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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Friday, November 29, 2013

Thomas McGoey-a Story of Barnstorming, Danger, Love

...and running out of gas.

One wonders what the main attraction at the Morrison Co fair was in 1911.  Sure, cows and sheep, chickens, swine, produce and canning, not to mention a chance to get away from the farm for an afternoon.  Still, the fair board felt the need to up the ante and hire "attractions", as tho crop art wasn't enough. 
In 1911, barnstorming was something new, AND it had an added zip of danger.  Luckily, there were fairly local men willing to fly in and perform death-defying Grand Forks' Thomas McGoey and his partner Mr. Kenworthy.
         Larry found an account of little Charles Lindbergh playing upstairs in their house in Little Falls, and hearing a noise overhead, an engine that proved to be an airplane on it's way to appear at the Morrison Co Fair.  The timing of that account and the arrival of Kenworthy & McGoey seem to coincide.  We decided to believe it ☺.
Pierz Journal, October 3, 1911

Looks like Tom pursued his flight career from the summer of 1911 to the end of 1912--according to the postcard below, the pilot sat outside, in front of the engine (the plane is pictured going away from the camera), so I assume his performances took place only in warm weather.

According to this clickable 1913 article from the Little Falls Herald (left) he quit flying when his sweetheart asked him to.  I wonder if they married, lived in Grand Forks, had a family...and if Tom told tales of daring-do for the kids' bedtime stories. That'd be pretty cool!          

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