Bio: Hart, Albert and Agnes
Surnames: Hart, Johnson, Myszka, Murkowski, Leokadia, Blocynski, Stroida, Mroczenski, Switlick, Kwiecinski, Hoth, Albrecht, Braun, Buckett
----Source: 1880 - 1980 Rietbrock, Marathon Co., Wis. Centennial, pg. 47
Albert Hart and wife Agnes came to this country in 1870, settling in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Not finding Milwaukee to their liking, they decided to come to the timberland area in March of 1878-settling on SE Y4 of NW Y4 of Section 4, Township 29, N- Range 4-E, According to Deed Book 31, page 151, records, D. H. Johnson, his wife Eleta A. Johnson, and Fred Riet- brock and his wife Helen deeded to Albert Hart on October 27, 1881. (Recorded June 9, 1882). Children of the Hart family were Leon, Joseph, Leokadia (Mrs. John Murkowski) and Stanley. Mrs. Thomas (Helen Murkowski) Myszka, 83 years old and a granddaughter of Albert and Agnes, recalls many interesting events and highlights about the family as related to her by her mother. When her mother was fourteen years old, in 1878, The Hart family came to the Town of Rietbrock.
To clear land, they had to first cut down the trees, roll them onto a pile, and burn them. They they felled more trees and built a log house, putting moss on top of the roof for warmth. Between the stumps, they hoed the ground and planted potatoes. After a few years, the Harts had enough logs to build a barn. Even the pine shingles were made from their own sawed logs. Finally they bought a cow and were able to sell the milk. Meanwhile, they existed as best they could on potatoes, rutabagas, pumpkin, beans, and whatever vegetables they could raise in their "stump garden". When they had an acre of land cleared 6f stumps, they seeded rye, cut it, stacked the bundles, and put moss on top to protect the grain from moisture. They had to wait until winter to flail the grain. When winter came they poured water on a stretch of ground to make a smooth threshing floor of ice. When a windy day came, the chaff was separated from the grain. A hollow log was shaped into a cone and lined with small smooth stones. Then a stone was found to serve as a plunger pushing the grain down. Here the grain was flattened and ground while this stone was being turned. This grain was then sifted and used as flour for pancakes.
Later, as they produced more rye grain then they could use, they took the rye to Wausau. Usually four or five people walked together. As they walked by foot and had no roads, they marked trees as they went along, so that they could find their way back home. They would carry the sacks of flour and other provisions on their backs-usually as much as they could. On the way back home, the Harts would often stop at the Village of Poniatowski to see John and Victoria Blocynski. Here they were always given something to drink or eat.
Hart's son, Joseph, married Mary Stroika. Children from this union were: John, George (who died in service), Mary (Mrs. Joseph Mroczenski) and Barbara (Mrs. Max Switlick). It was John who married Louise Mroczenski and inherited the homestead. John and Louise had eleven children, namely: Joseph, Sister Mary, John, Anna (Kwiecinski), Agnes (Hoth), Frances (Albrecht), Edmund, Gregory, Sophia (Braun), Raymond, and Rosemary. In the fall of 1952 John passed away, leaving his interests to his wife Louise. Louise Hart died on February 17, 1979, at the age of 83. Gregory and Raymond managed the farm for many years. When, on August 2, 1967, Gregory married Patricia Buckett, Raymond went to Illinois. Since 1967 Gregory, Pat, and their two children-Lori and David-have been farming the Hart Farm.
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