and the write-up in the PJ was glowing:
"The German State Bank at Pierz on Monday Dec. 4, opened for business in the new bank building.  The new building is equipped according to the most modern standard.  It is of solid brick and tile, trimmed with Bedford stone.  The trimming consists of three bands of cut stone around the building; the front of the building is of cut stone with two heavy columns, the tops of the windows are of colored leaded glass and the bottom window of plate glass. The interior of the building is finished in dark colored quarter sawed oak, the ceiling is paneled in oak, the fixtures and desks are all of quarter sawed oak finished in a dark color.  The lobby is made beautiful and commodious, wainscoating being all imported Italian marble, the floor being finished in mosaic tile, the working room and directors' rooms being furnished with a dark floor.  The lobby is spacious and roomy. The room in rear of the lobby is for use of the customers of the bank, where they can transact business and do correspondence in private.  The office of the cashier is located in front of the banking room.  The office room is large and will accommodate the business for time to come.  The vault has been equipped with the latest devices for safety and service, being all steel lined and equipped with burglar alarms, two large alarms in the banking room and one large outside alarm, with three holdup foot alarms placed where they can be set off without detection.
The bank building, fixtures and equipment of this bank is now at par with any banking quarters north of the Twin cities and Pierz is to be congratulated upon the acquisition of this splendid new building.
This bank was originally established in 1902 by A.R. and A.D. Davidson and conducted as a private bank until 1908 when it was reorganized and became a state bank.  The first cashier and manager was L.O. Kirby who was succeeded in the early part of 1903 by A. P. Stoll, who has since had the management of this institution and is it's present manager and cashier.  The present officers are A.R.Davidson, president; P.A.Hartman, vice-president; A.P.Stoll, cashier, and R.M.Stoll, assistant cashier.  The resources of this bank are now over two hundred and twenty thousand dollars.  This bank has steadily gained in deposits and business since its establishment and has gained the confidence of the community by its careful, efficient and honest management".

 Yes, the building's still there.  It was solid, after all.  Now, its a restaurant with very little "bank" still evident inside and sadly, very little pride in the staff for what it used to be.
I know you want to compare the two pictures, so here ya go...
You're welcome!

A sad addendum to the story, from 1918 (and the effect of World War One):


Drop Word "German".  For business as well as patriotic reasons, many national banks bearing the word "German" in their titles have recently applied to the controller of the currency for permission to change their names.  Their requests will be granted.  Most of the institutions known as the "German National Bank of ______", want their new names to be the "American National Bank of _______".

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