In 1854 Father Francis Xavier Pierz published these
lines in an article for a German Catholic newspaper, extolling
life in Minnesota Territory, "I do wish, however, that the
choicest pieces of land in this delightful Territory would become
the property of thrifty Catholics who would make an earthly paradise
of this Minnesota which Heaven has so richly blessed."
Tim Hoheisel, author and historian, presented on
his recent research into the life of Father Pierz and his role
establishing German Catholic settlements in Central Minnesota.
Hoheisel is the former Executive Director of the Codington County
Historical Museum in Watertown, SD. He holds an MA in public history
from St. Cloud State University and is presently doing Doctorate
degree work in American West, agricultural, and rural history
at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS.
He is the co-author of a pictorial history book
Images of America: Watertown and Codington County, South Dakota,
and created and directed the book project Skeletons of the
Prairie: Abandoned Rural Codington County, South Dakota.