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, April 15, 2015

Odd old news ☺

 It's April 15th and my taxes have been done for over a week ☺.  (Also, it just so happens that the car needs a new alternator, and the returns'll pay for it--YAY!) In honor of that, I'm posting a few odd 100 year old Little Falls Herald stories for your edification...

For instance, here's an interesting clipping from 1897.  So this Maria Ricks went around smashing windows.  Evidently, her evil ways were "well known", but really I suppose it would have been more trouble to arrest her and bring charges than to just pass her along to the next town.

 I'm most fascinated by the method they used in Opole, Mn, to raise money.  I suppose all of the citizens were Catholic, just like Buckman at the time.  But to be able to levy a kind of tax on the parish at 20 cents an acre owned?  Wow, a 160 acre farm owed $32.00, the equivalent of $830.00 now.  I wonder how it went over...

Yeah, there's a nice parish house next to the church in Opole, so it must have worked...)

 From Wikipedia:
"Phrenology is a process that involves observing and/or feeling the skull to determine an individual's psychological attributes. Franz Joseph Gall believed that the brain was made up of 27 individual organs that determined personality, the first 19 of these 'organs' he believed to exist in other animal species. Phrenologists would run their fingertips and palms over the skulls of their patients to feel for enlargements or indentations...."
and palm reading was, of course, just fortune telling.
Vee haff skeptical ancestors. Would the professor have predicted that he'd skip town without paying?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Our 2009 Reunion video

In the past 5 and a half years, I've often thought about how I wish I could post the video Larry and I made for the reunion, but it's 13 minutes long, and a whopping 126 MB.  I have room on my computer, but do you?  Does Youtube?
And then, yesterday, Tommy's daughter wanted to see it, so I tried to "compress" it and send it by email--but HA! Es hat nicht funktioniert.
Then today, Yahoo suggested I use Dropbox.  The way I understand it, a copy of the vid is "out there", waiting for you to make popcorn and click

There are only 3 or 4 small things I'd change if I could--one being that we didn't say where they came from in Europe, and another is the inclusion of the "eight women" photo before we identified almost all of em...but hell, you wouldn't have noticed unless you were Larry or me...or I mentioned it ☺.  Oh, and Tommy emailed to say I'd reversed his dad and Math in one of the last A A Hesch family pics.

Oh, and the music is the Stillwater Landler, played by Erwin Suess and the Hoolerie Dutchmen.

Math records another trip ☺

"The attached photo was taken in 1952
but it will give you an idea what
they looked like when on this trip".
Ok, I just downloaded Dropbox.  To see if and HOW it works, I'm trying to share the transcript of a trip Math and Mary Hesch took in 1956-57 to the west coast.  I think THIS should do it. ☺ COOL! (You don't need Dropbox to see it).

The transcript was sent by their daughter Laura, and was graciously typed up by her daughter:
"I gave the Diary to my daughter Julie to transcribe.  It was a challenge. The book measured about 4 inches wide and 6 inches long.  No paragraphs"...!

 Julie enlisted her daughter Sally, and between them, tried to figure out Math's handwriting and what he meant.  It had to be a challenge, partly because of the run-on sentences, and partly because it's been almost 60 years since Math wrote it.  Most of the people he referred to are long gone--Hortschs, Dehlers,  Wendelin Janson and his neighbor Mrs Scalzi, not to mention friends of their daughters who helped entertain them when the dauds were working. 

"Our trip, Mamma and I to San Francisco and Los Angeles in 1956 to visit Mary in San Francisco one month and Helen in Los Angeles one month.
Blacky is daughter Mary 28 years
Lenka is daughter Helen 34 years
Dowey is daughter Laura Ann 23 years
Pungee is daughter Delores 27 years".


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I'll miss you, Louise...

The death of Louise Desautel is a sad event for her family, but also for me and the blog.  Louise Hesch grew up in Buckman and was dad's cousin and contemporary. She knew the "old" stories, and filled me in on what really happened when I'd mention a story I'd heard, or an odd news article.  She enjoyed our interest in her memories, and loved being the conduit to our understanding how it was then.  She let me take her dad's 1914 notebook to copy, which gave Larry and me so much to research.  She was delighted to hear about the connections we made, too, between what he wrote and the people and places he saw there in Europe.  We laughed together about her dad's sense of humor and that he was ever a starry-eyed youth.
She knew her aunt, Sr Laura, so much better than I did, too, and she was delighted that Sr Owen Lindblad let her read the rough draft of the book she wrote about Sr Laura this spring.
Louise was fun and funny and kind, so willing to share advice, enthusiasms, jokes and stories.  Just look at her picture--there's mischief in those eyes.  We'll miss that especially.
Louise E. Desautel   1926-2015

A Mass of Christian Burial celebrating the life of Louise E. Desautel, age 89, of Albany, will be at 4:00 p.m. Friday, April 10, 2015, at Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Albany. Fr. Brad Jenniges, OSB will officiate and burial will take place in parish cemetery. Louise died April 6, 2015, surrounded by her loved ones. There will be a visitation from 4 p.m.- 8 p.m. Thursday, April 9, at the Miller-Carlin Funeral Home in Albany and again after 3 p.m. Friday at the church. Parish prayers will be at 4 p.m. followed by Christian Mothers praying the rosary at 6 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Louise Desautel was born in Buckman to Matthew E. and Mary (Tetvia) Hesch March 8, 1926. She attended St. Michael elementary school in Buckman, St. Francis high school in Little Falls and went on to earn her registered nurse degree at St. Francis hospital in Breckenridge. With a strong love for travel she pursued her career at numerous hospitals including: Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii. In these earlier days it was her lifelong friend and co-worker who joined her on many of these travels, Helen Schmolke of Houston, Texas.

 Returning from Hawaii Louise found herself working at a hospital in Crookston and it was there she met the love of her life and would go on to start her family. Louise married James George Desautel (from Crookston) Aug. 27, 1955, at St. Michaels church in Buckman. Louise and James settled in Albany, to raise their family. Louise retired from her nursing career and pursued other business ventures including “Big J” citizen band radio sales (a joint venture with her husband) and a distributorship in New Era cookware through which Louise’s entrepreneurial talents would find her door to door selling her products.

 Louise’s husband died suddenly, June 27, 1978, (age 48). Louise spent her remaining years in Albany, with a strong dedication to her children, community, and church. She was actively involved as a member in the Mother of Mercy Campus of Care auxiliary (Albany), the VFW auxiliary (Melrose), and the Boy Scout board of directors (Albany) and she was past president of the Christian Mothers, American Legion auxiliary (Albany). Louise maintained close relationships with many of the Franciscan nuns who would frequently join in at these gatherings.

Louise is survived by her six children, Denise (Michael “Rocco” Theisen) Desautel, St. Cloud, Paul Desautel, Baudette, Peter (Janet Demarais) Desautel, Albany, Jane (Michael “Monk”) Montgomery, St. Cloud, Laurie Desautel, Lake Forest, Calif. and Harold (Angie) Desautel, Albany; sisters, Irene Kulig, Superior, Wis.; Laura Alkofer, Park River, N.D.; 13 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her husband; parents; sisters and brothers-in-law, Adeline (Bob) Dion, Mary (Ralph) Linville, Helen Hesch and Dolores (Art) Eben; brothers-in-law, Gene Kulig and Ray Alkofer; and sisters-in-law, Harriet (Verne) Anderson and Jan Lee (Jim) DeLage.

Louise was remembered by many for her hats and earings. Louise asked to be remembered as a woman of faith. A woman who loved and cared for her family’s well-being.

At Louises request, donations are preferred in lieu of flowers to the Poor Claire Nuns.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

John & Vernie Wintermeyer

John B. and Vernie Wintermeyer, 1950s
 I'm finding more and more that most families have at least one "background" kid--not necessarily a black sheep, but who maybe moved away, or didn't always have time to attend family stuff, or one who just grew away from the family set of values. Who knows?
I think grandma Lizzy's sister Vernie (Veronica) was in this position in the Mike Sand family (but not the only one).  At least in my experience, Vernie wasn't mentioned much, and was never there when the Sand nuns came home, for instance.  It's possible that her life away from Buckman was a lot better than life on the farm.  Certainly, this photo looks like she was content.  We know from her mom's obit  that Louisa spent her last days at Vernie's in St Cloud, and died there.
Maybe it's just that Lizzy and Vernie weren't close, huh?
These photos are from Jenny, too...and the one to the left is labeled "Henry Block and John Wintermeyer".  It looks like the same yard as above, with peonies in bloom.  Henry, of course, was Lena's husband, so those two couples connected, at least. (I think this ◄John was the Wintermeyer's son John J. born in 1905.  His sibs were Joseph, born in 1908, and Marie, born in 1920).

Aa a reward for making it this far, here's a mystery to ponder:
Jenny said this photo is marked "Grandma and Grandpa Sand", but it's not Mike and Louisa.  They never reached this age or this portliness, tho Mike always had a longer, fuller beard than this gentleman.  We're curious about who they actually were--maybe Block grandparents, or Hoheisel, or Wintermeyer?  

Thanks again, Jenny! ☺

Thursday, April 2, 2015

"The Sand sisters"

Jenny sent this somber and lovely unknown (to me) tintype photo.  It's marked on the back "the Sand sisters", but which family?  The photo is older than any we've seen of Mike Sand and family, and the clothing is of an earlier style, too.  These three must be Michael Sands' siblings then.
But according to the bio below (from the Stearns History Museum in St Cloud, Mn), he had four sisters, not three.  Still, even if we don't know what happened to Theresia, the sisters pictured would be Anna on the left (born 1859 in Iowa), then Mary (born 1870 in Sartell), and Katherine (born 1863 in Sartell).  Mary looks about 10 here, so I'm guessing this was about 1880.  Isn't this just amazing?

More thanks to Jenny!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

At least one Sand mystery, solved

We heard from a wonderful new relative last night!  She's Magdalena (Sand) Block's great grand daughter Jenny, and she enclosed a few photographs.  Her grandmother was Hildegard Hoheisel and the delightful photos were passed along from her.  However, I believe a little suspense is good for your character, so we'll post them tomorrow or the next day ☺

But first, Solving the Sand Mystery:  remember the "Eight Women" photo we've puzzled over here on HH?  Over time, we figured out who each woman was except for two: the kneeling woman on the left, and the nectar pourer (bottom, with the pitcher). This was 1920, and we think it was probably a Hesch wedding.  In an exchange of emails, Jenny thought that the kneeling woman on the left was most likely Lena Block--dark hair, possibly pregnant, and one of Louisa's four daughters and a daughter-in-law to work that particular occasion. I think she's right.
Click the "Eight Women" link for the names ☺

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Creamery/Laundry at Chatfield, Minnesota

 Our regular reader knows that I'm a little addicted to paging thru old issues of Technical World Magazine, mostly for the astonishing ideas that were published as tho they were already accepted and in full production.  Dies ist nicht so, as quite a few of those ideas were pipe dreams.
However, check this story of the laundry connected to the creamery in Chatfield, Minnesota in 1914. The basic idea made excellent sense, in that creameries had an "engine, water supply, sewer system and facilities for heating water", and as the clip below mentions, this equipment was needed only in the forenoon for processing cream. Why not use it for something in the afternoon?
The rest of the Minnesota Farmers' Institute Annual article is HERE, complete with comments from Chatfield farm wives on the next few pages.
I wondered about drying the laundry, but the article says they had an extractor (rather than a wringer) and two drying rooms.  Turnover was usually the next day!  According to the pictures online, the laundry was still in operation in 1918, and the latest mention I found was in 1920, when there were 224 families using the service.  Leave a comment if you know more about it, ok?

Monday, March 23, 2015

More from Math ☺

Math Hesch wrote the Buckman News for 68 years...! 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A special treat!

When I think about "famous" Heschs, there's Wilhelm Hesch, the opera singer back in Vienna, and dad's aunt, Sr Laura...and definitely, dad's Uncle Math Hesch, the newspaper reporter.  We've posted a lot of Math's columns here already, but the latest ones we can access online are from 1924, well before Math got "funny".  His best columns were later, when he knew he had a following; when, as Ferdie Stepan said:
"Our mailman was Leo Virnig...leave Mail at the Post Office in Buckman...The day the Pierz Journal came also came some congestion as a fellow wrote a column every week and the people wanted to have their paper right now. The guy did a good job and it was quite hilarious once in awhile.  Matt Hesch was his name and he had a brother Tony. They were kinda in the Moonshine business.  Matt worked for the Soil Conservation and he did a good job.  I don't think they were ever thought of as non [law] abiding citizens.  They had large families, some nice girls, too".
So, this week, Math's daughter Laura sent a few of his columns from 1953-54 and 1961-71.   (Math was born in 1890.  You can do the "math"...☺)
Here are two--they should be clickable--

I'll post more tomorrow, ok?
Our THANKS to Laura!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mail Delivery by Snowmobile?

Here are some stunning Post Office vehicle photos Larry found online--probably from the mid-1920s or so. Were they kits provided by the postal service, or were they home-made?  Seems to me they were sharing the "how to", but added improvements as they occurred to the local builder/mechanic.  None of the three pics are of the same vehicle, you can tell, but the second one is parked in front of the U S POST OFFICE PIERZ MINN. I bet the caterpillar-track six-wheeler was used for road-free areas, and skis were swapped out for the front tires after the first snowfall.  I'm constantly in awe at peoples' innovative skills. Wow!

Larry said this last pic was in New England ☺