Today’s Tidbit | Lorenz Heller

A cousin, who lives in South Dakota, sent me some information she found concerning my 3rd great grandfather. She’s been helping trying to locate his grave in SD. While she didn’t have any further information on that, she did find this article about him in the Grant County (South Dakota) review dated March 10th, 1892:

(Lorenz Heller), an old man over 70 years of age, residing four miles north of Revillo, was rolled and trampled by an infuriated bull on Monday afternoon, and died from the effects of the injuries the same night. The animal was de-horned and the old man was endeavoring to drive it into the stable with a pitchfork when it turned upon him.

Lorenz was born in Prussia in 1817. He arrived with his family at Castle Garden in New York City on May 16, 1866. They settled in Wisconsin and then went to South Dakota in about 1881.

Today’s Tidbit | Frank Heller – March 19, 1878

My maternal great grandfather, Frank Heller, was born on this day in 1878. He was the youngest son of Mathias and Frances (Swiderski) Heller, and was born in Princeton, Green Lake Co., WI. He worked on farms at Fox Lake and in the lumber camps at Ashland.

After several years, he came to Montello, WI and joined the Montello Granite Co. In the 1920 census, his job description is that of a “polisher”.

Frank married my great grandmother, Catherine Jackowski, in 1905. He worked for Montello Granite for about 45 years until becoming ill in July of 1944.

Today’s Tidbit | May 16, 1866 – Lorenz and Elizabeth Hela

My 3rd great grandparents, Lorenz and Elizabeth (Fleming) Hela, and their children Anna, Andreas and Rosalia, arrived at Castle Garden in New York City on May 16, 1866, on-board the “Bark Johanna” from Prussia. They were from Sossnowd, Prussia.

Johanna Passenger List Showing Hela Family

They settled in Neshkoro, WI and then Princeton, WI before moving to South Dakota in about 1881. Many of their descendants changed their name to “Heller”.

Today’s Tidbit | March 20, 1883

On this day, in 1883, my great grandmother, Catherine Jackowski was born to Stephan and Rosalia (Soda) Jackowski in Princeton, Green Lake Co., WI. She married my great grandfather, Frank Heller (see yesterday’s post), on September 26, 1905 in Princeton. They had eight children together, the oldest being my grandmother, Florence.

Tuesday Treasure | March 16, 2010

When my Grandpa and Grandpa Hau passed away several years ago, I was lucky enough to receive many of their things. Among them was my grandpa’s high school yearbook. Raymond Christian Hau was raised in Fond du lac, WI. His father, John, was in the restaurant business, a business that Ray would eventually join. Ray graduated from Fond du Lac Senior High School in 1926.

The 1920’s in America was an era distinguished by several inventions and discoveries of far-reaching importance, unprecedented industrial growth, accelerated consumer demand and aspirations, and significant changes in lifestyle. The city of Fond du Lac was no exception. It was a classic American mid-western small town, highlighted by its bustling main street. After his graduation, Ray attended Lawrence college in Appleton, his being the first generation of the Hau family to attend college.

Yearbooks from this era are far different from the color photo laden, current events filled books of today. They contain pages full of  poetry and song; pages detailing highlights of the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes; and in-depth descriptions of the accomplishments of the Service Club, Glee Club, Commercial Club, Peptimist Club, etc. The class motto for the Senior Class of 1926 was “Character is All!”

The class president described their senior year as follows: “…it was our senior year that we must look to appreciate truly our high school life. The hopes of years were at last realized. Early in November the school addition, containing the new combined gymnasium and auditorium, was finally completed. What senior has not experience a sincere thrill of pride and of satisfaction as he has entered the gymnasium for programs, pep meetings, parties, and basketball games? We are equally proud of our cafeteria where we have enjoyed hot dinners on cold winter days and appetizing lunches after organization parties. Our school life has been further rounded by the new courses of home economics, manual training, auto mechanics, and physical education….”

It’s hard to imagine our ancestors as high school kids. My only memory of my grandpa is as…a grandpa. I’m grateful to have these treasures. They really help me to know him better.