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, April 19, 2014

New Paul Vincent Doyle stories

Paul at 10 in 1916
 A delightful email came early this week from a woman (Ann) who'd been reading "Orphan Train", a novel by Christina Baker Klein.  Because of the book, she remembered her elderly former neighbor who'd said he was an orphan.  She googled "Paul Doyle"...and found HH, with posts mentioning him.  Wow--and now, thanks to Ann, we know much more about Paul Doyle. ☺

Ann said he was a joker, and so, when he told stories about his youth, people in the neighborhood never knew if they could believe him.  He said he ran away from the farm when he was 16 because he had to work too hard.  He thought 'Hesch' sounded Jewish, so he picked a name that he liked better, thinking he'd have a better chance at jobs that way. Certainly, he didn't realize that 'Doyle' sounded Irish...plenty of prejudice there, too.  Ann said she thought he headed for Chicago when he left Buckman.  It was 1922, mid-Prohibition. 
So, Paul was called Paul Hesch as a child, and when he eventually returned to Buckman with a new name, they used it.  For sure, "Paul Vincent Doyle" distinguished him from the other Pauls in the family, and it sounded sorta elegant, too, so it stuck.

Ann said, "he prided himself on keeping in shape. He showed us the exercises he did everyday in his 90's. He wanted to show us how he could stand on his head, but I said "No!" He'd shovel snow all during storms. Sometimes he'd wear 2 different shoes, loved his same old chair. He kept a shot gun by the door to scare off solicitors, but I think it was more talk than anything else. Said he kept his blood pressure down by letting his nose bleed...he took no medicines. He was a favorite in our neighborhood...."  Isn't this wonderful?

She said Paul really loved his wife Aila, and that he talked about her all the time; he said she could make bread on the stove without an oven, which even now seems like a good skill.  They had one son, Kenneth, and a grandson who gave the eulogy at Paul's funeral.
Paul had dementia later, and could never remember Ann's name, but he must have known he was welcome there as he visited often. She forwarded our emails to the other neighbors to see if they have any other stories about him. I'll post em if they do...

Paul V. Doyle, age 97, of Mpls. Born in New York City on August 12, 1906. Life-long member of the Teamsters Union. Preceded in death by his wife, Aila in 1981. Survived by son, Kenneth Doyle & his wife Carol; grandson, Paul A. (Kimberly) Doyle and granddaughter, Diane C. (Leonard) Berg; great- grandchildren, Patrick and Hannah Doyle; as well as other relatives and friends. Service Thursday, 7:30 PM at the Morris Nilsen Chapel, 6527 Portland Ave S. Visitation Thursday from 5:30 PM until the time of service. Interment Friday, 10 AM at Oak Hill Cemetery. The family would like to thank the staff at Bloomington Health Care and to all of Paul's neighbors and friends for all of their care and concern shown to him. Morris Nilsen Chapel.


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