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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Monday, August 4, 2014

A 1928 letter from Aunt Fronie (and a correction)

Over the last 20 years or so, Jerry and Rita have often said "You have to come up to the cabin sometime", and I've said "Yes, one of these weekends...."  And then it'd be October, and we'd talk about next summer, ya know?  But a week ago, Jerry called and said THIS was the weekend.  Yay!  It was Jerry, Rita, Judy, Aunt Eileen and me.  What a pretty place, and what good company, not to mention poppyseed kuchen that J&J have perfected since Aunt Fronie died.
As we talked around the table (like our parents did so often), Judy brought out something she found tucked inside this hutch. (It originally sat in Gramma Hesch's kitchen along the south wall and seemed enormous to me. Judy has it in her house now:
"This is the hutch that was in Grandpa & Grandma Hesch's kitchen on the farm all my life-complete with the clock you see on top.  I'm betting you remember it too.  This is the hutch that had Fronie's teeny tiny thank you letter tucked in a drawer....
Anyhow, Fronie ended up with the hutch. The clock that had always been on top, like it is again, actually had belonged to mom & dad all along! Mom told me, when she got it after Grandma's death, that she & dad had received it as a wedding gift.  They "loaned" it to Grandpa & Grandma as they didn't have a place for it at the time.  I remember it ALWAYS being on top of the hutch on the farm so I guess it was a pretty permanent loan..."  

(More about Fronie's fancy curved glass secretary at the bottom of this post).

Anyway, what Judy found in the cabinet was a tiny letter that Aunt Fronie wrote after Christmas in 1928.  She would have been nine and Katie, seven. (Rosie was 3, and Math and Theo were 13). The envelope is the size of a flower shop enclosure card, 2 x 3 inches, and it went thru the mail to Minneapolis to Grandpa's sister Mary Hesch...who evidently gave it back sometime later ☺

"Buckman, Minn
January 2, 1928

Dear Aunt,
I will try and write a letter. 
I was glad when you gave me those colors.  
I like them very, very much.
I will tell you what I got for christmas".

"I got a big dolly. It says mama. Rosa does not like her dolly. She always wants my dolly.
From Aunt Anna papa got a cigar and mama got some brown candy.  Aunt Anna is Katie's godfather. She got a blue dress from her.
Rosa Hesch Leone Hesch got a big dolls too. Adeline Hesch she did not get a doll. She got a pencil box and some pencil too a little sissors too and a big book.
I will tell you what I got from Sister Lura she gave me a 2nd grade it is called Rosry (work?) book.  We saw Santa claues he was not bad he was very good he mad us pray I not have to Math and theo and Katie said the our fathe just a little bite.
Math and Theo got a game Henry got a Tedy bear and papa got a stick from Santa claues".
"Mama got nothing from him but from Aunt Mary she got something. You gave Katie a handbag. Sophia Steinbauer gave me one too mam said I wand how they did know that I wa from Veronica Hesch"  (Her mom Lizzy added: "It is quite interesting to read, Veronica and Katie wrote their letters all by themselves fairly well, eh? L")

Just so you know, the whole letter was 4 x 6 inches, folded in forths ☺

I thought this was the cabinet Judy meant:

Here's a pic that's similar to the curved oak secretary that was originally in Aunt Fronie's living room, remember?  Kids were NEVER allowed to run near it, and even thinking about touching it was verboten.  It looked sorta like this, but I think the glass was curved around more? It was as delicate as it looked, and wise kids gave it lots of distance.  Turns out the one in Fron's living room originally belonged to Uncle Leo's mom, Anna Yorek Karash, and stayed with the house when she died, so Fron inherited it.  It surely wasn't her style ☺.

THANKS to Cousin Judy for sharing the little letter and for clearing this up!


  1. I wrote a whole comment and it went away. I will try to recapture. I think the letter is very interesting, as we have few or no glimpses into the childhood of Dad's family. Probably because of the housefires many small things were lost. She didn't mention Dad, and I bet he was so big my then he was like a grownup to the younger kids. Glad you had fun at the cabin.

  2. It really was fun! Aunt Eileen will be 95 in March, and she's still sharp, just can't hear well anymore. It's weird that we cousins don't spend time together like our parents' gen did. Too late now to get into the habit, probably. Larry says there's a Portuguese word, saudade, that means nostalgia over something you never had. I feel it, but I'm not doing anything about it, obviously. One trip to the cabin does not a tradition make. ☺ Love you and thanks for following HH