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, July 9, 2013

A dangerous job

"Busy as a Tight-rope Walker
Most roads do not hire brakemen or
firemen.  They hire men who use this
work as a college course".
The Great Northern and Soo line railroads were popular employers of Minnesota farm boys in the early 1900s.  Various RR functions like baggage handling , mail car, fireman, depot agent, engineer, brakeman, executive and car shop worker were held by members of the family at one time or another.  
One we've reported on before was grandpa Anton's brother Paul, who died as a result of being a GN brakeman.  We put the story together at the time from other sources (family stories, Find A Grave, the St John's school newsletter, etc) but never had a dispassionate account, till now.

Larry found this blunt article last week in the East Oregonian Newspaper from August 1, 1907.  Sandpoint, Idaho.  Paul was born in 1887.  He was 20, not 25.  We know that Mary, his mom, a widow for 7 years by then, adopted a little boy named Paul Doyle from the orphan trains.  This Paul was born in 1906...was he maybe adopted as an homage to Paul the brakeman?  We'll never know...but THANKS LARRY!

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