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, April 21, 2014

Bowlus, Vawter, and Hillman, Minnesota

Evidently, the railroads could just create towns along their routes, for their own convenience, regardless of swampy land or whether people needed towns there or not.  The Sioux Line knew, of course, that those places would soon be populated, but it's kind of stunning that now, over 100 years later, we can find accounts of NEW TOWNS in old newspapers.

                     Bowlus, Vawter and Hillman (aproximately) ☺

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.


Friday, April 11, 2014

The Thommes and Terhaar Families

Pete Thommes was Casper Thommes' son (see obit, below).  Pete and Susan lived in Agram township, so they were neighbors of the rest of the Hesch family (Johann and Marya, our great greats, and Mathias and Agnes Hesch, Paul's brother, and Anton, their younger, bachelor brother).

We published a post on Gerhard and Marie Terhaar two years ago, but here are Atlas  photos of  Herman, Henry and Severin, plus one of "Theresa and Anna", tho I don't know which family they came from, do you?

These families are connected in various ways to the Stepans and Dengels. ☺

Coincidentally, Chris sent this today, too.  It was published in 1981, about Gerhard Terhaar and his family.  They didn't know it'd go so well with the topic at hand on HH thirty three years later!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

In honor of doing my taxes....

...yes, woohoo, I'm done.  Electronic filing is lovely, a really useful innovation compared to filling out forms by hand and sending them in, praying you figured the refund right.  Whew.  And to think, I have a whole five days grace!

I know, it's a clever segue into writing about labor-saving innovations from 100 years ago:

(I mean the ice box here ☺)

 Too bad this route wasn't pursued back then....

 (Yes, John Hesch went to Hudson Wisconsin, too)

You're welcome!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tales of Fisticuffs and the Long Arm of the Law

 An amazing story from the Little Falls Transcript, November 12, 1909:

Two cases of assault and battery, in both of which John P Brown, the marshal of the village of Buckman was complainant, came up for trial in Justice Gerritz's court Wednesday morning. In one, Jos Otremba of Buckman was defendant. He pleaded guilty and was fined the costs of the case, $7.85.  In the other, Anton Hesch was defendant.  He pleaded guilty and was fined $5 and costs, a total of $12.85. They paid their fines and were given their freedom.
The above cases resulted from a quarrel and fight between Anton Hesch and the marshal, during the course of which Jos Otremba became mixed up in it, stating that he did so thinking that the marshal was reaching in his hip pocket for a weapon.
Grandpa Anton would have been 26, not yet married. Joe Otremba was his mom's brother.  Hmm...possibly, they were in a saloon at the time?  
I never thought of grandpa as a scrapper, and certainly haven't had an opinion of the Otrembas before this either.  From January 8th, 1897 Little Falls Transcript, here's something about another Otremba:

Christ Olson Polishes the Countenance of his Partner, Carl Otremba
The firm of Olson and Otremba, proprietors of the saloon on First street near the German America bank, became involved in a quarrel Monday, which resulted in Otremba receiving a severe drubbing, a "shanty" being put over each eye, and a swing on the jaw gave his face the appearance of being much fuller on that side than the other.  
Otremba entered a complaint against Olson before Justice Shaw, and the latter pleaded guilty to the charge of assault and was fined $10 and costs.
The trouble between the two business partners has been brewing for some time. Olsom claims that Otremba appropriates the receipts and will not give up anything to pay the bills.
The collector for the Little Falls brewery was in to collect for the beer furnished and Olson demanded Otremba to disgorge from his "hold out" sufficient currency to liquidate the indebtedness.  Otremba refused and then Olson cleared off a portion of the floor and went after his man. His calculations were good for Otremba did not fall much outside of the space cleared, and although he received a hard whipping, he cannot bring an action for damage done to his clothing.
Those who frequent the place sympathize with Olson.
The firm has an application in for a renewal of their liquor license, and now each one of them has made an application for a license for the same building.  The outcome is uncertain.  Olson offers to sell his interest or buy his partner out, and the latter, it is said, will not consent to either proposition.

As far as Larry and I know, there was only one Charles (Karl) Otremba, whom we mentioned before, HERE.  Turns out Karl left Minnesota permanently a few years later ☺.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

How do you leave Bohemia?

Well I had this whole wonderful theory about how our folks left Bohemia, especially after the 1948 revolution and the beginning of a more modern era (transportation and communication, ya know?)  I had some cool illustrations, cuz I decided we left basically the same way they probably did!  But no, there's one major sticking point--too bad.
Let me explain as tho it was still a possibility, ok? ☺

If you look at the current map here, you'll see Heidenreichstein (where Heinz and Melitta live), and their proximity to the Jindrichuv Hradec area, where our people lived prior to 1869.  Below Heidenreichstein, there's Gmund, where we got off the train.  And across the border, to the left, is Ceske Velenice.  Both towns have largish train depots, one serving Austria these days, the other serving the Czech Republic.  Wow, these two stations might have been the nearest RR stations to Oberschlagles...
We left for Prague from Ceske Velenice, and like good German stock, we were early.  Heinz treated us to coffee in the "restaurant"--basically a large room with a decorated ceiling, a bar and the Olympics on a big-screen TV in the corner.  
Since I was definitely in the Genealogy Zone, I wondered if our folks could have left from THIS VERY STATION 145 years ago?  Whew...the ceiling was probably 20 feet high, and these crests were on the top 10 feet or so.  Were they old Czech shields, or more recent decorations?  How could I find out?
We took pics so I'd remember when we got home.

This is the Ceske Velenice train station.  The middle part is the entrance, of course, and you go thru and out the other side, turn left, and walk down to the restaurant door.  I'm sure that room wasn't intended for food service tho.  It felt "make-do", and like it might have been featured in a WWII movie...desperate, romantic, tragic young soldiers bravely quaffing one more before they left for the front... Hey, it was raining, and cool...
OK, so here's the fatal flaw in my theory: 
 The map below is from 1865 (they left in 1869), and if it's accurate, the railroad only went as far as Budweis at the time.  See Neuhaus,  and Gmund?  Evidently Ceske Velenice wasn't even there yet.
Sigh.  It was a good theory tho.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Cute pics for my sibs...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Applause for Local Talent

Honestly, I think our purpose for being here on earth is mostly to entertain each other. We keep ourselves, and each other, busy every day by creating needs and then filling em.   We're innovative and energetic about it, and hooray, it means the cash continues to circulate ☺.

 Since Larry and I have been cruising the Pierz Journal and the Little Falls Herald newspapers, that idea has solidified for me.  We noticed how trends developed in Morrison county--stuff like the need for rural electric service or how cars became popular and roads got better, or that people strung telephone wires, or spiffed up downtown, or started a choir or Athletic Association--in the microcosm that was Buckman, Minnesota. In the first 15-20 years of the 1900s, entertaining ideas bloomed. 

 Now that the pioneering was mostly done, suddenly, there was leisure time.  You could have a house party or a picnic (or go up to the bar). A lot of the former were reported in the paper, and a lot of the latter happened anyway.  

But then, since the roads were better now, and cars would wait in the cold without benefit of a barn, you could actually attend events in town, in the evening, not only at the church. There was a bit more discretionary income, too (egg and butter money). 
The parish hall was built in 1912, but before that, the old church was used for gatherings.  There was space above Mueller's saloon and at Billigs bar, and even in the city hall.  We're not sure if the "Buckman Opera House" was facetious or just a nickname for one of the halls--in any event, people got together and put on plays, even taking them on the road to neighboring communities.  It was a group effort, for the rest of the group.  This clipping was from the February 12, 1909 LFH (starts at the bottom of the first column).  It was a play called "The Deacon", and it looks like it was an area wide undertaking, with the first rehearsal on Thanksgiving. Just look at all the familiar names in this paragraph alone.  They had time and talent, they had chutzpah, and they loved to laugh.  Why not?
All this to introduce this entertaining last pic from Chris--from 1983.  The violin came to America with Lorenz Stepan, whose son Albert is playing it here.  He played into his 90s, Chris said.  (The J. Stepan mentioned in the article was from Buckman...they probably meant A.)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Dengel portrait

So, now we've seen some of the beautiful old pictures of the Dengel and Stepan families from Buckman.  Because most of the families there intermarried, it's impossible to follow one, but we featured the Stepans, so this post will center on the Dengels.  Yes, Chris sent later Stepan pics, but I think I'll add those to an earlier Sr Carmelita post, ok?  

The elegant sepia photo on the left is of Caroline (Gashot) Dengel and her mother.  Since Caroline was born about 1856, the pic was probably after 1878 or so.   The handsome mustachioed gent is the man Caroline married--Henry Dengel.  He was born about 1869 and looks about 30 here (?) so it was maybe 1900.  

A portrait of three friends: Caroline Dengel, Elizabeth Virek and Jacobine Pantzke.

I assume they were Buckman or Morrison county friends--Caroline is older here, and the other women are older than that, I think-- perhaps 1888 or so?

I think this Dengel family portrait was taken the day Lena married Nick Mueller, since the happy couple are top center here, see?  Compare em with the large group'll be able to pick out faces there.

Henry Dengel Jr.
And lastly, Henry and Caroline Dengel ca 1930.  
He died in 1933 and Caroline in 1934...
The Dengel farm was one mile east of Buckman, south of the road.