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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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Here comes Santa Claus! 1910 to 1936

One of the curious parts of old newspapers is the advertizing.  Ads changed a lot even in the few years we have of the Pierz Journal.  At first, the merchants didn't bother with visuals.  The ads were just type, with a boarder, on a page of type.  But slowly they discovered illustrations, not only of products, but of funny or heart-warming ideas and even cartoons. (Actual photos seemed to be reserved mostly for political campaigns, tho).  

The idea of Santa Claus is a case in point.  This 1910 elf in the children's bedroom is quaint, Victorian, and a little scary.  But the jolly-old-man-in-a-red-suit must have been popular in flashier eastern publications.  Were German central Minnesotans really enamored of a more benign Santa bringing gifts to good kids?  Or was that an advertising idea only?  Santa Claus was a nicer version of St Nick, after all, and he came with reindeer, not a devil.  

Like I said, this first ad is from 1910, but I didn't record when most of the others were published. ("Have you been a good boy?" was from 1921, and "The Man of the Hour" was from a non-local paper in 1936).
Just look at the amount of work that went into these illustrations!


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