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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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Who was Val Kasparek?

From "Morrison County Influentials" on the MCHS website:

 Valentine Kasparek ( 1871-1951) – From 1904 to 1925, Val Kasparek ran a clothing store in Little Falls, MN. In 1914, he placed the original animals and birds at Pine Grove Park/Zoo. In 1918, he assisted in founding Memorial Park in Little Falls. All of that is good, important work, but we find Val influential for another reason. He helped to organize the Morrison County Historical Society in 1936 and was first president and curator of the organization, which made its home in the basement of the Morrison County courthouse. Val was also in charge of the W.P.A. Biography project that served as the basis of our Family Files here at the museum.

Val must have had a museum on his mind for years before 1936.  His name kept coming up in news stories having to do with Pine Grove Park and with preserving artifacts in Morrison Co.  For instance, in March, 1917, he spoke at a meeting of the LF Commercial Club regarding a bull moose who would be named by Teddy Roosevelt once the moose was secured by Little Falls for the park. His speech that day was full of ideas for the park, and sounded well received.  I suppose encouraging the park naturally led to preserving...stuff, as well.
 Larry found this article in the Little Falls Herald from December 1922.  Val wants to preserve an eagle killed in  a trap east of Pierz.  It could be the cornerstone of a museum in Morrison Co, he says.  I imagine there was a bit of a flap (ahem) about a Pierz eagle being some sort of 'lasting memorial' to graduates of Little Falls High School...but Val kept trying, and eventually succeeded.  I think he'd LOVE today's Weyerhaeuser Museum.
 I wonder if the eagle was ever stuffed and displayed?  If so, could it possibly still be around?

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