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.

: : : : : : : : : : : :

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Which Hesch?

Here's one of the instances where our German families' repeated use of the same names drives me nuts. I clipped this item awhile ago, but just this morning started to understand. Sorta.
I think great uncle Math Hesch wrote it, because he thoroughly knew the relationships, and at the same time would have enjoyed the chance that it would confuse readers 95 years later ☺.
"A. A. Hesch bought the old Mike Sand farm, and John Hesch bought the farm from Anton Hesch.  Mr. and Mrs. Hy Block, who live on the Sand place now, will move to Genola where Mr. Block bought the Peter Beka blacksmith shop and also the John Kobilka house which they will occupy in about two months."
Now, "A.A.Hesch" was Math's brother Anton, which people knew.  A.A.'s wife was Lizzy Sand, daughter of Mike Sand, so buying the place was natural, right? The next sentence was meant to obfuscate, tho: "John Hesch bought the farm from Anton Hesch", meaning the Agram farm. This John was a cousin, not their brother*...and this Anton was their uncle (see header ☺).  BUT, uncle Anton had died in 1911.  Why was it mentioned, I wonder?  I doubt that A.A. ever owned the Agram farm, tho it's possible.  (We assumed Cousin John bought that farm from his own dad, Mathias).  So the clipping is actually still a mystery!

Hy (Henry) Block was married to Lena Sand.  They'd moved the the Sand place after their wedding in 1914. 
*Their brother John was an invalid who owned a house and store in Buckman.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

St Cloud's White Way celebration, 1912

“The Great White Way” became one of the nicknames for Broadway (in New York city) in the late 1890s.  The street was one of the first in the country to be fully illuminated by electric light. As the years passed and Broadway became more and more associated with theaters, their well-lit marquees added to the moniker.  Probably every town in America envied NY, and aspired to a White Way of their own.  St Cloud made it in December 1912.

December 20.--The White Way was opened last evening with a great celebration.  The button was pressed at eight o'clock, followed instantly by a flood of light on St Germain street from the intersection with Fifth avenue to Ninth avenue and on Fifth avenue to Second street south.  There are eight standards to each block, four on either side of the street, each standard having five lights.  The turning on of the lights was followed by a grand parade, with three bands, a number of floats, citizens (young and old) dressed in character, and all manner of "stunts".  The frolic was kept up until after midnight, the big crowd being orderly as well as happy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

News of 1907

Either 1907 was a spectacular year for newsy items, or this is where I started labeling with the year as well as a description.  I'm not transcribing any of these because none are directly about Heschs, they're just funny or interesting.  There's one about a bear, one about logging, and even one about the weather, among other stuff.  Click for legibility.

There was a "secret society" in Little Falls called the Redmen, which later became "the Improved Order of Redmen".  It wasn't the only secret society in Morrison, but it was maybe the most fun for its members, even tho their theme was a disrespectful take off on Indian culture.  It was a different time in history, ya know?

 I always assumed towns came first, with the railroads choosing where to lay the track, thereby enriching a town or killing one too far from the tracks.  According to this, tho, Bowlus, Vater and Hillman were Soo townsites.

I know the next clip is from 1908--deal with it.  I'm including it cuz I already have your attention.  I just wanted you to know that that spring was weird ☺.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Been waiting to post this print for two or three years and always forget. What a weird concept, huh? An owl, a kid, and a turkey, in a tree.  I'm pretty sure this was an ad--but for what?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Photos of Morrison Co folks

Have I mentioned that I've posted a ton of pictures (mostly from the Morrison County Atlases) on another blog called "Morrison County (Minnesota), Remembered"?  I know, the name's clumsy, but there are over 700 photos there along with a search box to type in a family name.  The format is a bit odd as you can re-order the pics about eight different pointless ways ☺.  Check it out and maybe find long lost pics of relatives... 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Washington Evening Star Newspaper, in 1922

Here's something Larry sent this morning.  It's every bit as cool as the cross section of the Olympic we posted in May 2009, honest.

Built in 1898, "the Evening Star Building" (in Washington, DC) "has an opulent Beaux-Arts style façade reserved for the grandest public buildings of the day. A closer study of the intricate detail in the hand-carved marble scroll work and enormous ornamental friezes affirms the building’s status as an architectural and historical treasure" according to a property page online. The newspaper itself began publishing in 1852, so a Washington newspaper would have been main reporters of Civil War battles and troop movements.  

The Wikipedia page about the building includes more history as well as this photo.  Not only is it cool to look at the diagram and compare it with the photo, but if you imagine how a newspaper headquarters might have been arranged (before you click the link), you'll be as surprised as we were by how self-serving the place was in 1922, when the diagram was drawn.

And why not?  No doubt the ad agencies, news-gathering associations (AP and Consolidated), "Better Business" bureau, and Merchants' associations all paid rent.  It must have been a breathless, thrilling place to work or visit.  Imagine walking in the front door, up to the classified desk: the smell of paper, ink and cigars, people hurrying, the thrum of presses and suss of pneumatic tubes.  It must have positively pulsed with excitement and knowing.

Here's the actual pages--May 10, 1922--where the diagram was posted.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A mystery photo

A photo that couldn't have come from the Morrison Co Atlases because it says 1995 (my copies are earlier than that).  I'm hoping that someone will recognize Clara Sand or Adeline Sand and fill us in on how they fit ☺.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Baking Powder? Really??

In the newspapers we're perusing from the 1880-1920 period or so, we've noticed large, even full page ads for baking powder, of all things.  But why?

  "Baking Powder is a leavener that consists of a combination of baking soda, cream of tartar, and a moisture absorber (like cornstarch).
This is not rocket science; it was cheap, effective and a great yeast alternative. They didn't have to convince anybody to use it, and a can lasts for years. So, how come they bothered to place large newspaper ads for something so ubiquitous? 

According to a website called "History of Baking Powder", it was invented by a British chemist whose wife was allergic to eggs and yeast.
But that was 1843, fifty years before these ads.  If you have time, click one of them to enlarge, and read the hyperbole.
Stay with me here, it gets even more exciting.

About 1866, "it was discovered that alum and soda made a stronger leaven, and cheaper. Worse still, alum was plentiful. Anybody could go into its manufacture, and many did. The Royal [Baking Powder Company], to control the cream of tartar industry, had contracted to take from European countries immense quantities of argol, the wine-lees from which cream of tartar is made. They had to go on making the more expensive  baking-powder or break a contract”.

But wait, there's even more--in 1889, double-acting baking powder was developed and sold as Calumet Baking Powder, named by William Wright:

William M. Wright (1851-1931) and chemist George Campbell Rew (1869-1924) developed a double-acting baking powder whose leavening action began in the dough and repeated in the oven. They marketed the product under the name Calumet Baking Powder. Wright was the master of Calumet Farm, the single most successful racing stable in American history with six Kentucky Derby winners, first near Chicago and later at Lexington, KY. Wright was also the cousin of Wilbur and Orville Wright. George Rew was know as the "Calumet Baking Powder King.."  

See the bit about an award at the World's Pure Food Exposition in the Calumet ads?  They were from 1907 and 1911, right after Upton Sinclair published The Jungle, a book about filthy meat packing practices in Chicago*.  Suddenly, the whole country was concerned about food purity, and that pure food expo was held in....Chicago, in 1907.  Talk about damage control.
So, the success of baking powder had to do with cornering the market, controlling supply, scare tactics (see article, right), politics, financiers, and making the most of accidental public concern....over baking powder.
*Why didn't the meat-packing controversy bother our families that much?  Because they raised, butchered and processed their own meat, at home.

See? Where else would you find such in-depth reporting and analysis, huh?

Monday, November 10, 2014

More Mischke Info

OK, lets see if I can explain these Mischke generations, with the help of Gerry who sent info earlier, and three photos this week (!)  He also sent a couple pages of who-begat-who, which I just finished entering on my family tree. It mostly all fits now ☺.       
If you recall, this couple is Joseph Mischke and Mary Otremba, the original immigrants to Buckman.  Their kids were Franz, John, Clara, Mary and Paul. They look more substantial here than in the next pic, but it's surely them.

 Since Joseph died in December, 1901, the latest this photo could have been was that summer. By the apparent ages of the boys tho, I think it may have been 1887 or so.  I'm assuming the sons are Franz and John.

Ok, next generation:  Franz was Frank, Sr. who started with a livery, and later the Hardware store.

 John married Theresa Peschel and had 11 kids: Joseph, Ida, Carl, Hermina, Mary, Agnes, Jack, Leo, Hildegard, Benno and Fridolin.

Their oldest, Joseph, married Margaret Theis, and they had four kids: Maurice, Marie, Bernard and Marjorie (below).  Click to enlarge the pics. That's little Bernard with Gramma.  He looks about four.
                                                        I suspect this photo was taken when Bernard made his vows at Crosier.  From the left, Marge, Maurice, Margaret, Joe, Bernard and Marie Mischke.   (I know, the names are below the pic, but this makes em googleable).  

Next generation: Gerry, who sent the pics and info, is Maurice's son.      
    Thanks, Gerry!                                             

(Gerry thinks the men might be his uncles Carl and Jack, but he has no idea which aunt/sister it is.  The chickens were Tillie, Cluck, and Shimel).

A Minnesota Snow Secret

Work (and lunch with Aunt Eileen) are cancelled for today, 
so I've got a snow day just like the school kids ☺.  
The grass was well covered when I got up this morning, and now, at noon, it's at least 8-10 inches deep.  The city plow was just out on the street building the curbside mini-mountain range that'll last till February or March. Here's the truth: no matter how much we bitch and complain about winter, we're proud of ourselves for enduring it, for staying warm, for living thru another one. Any "near miss" (i.e., "OMG, I had to walk all the way to the mailbox and back!") is great fodder for friends in Florida and for you-think-that's-bad- listen-to-this contests.  Now, the mosquitoes and gnats freeze to death, weeds and grass stop growing, summers' incessant heat is gone, and the clean whiteness appeals to our Northern European souls. We're holed-up now for a few months, making soup and bread, reading books and...doing genealogy.  Gut genug.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Joe Trigg, Iowa "Farm Philosopher"

"Where There's a Will, There's a Way

Word comes from Rockford that Joe Trigg has succeeded in grafting a watermelon on a pond lily root and now has a watermelon floating in the mill pond that is over thirty feet in diameter and still growing.  His idea is to grow them until cold weather comes when they will be cut loose and fires built in them.  The hot water and steam will melt the ice as they float south and the river thus be kept navigable all winter.  He will now try grafting a corn stalk on the melon rind and expects next year to raise a hundred bushels of shelled corn in place of the useless seeds. It will solve the transportation problem.  The melon can be cut loose in the fall and the crops floated to New Orleans when the rind can be opened and the corn raised to the elevators.  It may make Rockford a seaport--Britt (Iowa) Tribune"

I saved that article quite a while ago because it was cute, and because I know the ancestors would have laughed and incorporated it into conversation:
 "Yah, he sess a vassermelon, mitt corn, down t' river!
..sehr gut"  
Then today, when I transcribed it, I wondered who this Trigg guy was.  The first thing I found was his obit from 3 years later.  A little more sleuthing found a clip from 1900 that called him an "agriculturist writer and editorial philosopher". He was also the father of two more newspaper editors:

Well Known Writer Passes Away at Home in Rockford.

Des Moines.—"Joe" Trigg, the "Farm Philosopher" of Iowa, one of the best known agricultural writers and experts in the United States, died at his old home in Rockford at 3:35 o'clock yesterday morning, after an illness extending over several months. The cause of Mr. Trigg's illness and death was an affection of his nervous system, which brought on slow paralysis and ultimately nervous prostration.
At the time of his death Mr. Trigg was editor of the Weekly Register of this city, and resided at 923 Fifth street.  Since last spring, however, when he was first taken sick, he had spent most of his time with his son, Paul Trigg, editor of the Grinnell Register, at Grinnell, and his son, Frank Trigg, editor of the Rockford Register, at Rockford.
Joseph S. Trigg was born In England over sixty years ago. When a young man he came to America and ever after made his way in the world and educated himself. He enjoyed practically no advantages of educational instruction in his boyhood or young manhood. Mr. Trigg enlisted In the Union army from Minnesota and served during the civil war. Afterwards he settled in Rockford, where he purchased the Register, which he operated until his son took charge.
Mr. Trigg's "Farm Philosophy" attracted attention all over the country and his services were sought by the American Press Association, which for years used his weekly letter in country newspapers throughout the west. In this way Mr. Trigg's reputation as an agricultural writer and expert received its greatest impetus.
About one year ago Mr. Trigg came to Des Moines as editor of the Weekly Register".

From an Illinois newspaper ( Wallace's Farmer) the following week:

It is with unfeigned sorrow that thousands of our readers learn of the death of Mr . Joseph Trigg. In his death Iowa agriculture has sustained a very severe loss. In fact , we do not know who can take up his peculiar line of work with anything like the same success . He was a very close student of agricultural problems , and thoroughly and sincerely devoted to the cause of the farmer . He understood the heart of the farmer , looked at everything from the farmers standpoint , was a splendid optimist and a genial philosopher as well . His heart was in the right place and his lips gave clear and distinct utterance to the promptings of his heart . He was a deeply religious man , but allowed his life rather than his tongue to Interpret his religious convictions and experiences . His death was plainly the result of overwork . He was so intensely desirous of promoting the welfare of the Iowa farmer that he undertook more than he should undertake . His death was therefore untimely and the more to be regretted . In addition to his regular work on the paper, which was at least enough for any one man, he threw himself heart and soul into the good roads movement and attended farmers institutes in season and out of season . 
The last address he made was at one of the meetings of the Corn Belt Meat Producers Association. After it was over we said to him , You are doing too much. He replied , Wallace , I am a very sick man . We little thought then that it was the last time we should ever hear him. Few men will be more greatly missed or more deeply mourned by the farmers of Iowa" .
We'll keep an eye out for mentions of Joe Trigg from now on, you know we will.