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, February 27, 2016

Fifteen Minutes of Fame (in 1921)

This week, Larry's been investigating one E.W.Ewing, who showed up in Little Falls in June, 1921.  He arrived with a movie camera and a crew who'd help him immortalize Little Falls.  He intended to make a movie to be called "Welcome, Stranger"--a fantastic 2 reel movie featuring local businesses and homes, not to mention people from town appearing along side a Charlie Chaplin look-alike called Charlie St Francis.  It'd be a promotional movie that could be shown far and wide.  It would convince new people that Little Falls was an unparalleled place to move to and invest in.

Wow, right?  So of course Larry looked farther, searching on Chronicling America, the Library of Congress newspaper site.

Hmm...he found the same come-on in the Wilmar and Albert Lea newspapers, promising them the same things about their towns.
Still, it might not have been a con--maybe locals really did participate, and maybe the movies were played in other theaters around the state, or country.  But we suspect Little Falls especially knew better, since the fiasco with the Ford movie company and  Henry Gau from nearby Pierz.  That had to be fresh in their minds, filmed the fall before, and shown at the Faust in Pierz in February 1921.
Were any of these movies ever made?  Larry says he hasn't found any evidence of it so far, but there's always an outside chance, right?

By October, it looks like E.W. found a new tact: Maybe New Ulm had an especially active American Legion chapter, based on aging Civil War vets plus WWI veterans, too.  Their "Welcome Stranger" would include film from the summer Legion Convention held there.  We'll let you know if we find any evidence the films were made, promise.

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