SFHS Topmenu: Finlander | SFHS | Repository | Talko | DEE |

Finland Swedes in America


Jump to: navigation, search
                                        FINLAND SWEDES IN AMERICA

Some Characteristics Among Finland Swedes

The mother country has been observing with tear-filled eyes what it was losing when its children were saying farewell, while America looks questioningly at those who will one day be numbered among its people. The desire for knowledge about some common characteristics of the Finland Swedes would not have been out of place. Because Swedish-speaking peoples in Finland have their domiciles in different provinces, we will use those divisions in describing their characteristics.

Nyland is the most southerly province of Finland where Swedish-speaking people are quartered. Their homes stretch from the city of Kotka in the East to Åbo in the West and inland from the coast approximately 15 to 20 miles. The islands along the coast of the Gulf of Finland are peopled by Swedish speakers.

Hugo J. Ekholm's characterization of the Swedes in his book "Swedish in Finland" loses much of its value concerning Swedish-speaking peoples of southern Finland because of his obvious resentment of the Swedes of Nyland which is so obvious in his detailed description of anything and everything which could cause annoyance to the people of Nyland. But here and there he does bring out what needs to be said. Free-mindedness he says is prevalent in Southern Finland - in Nyland - but the country people have had their love of freedom and their dash, their self-esteem blunted by the upper class. In spite of the magnitude and strength of impeding hostile influences, the country people have retained their competency for life, and free-mindedness lives on! The country people's character has always been virile and solid. Coastal and Island dwellers encompass the strongest building blocks for the continuing effectiveness of Swedish-speaking peoples of Finland.

The archipelago province of Åland lies between Finland and Sweden. The factor which causes Åland to be considered separate from Sweden is the fact that the deepest channel is located between Sweden and Åland while a mass of islands and rocky islets seems to form a continuation of the mainland of Finland toward Åland. Åland, like the balance of Finland, had to be ceded to Russia in 1809.

With respect to national characteristics, the people of Åland resemble most closely the people of Sweden, especially the people of Uppland (the area around Uppsala). That is not only due to the fact that the race has been better preserved in Åland but also because Åland has remained in close communication with Sweden and Stockholm has always been considered as their city. The people of Åland's seafaring life has contributed to the preserving of the Swedish characteristic dash and happy-go-lucky nature. They have socialized with many different peoples and have acquired the ability for effective socialization. Temperament flexibility among the peoples from Åland contributes to the fact that interest is quickly awakened but is likewise easily extinguished. They are slow to support projects for the greater good where there is no economic advantage for the individual and are even accused of being stingy. But this accusation is only substantiated in a few cases. In their homes, cleanliness, orderliness and temperance rule.

Swedish East Bothnia is a coastal strip along the Gulf of Bothnia from the town of Sideby (Siipyy) in the south to Karleby (Kokkola) in the north. This strip is about 160 miles long and about 20 miles wide. This strip was much wider years ago but many bypasses have occurred over the years. At the present time (1930) the boundaries have been determined and no shifts have occurred for some time.

About the people of East Bothnia, Robert V. Wikman wrote in "Swedish in Finland" both at great length and faithfully. Because East Bothnians number about 90% of the Finland Swedes who have established homes in America, it would seem advisable to give more space to a characterization of this folk grouping from Finland.

Wikman writes "In East Bothnia we meet a Swedish national character maybe stronger, more distinctively stamped by his race, his natural surroundings and his historic social condition than in any other location in Swedish Finland."

The East Bothnian has, under the singularity of conditions which were determined by the nature and history of the countryside, developed his Swedish characteristics consisting of a distinctive temperament which cannot be classified except by calling it Eastbothnian; the outward man appearing strong, frank and open combined with the inner man colored by a religious good humor, one of those special characters that occur only among the folk of caliber. On the one hand we have the Eastbothnian with the characteristics which provide the impression of capability, genuineness and power, and on the other hand characteristics so different that when first encountered and from outward appearances signal the exact opposite, I mean the sincere desire, the naive acknowledgement of life's worth which one who has traveled around in East Bothnian villages would have experienced and which constitutes the deepest source of Eastbothnian culture. In Eastbothnian illustrations of life, the religious slant can occasionally obscure the true meaning. This is one extreme. But Eastbothnian characteristics also have room for a temperament which can occasionally give expression in violent language. The other extreme.

Topelius in a speech in 1881 characterized Eastbothnians as "a spirited people, full of power and resolution, defensive of his honor, enterprising, inventive, only slightly artistic in temperament, but by nature gifted for all types of industrial work." Topelius is moderate when it comes to talking about Eastbothnians' abilities in the artistic area. He himself was an Eastbothnian. Runeberg was an Eastbothnian as were Choraeus, Franzen, Stenbeck and among more recent authors, Mikael Lybeck, Gånge Rolf, Tegengren, Rundt and others.

The First Finland Swedes in America

Finland and Sweden essentially had a common history from time immemorial until 1809. For that reason we must make use of Sweden's history in order to provide an insight into the conditions that existed in the 1624 time frame when plans were laid for colonizing the new world.

It is from Swedish history that Dr. Amandus Johnson gathers the material for his scholarly work about the colonization of the Delawares in 1638-64. There were both Finns and Swedes among the first colonists, but there is no record of the relative numbers of each. When we study the details of Dr. Johnson's work and find many with Swedish names from Swedish areas of Finland, we can take it for granted that they are Finland Swedes notwithstanding that they may be called Finns by Dr. Johnson. Later we list the names of some of the Finland Swedes among those colonists.

Plans for a larger Swedish colonization and trading company were presented to Swedish King Gustaf II Adolf by Willem Usselinx from Holland. Following that presentation, the Southern Company (Söderkompaniet) was established in Sweden with a significant interest owned by the Swedish government. On June 6 the king signed a letter of monopoly giving that company the sole right to engage in commerce in Africa, Asia, America and Australia. The most important area of colonization was, of course, America. But there was a great deal of delay, and the high hopes of Usselinx never materialized so he left Sweden. However, he never gave up the hope of establishing a great trading company and continued to try to interest others in founding a viable trading company. Axel Oxenstjärna signed an appointment for Usselinx to serve as the director in chief for the New Southern Co. (Nya Söderkompaniet). But even that one failed.

But Oxenstjärna had not given up the idea of Swedish colonization of the New World. He traveled to Holland to meet with persons who had been involved with the Dutch colonization on Delaware Bay. Among them was Peter Minuet who had been governor of New Netherland which was the name given to the area between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers. Minuet accepted a Swedish commission and organized an expedition for colonization of the western bank of the Delaware River.

The first expedtion arrived in America in March 1638. Peter Minuet led that first expedition. There followed eleven additional expeditions during the Swedish era. Early on these new colonizers were forced to construct blockhouses and other fortifications against attack by the Indians and Dutch since the Dutch had earlier established colonies in the same general area. One of the fortifications that was built in the Swedish enclave was named New Korsholm and one of the blockhouses was called New Vasa. It is to be noted that Korsholm and Vasa were then and are still in existence in East Bothnia in Finland. It should be noted that a new colony located on a small tributary of the Delaware was called Finland.

Contentions soon developed between the new arrivals in New Sweden and New Netherlands. Governor Printz who had led the Swedish colony for over nine years left New Sweden in 1653. His son-in-law, John Papegoja, was appointed to carry out the functions of governor. The tenth Swedish expedition arrived in New Sweden in the month of May 1654. A fortified Dutch area was occupied by the Swedes shortly thereafter. But the following year the Dutch retook the territory and kept it for nine years. That spelled the end of Swedish colonial history in America.

On the 27th of August 1664 an English armada arrived outside New Amsterdam, the capital city of New Netherlands. The city together with the whole colony was taken over by the English and incorporated into New England. The city's name was changed to New York.

Concerning the Swedes and their relationship with the country's original inhabi-tants, the Indians, C. Hale Sipes writes in his book "The Indian Wars of Pennsyl-vania": "The Lutheran Swedes who landed on Delaware's coast and established the first colonies in Pennsylvania had a greater influence on American history than the Pilgrim fathers in New England. It was good that America did not acquire the intolerant attitude which seemed to be characteristic of the Pilgrim fathers in New England but rather adopted the freedom of conscience which was characteristic of the Lutheran Swedes in Pennsylvania....Swedes in Delaware earned monuments of marble and bronze and medallions of silver and gold; however, their greatest monument is the deep love that wells from the best American hearts and their best image is reflected in the improved living conditions which came to pass as a result of exemplary principles which they practiced."

As was explained above, there were Finns among the colonists in New Sweden. Some of these Finns came from Värmland in Sweden. They had been invited to Värmland, by Duke Karl later known as Karl IX, where they practiced agriculture by the scorched earth method of burning, clearing, and tilling. That was the normal practice at that time in Finland. They carried on this labor in a normal Finnish manner and with great thoroughness. Soon, however, in Sweden it was realized that it was necessary to preserve the forest lands. This was following the discovery of iron ore in the mountainous areas of Värmland. As a result, the Finns were forbidden to continue to burn and clear the forest. But since burning and clearing was in the Finnish blood, they continued with the destruction so that an inquisition was mounted against the Finns and the reasonable punishment meted out was to send them all to the Swedish colony in America. But not all got by with such an easy punishment. But when they arrived in America, both Swedes and Finns cleared the land by cutting and burning. In addition to the Finns from Värmland, other large and small groups were part of other colonizing expeditions. It is among these that we find the Swedes from Finland.

Although it's hard to know with certainty who among the colonists were Finland Swedes, one can still come to the conclusion, as previously pointed out, that persons with Swedish names coming from Swedish areas in Finland must be Finland Swedes even if they are called Finns. Thus we find John Fransson from Viborg, Israel Pedersson from Odkarby, Anders Mickelson from Åland, Matts Hanson from Borgå. Further, we can name a Matts Ericksson Tobi actually from Toby in Korsholm's parish as well as Hindrick Matson, Anders Andersson and others. A Finland Swedish nobleman named Kristian Boije was appointed commandant in Uppland, 12 miles north of the Kristina fortress. Incidentally, the Boije family became extinct in Finland in 1930.

The names Korsholm and Vasa among other things tend to point to the fact that in some degree people had come from or near Korsholm. Had they come from the Finnish speaking areas of Finland, the place names would, of course, have been Finnish. It has been noted that in the colonization of different areas in America, names of localities have normally been chosen from among the place names where the emigrants came from.

Just as previously stated, John Printz was governor of New Sweden for 9 years. But before he arrived in New Sweden, he lived for a while as a tenant farmer on the King's estate in Korsholm in East Bothnia in Finland. It is not known how long he lived in Korsholm. He had been appointed a major in the East Bothnian regiment and actually recruited people for the regiment. His military career ended about 1640. He was appointed governor of the colonies in America in 1642. He did some recruiting to get people to go to the colonies. It is quite natural that he would return to East Bothnia to recruit colonists especially to the Korsholm area where he was acquainted with the people. In these villages he found capable, skillful carpenters and good farmers.

Among the Finland Swedes who later lived in America, we find the name of the scientist, Pehr Kalm from Närpes in Swedish East Bothnia. His father, Gabriel Kalm, was for a short time (1694-97) the pastor in the Korsnäs chapel in the Närpes parish. He later moved to the mother church in Närpes and resided there until 1816 when he fled to Sweden to avoid the Russians. His son, Pehr, could have been born in Närpes before the flight or during the flight, or maybe after arrival in Sweden. N.G.W. Lagerstedt writes about Pehr Kalm in a 1910 issue of the "Prairieflower" (Prärieblommana) as follows: "Because of what has been written, we could view Kalm as a Finn, but at that time Finland was viewed as a province of Sweden and when Kalm himself in a book in which he describes his voyage to America calls Sweden his fatherland and talks about himself as a Swede, one can with ample justification characterize him as a Swede." It is noted that Lagerstedt refrains from using the term "Finland Swede" but since his parents were Finland Swedes and he grew up in Swedish Finland and gave most of his life to Finland, that should be sufficient reason to classify him as a Finland Swede.

Kalm visited the new Swedish colonies on the Delaware and made scientific expeditions southerly as far as Florida and as far as Canada to the north. Kalm, who was a pastor's son, had himself also studied theology with the thought of becoming a pastor. His theological insights served him well among the colonists. They had lost their parish pastor through death and were like sheep without a shepherd. Kalm took over the congregational work and preached to the people in their church. Later he married pastor Sandin's widow.

While Pehr Kalm's scientific expeditions were aimed in the botanical area, he was equally at home in most other scientific areas. He made many observations and notes while on his journeys. He gathered a large number of facts that informed him about the early colonists in New Sweden. Some years ago a manuscript came to light in the Helsinki university library covering some of his memoranda. Kalm's travel accounts which were very detailed were published in three parts at different times in Stockholm. Four manuscripts that were ready for printing were never published because of lack of funds. They apparently were stored in the Åbo academy library and were evidently burned during the great fire that destroyed Åbo in 1827. Kalm in his later years served as a professor of economics at the Univerity of Åbo.

Another Finland Swede who lived for a time in America was Peter Schaefer from Åbo. He had satisfied the requirement for his Masters exam in Åbo but began to have qualms of conscience. He traveled on foot to Germany and France and finally he came to England. From there with the help of friends, he came to America. His stay, however, was not long for he returned to his homeland in the same way that he left. He was known in Finland as a religious dreamer.

Uno Cygnaeus, who had been mentioned previously in these sketches as the father of the Folk High School movement in Finland, was possibly the next Finland Swede to seek out America. A Russian commercial company was established in 1821. Commerce was carried on by a large number of ships plying between Russia and Alaska. The company had plans to establish a Finnish colony in Alaska. For that reason in 1839 at the request of the company, Cygnaeus was sent to America as an emigrant pastor. He lived there only for five years.

Another Finland Swede, Gustaf Unonius, born in Helsingfors in 1810 who later moved to Sweden, went to America in 1841. He made his trip accompanied by his young wife and a small group of companions who for the most part were relatives. They settled at Pine Lake near Nashota in Wisconsin. Unonius, like Kalm, kept a daily journal which later was published in two volumes after his return from America. He lived in America for 17 years. During his stay in America, he came in contact with representatives from the American Episcopal church and later was ordained in that church as a priest. He never took up that call. Evidently, he returned to Sweden in 1859.

In 1847 a company was established in Åbo with the objective of prosecuting commerce between Russia and Alaska. In the beginning this company experienced a deal of success, but during the Crimean War, much of their fleet was destroyed. Many Finland Swedes had employment in that company. However, after the destruction of the fleet, most of these people settled either in America or Alaska. That same war forced others, particularly seafarers, to remain in America and they became residents of America.

A few Finland Swedes came to America during the gold rush days in California. The real emigration from Finland Swedish communities did not really begin until the eighteen seventies.

Reasons for Emigration

The reasons for emigration from a country can be many and usually very different from country to country. The following can be sighted as typical reasons for emigration: 1. circumstances surrounding religious freedom, 2. political oppression, and 3. severe economic circumstances. To the foregoing we should add the different degrees of wanderlust that are present among the different peoples.

As a general rule, a good case can be made for the fact that people from all countries have come to America because of many reports of excellent economic opportunities. Certainly that was the case concerning the emigrants from Finland. The first emigrant who came soon made it known by means of the money consignments that they had made good in America. Many came back to the homeland after a short residence in America and told of the land of Canaan on the other side of the Atlantic flowing with milk and honey. The old men straightened up and seemed to feel how their muscles tensed and how they became young again upon hearing the tales about America. The young men began to plan how they could gather enough money for the trip over the great ocean. The young boys saw in their fantasies a fairyland fully as grand as those they had read about in their books of fairytales. And young women soon began to dream of riches and freedom and grand clothes and other finery that they would one day possess in America. The possibilities in America were described with such enthusiasm that emigration fever gripped both young and old, men and women, land owners and hired hands in every village. America's riches were discussed during the long dark winter evenings at the firesides and America was the subject of conversation during the trip to church and more than once during the church service. America was described to a group of interested listeners out on the church grounds. Also it cannot be denied that many were more interested in tales of gold and green forests in America than the splendors of heaven that were the sermon topics in the church. America was the subject of conversation for the fishermen while they were waiting for a lull in the wind whistling around the bare boulders of the shoreline. America was the promised land! When we talk about the reasons for emigration, we must not forget all the foregoing.

One of the reasons for emigration was the law concerning military service which required every young man to serve three years in the military. This law came into being at the time when American glamour was painted in its brightest colors. The reason for the dread that gripped the people as a result of the above-mentioned law was not that the men were timid but rather the memory of all the wars the country had suffered in the past and the want brought on by those wars which were painted in pictures just as dark as those describing America were bright and glorious. One could no more reconcile oneself to a law which had been promulgated without consultation with the people than to be pleased with the Russian Tsar's demands following the conquest. Forced military service was a harbinger of war.

There is also an economic dimension to emigration that has to be considered. First with respect to the farmers (land owners). The concept of race suicide was not known at that time. Every house became filled with children. For a long time the farmers (land owners) had subscribed to the age-old custom of leaving the farm to the oldest son while the remaining children had to make do with smaller sums of money. These children had to find their own support methods, so none could fault them for greedily listening to the glowing tones from America. Or, if we consider the fact that the one who took over the farm might be required to buy out his siblings. The meager remainder from the year's harvest often left the young farmer with insufficient funds to cover expenses once the excessive taxes had been paid. What could be more natural than to pack the home-made chest or travel cases and with ticket in hand set sail for America?

The paper "Vasa Posten" said the following concerning emigration: "It is impossible in a reasonable length of time to raise the required capital to compensate other heirs. Our country's poverty places insurmountable barriers in the way. In America it has been possible for many to scrape up the necessary sums and one may without too much exaggeration assert that nearly half of East Bothnians small landholders, thanks to emigration, are still in possession of the family farm. Therefore, that is one of the pluses our country has had from emigration. Another not unimportant plus has been that our section of the country has almost completely escaped the ravaging social fights that are now (1930) going on between capital and labor in our country. There is much talk and there will continue to be much talk against emigration and its fragmenting effect on the nation's trade and industry, yet many an invididual has often found that emigration had become his savior. The economic well-being of many East Bothnian homes are closely tied to the father's many years' fight for a brighter future in a forest camp, coal mine or construction company in America."

"The blessings of the money remittances to cover the sustenance needs of the people of our section of the country is wide open for examination. But it was not only from that standpoint that emigration was of value for the people of our country. The returning emigrants have assimilated much learning which has redounded to everyones' benefit. It is not only the gold fillings which carve out for us where the emigrant has traveled. We can see it in all his actions. He has among many things learned to be quick in making necessary changes, some-thing we in this country need to take advantage of. In addition, he had acquired an expanded outlook on life which is the most important of all. Conservatism and narrow-mindedness are not friends of the travelers from America. On the contrary, the liberal outlook has found an avid spokesman."

"In situations where it might be proper to pass judgment on emigrants, we point with superior gestures to Finland's unbroken expanses of marshes and peat bogs, pointing out that there is much work available for strong arms. Very true! There is enough work - more than enough - but the necessary funds are not available so that a viable enterprise can be started. Those who in this day and age believe they will be able to establish a viable farming enterprise in marshlands with two empty strong hands are sadly mistaken. Capital is required - much capital."

"Up to now it has been possible to gather the necessary funds in countries more richly endowed. But it begins to appear that this avenue is rapidly being closed off. Now we will soon be able to recognize whether emigration has been a blessing or curse for our country."

If the farmer's (land owner's) sons had a rough future to contemplate, the sons of the farm laborer and fishermen had a much more bleak future to look forward to. Suicide was equally unknown in the homes of farm laborers and fishermen as in the homes of the landowning farmers. If the ears of the farmers' sons were fascinated by the stories of the great possibilities in America, so also were the ears of the sons of the laborers and fishermen. The only difference was that usually the farmer's son knew where he could procure the travel money. Not so for the sons of laborers and fishermen where travel funds were the biggest problem. But travel money was eventually procured and so one son or daughter after the other said farewell to home and hearth.

An especially strong push was given to emigration in the year 1899 by the Tsar's manifesto. That manifesto removed many of the rights that the people of Finland had had for many hundreds of years. These rights had been guaranteed to the people by the constitution and were acknowledged by all emperors by sacred oath. Upon arrival of the manifesto there followed a time of deep bitterness and sorrow. A universal clamor was raised against the illegal action which assaulted the country's laws and rights. The newspapers continually published expressions of the people's deep sorrow concerning the matter. The people who had been accustomed to go to the king with these troubles sent delegations to the Russian capital city for the purpose of persuading the emperor. But all attempts failed. A 500-man deputation bearing 524,000 signatures waited upn the emperor but was not even granted an audience but had to return with the mission not accomplished. If the bitterness was great before, it became infinitely greater with that reversal. The entire nation was in mourning. People adopted mourning attire. All people pleasures were suspended. People flooded the churches where sorrowing hearts were lifted in prayer to God. The sorrow was so deep and heavy that it was often difficult for the pastors to speak except through tears. Those who had a leading position in the country's political life were banished from the land and a complete spy system was erected by Russian action.

Under these circumstances, it is completely natural that emigration should grow to hitherto unknown proportions. Travel was directed toward the great land in the West and for a time it seemed as if the country would be abandoned by its people. There were both old and young that traveled at that time, but it was especially those who were in the prime military age, around 21 years. If it was not possible to get across the Gulf of Bothnia legally by steam vessel, one could always travel by fishing boat or by land around the Gulf of Bothnia to Sweden and later to America.

The foregoing paragraphs enumerate reasons for emigration which can be con-sidered applicable to all sections of the country. We now hasten to add that although the land must be considered to be able to provide for all the needs of its people, it must be realized that the short summers with frequently early arrival of freezing nights makes for uncertain harvests. This is followed by long winters with cold and snow, and rising prices for the necessities of life. Dissatisfaction with these conditions have contributed to emigration both from the countryside and from cities.

Additionally, we must remember the fact that most of the Swedes that emigrated from Finland were from East Bothnia. The spirit of independence is more highly developed among the East Bothnians and they have always been free and never under anyone's yolk. In addition, they have been known for many years as good workmen who could be successful in many fields of endeavor. With this sure knowledge, they left their motherland secure in their belief that they would soon be successful in the great land in the West.

About the reasons for emigration, Gabriel Nikander writes in "Swedish In Finland" where he says: "It has been stated that Swedes cherish a dislike for heavy work of agriculture and that assertion has been confirmed by statistics. Without a doubt there is a grain of truth in that assertion, but we need to add that such a dislike has little bearing as long as there is no possibility for easier work. In that case, they must remain where they are despite their dislikes."

Professor O. H. Kildi in his book "Emigration and Finland's Economy in the Nineteenth Century" (page 31) says that the reasons for emigration are the hardest problems to solve. Professor Kildi must not have been present when a returned, well-dressed emigrant was standing on the church grounds describing America's attributes in comparison with those of the homeland. He did not hear about the possibilities across the ocean where the poor could become rich and where they seldom, or next to never, had to pay taxes to the crown or to spend their best years on the "Russian Hill", nor toil for stingy farmers who also were not so rich, nor had to pay deference to bureaucrats be they church officials or government functionaries, nor needed to feel inferior to anyone be they of high or low estate. He did not hear those home-comers who would soon be returning talk about how everything was so poorly situated in the homeland when compared to what they had experienced in America. Or if he heard it, he would simply turn up his nose like the other "better" people did concerning American anecdotes. Had he heard all that and much more that the country people had been exposed to, the reasons for emigration could not have been a hard problem to resolve.

The European professor's theory that emigration was due to the transition from a farming to a technical and industrial economy is true as far as it goes, but had the landed farmers, tenant farmers and fishermen possessed enough money to buy bread for their children and pay taxes to the crown, they would not have migrated in masses from their homes looking for better circumstances in a foreign country.

The paper "Wasabladet" deals with the economic side of the emigration problem and is quoted as follows: "It is a well-known fact that the reasons for emigration had been searched for and discussed for decades and that search has resulted in advancing a multitude of both material and psychological factors which have worked together to cause the emigration. The psychological factors are impos-sible to combat, but the economic factors which have and are contributing to emigration can be combated by the legislature and other ruling authorities. When one leafs through recent official statistics, one reaches the overpowering sense of the role that agricultural economics played in the emigration problem."

"Official records are organized so as to present emigration statistics by professions. When we assemble a set of statistics consisting of those employed in agriculture, we find a startling fact. In the five-year period 1901-1905 there were 21,212 men and 10,817 women emigrants. In the five-year period 1915-1920, the numbers were showing signs of declining and in 1928 this group consisted of 172 men and 147 women. What is the cause of this startling development? There can be only one answer. The transformation from tenant farming to independent living quarters caused the startling reduction in emigration among this group." The author provided a footnote here that stated that "Wasabladet's" observations were very interesting. It was stated in Finland's Parliament as long ago as 1891 that he who is acquainted with Finland's circumstances and relationships in Europe understands the reasons for emigration.

K.R.V. Wimman in his characterization of Swedes in East Bothnia includes the following words: "Emigration is the result when survival needs, property stability and love of home is weakened and when established values, morals and faith are thrown out. Those actions result in discontent with the homeland and the conditions offered. Under these circumstances there is room for self-examination and self-discipline for East Bothnians. But much greater detail is required than the defects herein cited to justify passing judgment. Emigrant types show up wherever traits similar to those enumerated are found."

That emigration should come to be viewed with ill will in some places was to be expected. There were some who pure and simply stated that the emigrant was a traitor to his homeland! Emigration was viewed as a great loss of the best quali-fied in the country's work force. On the whole, it was the younger people who left for foreign lands. Emigration was looked upon as an economic loss which could have disastrous results in both the social and political areas. Others looked on it as a gain since it served to mitigate the existing overpopulation of the country.

It certainly is not easy to determine to what degree emigration caused an economic loss to the country. Even though it was the young people in their most productive years that left the country, there is still the question of how these people could under the prevailing conditions of the time be of greater value to their country if they had remained at home. Those who did the logging of sparsely grown pine timber on sandy hillocks or tried to make potato fields on stony hillsides have a certain knowledge about their incapacity when their arms go numb.

Surely it was known, though hidden from many at that time, that the money remittances that came from America were used for the redemption of many homesteads after first having paid miscellaneous taxes and debts together with the emperor's tax. Many quite dilapidated farms were brought back into good condition because of money from America and many aged parents were assured of life care as a result of money from America. Of course there were those who sent no money home, yes, even left wife and children without means. These would not have acted differently if they had remained in their home area. The extent of the losses through emigration remains an unanswered question.

Chapter 6:

Emigration from Finland

Significant emigration from Finland occurred more recently than emigration from Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries and the rest of Europe. A previous chapter mentioned the seamen who at the time of the Crimean War settled on the American West Coast and others who were drawn to California by the gold rush of 1849. We also remember other seamen who, at about that same time, settled in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New Orleans. They were few in number.

We must wait until the 1870s before the start of significant emigration. Even during the first decade 1870 to 1880 the sum total of emigration from Finland was less than 500 as quoted by Prof. O.H. Kilpi taken from statistics covering Finland's Emigration and National Economy in the 19th Century.

After 1880, emigration increased dramatically:

  3,317 during the years 1881-1885
  21,968 during the years 1886-1890
  and according to Arthur Hjelt in the Social-economic Journal, emigration in   
 1882 was 36,401 persons.

The following table covers emigration from Finland for the next 10 years:

1893 - 9,117 1898 - 3,467 1894 - 1,280 1899 - 12,075 1895 - 4,020 1900 - 10,397 1896 - 5,185 1901 - 12,561 1897 - 1,916 1902 - 23,152

A closer examination of the above figures shows a startling difference between 1893 and 1894. The hard times in America served to discourage people from making their planned American trip in 1894 and the following years. But economic circumstances in America improved in 1898 and conditions in Finland deteriorated. It was in February 1899 that the Russian Emperor promulgated the manifesto which deprived Finland of its independence. Emigration immediately expanded dramatically because of anticipated consequences that were expected to follow. The Russian officialdom never had much sentimentality when it comes to subjugating people. The Russian coercive measures continued during the following years at the same time that living conditions in America were relatively good which resulted in increased emigration.

Some emigration figures are listed below: 1903 - 16,964 1911 - 9,372 1904 - 10,952 1912 - 10,724 1905 - 17,427 1913 - 20,057 1906 - 17,513 1914 - 6,474 1907 - 16,296 1915 - 4,041 1908 - 5,812 1916 - 5,325 1909 - 19,144 1917 - 2,773 1910 - 19,007 1918 - 1,900

The above numbers are very significant. While the level of emigration was 16,296 in 1907, it fell to 5,812 in 1908. It was the l907 panic which dissuaded many from traveling to America the following year. Again, we find that the number of emigrants dropped drastically in 1914 and has never increased again. It was the world war which forced a change in plans for many would-be emigrants.

Emigrants from Finland to the United States have been relatively light and because of the American immigration laws emigration from Finland has almost ceased.

How many Finland Swedes are presently in the United States? To give an exact answer to that question is almost impossible. Those who without careful consideration guess that number to be 125,000 have without a doubt made a serious mistake.

The 1920 U.S. census listed 150,000 people as having been born in Finland. (The book "Americanization of the Finns" by J. Wargelin in 1924 gives the number as 150,770.) The actual total may be somewhat higher but when we consider that immigration into the U.S. has almost ceased and that it has been greatly restricted since 1920, we cannot really hope that number to be very much greater now. Thus, if we were to accept the figure of 125,000 Finland Swedes in the United States, we would have to agree that there are only 25,000 Finnish speaking Finns in the United States which, of course, is absurd.

In the following paragraphs we analyze four different approaches to estimating the number of Finland Swedes in the United States. Each approach makes use of various assumptions.

1. Gabriel Nikander in an article entitled "Language borders after the year 1800" which appeared in Swedish in Finland in 1914, stated that the 1910 census showed that the population of the Swedish speaking communities in East Bothnia showed a decrease in population of 6,729 between the years 1880 and 1910. But during that same time period, the countrywide population increased by one million and the Swedish population in the province of Nyland increased by 47,261. Åland's population showed a significant reduction during the same period while the Åbo province's Swedish population increased by 5,036 persons. Presumably, there was some emigration even from Swedish Nyland notwith-standing the increase shown above.

Under ordinary circumstances, one would have expected at least a similar increase in population in East Bothnia as that which was shown in Nyland. In the year 1880, the population of Nyland farming communities was about 72,000. At the same time, the urban population must have been at least 28,000 since Helsingfors is located in Nyland. Thus the population of the entire province of Nyland must have contained 100,000 Swedes. In 1920 the province of Nyland had a Swedish population of about 158,000. This works out to be about a one-third increase over a 40-year period while in East Bothnia, with a Swedish popu-lation of 109,000 in 1920, the increase amounted to only about 9,000 people.

If the East Bothnian population had not experienced a radical and unusual reduction, it should have shown an equal increase of about 58,000 in the 40-year period. Since there was an apparent loss of 49,000, it is natural to suppose that emigration caused that loss. Because of the fact that emigration has been relatively insignificant since 1920, we may safely say that the increase of Finland Swedes in the United States since 1920 would be no more than 2,000. The 1930 census in Finland noted that 4,500 citizens of Åland were residing outside the country with the major portion being in the United States. Thus, we may assume that in 1930, 4,000 Finland Swedes from Åland were residing in the U.S. since the other Swedish speaking areas of Finland must have contributed some to emigration even though insignificant when compared to the numbers from East Bothnia. We may assume that that contribution amounted to 3,000 people.

Recapitulating the foregoing, with 49,000 arriving from East Bothnia prior to 1920 and 2,000 more between 1920 and 1930, 4,000 from Åland and 3,000 from the rest of Swedish Finland, we arrive at a total of 48,000 Finland Swedes having emigrated to the United States.

However, all of these cannot be considered to be resident in the United States at this time (1930). Over the past 50 years, there must have been a significant reduction due to deaths and returns to the homeland. To arrive at those figures, we assume the median age of the emigrants to be 30 years. We need not consider the diminution of numbers due to death for 25 of those 50 years, i.e. from 1880-1905, but on the other hand, we should take into account, say, 8 deaths per thousand for each of the next 25 years (1905-1930). This can be assumed to be 11,600 persons. Thus the number of residents is reduced to 46,400.

Since it is known that some emigrants returned to the homeland, especially during the early days of the emigration, we surely must concede that there was at least 8,000 immigrants who returned to spend their remaining years in the homeland. Using the foregoing assumptions, we come up with the figure of 35,400 Finland Swedish immigrants residing in the United States in 1930.

2. In some circles it has been stated that one-third of the peoples in East Bothnia are living in the United States. However it is unclear if this means that the 109,000 now living in East Bothnia constitutes two-thirds and there are one-third addtional living in America. It is certainly true that in many parishes in East Bothnia up to one-third of the recorded people are living in America. Should one mean that one-third of the 109,000 are in America, we arrive at a total of 36,333. On the other hand, if 109,000 covers two-thirds and the remaining one-third are in America, the number would then amount to 54,000. Well, if one wishes to assert that these numbers are in America today (1930), we would concur gladly, but we must remember that a significant number are slumbering restfully in the bosom of the earth.

If we understand correctly, Finland continues to list everyone born in a Parish as belonging to that parish even if he lives out of the country. However, the assertion that one-third of the Swedish population of East Bothnia are living in America seems to be far-fetched.

3. As stated previously, the 1920 census showed the total number of people born in Finland living in the United States was about 150,000. If we dared to assume that 25% were Finland Swedes, the total would then be 37,500.

4. Yet another estimating method can be explored. According to previously solicited information received from Finland, there were a total of 303,356 persons who emigrated from Finland during the years 1870 through 1918. Even so, the United States census of 1920 provides the information that only about half as many, or 150,000 persons born in Finland, were living in the United States. Thus, if the 303,356 must be reduced by one-half, it follows that the number of Finland Swedes must also be reduced by one-half. Thus, we find from this estimating method, that the number of Finland Swedes in America in 1930 would be about 29,000. Thus, it would seem that regardless of which estimating system that can be devised, the total number of Finland Swedes in the United States can hardly be more than 38,000.

We do not wish to deny that there is the possibility of finding better evidence that will show that the number of Finland Swedes is greater than the number shown here. We have been awaiting more information from the homeland concerning this subject but so far have received nothing additional.

On the other hand, we know that a new generation has been growing up in Finland Swedish homes in America. We could, of course, talk about this second generation even though it might be risky to go further. But this growing group must surely be considered to be fully as large as the immigrants themselves. Information from the 1920 census provides the information that Finnish people in America has doubled in number. Thus, if we include the second generation in our calculations, we find that our numbers have doubled so that we can say that there are 76,000 Finland Swedes in the United States.

Chapter 7

Finland Swedish Settlement in the Eastern States

The very first Finland Swedes who came to the United States spread themselves around the country very much like chaff driven by the wind. Gradually, however, we find small groups here and there which slowly continued to grow in size. In certain places rather large groups gathered, partly through emigration from the homeland, and partly by movement from other locations. Many came to various small communities and places because of advice from relatives and/or friends and often through help from their friends. They soon learned something of the language and customs and therefore desired to see more of the country. Thus many moved to still more remote areas where they may have decided to remain for the rest of their lives, while others kept moving from place to place without ever finding their desired niche. Movement away from many smaller communi-ties was often caused by the closing of the employing industry. This has been especially true in the sawmill industry.

For the purpose of discussing settlement of Finland Swedes, we will divide the country into three areas: The Eastern district consisting of the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania; the Middle states area encompassing Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas; and the Western states of Montana, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California. We should also consider a fourth area, namely, Canada. Of course, there must be some Finland Swedes in every state of the Union, but because their numbers are few and without organizaiton, it is just about impossible to gather information about them.

Because of its geographic location, it is self-evident that New York would be one of the first states welcoming Finland Swedes. Also, if one wants to establish the arrival date for the first Finland Swedes in the Eastern States, we will have to go back to the middle of the 1600s when the Swedes came to Delaware. That has already been discussed in a previous chapter.

New York

New York, with a population of 6,981,927 (1930), has long been the arrival city for emigrants from Europe. Many Finland Swedes, just like many thousands of others, never got any farther than here. Here they found satisfactory employment, settled in, built their own homes and raised their children to be upstanding citizens.

The city of New York is divided into 5 boroughs: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Richmond. There are Finland Swedes in all five boroughs but most are located in the Bronx and Brooklyn. About 15,000 Finlanders live in New York and about one-fifth of these are Swedes from Finland, truly the largest contingent of Finland Swedes in the United States.

In the area of employment, the Finland Swedes have been able to enter almost every field. In the building construction industry they have really become out-standing here as well as in so many other areas of the nation. The church life among the Finland Swedes really comes to life when we read the histories of the various congregations in a later chapter. Here in New York, steps were taken early on to gather groups of countrymen into congregations and we now find a larger number here than in any other location in the United States. We find one Baptist, two Lutheran, and two Mission Covenant congregations. In addition, there are many Finland Swedes who joined the Swedish churches when the combined Swedish-speaking and Finnish-speaking congregations split.

In social organizations, we find that Finland Swedes have established their own groupings. The Order of Runeberg plays a leading role with several lodges. In addition, there are two independent sick benefit societies, different singing societies, plus a Finnish young peoples society. The Finland Swedish weekly newspaper, "Finska Amerikanaren", (now known as Norden) is published here in New York. In New York city we find representatives from all areas of Swedish Finland. The state of New York contains many large cities, but those cities could not match the drawing power of the world city itself. Thus we find only a few Finland Swedes in those other cities.

New Jersey

Jersey City, directly across the Hudson River from New York City, is located on a peninsula projecting into the Hudson River from its West bank. This city with a population of 315,642 has enticed the settlement of a significant number of Finland Swedes. Because of New Jersey's proximity to New York, the statements concerning first arrivals of Finland Swedes in New York are equally applicable to New Jersey. Jersey City, with its many large industries, has furnished employ-ment for many workers for a long, long time. There is a Runeberg lodge here as well as a small Finland Swedish Lutheran congregation.

In the rest of New Jersey, especially in the cities, we find pockets of Finland Swedes throughout, though very scattered.


A significant number of Finland Swedes are found within the borders of this state, but we can list only a few cities where the numbers are relatively large.

Georgetown in the southwestern corner, is a small city which has welcomed a sizeable number of Finland Swedes, mostly from Åland. They have safeguarded their own interests through the establishment of a Lutheran congregation with their own church building.

New Haven, with a population of 162,650, located northeasterly from New York, is the largest city in the state. It also houses a University. It is the most industrial city in the state and in addition carries on significant commerce facilitated by a far-flung railway net and an excellent harbor. A significant number of Finland Swedes have settled here where they have employment in many industries. Their numbers are not sufficient to support their own church but have memberships in Swedish churches. They safeguard their own interests through a chapter of the Order of Runeberg.

Branford, witha population of 7,080, lies eight miles southeasterly from New Haven and is located on a bay of Long Island Sound. A considerable number of Finland Swedes settled here about 50 years ago. The largest number came from Övermark and Närpes. In those olden times, employment came from the granite quarry and a few industries which had been established there. In the Swedish Lutheran congregation where they gradually took up membership their numbers increased so that now their numbers make up three-fifths of the membership. They carry on their own social life.

Bridgeport (pop. 147,206) lies about 18 miles southwest of New Haven. The city has many industries and has a beautiful and excellent harbor. Its industries have given employment to a significant number of Finland Swedes, many having been employed for many years. Their religious life has been tied in with the Swedish people while their social needs have been handled among themselves. In addition, one can occasionally meet a Finland Swede in many other cities in Connecticut, but not in significant numbers.

Rhode Island

There are very few Finland Swedes living within the borders of the little state of Rhode Island.

Woonsocket with a population of 49,585 is located 16 miles northwest of the capital city of Providence. It is an industrial city whose principal products are rubber goods and cotton. A substantial number of Finland Swedes has called Woonsocket home for many years, having found employment in the various industrial establishments. They have established their own Lutheran church and their social needs are being satisfied by a chapter of the Order of Runeberg.


Massachusetts without a doubt is the domicile of the greatest number of Finland Swedes in New England.

Worcester, with its population of 196,837 souls, is known as the Heart of the Commonwealth. Among its many industries, the manufacture of steel wire occupied a leading role. Many Finland Swedes came to Worcester in the early 1800s. According to information contained in the history of Finland Swedes in Worcester, J.A. Hermans and Charles Klockars from Närpes were the first Finland Swedes to settle here. They arrived on January 13, 1880. Others came later. The two first Finland Swedish women to arrive in Worcester were Anna L. Hermans and a Miss Granskog. They also came from Närpes. The number of Finland Swedes in Worcester has reached 1,000 and together with their off-spring is now (1930) considered to be at least double that number. The majority trace their roots to Närpes. In the early days of the emigration most Finland Swedes were employed in the steel wire mills, but over time the people in Worcester, like those in other places, found employment in other industries of this very diversified industrial city.

In the religious and social areas of life, the Finland Swedes of Worcester were able to handle their own affairs. They organized three churches, a Mission Covenant, a Baptist and a Lutheran church. The very first society among Finland Swedes in the United States was organized in Worcester, namely the sick benefit society "Imatra". This was followed quickly by the Temperance Society "AAvasaksa". Later the sickness and death-benefit society "Saima" was founded in Worcester followed by the Temperance Society "Räddningslinan" which later joined the Order of Runeberg. The above named societies "Saima" and "Imatra" merged to form the Sick Benefit Society "Per Brahe". Two other societies were also organized in Worcester, namely "Fänrik Stohl" and the Swedish Finnish Relief Society.

Millville is a small city where a number of Finland Swedes settled and were employed in industries of the area. They made use of the Swedish churches for their religious needs.

Gardner (pop. 19,386) lies about 30 miles north of Worcester. While Gardner is much smaller than Worcester, we nevertheless find a sizeable number of Finland Swedes there. According to a report by W. Blomquist in a 1930 issue of "Finska Amerikanaren" the exact date when Finland Swedes first came to Gardner cannot be established. However, it is fairly certain that there were some Finland Swedes in Gardner in the early 1880s. However, it was not until 1890 that there was a noteworthy influx.

Gardner is often called the Chair City and there are at least 18 chair factories there. Finland Swedes have had employment in those factories for many years. In fact, some Finland Swedes have established their own chair factories. Truly Finland Swedes of Gardner have been leaders among their ocuntrymen in taking the initiative to establish economic undertakings.

Gardner Finland Swedes have looked after their religious life by the establishment of two churches, a Baptist and a Lutheran. The Temperance Society "Sveaborg" is the oldest society among Finland Swedes in Gardner. The sick and death-benefit society "Star of East Bothnia" was organized in 1899. In addition to the above mentioned societies, Finland Swedes in Gardner also support the Swedish National Federation, the ladies sick benefit society "Solstrålen (Sunbeam) together with Lodge 214 of the Order of Runeberg. The Korsholm parish has the most representation in Gardner.

Fitchburg (Pop. 40,682). East of Gardner and about 50 miles west of Boston, lies the industrial city of Fitchburg whose cotton mills and machine shops provide employment to scores of workers. A small group of Finland Swedes have made their homes here. They support a division of the Order of Runeberg to satisfy some of their social needs and look to the Swedish churches for their religious life.

Boston (pop. 787,271) is one of the country's oldest cities. Much of the country's history is centered around Boston which is the hub of self-esteem which per-meates all of New England. Boston is fundamentally a commercial and industrial port city. Many of the country's immigrants have entered through Boston and Finland Swedes are numbered among them, especially during the early days of the immigration. However, most Finland Swedes passed through Boston without settling there. A few did remain to find their future in the city's industries. They have supported a branch of the Order of Runeberg and look to the Swedish churches for their religious life.

Quincy (pop. 71,965) is a close neighbor of Boston and is the site of the first English settlement in Massachusetts. The original industry was stone-quarrying and boat building. A significant number of Finland Swedes settled here and they have established a chapter of the Order of Runeberg.

Norwood (pop. 14,983) located about 14 miles southwest of Boston is a small industrial city supporting repair shops, tannneries, blast furnaces and steel mills. The number of Finland Swedes in this city is relatively small. They look to the Swedish churches for their religious life. They do support a Runeberg Lodge.

North Chelmsford is a small city which has only recently attracted a few Finland Swedes. The stone quarry is the most significant industrial complex of this city. A Runeberg Lodge was recently established in North Chelmsford.

Springfield (pop. 149,861) lies about 100 miles west of Boston and is one of the state's larger cities. A United States arsenal that manufactures rifles for the U.S. Army is located here. It is an old industrial city dating from 1636. Springfield, with its machine shops, tobacco factories and cotton mills, has been home for a large number of Finland Swedes for many years. Their social life is covered by a healthy functioning division of the Order of Runeberg plus the independent "North Watch", a sick and death benefit society, together with a society "Helpfulness" that provides aid for deserving countrymen. The Finland Swedes are counted among the city's Swedish church families.

In addition to the cities of Massachusetts discussed above, there are other cities in the state to which a few Finland Swedes have moved. However, there is no state-wide grouping of Finland Swedes that can be detected. Individual families have from time to time moved out into the countryside surrounding the larger cities and now support themselves through farming. This has created a peculiar phenomenon since there are some farms that had been abandoned by their American owners because they seemed to be too infertile to produce adequately, but when taken over by Finland Swedes are made to produce sufficiently to support the family.


Finland Swedes living within the borders of this state is by comparison quite small. About 30 years ago the number working in the coal mines was quite significant, but over the years, due to movement out of state, the employment picture is drastically different. The labor conflict and general unrest has been significant in Pennsylvania as well as in all mining areas.

Bitumen was at one time a flourishing mining community adequately supporting a large number of Finland Swedes employed in the mines. It is now not known if there are any remaining Finland Swedes in this town.

Philadelphia (pop, 1,964,430). A significant number of Finland Swedes lived in this great city but that which is true in most large cities is also true here. The group is very scattered. Philadelphia has been and continues to be a city devoted to shipping and commerce. Its industries are manifold and give employment to many.

If one could search the chronicled history of Philadelphia, one would be able to find traces of the very first Finland Swedes who came to the States as early as the middle of the 1600s. Two rooms in the John Morton building in Philadelphia are named Fredrika Brenner and Pehr Kalm - Finland Swedish historical figures.

The Finland Swedes of Philadelphia have joined the Swedish churches but they had established the sick benefit society "Northern Lights" (Norrskenet).

Chapter 8:

Settlements of Finland Swedes in the Central States


Significant numbers of Finland Swedes are located within the borders of the state of Michigan.

Detroit (pop 1,513,985), the automobile city that has grown in an unprecedented manner in recent years, has been adopted as home by many Finland Swedes. They have found gainful employment, not only in the automobile industry, but also in the large number of related industries of the city. For church activities they have for the most part cooperated with the Swedish churches. Their main social activities have been centered around the local Runeberg group.

Grand Rapids (pop. 168,650) Many years ago this furniture city became the domicile for a small number of Finland Swedes. There is no way of measuring whether this group has actually gained or lost numbers over the years. The finding of work appears not to have been too difficult here in Grand Rapids. Finding outlets for their religious and social lives required cooperating with other ethnic groups, principally the Swedes.

Muskegon (pop. 41,338) is a port city on Lake Michigan. Finland Swedes came here many years ago and found work in the many small mills of the city. The era of large sawmills soon ended, but other industries took their place, giving employ-ment to those who needed and looked for it. The Finland Swedes joined with the other Swedish speakers in supporting the Swedish churches. The Order of Runeberg is represented among the social activities in Muskegon.

Ludington (pop. 8,854), located north of Muskegon, also fronting on Lake Michigan, was founded as a sawmill city probably as early as 1870. Finland Swedes arrived in this area along with other immigrants from the very beginning. When the heyday of the large sawmills was over, the city's inhabitants, with Finland Swedes among them, sought employment in other locations and industries. Most of the Finland Swedes had their roots in the northern regions of East Bothnia. They joined with other Swedish speakers in organizing and supporting church and social clubs and functions.

Flint (pop. 156,422) is another growing automobile city which has enticed Finland Swedes in recent years.

Oscoda and East Tawas were in the old days important sawmill areas but as the lumbering industry gradually petered out, the Finland Swedes who lived here gradually moved away to many locations, with many going to Duluth, Minnesota. Only a few remain as farmers in the surrounding countryside.

Bay City and Manistee are also former sawmill cities whose industries used to employ significant numbers of Finland Swedes. As of now, (1931) only a few remain here. It is true that you should be able to meet some Finland Swedes in most every city in the southern section of the lower peninsula as well as in southern Michigan generally. However, in reality it is northern Michigan in the so-called Upper Peninsula where significant numbers of Finland Swedes have chosen to settle and build their homes. In the following paragraphs we will name some communities that years ago supported a significant number of Finland Swedes.

Sault St. Marie, St. Ignace & Newberry even though now have only a very few Finland Swedes, formerly employed elatedly large numbers. They must be classed as transients since they followed the available work. Marquette is in the same category but there are still a goodly number of Finland Swedes living here.

Munising, on the other hand, with its lumbering industry enticed many to remain for many, many years. Similarly, lumbering also enticed others to come to the cities of Manistique, Menominee and Thompson. The first named city has a sizeable Finland Swedish population. They work with the Swedish population in church work but have their own Runeberg division. Manistique also supports a small Runeberg lodge.

Escanaba (pop. 14,516), the biggest city in Delta County, is the home district for many Finland Swedes with many of them having lived here for a long time. It is the port city for export of iron ore. Employment is plentiful here especially during the summer months. Many different types of industries have matured in this city which provides employment for large numbers of workers. About 25 years ago the lumbering industry provided the bulk of employment. Finland Swedes were well represented among the business people of the city. At one time they had their own congregation, but it has been dissolved. Escanaba has a functioning branch of the Order of runeberg. Most parishes of East Bothnia have representation in the Escanaba area.

Gladstone (pop. 5,164), a smaller city about 7 miles north of Escanaba, has a sizeable contingent of Finland Swedes among its residents. As is true in nearly all localities in Michigan, lumbering has provided employment for many. In addition, the many smaller industries together with local businesses provide employment for others. The Order of Runeberg is represented by a robust lodge. Gladstone is the home of a Finland Swedish Baptist congregation. The Finland Swedish Lutherans have chosen to affiliate with the Swedish congregation. Most of the Finland Swedes of Gladstone come from the parishes south of the city of Nykarleby in Finland.

Dollar Bay, in Houghton County, is a smaller community where quite a number of Finland Swedes have settled. At one time it was the lumbering industry which was the magnet which drew them here just like it did in so many other places. In later years, other smaller industries have been established. At one time a smelting plant gave employment to many. The first Finland Swedes who came to Dollar Bay were M. Sved, J. Mattson and Aug. Boatman from Malax together with the brothers John and Ed Nye from Korsholm. These people arrived in 1887. Korsholm, Malax and Pörtom parishes have the largest representation in Dollar Bay. Two Finland Swedish congregations are located here, one Lutheran and the other Baptist. There is also a division of the Order of Runeberg in Dollar Bay.

Baraga and more especially in L'Anse the lumbering industry has been the draw-ing force calling Finland Swedes. Henry Ford is now the owner of the sawmills at L'Anse and runs the operation in his own peculiar manner - the workers are well cared for! In the area around Baraga there is a sizeable number of Finland Swedes who are farmers. They cooperate with the Swedes in churchly matters and they support their own division of the Order of Runeberg.

Ontonagon on the shores of Lake Superior is another sawmill town which once had a flourishing economy. Many of the Finland Swedes who were here during its flourishing springtime have moved to other locations. A few remain and are numbered among the members of the fishing fleet. They cooperate with the other Swedish speakers in their church life but are still able to support a small group of Runebergers.

Mining is now and has been for a long time the most important industry in Upper Michigan. Iron ore was discovered in many areas of Michigan many years ago. Mining began in earnest toward the end of the 1870s and has since been growing in importance. Wherever mining expanded, cities and villages also grew. Finland Swedes and many other nationalities came to these cities in search of employ-ment and usually found it especially in the mines.

Crystal Falls was established in the early 1880s and received its name from the small waterfall within the city limits. The first Finland Swedes arrived in the area soon after the mine opened for operation. They were C. Anderson and A. Johnson from Korsholm. They were soon followed by others and now (1931) this city is considered to be a center for Finland Swedes in northern Michigan. Many Finland Swedes like so many others worked in the mines where soon, through diligence and attention, they began to be numbered among the leaders. Also, over the years many have diversified their activities and become involved in all types of businesses. Vörå and Korsholm parishes are well represented among the residents of the Crystal Falls area. The Finland Swedes of the Crystal Falls area have their own division of the Order of Runeberg but they are supporters of the Swedish churches.

Amasa, a small mining town about 16 miles north of Crystal Falls, had at one time a large number of Finland Swedes among its citizens with most of them being employed by the mines, some in leadership capacities.

Iron Mountain (pop. 11,592) dates its origin from the year 1878 when the first mine was opened. The city grew rapidly from the beginning and soon became the leader for the whole mining district. Henry Ford organized the lumbering industry in the area a few years ago which has had a salutary effect on the economics of the city. Both of these industries enticed Finland Swedes to settle in Iron Mountain. They cooperate with the Swedes in their church activities, but handle their own social needs through a unit of the Order of Runeberg.

Norway, close by Iron Mountain, had a goodly number of Finland Swedes begin-ning in the 1890s but a significant number have now moved away to other areas.

Negaunee (pop. 6,552) is a mining town farther to the north. Finland Swedes have a fine representation here, having their own Baptist congregation and a unit of the Order of Runeberg.

Stambaugh & Iron River, farther west, are also mining centers where significant numbers of Finland Swedes have settled. In Stambaugh they have their own unit of the Order of Runeberg but join with the Swedes in their church activities.

In addition to the above listed communities, there are other villages both large and small in Northern Michigan where Finland Swedes are located.

In the western section of Northern Michigan, there is the so-called Gogebic Range which also opened mines during the latter part of the 1870s.

Ironwood (pop. 14,254) is the largest city in that district and hosts the largest number of Finland Swedes. Many occupy various positions in the companies with some occupying positions of great responsibility.

Many are found in the various fields of economics as well as in nearly every worthy profession. In this city, the Finland Swedes have their own Lutheran con-gregation together with a strong unit of the Order of Runeberg. Most parishes north of Vasa, Finland have representation in this city. Ironwood can claim to be the center of the Order of Runeberg since its Secretary, J. Victor Jacobson, lives in Ironwood.

Bessemer (pop. 7,260), about 7 miles east of Ironwood, has continued to grow over the years, thanks to the mining industry. Finland Swedes came here approximately similtaneously with their arrival in Ironwood. Most have been con-nected with mining operations in some form. They usually claim Vasa and the surrounding parishes as their place of origin. With respect to church affairs, they work with the Swedes from Sweden but for socializing, they support their own unit of the Order of Runberg.

Ramsay & Wakefield, though located farther east, still belong to the same mining district. They were of little consequence until recently. Now there are many Finland Swedes living in these areas. In Ramsay the Finland Swedes have for many years had a Temperance Society which now has become a unit of the Order of Runeberg.

The third mining district in northern Michigan can point to many large copper mines. The copper bearing strata lies mostly in Houghton and Kewenaw counties and sport the oldest mines in Michigan, dating all the way back to the 1860s.

Calumet (pop. 17,251) continues as the largest city in the district and is also the largest in all of Upper Michigan. Many Finland Swedes have been assembled here and found employment in the copper mines. Calumet enjoyed its greatest prosperity in the early 1900s when it boasted a population of 35,000 people. Subsequent years witnessed the exodus of large numbers due to labor conflict and downturns in the economy. The city still has great importance as a mining center with Finland Swedes numbered among the leaders. Others, of course, have found their niches in other commercial establishments. August Wickman from Gamlakarleby is said to have been the first Finland Swede to have moved into Calumet. All the Swedish speaking people of Calumet cooperate in further-ing both church and social undertakings.

Hancock & Houghton are located about 14 miles south of Calumet. A small number of mines are located here. Only a few Finland Swedes live in this area. They do have a local Runeberg unit but their numbers are minimal.

South of these cities there are other communities but only a very few Finland Swedes live there.

Metropolitan in Dickinson county was at one time a significant lumbering center. Mining was also promoted here but with only very limited success. Metropolitan now contains one of the very largest groupings of Finland Swedes in the United States. The community is roughly divided into three areas: Metropolitan, Felch and Felch Mountain. Schools are located in all these villages and there are two churches for the peoples' spiritual needs. Post Offices are located in both Metropolitan and in Felch. Erik Skog was one of the first Finland Swedes to settle in this area. He arrived in 1883. Since then the number of Finland Swedes has continued to increase yearly up to the present time. Most of them are tillers of the soil. Many have also labored in the forests during the winter months and through their industry in the felling of timber have become quite well-to-do. A large share of the Finland Swedes hail from the northern section of East Bothnia with Purmo and Jeppo well represented. Metropolitan is one of the most pleasant communities one can find with its own distinctive nature which can best be characterized by the term good humor. A local unit of the Order of Runeberg is located in Felch.

Cedarville in Mackinaw County is the name of another community where a group of Finland Swedes settled. The community is not as large as Metropolitan but it does have schools, churches, post office and other facilities that represent "community". Many are "Ålänningar" sometimes known as the "other East Bothnians".

Brevort is a little fishing community on the shores of Lake Michigan about 25 miles from St. Ignace. It is nearly exclusively populated by people from Åland. This community is also complete with church, schools and post office.

In many other areas of Northern Michigan one can find Finland Swedes. Usually they are farmers living in communities where other Scandinavians also reside. Occasionally a few are living with Finnish people as neighbors, but hardly ever among other nationalistic groups.


Certain localities in Illinois have protrayed their attractiveness to a fairly meaningful number of Finland Swedes

Chicago, with a population of 3,575,329 in 1930, the worldly city with a reputation for both good and evil, harbors within its borders people from all corners of the globe. It has also become the home city for a group of Finland Swedes. John Stenman from Kirstinestad was the first, reportedly arriving in 1865. A Captain Bärlund from the same city arrived the following year with a Captain Johnson from Åland arriving in 1867. Others continued to arrive over the years so that now in 1930 there are about 2,000 Finland Swedes in Chicago. However, they are scattered throughout the city with only a few retaining any affiliation with other Finland Swedes.

Because the Finland Swedes have proven themselves to be skillful mechanics and carpenters, they have had no difficulty in gaining employment in Chicago. They have their own Baptist church, while the Lutherans have joined the Swedish Lutheran churches. A division of the Order of Runeberg continues to function in Chicago.

DeKalb (pop. 8,536), with its steel wire mills, has been the drawing power to bring a limited number of Finland Swedes. Many have purchased their own homes and find life pleasant and enjoyable. They worship among or with other Swedish speaking peoples. A temperance society had been functioning among the Finland Swedes for many years.

Waukegan (pop. 33,434) is located about 50 miles north of Chicago. A steel wire plant was established here in 1890 and from that time the city grew rapidly. A significant number of Finland Swedes arrived here in these early days. The first one to arrive in Waukegan was Matt Mattson from Munsala via Worcester in 1890. (Probably because of previous employment in one of the steel wire mills in Worcester.) Finland Swedes have had employment in the steel wire mills and other industries in the city. Some few are proprietors of their own businesses. In church life they worship with the Swedes from Sweden while other social needs are covered by a division of the Order of Runeberg.

Many of the other cities in Illinois contain their own scattering of Finland Swedes, with Rockford being one of the principal ones. However, no specific information has been received at the time of this writing.

Because Illinois is numbered among the older states, there has been no coloni-zation during the last fifty or so years. Thus, the Finland Swedes arrived too late to take part in the establishment of the large family farms of this state. There are many Swedish families in Illinois, having come from Sweden in those early days, who now are the proprietors of many of the large farming enterprises.


That state of Wisconsin, with a very large territory extending in all directions but most especially from north to south, has within its borders significant numbers of Finland Swedes.

Kenosha (pop. 50,242), just north of Waukegan, Ill., has been for a long time the home city for a small group of Finland Swedes. They have been employed by many different industries. When Kenosha became an automobile manufacturing city, it grew rapidly like so many other automobile cities. This, of course, caused the group of Finland Swedes to also expand in numbers. Kenosha, like so many other cities, found it most expedient to join with the other Swedish speaking people in the support and build-up of the churches. However, they do have their own social activities in the form of a division of the Order of Runeberg.

Milwaukee (pop. 572,557), located farther north, has recently received an influx of Finland Swedes, but they are widely scattered and, hence, have not established their own organizations.

Marinette (pop. 13,734), with its sawmills established early on, caused an influx of Finland Swedes, but with the demise of the sawmills, the Finland Swedes also moved on.

Rhinelander and Merrill, each with a population of about 8,000, did at one time provide employment for many in the sawmills that have functioned for a long time. A small number of Finland Swedes have labored here over the years. Many, especially in the town of Merrill, have their roots in Åland. They function with the Swedes from Sweden in both their social and church life.

Ashland (pop. 10,623), like most of these northern cities with lumbering as the principal industry in bygone days, enticed Finland Swedes to settle in. The first ones arrived in the 1880s and others later. The Port of Ashland is a shipping center especially for iron ore and seed. The city's exports amounted to 8 million tons in 1929. The employment at the port is especially high during the summer but the sawmills have, for the most part, closed which has resulted in a diminished population, many having moved out to the surrounding area and taken up farming instead. The Finland Swedes have their own Lutheran church and a local branch of the Order of Runeberg.

Superior (pop. 36,100), within its city limits, contains a larger number of Finland Swedes than any other city in Wisconsin. The city was established in the 1880s and even at that early time contained a few Finland Swedes. Others came later. Superior is an exporting city for iron ore and grains. Finland Swedes have been employed by railroads and by the grain industry. Some have found success in the various commercial establishments of the city as well as in the political field. The Finland Swedes had their own Lutheran church, but it was dissolved about ten years ago despite the fact that it had a substantial number of members. Thus, they now look to the Swedish Lutherans for their religious needs. The local section of the Order of Runeberg continues to function.

In additon to the cities that have already been named, there are other smaller places where Finland Swedes have settled such as Iron River, Hurley, Mellen, Saxon and others.

Finland Swedes have been involved in the building up of other communities in Wisconsin. We name a few below.

Siegel, a settlement in Wood county which has a German name, was settled by Germans. There are still many German people in the area. In a small section of this area we find a settlement of Finland Swedes who, together with the Swedes from Sweden, have been those who made that section a viable community. The community is about 60 years old. One of the first Finland Swedes was John Worlund from Vörå in Finland. Other people from Vörå came later. I suppose there is really no need to emphasize the fact that churches and schools are, of course, available in the area.

Conover, in Vilas county, is another village which was built up with Finland Swedish assistance. People from Ironwood and Bessemer, Michigan, settled here in the early Nineteen Hundreds. They cleared the forests, tilled the soil, and built their homes in the area. They constitute a majority of the population. The balance are, for the most part, Swedes from Sweden. Many schools have been built in the area and one Lutheran church has been built next to a beautiful lake in the center of the community.

Wentworth is the name of a village about 20 miles east of Superior where a goodly number of Finland Swedes have established themselves. There is a Finland Swedish Baptist church in the village as well as schools and post office.

Orienta in Washburn county is one other area having a considerable number of Finland Swedes among its settlers.


The state of Minnesota, especially the northeastern section with its glorious northern climate, has enticed thousands of Finland Swedes to build and live within its borders.

Duluth (pop. 101,417), on Lake Superior's western end, has counted Finland Swedes among its inhabitants for more than 50 years. An Alfred Johnson from Gamlakarleby is considered to have been the first Finland Swede to arrive in the city. Mrs. Hanna Kynell is the oldest Finland Swede living in Duluth (1930). When she and her husband arrived about 50 years ago, it was a small ten-year-old village. It is estimated that there are now (1930) 2,000 Finland Swedes in Duluth. Kronoby, Pedersöre and Närpes now have the best representation among the Finland Swedes of Duluth. The first arrivals spent most of their energies in the fishing industry. Also, of course, there were sawmills which fur-nished employment to some. Grain from the large wheat fields of Minnesota, Dakotas and Montana was shipped through the port of Duluth which is the third largest exporting port for grain shipments in the United States.

According to the 1929 statistics, New York is the largest exporting port in the US, exporting slightly more than 65 million tons. Duluth is second with 53 million tons followed by San Francisco with 28 million tons.

Many Finland Swedes have found employment with the grain storage companies and the ore docks, while others are employed in the construction industry as well as other commercial ventures. Two churches look after the spiritual affairs of the Finland Swedes, one Lutheran and one Baptist. There are two Runeberg lodges in Duluth. Wm. Holm, Runeberg's national treasurer, lives in Duluth. He was also the Order's first President.

Eveleth (pop. 7,485), a mining town, is located about 60 miles north of Duluth. Here also we find a large number of Finland Swedes who for a a long time earned their subsistence in the mines. Now about half of the Finland Swedes are engaged in other activities, some in business, others in the bulding trades and industry while others have advantageous appointments in education and the police and security establishments.

Some have reached important and responsible positions in the mines. The early settlers of Eveleth include Andrew Johnson and Jacob Johnson from Korsholm. Other information indicates that Matt Erickson and John Brodin were among the first arrivals. From present knowledge, it appears that Vörå and Kvevlax have the largest representation among Eveleth's Finland Swedes. As in most cities and towns, the determination of numbers is very difficult. Nevertheless, we should be able to guess that the number of Finland Swedes could reach several hundred. Spiritual guidance is available through the churches supported and run by all Swedish speaking peoples. Eveleth has a unit of the Order of Runeberg.

Virginia (pop. 11,957) has a mining and lumbering industry. Only a few Finland Swedes live here.

Hibbing (pop. 15,644) located farther west is, first of all, an iron ore mining city. There are a goodly number of Finland Swedes in this city. Some among them have lived here since the city was founded. Herman Aura and John Munter were the first Finland Swedes on the site. Korsholm and Lappfjärd parishes are well represented among the Finland Swedes in Hibbing. The Order of Runeberg is represented by a division in Hibbing. For spiritual guidance, the Finland Swedes cooperate with the Swedes from Sweden.

Chisholm (pop. 8,307) is a somewhat younger mining town. Here the number of Finland Swedes is quite important, some of whom have been present since the founding of the city. The Kronoby parish probably has the largest representation in Chisholm. From very early times, a temperance society functioned among the Finland Swedes. There is a Baptist congregation among the Finland Swedes while the Lutherans cooperate with the Swedes from Sweden, claiming a majority of the membership. The Order of Runeberg maintains a division in Chisholm.

Ely (pop. 6,151), farthest north together with Soudan, are iron mining areas. It is recounted in the "History of Minnesota" by Wm. Folwell that as early as 1770 an Englishman by the name of Alexander Henry received the right to establish mines in this area, but it wasn't until the 1880s that actual mining took place. It was in this area that the first mines were established. A small number of Finland Swedes live in Ely. They cooperate with the Swedes from Sweden in both church and social affairs. A small fluctuating number of Finland Swedes live and work in other mining areas such as Aurora, Biwabik and Crosby and other areas of northern Minnesota.

Two Harbors, located about 30 miles northeasterly from Duluth, is a port city through which iron ore from mines in Ely and Soudan are exported. A substantial number of Finland Swedes have lived and labored for many years in Two Harbors. Several have moved to the outskirts for the purpose of devoting their energies to market gardening. They cooperate with the Swedes from Sweden in both their social and spiritual life. In the early days, a temperance society functioned throughout the Finland Swedish community.

Cloquet (pop. 6,770) whose principal industries are paper mills and sawmills, had had a certain attraction for Finland Swedes, but after the great fire of 1918 which laid waste to much of the city, many have moved away. Those remaining cooperate with other ethnic groups for both social and spiritual guidance.

Minneapolis (pop. 464,753). A smaller group of Finland Swedes had found their way here where they have earned their sustenance in the construction industry and other business activities.

Hopkins, near Minneapolis, is where several Finland Swedish families are con-sidered to be numbered among the city's builders. They have been employed for a long time by the city's industrial complex. Some few have now turned to market gardening and live in the outskirts of the city.

Rural Communities

Palisade is the name of such a community in Aitkin county. Finland Swedes and Swedes from Sweden moved here about 40 years ago, most of them coming from Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin. This community has now evolved into a well-regulated community with schools, churches, banks, post office and stores.

Grayling is the name of another community in the same county not far from Palisade which was settled about 30 years ago, also by Finland Swedes and Swedes from Sweden. This has also developed into a well-run community.

Lawler, a community also in Aitkin county, has had Finland Swedes as residents for about 30 years. However, their numbers have always been relatively few.

Milaca in Mille Lacs county had quite an influx of Finland Swedes. This occurred some time ago which resulted in a pleasant well-ordered community following years of toil, struggle and work.

About 35 miles north of Eveleth in the vicinity of Lake Vermillion, there is a settlement called Littlefolk. About a dozen Finland Swedes settled there as farmers with Jack Johnson from Munsala being among the first arrivals. Cook is another small farming community in the same general neighborhood where we also find a few Finland Swedes.

Korbin and Markham are two small farm communities south of Eveleth where we also find a few Finland Swedes.

The State of Minnesota is privileged to have the use of some well-known Finland Swedish names which are also honored in the entire civilized world but which, as far as is known to us, are not commemorated in this manner in Finland.

Runeberg is the name of a township in the southern corner of Becker County. Farmers came there in 1882 and the community was organized in 1887.

Topelius is the name of another community in Otter Tail county. That community dates from1901. The Northern Pacific Railroad spells the name as Topelius, as above, but others call the place Dopelius.

Larsmont is the name of a fishing village about 25 miles from Duluth along the shore of Lake Superior. It was a Mrs. Hill that named the place Larsmo, but the railroad called it Larsmont. This community was established almost completely by Finland Swedish fishermen.

Finland. Two citizens from Finland, one named Lindström, the other Pelto, went into the woods about 40 miles north of Two Harbors a few years ago. They set about clearing the forest and cultivating the land. Later the railroad company ran some rail lines through the community and so the community became known as Finland.

French River is the name of the village about seven miles northeast of Duluth. A rather large number of Finland Swedes live here. Some live along the coast and support themselves by fishing while others are farmers and live a few miles farther north.

South Dakota

Comparatively speaking, only a few Finland Swedes live in the Dakotas.

Perkins county in South Dakota. In 1908 it was made known in Gardner, Mass., that free home sites were available in Perkins County, South Dakota. Pastor C. A. Larson urged the desirability of accepting the offer. It was even written up in the Finska Amerikanaren with the result that the following people left applications for free homes at the land office: Axel Mattson, C.J. Nordman from Millville, Mass., Emil Kamb from St. Paul, Minn., Matt Groop from Biwabik, Minn. and J.A. Bengts from Gardner, Mass. They all had come from Närpes, Finland except Groop who came from Övermark. Of those who moved to Perkins County in South Dakota, only J. A. Bengts and C. J. Nordman remain. Nordman owns 680 acres of good land which he cultivates with up-to-date machinery. He also has a nice modern house. Bengts owns 200 acres of excellent land with the necessary equipment and up-to-date cattle barn. Bengts also leases a larger farm.

Chapter 9:

Settlements in the Western States and Canada

Finland Swedes have been located in most mining communities throughout the Western states. But probably because of labor conflicts the population has been more mobile than in other areas of the country. To invest in home ownership has not been very practical since at the time of the next labor dispute it would often be necessary to seek employment in some other location. The mining companies had become cognizant of this which resulted in the companies' need to construct living quarters for their employees. This often worked to the advantage of the companies, especially in their ability to entice the best workers. Of course, it also allowed the employers the ability to determine the outcome of labor disputes by forcing potential strikers out of their homes. This contributed to the unstable population.


After leaving the Dakotas, we do not find any Finland Swedes until we come to the mountains of Montana.

Butte, with a population of 39,540, is well known for its copper mines. Here we find at times a considerable number of Finland Swedes. But since mining is quite sporadic and because of the dissension between company and labor, the population of Butte has been very unstable. The number of Finland Swedes located here has also varied depending on the status of employment. At the present time (1930) the Finland Swedish population is quite large. The parishes north of Vasa are well represented among the Finland Swedes in Butte. All Swedish-speaking Lutherans cooperate in Butte. There is also a small Baptist group as well as some Mission Covenant members. The Order of Runeberg has many supporters in Butte.

Anaconda (pop. 12,500) is a neighboring city with a few Finland Swedes. The principal industry is a large copper smelting plant which employs many Finland Swedes. Both social and church activities are handled in cooperation with the other Swedish-speaking groups.

Other Montana cities contain only a few Finland Swedes.

Stevensville is a country district about 25 miles west of Missoula where a few Finland Swedes have settled to take up farming. Through irrigation, they have made the desert-like countryside bloom like a virtual Eden. The water comes from the melting snow which continues to flow down the mountains all summer long.


Within the borders of the state of Colorado the number of Finland Swedes has been somewhat greater than the number in Montana.

Telluride is a mining city where Finland Swedes have found employment in the mines for more than 40 years. The city is located in the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 6,744 feet. Gold, silver, copper and lead are found in the mines of the area. Labor unrest here has been a contributing factor to the variation in the Finland Swedish population. Parishes north of Vasa are well represented among the Finland Swedes of the area.

Silverton, with the silver mines, has furnished employment to Finland Swedes for many years.

Leadville, whose name gives away its principal industry, has provided employment for a goodly number of Finland Swedes in the lead mines.

In the remaining cities one can find other groups of Finland Swedes but just as in other mountainous areas, the population is much more transient and it becomes next to impossible to determine the number of Finland Swedes in each city.


For many years there has existed within the borders of the Mormon state of Utah various groups of Finland Swedes. However, as far as is known, no Finland Swede has embraced Mormon theology even when it has been necessary to live among them.

Salt Lake City (pop. (140,084), Utah's capital city and the center of Mormonism, is the most important commercial city between Denver and the Pacific Ocean. It is also a significant industrial city. Here the Finland Swedes have important positions in many different fields of endeavor. They, together with the Swedes from Sweden, cooperate in support of spiritual undertakings. However, they usually support their own social programs.

Bingham is a small city located about 20 miles southwesterly from Salt Lake City. It is a mining town with many copper mines in the area. The Finland Swedes living here consider Vörå and Kronoby as their home districts. Their numbers have been quite significant at certain times, so much so that at one time the Temperance Society boasted a membership of 177 individuals. They have not established any church or religious groupings.

Park City, 30 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, is another silver mining place whose Finland Swedes came mostly from parishes north of Vasa, Finland.


There have been Finland Swedes noted as living in widely scattered groups in the northern sections of Idaho. However, the total number has been relatively small.

Mullan with its lead mines has provided employment for many Finland Swedes at various times.


It is in the state of Washington along the coast of the Pacific Ocean where we find the greatest number of Finland Swedes in the West. They are located both in the forest areas and in the cities, adjacent to rivers and lakes, and in the country. The time of arrival of the first Finland Swede in the west coast area is not known but surely A.B. Seaborg (Sjöberg) was mong the very first arrivals. He is written up in another chapter of this book. The early arrivals looked for and found employment in logging camps and sawmills. They continued in employment over the years at comparatively good wages. Employment continues good in the lumbering industry and sawmills. Thus we now have large numbers living in the cities which have grouwn along with the west in general.

Seattle (pop.365,518) includes a large number of Finland Swedes among its citizens. Truly there are more Finland Swedes in Seattle than in any other place on the West Coast. Seattle, which is a port, commercial and industrial city, has grown rapidly during the recent years and presents the appearance of a world-class city built on a group of hills. Here there are beautiful views to the East of magnificent heights and mighty mountains with Puget Sound to the West. One of the very first Finland Swedes to come to Seattle had to be John Eskelin from Åbo; he arrived about 50 years ago. Many others came later. Here they advanced in many different spheres. In the early days, many were surely employed by the sawmills while now the construction industry provides the bulk of employment. The city's - yes, even the state's - foremost master builder, A. W. Quist, is a Finland Swede. He has provided employment for many countrymen in his large contracting firm, doing business not only in Seattle, but also in other places on the West Coast.

Nearly all the parishes in East Bothnia are represented among the Finland Swedes in Seattle. Even South Finland and Åland have representation in Seattle. There is no exact count of the Finland Swedes living in Seattle but surely they must be numbered in the thousands. There are others living in the communities surrounding Seattle.

Everett (pop. 30,498) is one of the state's larger cities and is located about 35 miles north of Seattle on Puget Sound. Everett, which was established in 1893, has grown very rapidly. It is still a thriving sawmill city but now supports many other industries as well. Fruit canning is a very important industry. Everett is also noted as a shipping and world commerce city and even supports a ship-building industry. The city contains a significant number of Finland Swedes many of whom came from parishes surrounding Vasa. Their social life is centered around a very active Order of Runeberg lodge while they cooperate with the Swedes from Sweden in their church activities.

Mount Vernon is a smaller city located on the Skagit River north of Everett near the Pacific Ocean coast. A significant number of Finland Swedes have settled here, finding work in the city's industries among which is fruit canning - a very significant industry. Many have settled recently in the outskirts of the city to successfully pursue farming, market-gardening, horticulture and poultry keeping. The Finland Swedes cooperate with the Swedes from Sweden for social and church activities.

Tacoma (pop. 106,885), located about 25 miles south of Seattle, is an industrial and commercial city greatly interested in shipping and trade. There are many vessels which carry on a lively commerce especially with the Orient with large quantities of wooden ware imported. There are many furniture factories located here which has resulted in Tacoma becoming known as the leading furniture manufacturing city of the West. The largest ore smelting plant in the West is also located in Tacoma. There are a significant number of Finland Swedes located in Tacoma who trace their ancestry to the Munsala and Malax area of East Bothnia. The social life of the Finland Swedes is rooted in the Order of Runeberg. The Finland Swedish Lutherans cooperate with the Swedes from Sweden while the Baptists support their own Baptist church.

New Castle, more commonly known as Coal Creek, is a coal mining area near Seattle. The first Finland Swedes arrived about 35 years ago. There has been very little employment security in the coal mines. Thus it seems that the people were almost always in preparation for moving. There have always been society activities going on here. Most of the Finland Swedes have their roots in the Nykarleby area.

Olympia (pop. 11,532)is the capital of the state of Washington and is located about 75 miles southwest of Seattle. It boasts significant commercial activity as well as being a sawmill center. In recent times many Finland Swedes have moved here from other cities and locations within the state. Finland Swedes have established their own cooperative sawmill here where they as owners work coopera-tively. They have established their own social societies including a very active chapter of the Order of Runeberg. They cooperate with the Swedes from Sweden in their religious activity.

Aberdeen (pop. 21,718) near Grays Harbor and 50 miles west of Olympia received its name from a canning factory which had been established by a Finland Swede, B. A. Seaborg. He had purchased land where the city's center finally became located and sold lots for $1.00 each and, therefore, became known as the city's founder. In addition to fish canning, the city's principal industry is its sawmill. It is said that Aberdeen is the center of the woodware industry of western Washington. Steamships from many different parts of the world call at Aberdeen where they load wooden ware for export. Some of the Finland Swedes cooperate with the Swedes from Sweden in church activities. They handle their own social societies, principally through an active chapter of the Order of Runeberg. The parishes surrounding Vasa are the source of many of the Finland Swedes.

Hoquiam (pop. 12,475) is adjacent to Aberdeen and likewise is a sawmill city. Sawn lumber is shipped from here to other areas of the United States as well as to other countries. The number of Finland Swedes is quite large, estimated to reach close to 2,000. In the commercial field, some of the Finland Swedes are quite prominent. In church affairs, some are quite prominent in the Swedish congregation. The social needs are fulfilled by the very active chapter of the Order of Runeberg. The Malax parish has been the source of many Finland Swedes.

South Bend on Willapa Bay about 30 miles south of Hoquiam is also a sawmill city where a not-so-small number of Finland Swedes have settled. Most are emigrants from Petalax and Korsnäs. For their church home, they cooperate with the Swedes from Sweden. Their social life is centered in the local chapter of the Order of Runeberg.

Port Blakely, on the western side of Puget Sound and directly opposite Seattle, is a small community where a group of Finland Swedes earn their living as farmers and fishermen. They have organized their church and congregation with the Swedes from Sweden.

Washington Country Communities:

Rochester is the name of a country community 50% of whose people are Finland Swedes. It is also the central point of two other communities, Gates and Independence. They are located on opposite sides of the Chehalis River about 20 miles from the capital city of Olympia. The community's history written by G. Oberg reads as follows:

"The first settlers came to Rochester area about 1885. When Matts Mattsson who was born in Kronoby arrived in 1892, he found that some families from Finland had already settled in Independence. Mighty forests but few roads and bridges existed at that time. The older settlers from their own experiences could recount many dangerous experiences and adventures in the fight against the wilderness before it was subjugated so that it became a suitable home for people. Jonas Erickson from Esse arrived a couple of years after Mattson and purchased land in Independence. About the same time Matt Backman and Andrew Fagerness arrived. They originally hailed from Terjärv in Finland. The following parishes in Finland were represented among the settlers in this area: Esse, Munsala, Pedersöre, Larsmo, Kronoby, Närpes, Övermark, Jeppo, Purmo and probably some others also. Forestry work has been the principal source of livelihood for most settlers in the past, though some have labored as farmers. At the present time chicken farming, strawberry culture, and cattle-raising have become popular. We find here a strong industrious people who are self-sufficient from an economic point of view though no one can be considered rich." There are two Finland-Swedish Lutheran churches in the area as well as a division of the Order of Runeberg with enthusiastic support.

On the banks of the Columbia River as it begins to widen to enter the ocean, we find a rural community named Stella where Finland Swedes constitute a large majority. The river valley is very fertile and the inhabitants are prosperous.

Hartford in Snohomish county is another country community with a strong Finland Swedish population, possibly the most important country community in the State of Washington. The following observations are garnered from the reports forwarded by Mrs. J. Abrahamson and E. A. Mattson.

The first Finland Swedes who settled here were E. A. Mattson from Yttermark, Närpes. He came here in 1902 and bought 235 acres for $3200. He described the area in "Finska Amerikanaren" with the result that many others came to the community. Among these we can name Jacob Abrahamson from Kvevlax and his wife from Jeppo, John Carlson from Korsnäs and H. Hendrickson from Vörå. The community grew little by little and became larger so that now it is a good-sized community with churches, schools, and with a well-ordered social life. In conjunction with their farming activities, some of the people also work in the forests. Others have found employment at times in the sawmills of Everett which is located about 10 miles west of Hartford.

Most of the Finland Swedes were natives of Vörå and Kvevlax, while some were from Jeppo, Övermark, Korsnäs and Närpes.

The climate is mild with short winters with very little snow which makes it easier to get ahead here than in many other places in this large and diverse land.

In the state of Oregon we usually find Finland Swedes in the state's northwestern area, perhaps chiefly in the Columbia River Valley and also along the coast of the Pacific Ocean.

Portland (pop. 301,890), the City of Roses, is located near the Columbia River about 100 miles from the Pacific Ocean but still must be viewed as an important port city. Ships from all over the world call here reaching Portland via the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. It is a very important commercial center as well as the home of many manufacturing companies. It is the port city for shipment of a tremendous quantity of wheat, and more flour is shipped through Portland than any other port on the West Coast. A goodly number of Finland Swedes live here and occupy many positions in the various industries. With reference to church, the Finland Swedes are in fellowship with the Swedes from Sweden. Their society activities are covered by a chapter of the Order of Runeberg.

Astoria (pop. 9,949), at the mouth of the Columbia River, was established by John Jacob Astor in 1811 and continues to bear his name. It's well known as a salmon-fishing port with many fish canning factories. In addition, Astoria is also noted for its commerce and industry as well as being a general port city. The largest ocean-going vessel can dock here.

The first Finland Swedes arrived in the early 1870's. They claimed Vasa, Pedersöre and Karleby region as their homeland. Immigration has continued from the homeland year after year so that now there is a sizeable body of Finland Swedes in residence here. (Alarik Söderman has been the source of information about Astoria.) From the very beginning, they earned their livelihood through fishing, construction, and as employees in sawmills and forest camps. Some now are building contractors. In this area they hold a leading psotion in the city. With reference to church, they are in fellowship with the Swedes from Sweden and carry a leading role in the life of the church. Some are also in cooperation with the people of the Finnish Lutheran Church.

In the area of society membership and organization, the Finland Swedes have striven diligently during past years. One organization was established as early as 1889. This group focused its interest only on political questions and soon went to sleep. Another society "Arbets Vänner" (Workers' Friends) was formed later but this one also died an early death. A Temperance Society was organized in 1903 but after 10 years of life, this one also joined the others in death. In 1915 a sick benefit society named Victoria was organized. This one, as its name signifies, triumphed and continued until it was absorbed into membership in the Order of Runeberg.

Marshfield (pop.5,286) is another city in Oregon where Finland Swedes have settled. The following information concerning Marshfield comes from Coos Bay Times, Southwestern Oregon Edition, as supplied by Evelyn Hegdahl. "Marshfield is one of the six larger cities on Oregon's Pacific coast. The city is a commercial center for southwestern Oregon that is continuing to grow through the development of its natural resources of lumber, coal, agriculture, dairying and fishing. Marshfield is well known for its marvelous natural beauty, its superb climate - no cold winters and no oppressive summer heat and sunshine all year long, - and is an ideal place to build a home." In Marshfield, with its industries, has been the home of a significant number of Finland Swedes. With respect to their churchly needs, we find them in fellowship with the Swedes from Sweden. A unit of the Runeberg Order is located in Marshfield. A national president, Alex Johnson of that Order made his home in Marshfield.

North Bend, lying close by Marshfield, is a somewhat smaller city. The Coos Bay Times has this to say about North Bend. "All that has been said about Marshfield with respect to climate, industry, and other possibilities of the Coos Bay area are equally applicable to North Bend. Beautiful homes with wonderful views overlooking the bay are located on the hills above the city. Here is a place where anyone can find an ideal spot for his home." The industries have enticed a number of Finland Swedes to this place. The church needs are taken care of by the Swedish churches. A unit of the Order of Runeberg functions here also.

In the Columbia River Valley between Portland and Astoria there are no large cities but there are many country communities. Many of these communities such as Warren, St. Helens and Mayger have Finland-Swedish residents. In Warren the residents derive their incomes from farming. The area is beautiful and fertile and the tillers of the land are well-rewarded for their labors. The Finland Swedes do not have their own organizations but cooperate in the work of the Swedish organizations.


Sunny California has enticed many Finland Swedes. Most have congregated in the cities following many years of forest work in felling trees which were shipped as lumber.

Eureka (pop. 15,748), is the name of a sawmill city in northern California. The city was founded in 1850. It is located on Humbolt Bay and is a good port city. There are many sawmills in the city which hire many employees. There is also a great deal of commerce and shipping going on. A significant number of Finland Swedes have settled in this city and many have lived here for a relatively long time. They make their living through work in the sawmills and other industries; others devote themselves to business. A Finland-Swede Baptist congregation functions in the city while others are members of the Swedish churches. For societies they support a unit of the Runeberg Order. The Karleby and Malax parishes are well-represented among the Finland Swedes in Eureka.

San Francisco (pop. 637,212). This Pacific Coast, Golden Gate metropolis has enticed many Finland Swedes. Among the very first Finland Swedes in San Francisco were sea captains Grönberg, Nyborg and Törnquist together with Edward Henrickson. A. J. Bjurbäck from Taklax, Korsnäs was also among the first arrivals according to the word received from his son, John C. Johnson in Port Blakely. The city of San Francisco carries on a thriving commerce with all countries of the world and, as one would expect in a world city, we find industries of all types which puts San Francisco among the outstanding cities with respect to its industrialization. Here just as in all large cities, it is impossible with any degree of certainty to provide a figure for the number of Finland Swedes living in the city. We would estimate that they might number as many as 1,000. The Finland Swedes have organized their own Lutheran Church. Those who belong to other communions cooperate with the Swedes or Americans. There are two social societies namely, Order of Runeberg and the Star of Finland. There are more than a dozen Finland parishes represented among the Finland Swedes of San Francisco.

Berkeley (pop. 81,543), located on beautiful San Francisco Bay, is said to be California's most beautiful city. California State University, one of the largest in the nation, is located here. There is also a group of Finland Swedes here. Many are members of the Order of Runeberg and some few are members of the Swedish churches.

Fort Bragg, located on the coast about 125 miles north of San Francisco, has its sawmills, factories and its facilities for the canning of fruits. A substantial grup of Finland Swedes have lived here for many years. The Runeberg Order is their only large organization. There are no churches among the Swedish people. A few Finland Swedes are active in the American Presbyterian Church.

Bakersfield, located about 170 miles northeast of Los Angeles, has enticed a few Finland Swedes. The city is home to machine shops, foundries and other industrial establishments. The Finland Swedes relate to the Swedish churches and support their own section of the Order of Runeberg.

In addition, a few Finland Swedes live in areas along the coast, especially in the northwesterly corner in Humbolt and Mendocino counties, but only in scattered groups in other parts of the state. A few reside in Reedley, Los Angeles, Pt. Arena and other cities.

Years ago there was also a great deal of forestry work going on in California and in many places at that time one would find that many forest camps consisted almost exclusively of Finland Swedes. It was laborious work felling the large Redwood trees but the Finland Swedes were equal to the situation and were always available for clearing the way for civilization in the country's most distant tracts.

We have no information about any rural communities of Finland Swedes in California.


Canadian people do not admit that their country is America. A strange who is exposed to this position is, of course, convinced that the Canadian position is heretical but Canadians may have their own way.

Immigration to Canada has been especially strong during the last few years which has resulted in scores of job seekers in all Canadian provinces. Because immigration into the United States has been nearly stopped, many Finland Swedes have chosen Canada instead. Many remained in the Eastern provinces but others have come farther west. Thus there are significant numbers in Hamilton, Ontario, even though the numbers are not known and, of course, there are continual changes of domicile.

Port Arthur on the north shore of Lake Superior has recently become the home of a significant group of Finland Swedes, many from Närpes. They have found work in the city's industries especially in the granary silos. They do not have their own church home but support the Swedish congregation where they have become a majority. Neither do they have their own social organization.

Fort Frances near International Falls has induced a small number of Finland Swedes to come there but they seem to always be ready to move again.

Vancouver, B.C., located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, has served to hinder Finland Swedes from making greater progress in western Canada. However, their numbers here have probably reached 1,000 by this time. For the most part they are employed in the sawmills and other industries of the city. The great forests around Vancouver also provide employment. If the employment situation were to improve in Vancouver, we would surely find that Vancouver would become the largest colony of Finland Swedes in North America. They already support a thriving unit of the Order of Runeberg and are active in the Swedish churches of the city.

New Westminster is situated close by Vancouver and has become the home for many Finland Swedes. They have not established their own organizations either social or religious, but are active among the Swedish organizations.

Chapter 10:

Finland Swedes - their Occupations and Livelihood

As has been pointed out previously, a large number of Finland Swedes sojourning in the United States have their roots in East Bothnia. East Bothnians, for the most part, are farmers and fishermen. But also a large number of Finland's most capable and skillful craftsmen and artisans are found among the East Bothnians. Topelius, Finland's renowned author and statesman, has this to say about the Swedes of East Bothnia: "We see them everywhere as skillful workers in cities and on manored estates. They build boats and ships, houses and factories better than others." This, in short, is a faithful characterization of a Swedish East Bothnian.

Their work and skills were not lost on the trip across the Atlantic. On the contrary, they became exceedingly useful when they arrived in America. When we examine the areas where they settled, we most frequently find them in growing communities. They did not thrive in well-established areas where growth had stopped or slowed to almost a standstill. There they did not fit in. In growing communities they were able to find employment suitable to their skills. Houses needed to be built and industrial complexes established. Soon we find them as construction workers with the ability to easily master the more complicated construction techniques used in American construction. Their skill and knowledge made it possible for them to quickly become leaders and foremen in the construction industry. But they did not remain static. They quickly learned to plan and calculate so that they could assume contractual responsibility for house building and other construction work. There were, of course, a few who experienced difficulties, but for the most part they surmounted their obstacles and progressed to becoming large-scale contractors.

Among those who have made a significant success in construction, we can point to the Jacobson brothers with offices in both Duluth and Chicago. They came to the States from the town of Maxmo in East Bothnia near the turn of the century. They started building on their own in a small way, acquiring an excellent reputation. Soon they were constructing some of the largest buildings in the area. The high school building in Hibbing, Minnesota costing about four million dollars is a good example of their efforts. Similarly, A. W. Quist in Seattle, Washington, emigrating from Karis in Nyland, has on his own initiative undertaken to erect the largest building in that city. He has constructed business buildings, hospitals, schools and other buildings and constantly employs a large number of workers. Victor Storm in San Francisco is another outstanding building contractor who has made it big in the American building industry. The brothers John and Herman Slotte, with roots in Kronoby, have through energy and expert knowledge climbed to the position of becoming Astoria's most distinguished contractors. In addition to the above whose names have been brought to the attention of the author, there are countless others with the same initiative, insight and knowledge who have gained an eminent place in the America construction industry and who have earned honor for themselves and their countrymen.

About thirty years ago, many Finland Swedes were employed in the many sawmill installations located in many parts of the country. It was in harmony with their character that they should find satisfaction with their relationships in the sawmill installations. They were strong and persistent and quickly gained the necessary understanding of the work. In many cases, because of their skill, they were advanced to positions of leadership such as working foremen. However, sawmill operation was not a year-round occupation. In many areas the mills were closed during the winter. In those cases, the mill workers would go out into the woods to fell trees, etc. But sawmill operations have already ceased in the East and are rapidly diminishing in the central states. In the West, however, the forest and sawmill industry is still going strong. There we find Finland Swedes continue to be well represented. In fact, they have operated their own companies in a number of locations. We are thinking especially of Olympia and Aberdeen, Washington.

In the central states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, the Finland Swedes have strong representation in the mining industry. They arrived about 50 years ago in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Calumet and Hancock. Also here their skill and understanding was quickly noted and appreciated so that many soon were chosen to be work leaders.

About 40 years ago, others came to the mining areas farther south in Negaunee and Ishpeming where they gained employment. Adjacent mining areas attracted others and still others found their way to the Gogebic Range area farther west while others shifted into the iron mines of northern Minnesota. From the very beginning, many Finland Swedes were employed as carpenters in the mines. In practically all of the aforementioned mining areas, some Finland Swedes have received appointments as mine captain or accepted other leading roles. Ed Smith of Eveleth, Minnesota has been inspector of mines in St. Louis county for many years. This encompasses most of the mines in northern Minnesota.

Many Finland Swedes had been found and many are still located in the mining areas of Montana and Colorado. Here, just as in other areas, they quickly gained positions of responsibility through skill and industriousness.

We have already spoken about the Finland Swedes in new construction. We also have pointed out the fact that a large number had come from East Bothnian communities exposed to the freedom of farm life. That love of freedom remained firm in their hearts after coming to America. It is no wonder, then, that many saved their money and purchased a piece of ground as soon as possible. They had thought that they would have more freedom in the country; at least there each man is his own employer. They quickly moved to the country and began to clear woods and break ground. They learned American work methods and made advances in the same manner as others, even to the extent of developing model farms. They have exhibited at fairs and received prizes for their products.

It is only through personal contact with those Finland Swede farmers that we have learned facts. Usually, when they are being discussed, they have been called Swedes because of their names, or when their homeland is mentioned, they are called Finns. (The author stated that he had heard a prominent farmer from Munsala in East Bothnia referred to as a Finn from Sweden.) To my knowledge, there isn't a single district in America's eastern, central or western states where a Finland-Swedish farmer cannot be found. They are especially common among farmers having their roots in Sweden.

Nevertheless, life was not so pleasant during the first years. Many new arrivals worked on their farms during the warm months but were forced to seek other employment during the winter months in order to be able to exist. They often found their winter work in the forests where their horses were in demand and they themselves were employed as drivers. If the new farmers had previously been employed in the mines, they often looked for winter work back in the mines. The family had to take care of the cattle. When summer came, they would return to the farms. This was often the lot of the Finland-Swedish farmers because they could not afford to purchase a going farm but had to start with raw land and bring it slowly into production. But in this way, they have made a significant contribution to their new homeland.

Along the coast of East Bothnia as well as around the Åland Islands, there were many cliffs and rocky islets. This is also true of Nyland's archipelago. In these areas, many Finland Swedes had turned to fishing as their way of life. This they had been doing for many hundreds of years, perhaps thousands. As the older people retired, the young moved up to take their places. Fishing is laborious and the returns were often less than rewarding. But they had their homes and their families to support. Then came emigration which enticed them to foreign shores. They bade farewell to home and country and most thought that that would be the end of the fishing. But as soon as they arrived in America and had an opportunity to look around, their sights were soon directed toward the open ocean, and the desire to try ones hand at fishing surfaced again. So once again we find them on a fishing boat complete with nets and tackle engaged in their former trade-fishing.

Thus we find them along the east coast in their fishing boats and on the Great Lakes, especially along the shores of Lake Superior in northern Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota where they have built themselves substantial homes which they expect to occupy for their remaining days. On the west coast, we find Finland Swedes among fishermen everywhere. They are able to venture out on the waves of the Pacific Ocean with the spirit with which they sailed out on the Gulf of Bothnia or into the fishing waters of southern Finland. They put out their nets in the Columbia River and follow the tides and currents to and fro for hours each day and then are back at the shore again before daybreak. Others scoop salmon from the Columbia with their so-called fish wheels or ladders. Fresh water fishermen usually own their own nets and boats. On the coast, however, it is often the case that large canning factories own nets and boats which they furnish to the fishermen for a fixed percentage of the catch. Seining also used to be customary, especially on the Columbia River.

Both fresh and salt water fishing is no longer as lucrative as before. Nevertheless, since there has been an increase in the price of fish, fishing is still the means of livelihood for many Finland Swedes. It is said that the main reason for the decline in the returns from fishing is the fact that as boats become larger, they venture farther from the shore and can sweep up all the fish far out to sea. In any case, it can be said that the Finland Swedes have provided a suitable living for themselves in the fishing industry.

When the immigrants arrived in America, they often remained in one of the industrial cities on the east coast for a time. They may have had relatives there or perhaps they had to replenish their funds to enable them to continue the journey westward. They applied for and received work in the factories in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts or perhaps other eastern states. However, many youngsters from the Swedish communities in Finland were not happy for long within factory walls. Thus as soon as the exchequer would permit, they travelled on, perhaps as far as to the West Coast. Others, of course, were satisfied with factory employment and remained there for many years. Gradually, they earned places of leaderhip here also which they fulfilled with great competence. Others travelled on westward and found employment in other industrial establishments.

That which we have stated in the foregoing pages about Finland Swedes' skillfulness and capabilities in the field of construction, is equally applicable to their skill int he mechanical area. It is easy for Finland Swedes to become familiar with, understand, use and operate different types of mechanical machines and tools. Of course, it is true that they have not operated or even seen much of this equip-ment in their homeland, but their natural aptitude, acquired over the ages of dealing with adverse conditions, makes it easy to quickly gain understanding once exposed. Finland Swedes have been granted many patents for various inventions. Also in many cases, other more audacious and selfish entrepreneurs may have reaped the fruits from inventions and improvements which rightfully should have fallen to an inventor-type Finland Swede. We have in mind a Gabriel Carlson whose mechanical inventions are still in use today. Also Bruno Nordberg in Milwaukee, who was characterized by the president of Michigan University as one "who built large machines and was an inventor of great scientific importance."

Finland Swedish engineers are found in many places throughout the country, some of whom may have been educated in the homeland or perhaps in other foreign countries. Those who grew up in Finland-Swedish homes here in the States will be discussed later in this book.

The automobile industry which is a relatively new industry provides employment for a significant number of Finland Swedes. We are not thinking of only those people who are employed in the factories of Detroit, Flint and Kenosha, but also in other areas, especially the repair shops owned and operated by Finland Swedes throughout the country.

It is easy to find Finland-Swedish business establishments in any location where Finland Swedes have settled in significant numbers. The profit incentive does not seem to be the incentive for Finland Swedes to enter into the business world but rather the urgent need for the service which is to be provided. This was especially true in the early years when it was helpful to conduct business with countrymen because of the unfamiliarity with the language.

A grocery store has usually been the first business that was needed when moving into a new location. If that happened to be owned by a countryman, that surely was much better. That characteristic was evident, not only among the Finland Swedes but also among all peoples especially in bygone days. It appears that Finland Swedes have a special attraction to the grocery business because it seems that such an establishment is usually owned by a Finland Swede in nearly every location where there are significant numbers of Finland Swedes living. It may be that the establishment may be somewhat insignificant, but it has its circle of customers who almost always trade there and support it and that circle of regular customers usually consists of the owner's countrymen. In many cases, a few people get together to establish a cooperative where a larger circle of customers can be counted on, and if cooperation can continue without suspicion and other bad things slipping in, the cooperative will succeed. The cooperative movement is a legacy of Finland Swedes from the mother country. Therefore, it is natural to find cooperatives in many locations in the United States. In some cases, we find cooperatives with large numbers of customers with sales totaling many hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Agency business has never been popular among Finland Swedes. This is probably due to the fact that they are by nature retiring and reserved and therefore as a rule do not possess the qualifications that are required of an agent. Exceptions, of course, are known here also. Neither has there come to my attention that any Finland Swede has carried on any kind of a shady deal. This should not be construed to mean that we could know all that Finland Swedes have done or that we are trying to defend those who have been found guilty of shady dealings. Truly we occasionally find, for example, now and then those who operate liquor establishments contrary to present laws, but should there be many of them, we would surely know of at least one.

Clothing establishments are operated by an occasional Finland Swede but this is characterized by the exception rather than the rule. Even Americans do not show great success in this line of business. This seems to be the domain of the Jewish people. Shoe sales are occasionally handled by Finland Swedes but usually that is in conjunction with a shoe repair business.

An occational restaurant is operated by a Finland Swede but in this field there are too many adaptable Greeks, Italians and Chinese competitors.

Real Estate businesses are often owned by Finland Swedes. Often this goes hand in hand with a construction business. Several people may be building houses and other buildings and the real estate firm handles the sales of these homes and buildings. It is not known if any Finland Swede has become extremely rich in the real estate business but some have done extremely well when luck has lasted.

Swedes from southwest Finland and Åland with the many hundreds of islands had grown up on the water as seamen. Thus in the United States we find them as seamen on both the east and west coast and on the Great Lakes. Their exact number cannot be determined by it surely must be significant.

The professions have attracted a significant number. A large number of men from Finland's Swedish communities, through many long hours of study, have been able to enter the medical doctor's field. That this took much work and sacrifice must be quite evident when we consider that they came to the United States with only two empty hands to rely on. Others have entered the teaching profession which also is truly remarkable since they came from a foreign country speaking only a foreign language. Finland Swedes have pushed ahead to the forefront in practically all professions. It can be said of them what was stated by a speaker in a talk a few years ago. He was speaking about the poor who had "made it" in the world: "The only thing that hindered their advance in any way was the sons of the rich who had not lived up to their calling."

Many Finland Swedes have opted for a ministerial career in different communions. To be come a Lutheran pastor, required a ten years' course of study which placed great burdens on the immigrant who came without knowledge of the language and without silver or gold in his pockets.

If with a fleeting glance one wishes to follow emigrants who left their homeland communities, one will find that the greatest number will have progressed quite well. In many cases their emigration has served them to the extent that they were able to gather means so that they would not have to be dependent on tomorrow. In other cases it has made it possible to develop their inherent abilities so that in a higher sense and in a larger sphere they could be of help to their fellow being.

Chapter 11:

Home Life Among Finland Swedes in America

Emigration started partly with young, married men who wanted to gather a few thousands to insure a more secure economic future for their homes, and partly with young unmarried men who wanted to gather a nest egg for when they were ready to settle down.

The returning men told about young women from other countries who were coming to America in relatively large numbers and were finding employment in American homes. This caused an outbreak of America-fever among the young women which could not be cured by any doctor but only through a voyage to the land in the West. This was something new and heretofore unheard of. But it was something more than the love of adventure which was also present among the women and was the magnet drawing them across the ocean. Some of those remaining at home jokingly maintained that the young women followed the men in order to get married. This, of course, was not in reality the primary reason but, if it had been, it would not have been unreasonable. The position of farmers' daughters were quite secure but as for daughters of tenant farmers, fishermen and household help, that was another story. During the period of the early emi-gration, those young girls had no alternative but to serve as maids and that work was far from pleasant and the rewards were minimal. One of our oldest women in Duluth told about having to labor as a maid at the age of fifteen. A fifteen-year-old girl was expected to work hard. After a year's work, the reward was ten Finnish marks. Her parents were poor, so she purchased flour from her employer to bring home. For a few pounds of flour, the master deducted half of her annual wages, five marks. Women had good reasons for emigrating.

But also here in the new country, it was often hard and heavy for both men and women. Experiences from the homeland found expression in gatherings of many kinds. Boarding-house life was, on the whole, quite satisfying with respect to social activities and women who worked in family homes frequently had friends and acquaintances who lived in these boarding houses. Sunday afternoon visits were common which resulted in the making of new friends. Also friends were made on visits to churches, society halls and entertainment establishments. Thus, often friendships were established; the next step was not long delayed which was, of course, wedding bells. Friendships between introduction and marriage were often of short duration due to a feeling of kinship because of having come from the same country and often from the same area in the homeland.

Many young men had left their betrothed in the homeland with the promise to send for them as soon as steady employment was found. Those promises were usually kept so that those young ladies arrived with the intention of becoming wives. Other young married men quickly sent for their wives and children and built homes in America.

The first homes were, of course, very simple. One was not accustomed to luxury from home and luxury was not of importance in America at that time either. Food and drink was simple and unpretentious partly due to the customs brought from the homeland and partly because the income would not allow more. Besides, no one was prepared to get into debt to provide more. Finland Swedes seem to have inherited an inner loathing against the acquisition of debt. Making purchases on credit was not customary either at that time. The country's Israelies have brought about the change in those concepts. Much that is considered Americanism in other countries is nothing more than Judaism, especially in the business sphere.

If the Finland Swedes had simple tastes in food and drink, they were not careless about cleanliness. As a rule, cleanliness prevailed in all homes, for that matter, this is a virtue of credit to all northerners. In Swedish homes, cleanliness reigns everywhere. This matter of cleanliness is also the rule in Finnish homes and in addition the Finns have their sauna both in the city and in the country. This is one of their necessities of life. The Swedes from Finland have not been as faithful to the sauna but have welcomed it when available. They have gravitated more to the American style of bathtub and shower.

Many children have been raised in Finland-Swedish homes. In the 1880s and 1890s the Finland-Swedish family was not limited to one or two children and a small dog like so many of the American families. In Finland-Swedish families, the children numbered from three or four to maybe as many as a dozen or more. And as a general rule, the greater the number of children, the better obedience was noted. Obedience had been taught in the homes of the mother country - obedience to laws and to authority. Such obedience was practiced in the homes of the Finland Swedes in America.

As a result of the numbers of children in the home, food was plain and simple and clothing was utilitarian and inexpensive. It was quite a task for a mother in the home to stretch the means to cover all the needs. The rosy hopes about life in America dimmed and died for many before the children were grown and on their own. But usually after the dark and trying times, the children were grown and the burdens lightened.

Thus drastic changes have evolved in the Finland-Swedish homes with life assuming the normal American pattern.

Early on, as soon as a reasonably secure income was achieved, home ownership became paramount. In this characteristic, Finland Swedes seemed to eclipse other people. To pay rent was fine as long as it was a necessity, but not longer. The principal thought among newlyweds was how soon can we buy our own home.

Homes built long ago were unpretentious and simple. Usually they were built with very little consideration for style and ornamentation and the practical considera-tions were often overlooked. Building materials could be had at low prices. It was customary to try for as many rooms as possible depending on the size of the family and expected increase. A house with 6 or 7 rooms was usual and homes with more rooms was not unusual.

Building styles have changed substantially in recent years. While houses of old were built without foundations and basements, simply resting on cedar posts which eventually collapsed, they are now constructed with substantial foundations and basements with concrete floors. House plans and construction must be approved by a building inspector. The plans must show not only the number of rooms but also the lighting, heating and ventilating systems to be employed. Each room must have the required number of windows of adequate size. Now one must be practical to be sure that the house fulfills the needs of the owner.

An important room in a modern house is the bathroom. Concerning American bathrooms, Arthur Hedlund in his book "From America's Wonderland" writes as follows: "Workers in America live under favorable and hygienic conditions and have a special solicitude concerning their bodily health. They have not only their outdoor games and sport practices, participated in by both sexes, but also make use of the fountain of youth called 'water treatment' (i.e. daily shower). And this is not only the luxury of the rich but this is everyone's daily bread. When a worker comes in from his labors, he goes to the bathroom which is always equipped with hot and cold running water and shower. Only after he has washed and showered does he sit down for his dinner. This good habit of washing and showering has become second nature."

Now when building a house, one must be careful to provide enough closet space - at least one for each room. The finishing of the home is now carried out more carefully and thoroughly.

Finland Swedes seldom hire contractors to build their homes since they are usually good carpenters themselves. They construct their homes on spare time. That is normally during the evenings after the day's employment is finished. A fellow workman often helps during the construction but more often the wife and even the children help. Thus it takes a long time before the house is completed. Of course, specialized work such as chimney construction and plastering and the like needs to be done by workmen skilled in these trades. Window cases are factory constructed. But on the whole, no one gives up until the home is finished.

Now the criteria has become to build the home as practical and convenient as possible. The housewife, because of her experience in operating the house, has a big say in home construction. Her advice can usually be followed.

Many visitors from Eruope find it strange that there are no maids employed even in homes where the income is sufficient to make such help possible. The reason for this is that American homes are constructed so carefully, practical and convenient that that paid help is not as necessary as is the case with the impractical and old style homes in Europe. Also one must consider the factor that no Ameri-can women is considered too good to cook and keep house if that is desired or necessary. Only the most wealthy women hire maids because those women choose to leave everything to others so that they can take part in their clubs and amusements.

After the home is completed, we need to consider the furnishings. In this area, the wife has the most to say. In the old days, no one was used to having expensive furniture, but now it is different. Furniture even in the more simple homes can cost hundreds of dollars. They do not, of course, arrive in the home immediately but nevertheless they do arrive sooner or later. And now it seems that there is almost a competition to see who will have the most beautiful and best home among the countrymen.

In the big cities, we often find the Finland Swedes in the big apartment buildings. While it is true that this type of living cannot be as cozy and homelike as a single family home, those who become accustomed to it do not think about it much. In New York the Finland Swedes have banded together and built their own apart-ment buildings and live together.

Thirty years ago there were very few musical instruments in Finland-Swedish homes. but in this area there also have been great changes, but they have occurred gradually. In the better-off homes, one would occasionally see a phono-graph or home organ. It was quite extraordinary to find a home where one of the children could play a few simple melodies. Now we find pianos in many homes where the children have an opportunity to learn to play. In the most recent years, there are many homes where radios are available so that the most noteworthy musical compositions or the most popular songs can be enjoyed depending on personal desires. We could continue with more detailed descriptions, but perhaps in this case also, it would be better to include a description of home life by another person. Arthur Hedlund writes in the book previously referred to as follows: "Family comforts and joy prevail in Swedish homes. Nearly all homes are equipped with a piano, radio and good quality phonograph. If there are young people in the family, both violin and piano are played and often someone has taken voice lessons. And often we find well-qualified amateurs whose singing and playing we can listen to with joy. The public schools through their orchestras and assemblies also contribute to awakening the young peoples' interest in music."

Concerning food and beverages, even the Finland Swedes have progressed beyond the old-time simple approach. In a previous chapter we compared the East Bothnians to the Swedes from Skåne. With respect to food and drink, it can now be stated that Finland Swedes now live up to the Skåning saying of much food - good food and food at the right time.

Concerning clothes, we have now forgotten the simplicity. Times and customs have changed. We cannot believe or wish that Finland Swedes should dress differently from other Americans. Styles change so often that a person does well to be able to follow in some measure those clothes and styles. And, as is well-known, the ladies have the biggest problems. It is to their credit that they compare favorably with others.

When it comes to transportation, we find that Finland Swedes are keeping up with the times. Automobiles have now become a necessity and they are available in all price ranges. But even if prices vary, automobiles have one thing in common - that is gasoline. Finland Swedes, as a rule, do not get into the most expensive makes and those who are satisfied with a used model can acquire one at a reasonable cost.

It is self-evident that one who wishes to be "with it" and to benefit from modern life and culture must be willing to pay. Many times it happens that a person who does not have the means - maybe not even the means for all necessities, still acquires an automobile and travels long distances during the summer. This, however, is an exception with respect to the Finland Swedes; that Americanized they are not.

In spite of what is claimed by the opponents of the prohibition law, it must be admitted that the law was of great benefit to the country's common people. The benefits that accompanied prohibition are exposed mightily when family life is examined. Of course, alcoholic drinks can always be found lawfully or unlawfully and many workers find happiness in drunkenness and intoxication, but the curse which accompanied the open bars was so great that there is scarcely room for comparision. The number of bars available in each city and community had not been limited. Doors stood open 24 hours per day. The weekly pay which the workers needed to take home remained in the cash registers of the bars. The wife and children had to be satisfied with little or nothing and many times when the worker arrived home, the wife and children had to hurry out of the house to save themselves from the father running wild. If a holiday was authorized, drinks were carried home in quantity. Illegal manufacture and sale was going on even then. It was long before prohibition that we heard about "Kentucky Moonshine", the name of illegally manufactured drinks. No one can measure the tears that accompanied drunkenness in the old days and nearly always it was the wife and children that had to suffer. Many Finland-Swedish homes suffered from drunkenness.

Difficulties in acquiring alcolholc drinks now contribute to the fact that many refrain from drinking. And where drinking on the sly is practiced, it is quickly detected. The American woman who has had to suffer because of drunkenness is now emancipated. It does not take much for a battered wife to press charges of drunkenness and the result is 30 days on the work gang. If the infraction is repeated, the sentence increases. If it happens that a man comes home intoxicated, he still must treat his family with consideration and not abandon his wife and children without the essentials. The wife who permits maltreatment or other abuse by her husband without calling for legal help, will not receive much sympathy.

Finland Swedes' home life is being shaped more and more according to the American pattern and they are taking their places in this aspect among other peoples who will be assimilated into the American nation.

Chapter 12:

The New Generation

We could have considered the younger generation growing up in Finland-Swedish homes in the previous chapter. But as conditions appear, not only in America but throughout the civilized world, it may not be an easy task to complete inasmuch as it appears as though soon there may be no younger generation to talk about. However, among the Finland Swedes in America, the younger generation is worth counting on.

In accordance with the information from the last census in American, the Finlanders, as a group, have doubled in numbers since their arrival in the States. That which is given in the numbers concerning Finlanders as a group can surely be applied to the Swedes who came from Finland.

Then also we have a third generation, namely, the children of the children who came here from Finland. How to determine the number of Finland Swedes in this group is difficult partly because it is, of course, still relatively small and because of the mixed marriages.

When we talk about our younger generation in this chapter, we must be especially cognizant of the fact that school attendance by young people is a legal require-ment here in America and that adequate schools are provided by the political authorities. There is a continuing effort to provide educational opportunities in the rural areas equivalent to that available in the cities. This is being accomplished by the establishment of larger districts and the busing of students to the schools.

The emigrants who left the Swedish communities in Finland in the 1870's, 80's and 90's could read their catechism from cover to cover as well as their bible history. Many of them were also able to do arithmetic and nearly all could write, but beyond those accomplishments, their formal education was limited. This deficiency in formal education must be ascribed to circumstances over when they had no control.

The absence of their own formal schooling did not serve to cause contempt among Finland Swedes for education and culture for their younger generation.

There are many Americans who would gladly make use of children in difference industrial pursuits when that would serve to reduce costs in those industries. Also there are parents who would gladly take their children out of school and send them out to work to provide extra income for the family. However, among the Finland Swedes there were few parents of that caliber. Of course, there have been circumstances which had forced such actions but they had to be classed as exceptions.

It is a moving and interesting experience to see how eager most Finland Swedes are in sending their children to the local schools of their communties. Many fathers toil long and h ard hours in order to allow their children to attend school as long as possible, while mothers carry on their duties in a tireless manner to help insure that the children will be able to continue their education. In Finland-Swedish homes with the aid of careful management, planning and saving, many children are able to continue their education in schools of higher learning so as to prepare themselves for positions of greater responsibility. We often hear the expression, "I was not able to go very far in school when I was young so now I try to do what I can to give my children a chance to attend school". Or perhaps, "I had no education during my childhood, so I have had to work long and hard all my life. If only I can get my children through school, they won't have to labor hard like I have had to do." We seem to have greater consideration for children's future here in the States than was had in the homeland. This consideration no doubt has its roots in the feeling that we are still strangers even though we have lived here for many years. Parents are eager that the children should make out well in this foreign land. They also know that bread is hard to come by and that hard work is required in order to come by it.

In order to illustrate how important the acquiring of an education is among the Finland Swedes, we need only to cite a couple of examples. In the city of Eveleth, Minn. there are about 400 Finland Swedes. As is true everywhere, the people here had to work hard for their living, but they have not neglected to send their children to schools of higher learning. They have simply done here what they were unable to do in the homeland. Among the small group here in Eveleth, we find 7 university graduates, 6 college graduates and 4 State Teachers College graduates, in addition to the scores who graduated from high schools in their home cities. The above totals will be tripled in less than 10 years because of the growing numbers seeking entrance to the schools of higher learning.

The other example we'll take from the far west, Astoria, Oregon. Among the Finland Swedes in this city, we find two university students and 11 State Teachers College graduates and many others who have graduated from high school. (The author provides a footnote here to the effect that many Europeans maintain that American universities do not provide as thorough an education as the European universities, but that is of no concern since we are talking about the young in America preparing to take their places in the various fields of endeavor here in America.)

It is impossible to provide statistics about Finland-Swedish children's successes in schools because all children whose parents were born in Finland are called Finns. But when we canvas the reports covering children of these parents in general, we find that they come through with flying colors.

Our observations are based principally on many years of contact with people and through the reading of the names of children listed on the various honor rolls of the schools. Our assertion is that Finland-Swedish children excel in all educational fields.

Most importantly, when we consider discipline, which is so very important from the standpoint of being able to accomplish any education, we find that Finland-Swedish children distinguish themselves. These children have been taught respect for their parents in the home, the same respect which their parents brought with them from the homeland. Teachers in the country's schools can keep discipline among Swedish-Finnish children much easier than among many other children.

East Bothnian's skills in the building trades - we reiterate these facts again here - do not depend only on the skills of the hands but perhaps more on the capacity of the mind. Those skills have been handed down from generation to generation and remain in force to this day. Mathematical skills are not unusual among the sons and daughters in Finland-Swedish homes.

Not just knowledge of, but actual skill in the use of a country's language is a prerequisite for every citizen, and instruction in the English language is usually sufficiently thorough in all schools.

It does happen that one finds certain persons who entertain the idea that if the children hear their parents' native language spoken inthe home, it is a detriment to their school work. Those parents usually speak an English lingo that defies all description and think that they are helping their children in this way, while, if anything, this causes harm as far as the children are concerned. It can be said, to the credit of the children, that in spite of such efforts on the part of the parents, the parents' native language and much more will be said and written in the future, but when everything is said and done the fact remains that the country's language is and will be the language of the children.

In homes where there is only one child, the parents' native language usually continued to be the language of the home and in such homes the mother tongue survives the longest. The child who is taught the mother tongue in the home often does not have an opportunity to learn another language until he is enrolled in school Thus is happens that in the very beginning the communication between the pupil and the teacher has to be through an interpreter. But that situation does not prevail for long, for in a few days the child can handle the situation adequately. From that moment, the mother tongue is no longer the exclusive language of the home.

If there are many children in the family, the situation is different. The oldest child learns the mother tongue well while the younger siblings gradually stop using the mother tongue. Conversations among the siblings take place exclusively in the language of the country. Some parents insist on being spoken to in the mother tongue. In such cases, the mother tongue endures longer since the children retain the ability to express themselves in the mother tongue. On the flip side, we find that this often has served to delay the parents' becoming fluent in the country's language.

Exceptions to the general rules concerning the mother tongue among the children occur in those homes where learning a new language is extremely difficult. There the children are forced to speak the mother tongue for a much longer time. This exception is usually not the case among Finland Swedes.

However, one cannot admit that a child who understands and occasionally speaks the mother tongue could possibly be harmed in the use of the English language. It is this delusion that is advanced by some people. With the very minor exception previously noted concerning the first days of matriculation of children without any knowledge of the English language, those children speaking both languages have progressed just as rapidly as those who have heard only the country's language in their home.

We are tempted to provide an example, not an exception, to show that children in America can handle the English language in an exemplary manner in spite of the fact that they had grown up completely learning the mother tongue. A young college student, who traces her ancestry to Pedersöre, was in debate against a student from another college. Her side not only came away the winner but the judges who rated the debate gave the other five members of the debate a grade of 85 while the student described above received a grade of 100. That her parents came from East Bothnia and that she herself could talk and write Swedish was of no consequence either to her studies in general or to her use of English in debate. We could cite many other examples but this should be sufficient.

Instruction within the schools and conversation among the students going to and from school is, of course, carried on in the language of the country. This is also true when the children are playing games, etc. (At this point the author provided a note which states that 30 years ago at about the turn of the century things were different in the language question. He remembers a community in Minnesota where he was conducting a school in Swedish. The children in their play were speaking in a pure Småland's dialect which continued for many weeks. Later a couple of girls who had been attending school in the city arrived and soon the language used became English. A similar incident occurred in Michigan where the children used a dialect spoken in the Jeppo-Purmo area of Finland.) Thus it is quite evident that children when in the context of the home environment naturally prefer to use the common language of the country.

One must concede, with due credit to the younger generation, that those who may have forgotten the mother tongue have not done so because of contempt. The zealousness with which many of the youth embraced the study of the mother tongue in schools of higher learning, and even occasionally in high school, shows in many cases how much they honor the language of their parents. This is especially applicable to those of Swedish extraction.

In most cases the young people are eager to help their parents in learning English. In reality, the children are much more eager to help their parents learn-ing English than the parents in most homes are in teaching the children the mother tongue. Perhaps one of the contributing causes is that children in America, on the whole, appear to have too much input into the affairs of the home. Of course, they mean well in their eagerness in this area as well as in so many other cases.

In conjunction with the above, the question raises its ugly head as to whether the younger generation that has lost the use of its mother tongue also disdains its fatherland.

Before we can try to answer that question, it is important that we focus our attention on the fact that American youth are molded in the country's schools to be true American patriots. That patriotism often finds its expression in thinking of America as "God's County" ahead of all other countries in the world. This, then, must mean what it says. America stands in front of all other nations of the world.

Thus it is easy to instill patriotism with such a strange ingredient. It is nothing but human nature that is the added ingredient which finds its expression here. Who wants to be second best here in this world? Which person isn't just a little better than another especially in ones own opinion? Hasn't it been that one country has been declared better than another and one peoples superior to another when war preparations were in progress? It is clear that America is placed first in all things in the minds of the young and no one can change that. The young are Americans. By Americans we mean those who speak the language, think American thoughts and live for America. These requirements are fully met by the children of Finland Swedes in America.

Americanism cannot be dismissed as of little significance. It must be remembered that a place with an unending mass of people from all countries of the world cannot be satisfied until all peoples are assimilated into a single unit - a new people, a new nation with its own characteristics. Former President Theodore Roosevelt spoke essentially the following words: "No one needs believe that America intends to become an international boarding house. It's been a long time since America was the destination for European colonizing."

The understanding and opinions that the young have about their fathers' homeland have been acquired from their parents. This, of course, is common to all youngsters. Information about Finland contained in the books used in the American schools is very limited and often misleading. (At this point the author inserts a notation stating that in a geography used a few years ago the book contained only the following phrase about Finland: "Finland is a Russian province whose capital is Helsingfors." ) Whatever the parents said about their homeland has been accepted as conclusive. The parents described their experiences in the old country and the children could form their own conclusions. Many who were farm hands in the old country who toiled for years at low wages and meager board were not inclined to paint the homeland in rosy colors, and the woman who worked as a maid in brutal families was like-minded. Or take the fisherman who had to fight the storms and dangers for years with meager returns. He could not wax very enthusiastic in describing the homeland. On the other hand, those who had good homes in Finland but came to the United States as a result of the lust for advanture have different memories and describe it quite differently.

Some people seem to get real enjoyment out of describing the homeland in disparaging manner while others seem unable to find enough opportunities to depict the homeland as a pattern to be followed by other countries. Most who came from Finland's Swedish communities arrived during the most unpleasant portion of the Russian era. Because of this, the homeland has been saddled with a Russian shading. Thus just as the picture of the homeland takes shape from the memories of the parents, so also that picture becomes a reality for their children.

Yet in fairness to those who have come from Finland's Swedish communities, we do find that among most there is still a warm spot in their hearts for the mother-land. It is entirely possible that a countryman or friend will be permitted to make a disparaging remark about Finland. But should a stranger or foreigner do so, that is a horse of a different color. Then even the most indifferent becomes a warm friend of the motherland.

The young who grow up in emigrants' homes usually react in the same way. They themselves may find fault with the mother country with nobody making a fuss, but should an outsider drop an unkind remark, immediately the protests begin.

In many cases the younger generation is proud of their heritage. This often becomes most apparent when someone from that country receives recognition or is acclaimed for a special accomplishment. In the event that a teacher in a school makes an approving remark about a certain country, it follows that the young become that much more proud of their fatherland. School teachers have a direct bearing on whether respect or disdain is awakened in a country other than America.

There is one thing that young people in Finland-Swedish homes have difficulty in understanding. They acquire more or less of their parents' Swedish mother tongue and use it occasionally in discussion with their parents or other older people who are not at home in English. Later when under other circumstances they are characterized as "Finns", that seems to go beyond all reasonable bounds. They do not disdain the Finnish people. Conversely, they have learned perhaps better than their parents to respect different types of people. It seems to them puzzling that Swedish people should be called Finns.

The Americanization process that begins in school bears its fruit in mixed mar-riages. There are no exact numbers available concerning mixed marriages but it has been stated that 40% of the Swedes in the United States have married other nationalities. It stands to reason that Finland-Swedish youth would not behave differently in this respect. We have confirmed this figure over a ten-year period in Duluth. Mixed marriages are very common almost to the point where they could be classed as the rule rather than the exception. But that is the way that Uncle Sam wants it and when he has completed that task, everything will be fine.

Mixed marriages speed assimilation and what naturally follows is the use of the common language even among the older people in both church and social affairs. Mixed marriages created problems in church affairs which have finally been addressed. The answer is, of course, the adoption for use of the common language, English. The increased opportunities for attending schools of higher learning have resulted in Finland-Swedish young people, together with others, being able to branch out into many different careers. Young men often choose mechanical careers, where we find them successful in managing their careers with honor and esteem. Others have chosen a commercial career. We find some as doctors, clergymen, lawyers and musicians. Young women choose teaching careers at all levels from public school through colleges. Others have chosen to become secretaries, accountants and sales persons. Some have entered the nursing profession and other medical fields.

Even in the political arena, we can now find some who grew up in Finland-Swedish homes. Time after time we are surprised at the diverse careers where we find those who have matured in emigrant homes. Of course, it isn't through concentrating on certain types of careers that we find successes, but rather that they are capable of becoming successful in any career they choose because they are capable, competent Americans.

Chapter 13:

Cooperation with the Finns and Swedes

As has been previously pointed out, Finland Swedes are relatively few in number when compared to other ethnic groups. They comprise a small minority among the peoples in any community in which they dwell. Only a very few exceptions to that rule can be located. Thus it is understandable why Finland Swedes as a group have not become vital forces in their community such as is often found among other ethnic groups.

On the other hand, Islandic people who are fewer in number than Finland Swedes have nevertheless enjoyed times of recognition as an ethnic group. But they have their own distinct language - Scandinavian to be sure - which serves to draw them together into a distinct language group. In addition they have a common interest and a common history. These same facts are also applicable to other small folk groupings.

Finland Swedes have a mother country in common with the Finns and a language in common with the Swedes and a history intertwined with both groups. Because of this, it is natural that the Finland Swedes in a foreign country such as the United States should find themselves drawn to both of those groups. The circumstances of being drawn in diverse directions has also served to divide their forces making it more difficult to promote unified action for the completion of large projects such as can be found among other ethnic groups. In the state of Minnesota, for example, the Swedes are so numerous that their votes are most significant in the balloting for state and community officials. From the above, we can detect that it is not only their limited numbers which have been the underlying reason for the limited group accomplishments by Finland Swedes but also the divided sentiments within their own hearts have made a significant contribution.

At the same time that his own heart has been divided, the Finland Swede in America has been treated as if he were a Finn-Swede football. Where he has found himself among Swedes from Sweden, he has been greeted with the question, "Where do you come from?" When the answer was, "From Finland," he immediately felt a boot which relegated him to the Finns. The Finns, in turn after some contemplation, would ask about his mother tongue and when the reply was that Swedish was the native language for which he was both proud and glad, he immediately felt another boot, after when he again found himself among the Swedes.

Because of their common patriotic regard for the mother country, the Finland Swedes have tended to lean toward the Finnish groups. This was the case during the very early immigration. This had its roots to some extent as an echo from olden times which was still discernable at that time. - "We are Finns even though we cannot speak Finnish." Even now (in 1931) there are those who hard back to that echo who cannot overcome that feeling that their only problem is that they cannot speak Finnish. Of course, we occasionally come across a person whose mother or father was Finnish by birth. They have always been a unifying force between Finland Swedes and Finns.

But the desire and need for cooperative work with others could not be suppressed. In the area of church affairs, Finland Swedes were forced to look for cooperation among the Swedes from Sweden. In most communities where Finland Swedes settled, they lacked sufficient numbers to establish their own church organization. And even if they were able to establish a congregation, they often lacked sufficient numbers to support the organization in the long run. Of course, there were exceptions which will be pointed out in future chapters. Thus because of the language problem, it was necessary to seek cooperation with the Swedes.

The Finland Swedes in Garner, MA cooperated with the Finns in establishing a church there in 1896. Shortly thereafter a committee was established to consult with the Finns in Worcester to call a pastor jointly between the two churches. The Bethel congregation in Duluth decided in 1902 to try to establish an agreement with the Finns of that city to call one pastor. (The author provided a footnote that the Bethel congregation called Pastor J. J. Haikka.) The Lutheran people in Dollar Bay, MI in the beginning were served by a Finnish pastor from Hancock. Those pastors were educated and ordained in Finland and were fluent in both languages. In New York both groups worked together in a seamens Mission Congregation. In Worcester, MA the Free Mission Congregation was served for a time by a pastor who also served the Finnish speaking group. The Finland Swedish baptist congregation of that city at times conducted their meetings in the Finnish language. (The author provides a note here that that piece of information was found on page 23 of an article called "Hälsning från Amerika") In Chicago both Finns and Finland Swedes worked together for a time.

Cooperative work was not always successful. In Duluth the Finns rejected the proposal to call one pastor for both congregations, notwithstanding the fact that the pastor called by Bethel was Finnish and surely could not be expected to become partial to the Swedish-speaking group. But five years later the Finnish group changed its mind and made the same proposal to the Bethel congre-gation. Likewise, in Gardner, the cooperative effort tried for a while did not prove successful. Experience soon showed that the difference in language always became a stumbling block. Annual meeting minutes do not show other reasons for discord. But the congregation withdrew from the Finnish connection after seven years. The cooperative effort in the other congregations discussed also did not endure for long. In San Francisco the cooperative effort in church work endured for a time but eventually resulted in an unpleasant divorce.

Temperance work among Finland Swedes was also pursued in cooperation with the Finnish-speaking people. But in "Hälsning från Amerika" which was published in 1904, J. Udell writes as follows about that cooperation: "It was thought, and rightly so, that if Finland Swedes had their own union, the activities in the Temperance field would become much more lively because it was known from past experience that apathy appeared to rule among the Finns when they were coupled with the Swedes. While it is true that Hand Books and By-Laws had been translated into Swedish, at the annual meetings everything transpired in the Finnish language. This, of course, is not surprising since most of the delegates were Finnish-speaking. Because there were only a very few persons in the Swedish local societies that were able to use both the Swedish and Finnish languages, there usually were no suitable persons to send to the annual meetings. Thus the Swedish section continued to exist in ignorance concerning temperance doings and development."

The above pretty much explained the condition of the early temperance move-ment. No matter how much effort was expended in fostering cooperation, success never seemed to be achieved. The Swedes spoke Swedish and the Finns spoke Finnish. In addition there were other dissimilarities which contributed to achieving success in their endeavors. Of course, it was not the fault of the Finns that they spoke Finnish nor the fault of the Swedes that they spoke Swedish. The problem was that man was trying to bring together that which God had separated. We were in a country where one language group did not have precedence over the other. There was no power or authority that could command them to work together, and surely it was better that they should work separately as friends than to try to work together as enemies. Now we have determined that the Swedes from Finland could cooperate with the Finnish-speaking people from Finland without further complications but only through the intermediation of the English language. And it is quite certain that the two language groups are more friendly disposed toward one another in American than what is the case in Finland.

Thus we have found that cooperating in church matters as well as secular organizations produced unsatisfactory results for both the Finland Swedes and the Finnish-speaking groups. This brings up the question, did those unsatis-factory results of cooperation between the two language groups produce the go-it-alone attitude of the Finland Swedes. In any case, we do find the interesting phenomenon that in ecclesiastical affairs the Finland Swedes sought their refuge among the Swedes from Sweden but in their secular life, they chose to go it alone.

This is understandable. The ecclesiastical realm requires a large amount of sacrifice at the same time that it provides greater return for the effort expended. To pursue church work requires larger groups to cover many phases of work while a handful of people can establish a society to promote one activity or another. The start-up is easy and the close-down is equally easy. A church congregation on the other hand requires a larger group with stablility and firm goals. And even with that, it has been noted in a number of cases in church work that it had not been successful even when enthusiasm was strong from the very beginning. Such things have happened in all communions which everyone at all familiar with church work understands.

Cooperation with the Swedes from Sweden in church work proved to be more successful. Race, language and faith were the same even though the East Bothnian dialect differed from the dialects which originated in Sweden. Åland dialect more closely resembles the dialects from Sweden, thus the Åland people had fewer problems.

However, advancing the cooperation with the Swedes from Sweden has not always been smooth. Often Finland Swedes have been repulsed by being called and considered Finns, even when it was done with the best of intention and notwithstanding that the Finland Swedes themselves did not know a correct and valid name.

It was professor George van Wendt on his visit to America in 1921 who put the Finland Swedes on the right track with respect to the name question. The limited efforts which had previously taken place in that direction had been hushed up. But those who have followed the passing of events have marveled at the changes which have taken place concerning this problem during the last decade.

The Swedish students in Finland directed an appeal to the newspapers in Sweden a few years ago with the entreaty that they should designate Finland Swedes as such and in no other manner. This appeal has also been published in the American Swedish language papers but evidently with only limited results.

There have been individuals on both sides of this question who have made the resolution of this vexing problem more difficult. Such individuals have sown the seeds of distrust against each other and closer cooperation in some areas, and in some locations, have been impeded in a substantial manner. It could have happened in the good old days that Swedes from Sweden and Swedes from Finland during the week could have worked together on the job or perhaps during the evening hours stood side-by-side at a counter but when Sunday came, they could not sit in the same pew in church.

It wasn't the Swedes who desired the support from the Finland Swedes in any substantial degree but rather it was the Finland Swedes who had a need for support from the other Swedes. Thus we seldom find that the Swedes were the initiators for fellowship with the Finland Swedes. Rather it was the Finland Swedes who took the first steps toward cooperation. There were, of course, exceptions to this type of an occurrence.

It must be acknowledged that Finland Swedes have met with more understanding among the Swedes in church circles than in other types of organizations. The Finland-Swedish church people have also understood where the Swedes were coming from. The Swedish churches were the principal exponents of Swedish culture from the very beginning up through the war years of 1914-1918. This satisfied the Finland Swedes who have always been accustomed to revering Swedish culture.

As has been already pointed out, Finland Swedes have usually been self-sufficient in the social needs area. We might even say that the East Bothnians are self-sufficient. In the publication (brochure?) prepared by the Temperance Society for its 15-year celebration, we find that among its 2,600 members, listed only 10 who were born in Åland and only a relative few from other areas of Finland other than East Bothnia. Fifty-seven were listed as born in Sweden.

Complaints have been voiced about the circumstances that seem to indicate an absence of leaders among the Finland Swedes which seems to have resulted in cultural pursuits not progressing as rapidly as they should. This contention does not seem to be justified. Robert V. Wikman's characterization of the East Bothnian people must be equally applicable whether they are located in Finland or more recently in America: "The freedom of Swedish farmers has prevailed since time immemorial and that freedom has left is mark on the people's temperament. But that freedom is also expressed in individualism, jealousy and distrust." These characteristics may be the reason that Finland Swedes have so often withheld their support from their leadership, preferring to march to their own drummer instead. It is those characteristics which have caused many not to support the leaders but have caused them to go their own ways.

There are also organizations in America among the Swedish people from Sweden other than those that are church-related that exist for the promotion of culture. In those organizations the Finland Swedes have been welcomed. As an example, we cite the "Svenska Kulturförbundet" which has many local chapters which welcome Finland Swedes. It is now safe to say that that society occupies perhaps the leading role when we talk about promoting Swedish culture in the United States. Previously it was the Swedish congregations who had that position. This society, more than any other, has had the capacity to spread the knowledge about Swedish people in all countries, not least in Finland. This happens especially through the newspaper "Allsvensk Samling" (Collection of Everything Swedish). Here we find Finland Swedes often play leading roles in this organization.

The society "American Sons and Daughters of Sweden" has the mission of preserving and pointing out the historical memories and artifacts which Swedes in the United States need to cherish. Finland Swedes are also found in this organi-zation. The very oldest remembrances from bygone days which the Swedes have, they possess in common with the Finland Swedes - one might even say with all the people of Finland. In this connection we are reminded of the fact that among the colonists in Delaware were many Finland Swedes. This has been pointed out in a previous chapter.

The increasing zeal for conversion to things Finnish which had excited the minds of the Swedes in Finland has caused and is still causing the Swedes in Finland to seek and find a deeper understanding with the people of Sweden. Relationships are being resurrected and maintained between Finland Swedes and the people of Sweden on a greater scale than was the case some decades ago. During recent years these relationships are carried over to the people of the United States. The few Finland Swedes who have arrived in the States recently have found it easier to associate with the Swedes from Sweden.

On the other hand, we need to consider that progressing Americanization is also smoothing out the creases and wrinkles which existed in the different tempera-ments distinguishable among the Finland Swedes and Swedes from Sweden. All of the above contributes to the growing willingness to cooperate.

The continued influx of new settlers has also contributed to the increased cooperation of the two groups. Here the common language is again a factor. A Swedish land agent will, of course, sell to both groups. Thus when they become neighbors, it follows that they will help each other as needed.

While the paperwork must be handled in English, the preliminary discussions can often be expedited if all parties are more conversant in Swedish.

Thus we can see the cultural and intellectual value which can result from the Finland Swedes' being able to cooperate through their common language with their friends from Sweden. Without that cooperation and due to the splintering so prevalent among the Finland Swedes, their valuable characteristics could easily be lost through being gobbled up by the Americanization juggernaut.

Chapter 14:

Finland Swedes Share in America's Political and Community Life

It has been previously shown that the inception of emigration from Finland occurred in the 1870s and that it was not until the 1890s that significant numbers began arriving. In fact, it wasn't until the beginning of the 20th century that large numbers of immigrants from Finland began arriving in the United States. Thus it must be noted that people from Finland as an ethnic group in the United States is very young indeed.

This objective to return to Finland was probably the main reason that only a few acquired American citizenship. Also the American authorities in those early days did not try to expedite the Americanization of the immigrants as they are now doing. In any case, as far as the Finland Swedes were concerned, they were happy to allow the English-speaking element the political areas of life. There were, of course, exceptions where large numbers of immigrants from a single country were present! However, we must grant that the English-speaking people did consider that they had inherited rights in the political pot. Under such circum-stances, the prospects for an outsider would be slim indeed. Accordingly, strangers were not spurred to seek American citizenship. This was especially true among the Finland Swedes.

English was, of course, the language of the leaders of the work forces. But when the work place contained a significant number of foreign workers with a common language other than English, that language became the language of choice. This would explain the sluggishness with which English was acquired among many male immigrants. Ladies, on the other hand, who came to America and found work in the homes of Americans acquired mastery of the English language much more quickly. At that time, 30 or 40 years ago, there were no evening classes available for the study of English. Thus we can understand why the foreigner remained a foreigner much longer in those days. Language, or rather the ignorance of the language, provided the stumbling block which prevented the Finland Swede from becoming active in the political arena.

There is another aspect that can be cited as perhaps the main reason why Finland Swedes remained aloof from the political arena. Politics in the homeland was not the forte of the general public. The legislative area was handled by four classes: Nobility, Pastors, Burgesses and rich farmers. Some political agitation did occur but large political meetings were unheard of. If someone had had the idea of getting involved in political agitation, it was understood that there were plenty of Russian eyes who would have detected it. Thus political interests had not even been awakened yet among the young who comprised the overwhelming majority of the emigrants who came to America. Therefore, they were not in the least interested in becoming involved in politics in America.

It is well known that there are radical tendencies among the Finnish-speaking people both in Finland and America. There is hardly a single community in America where a significant number of Finnish-speaking people are living where we cannot find at least a few with somewhat radical political views which are brought to light in many different ways. It is natural for strangers to think of Swedes from Finland as having the same views as others from Finland. Thus it is common in the work place for Finland Swedes not to let it be known that their roots are in Finland. Of course, it is only right to riterate that the majority of the people from Finland cannot be considered radical.

Finland Swedes, on the other hand, cannot be considered to possess radical tendencies in any degree. Arthur Eklund in his essay "Race, Culture and Politics" printed in 1914 in "Svenskt i Finland" writes: "The enormous support socialism has found among the Finns, and the imprint this has left on them, together with the moral confusion which followed, carries with it a not very flattering testimony about that group for whom it has become the new religion.

"It has won few supporters among the Finland Swedes which proves the existence of the clear and proud self-esteem which has been the Teutonic legacy through the ages." Of course, we might be able to find an occasional Finland Swede who has harbored in his heart the thought that he could reshape America's political system. But such thoughts usually evaporate or are overpowered by inborn common sense. The weak mutterings of radicalism which may have surfaced among the Finland Swedes has gone like an insignificant wave from east to west and has not been emptied into the Pacific Ocean.

The existence at this time of a radical political organization is not known. (The author at this point provides a footnote that long ago such an organization came into being in Astoria, Oregon, but quickly passed away quietly and happily.)

We can get a picture of the Swedish view of the political situation in Finland when we read the appeal "TO FINLAND SWEDES" that was distributed in September 1930 by the Swedish Peoples Party appealing to all citizens to work together for the good of the nation. That appeal contained the following: "A storm of patriotic fever has enveloped our country. It has torn to shreds the red banner of communism, and the minds of all patriotic citizens have been awakened to a firm and deep conviction that now at last it is time that treasonable and hostile movement must be driven into the ground and completely destroyed. Long enough have they ignored laws and judgments, causing every patriot agitation because of their representatives in the legislature, community council, the military, education and news media. The might folk movement which carried along hundreds of thousands of conscientious citizens promises that the accounting by the country's enemies will be severe and thorough.

The ultimate aim of this folk movement, a strong and vigorous Finland, also requires attention to our defense forces to insure that we can mount a creditable deterrent at the moment of attack. That must remain at the apex of the mission and should not provide cause for censure. We must do away with the power-draining party quarreling and the endless bickering and get them replaced with edifying and creative work for the benefit of the whole population. We must also have a vigorous police who will inexorably uphold the majesty of the law toward all domestic wrongdoers. All this can be accomplished only if we learn to understand that the country's economy, like our own, must be based on true equivalency between income and expenses. As long as we do not have unlimited income, we must learn to do without all sorts of expensive legislative experiments for which we do not have the means, and instead aim at energetically promoting value-enhancing work in all its various forms.

"The present government has staked all its energy and power in order to get these extremely important and difficult questions answered in the best possible way. When President Svinhuvud's government now appeals to all patriotic citizens to give it their support in the elections of the 1st and 2nd of October, it behooves each one to follow through with his vote so that this appeal was not sung in vain.

"Swedish voters, your country is calling you to vote. In the face of this exhortation no one can desert.

"The Swedish Peoples Party in the light of middle-class cooperation has included on its banner: FOR COUNTRY - AGAINST COMMUNISM

  Full speed ahead for a strong defence and a vigorous police!
 Away with waste in national expenditures and forward with creative work!
 Away with party bickering!
 For Swedish culture without controversy!
 If you wish to promote all of the above aspirations and support the present
 government, then vote for our candidates."

American participation in the world war of 1917-1918 provided the impetus for Americanization of foreigners, and all whose ancestry did not reach back into the British Isles were considered foreigners. During the days of the war, it often occurred that Germans, even those of the 3rd and 4th generations, could be considered as 100% American. War hysteria then as always clouded peoples' minds.

Following the first World War, Americans were not much concerned about the fact that a large percentage of the native born men called up for service could not read nor write. They were not much concerned about the fact that most criminals, both in and out of prison, were native born Americans. There was rather a fixated fear that the strangers from other countries could not speak English. This is considered scandalous and ignorant and has caused great harm. Because of these circumstances, in recent years more intense efforts have been made to assimilate the newcomers. Evening classes have been established ro the study of the country's language and laws and other important subjects. Completion of suitable courses of study can result in the granting of citizenship after five years of residence. Finland Swedes have availed themselves of these opportunities in increasing numbers with salutary results.

Thus we find Finland Swedes beoming increasingly active in American political life. As yet, we seldom find a Finland Swede seeking political office. This can be explained in part by the fact that Finland-Swedish immigrants come from among the rural population without experience in pushing ahead among others or even pushing others aside to enhance themselves, a fact of life among politicians.

Another reason is that the East Bothnian national characteristics remain despite the fact that American clothes cover the freedom-loving heart. The straight-forwardness which is the East Bothnian's typical characteristic does not typify American political candidates. In those cases where a Finland Swede has been successful, it has been despite the above-listed characteristics rather than because of them.

Where a Finland Swede's temperament has not worked against him, the temperament of his brothers have. It is not only the fact that Finland Swedes are few in numbers in comparison with other groups in all communities where they live that have caused them to be less forward than others. The concord among Finland Swedes leaves muct to be desired in many communities. Thus it must be realized that when a Finland Swede has made good in the political field, it has been because he has proven himself acceptable to other national groups.

Thus we see that Finland Swedes have not been oblivious to the political currents in America. They have been accustomed to systematic and social orderliness. Therefore, they have not been unmoved when it concerned the well-being of the community where they lived. For example, they have given firm support for over 30 years to the advancement of temperance concerning the alcohol problem. Temperance societies have existed in nearly every community where their numbers made such a society possible. Notwithstanding the fact that a few members in the beginning were either citizens or voters, the entire society has always taken an active leaderhip role in battling the alcohol problem.

These members and others gradually received their citizenships and continued to take an active interest in other's problems confronting their communities. When the safeguarding of the social norms are concerned, you will find them in the lead, casting their votes for the candidates who promote truth and honesty. And especially when the welfare of education is the question, the Finland Swede never lags behind any neighbor regardless of his background in lending his support.

A sampling ballot for presidential candidates in 1912 was taken in the Bethel Church in West Duluth which resulted as follows: Roosevelt 14, Taft 1, both Republicans; Woodrow Wilson, Dem. 1 and Socialist Debs 5. This balloting, of course, had no official significance but nevertheless it was revealing. Most Finland Swedes are Republicans. Also they have a great deal of respect for action and power. This esteem was expressed in the vote for Rough Rider Roosevelt. It is action and power that Finland Swedes wish to find in their adopted country's president and also in those who seek other political offices. Here we discern the remnants of Finland's Viking line.

Voting for a democratic candidate is only spasmodic partly because Finland Swedes usually live in areas where the Republican party has always had its main strength and partly because they remember the democratic periods of 1893 and later. As a matter of fact, many Finland Swedes voted for Woodrow Wilson on the second go around. But also many other non-democrats voted for Wilson because, like it was stated, "He kept us out of the war". The same disappoint-ment experienced by others was also present with the Finland Swedes when the president shortly after his election allowed the country to be drawn into the war. In the presidential election of 1928 the Finland Swedes rather uniformly placed their support with the Republicans especially since the presidential election had moral overtones concerning the temperance question.

Of course, it is possible that an occasional vote is cast for a socialist candidate, but Finland-Swedish votes for socialists are quickly counted. This probably more true now than previously.

The zeal with which voting is pushed at each election depends on the intensity of the political battalions deployed before the voting. Truly Finland Swedes are no different than others when it comes to voting or not voting. Since women's right to vote is universal both here in America and Finland, man and wife usually go together to the polling place when questions of importance are interest are to be decided.

Just like all other new arrivals, Finland Swedes felt like strangers when they first arrived in the States. But that feeling was soon overcome. They learn the country's manners and customs usually must faster than the language and even if they still haven't become citizens they are quickly Americanized.

Chapter 15:

Church and Religious Life Among Finland Swedes in America

Church life among Finland Swedes in America mirrors the churchly atmosphere prevailing when they left the homeland. Finland is nearly exclusively Lutheran with 97% of the population subscribing to that faith. Thus it follows that this fact also applies to the Swedish-speaking people of Finland.

Just as Finland Swedes take unique positions on many things, they also take uncommon positions in their church relationships. They have no church fathers to talk about such as other ethnic groups have. The Lutheran Swedish Augustana Synod, that recently celebrated its seventieth anniversary, can point to a long list of founding fathers. Also the Finnish Suomi Synod, with a 40-year history, had their founders who shaped the church life among the Finnish-speaking people in America. The Finland Swedes in America do not have similar leaders to point to and talk about.

Churchly enterprises among the Finland Swedes, just as with many other activities, can best be characterized by the words of the old sargent in Runeberg's poem "Fänrik Stål", "Jag var med" - I helped. Finland Swedes have assisted in church enterprises but only infrequently as leaders. They have been content to practice the art of true support. Of course, there are many who have not learned or practiced that difficult art. The foundation for that art came with them from the mother country. Many different religious movements grew during the early nineteenth century in Finland. Pietism passed over Finland like a wave and its aftereffects are discernable in a certain sense even to this day. Such folk preachers as Lars Stenbäck, Jacob Wegelius, Gustaf Wilhelm Lybeck and others were leaders in this movement. But pietism was rigid and often went to extremes for which one antidote was to wait. (At this point the author provides a footnote to the effect that J. L. Runeberg was among the opponents of the unhealthy black-painted part of pietism.)

Another antidote came about through evangelism. This movement with Fredrik Gabriel Hedberg as the instigator and principal exponent provided a completely new direction for pietism which tried to fill a need which the original pietists were unable to reach. But some of his disciples also went to extremes and the direction became very one-sided. Thus we find two distinct movements in the religious field which put their stamp on the church-going people of Finland, the Finnish speakers as well as the Swedish speakers. Thus we could distinguish large differences among the people in the various parishes and these differences are also found among the Finland Swedes in America but usually in modified forms. Of course, we must note that differences have been and are under constant modification by time.

For those who are unfamiliar with pietism in Swedish Finland it probably is of interest to learn about its continuing development. The writer with the designation TK (Tor Krook) writes in the brochure "Människovännen" as follows: "The Swedish Eastbothnian pietist has his own independent position which differs from the Finnish, for while he pursues a somewhat different tack from the Hedbergian evangelism, neither has he bought into the Malmbergian penitential pietism. In this instance, as well as in many others, they (the Finland Swedes) take the same central position as Jonas Lagus with his strong evangelical emphasis on justification by faith in Christ coupled with rigid vigilance against dead faith and spiritual security. But Lagus does not approve either Hedbergianism or the special Malmbergianism. This is verified by many church historical documents. The present Finnish pietism is principally a direct continuation of the Malmbergianism branch but reformed by Malmberg's more distinguished son Wilhelm Malmivaare. This reformation has been beneficial for the movement. He has transformed it from a prejudiced sect to the most liberal of our old national popular movements which has provided them a much larger influence within our church at this time than any other movement. But that reformer has also provided the movement a disastrous legacy in its political direction. Here there exists the impending danger that politics will strangle religion and hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in any new revival.

"The Swedish pietism in East Bothnia has progressed slowly like an undercurrent through congregational life ever since the revival age in the middle of the 1800's. It is significant that the three great names during different periods in the last century espouse a strong evangelical pietism: Jonas Lagus, Frederick Östring and Viktor Lars Helander. Two of them later did seem to agree with the southern Swedish revival leader Schartau. But when one, in conjunction with the new revivals at the start of this century, begins to read the writing of the north Swedish revivalist Rosenius, it is obvious that it is not an accidental occurrence, for that evangelical pietism is very closely related to the Christian vision we meet in Lagus' letter " 'The evangelical voice to the called souls' concerning a care for lost sheep."

Other older religious movements have been found in Finland that in a more restricted degree placed their stamp on the religious life. Among these we should name Laestadianism. However, those movements have been most noticeable in the Finnish areas and have only minimally affected the Swedish parishes.

Where the leaders of the religious movements have understood the needs of the human heart, there the movements have done much good among the people. The so-called educated class, because of lack of judgment, opposed the movements and did not wake up until they saw the tremendous harvest the irreligious life had in the revolt of 1918.

Prof. Tor Andrae from Sweden made the following statement about the religious situation in Finland following his attendance at Finland Church Days in the summer of 1930: "For me it was of special interest to determine the religiosity differences between Sweden and Finland. I believe I have found that Finnish church life has preserved a more genuine Lutheran cast and that a Lutheran sincerity characterizes the Swedish piety in Finland far more than in my native country. Also the Finnish church does not seem to have been satisfied to promote church life as inherited from the Church of Sweden but has found ways to continue its development. This may be due in some measure to the fact that Finland did not in the 1800s have a corresponding group of humanists to those exercising influence on the Church of Sweden. We only mention the name Wallin as one of those humanists. Thus Finland was not exposed to the same watering down influences of its Lutheran inheritance. Another factor is that the great folk revival in Sweden in the 1800s caused a separation in the Church of Sweden while the Church of Finland preserved a more intimate contact with the national piety and thus more than the Swedish, builds on a wider base. On the other hand, the Church of Sweden has maintained better contact with the leading cultural and intellectual circles. Thus in some respects the two churches complement each other."

During the latter part of the 19th century other newer religious movements appeared along side of those found in the country's national church. The most important of these were the Baptists, Mission Covenant and Methodists. And most recently America has exported a number of cultures which like weeds have taken root even in Finland.

On the whole, it can be said that Finland's Swedish-speaking people have received a sweeping range of religious training from home. Even before the advent of the universal elementary shcools, the principal subject in the children's school was religion. Confirmation instruction was based on that teaching, thus resulting in a kind of official graduation. At least, that is the way children and young people often considered it. If other subjects might have been deficient, religious instruction usually reaped the benefit and was that much more thorough. When state-sponsored elementary and high schools were established, Christian eduction was also part of their curriculum along side the other subjects but was never considered inferior to those subjects.

The very first Finland Swedes that came to the United States usually came with the consideration that they would return home as soon as they had saved enough money, and there were many who did just that after a few years. Therefore, they neglected to join one of the existing church organizations. It really was indifference which was the underlying reason for not joining. Likewise, they did not even consider starting their own churches. Of course, there are shining examples of exceptions to that general statement as evidenced by old church records in many different congregations.

It wasn't until the early 1890s that a change took place. That was also when emigration from the Swedish communities occurred in volume. That also was the time when consideration was given to organizing congregations among the Finland Swedes and also when many joined existing congregations. There were many reasons for this change in attitude. Weddings were occurring more and more frequently. More immigrants had steady employment and thus ventured to relax, build their houses and raise families. In many homes the families became large which was customary among most people at that time.

American schools did not include religion among the courses of study, a fact which must be regretted but, which at the same time, is easily understood in a country with such diverse religious views. Thus Sunday schools were established in the churches since no one wanted the children to grow up without religion. Finland Swedes, as we have noted, had received a good Christian education and were not slow in sending their children to Sunday school. At that time it was a fact that the lessons were conducted in the Swedish language which, of course, was dear to the hearts of the Finland Swedes. In time the children were confirmed and thus became members, and thus it followed that the parents also became members. Thus the words "a child shall lead them" were verified.

In some communities where Finland Swedes had congregated in larger numbers, thoughts began to surface about forming congregations solely for Finland-Swedish members. A few of these congregations came into existence without the help of pastors from Sweden. This was usually an exception. Lutheran church work among Finland Swedes was usually carried on with assistance from pastors from the Swedish church and most Finland-Swedish congregations had been organized under their leadership. Those pastors usually continued to give support to the congregations in times of need and many Finland-Swedish congre-gations have always been served by Swedish pastors.

It has always been understood that it would be impossible to organize churches for Finland Swedes in every community. Insufficient numbers usually dictated this. A real understanding between Swedes and Finland Swedes existed in some communities from the very beginning. In such places they cooperated in church matters and thus were able to quickly accomplish the goal of providing for themselves a church, parsonage and pastor. Sometimes the order of accom-plishment was reversed. In many communities, especially in the midwest and west, we find in many Swedish churches the majority of the membership to be Finland Swedes. In like manner, we find that perhaps a greater number of Finland Swedes are members of Swedish churches than those who are members of Finland-Swedish churches. In many cities it so happens that many Finland Swedes have chosen to be members of the Swedish churches even though there is a Finland-Swedish church available. This probably is evidence of lack of solidarity among Finland Swedes rather than the need for association. This association of Swedes and Finland Swedes has resulted in a better understanding between the two people from both sides of the Gulf of Bothnia while it must be conceded that a certain amount of tactlessness, partly from the pastors and partly among the people, has prevented such cooperation. (At this point the author provides the following footnote: The number of Finland Swedes who are members of the congregations of the Augustana Synod can easily be estimated to be 12,000 of which one-third are members of Finland-Swedish congregations. They are located especially in the New York and New England Conferences in the East; Superior, Minnesota and Illinois Conferences in the Central States and the Columbia and California Conferences in the West.

The Church and Religious Life

As soon as the first Swedish-speaking congregations were established in the United States about 75 years ago, the need to provide for the education of pastors was recognized. If the first Swedes in Delaware had recognized that fact and established educational institutions to accomplish it, their congregations would have had a more glowing future than that which turned out to be the case.

Finland Swedes, on the other hand, have always been too few in numbers to even think about establishing their own educational institutions. Partly because of the very scattered population, partly because of their very limited means and partly because of their weak spirit of cooperation. They have, however, had the opportunity to attend the educational institutions established by the Swedes in many different states. Thus, the majority of Finland-Swedish pastors have been educated in those institutions. While this is generally the case, there are a few exceptions among the pastors serving Lutheran congregations. On the other hand, pastors serving the other denominations, generally have received their education in schools established by that American denomination.

Support of denominational educational institutions is generally included as part of a congregation's program. Thus the Finland-Swedish congregations have in this way contributed to the support of the denominational schools. Therefore, they have had the right to call them their schools. This has also been a factor in the growing rapprochement between the Swedes and Finland Swedes. One circumstance which has always existed is that while Finland Swedes joined Swedish churches, the Swedes from Sweden seldom joined Finland-Swedish churches. There is no need to discuss here how this is viewed by Finland Swedes.

That church work requires toil and sacrifice is well-known to everyone. This is especially true among smaller congregations and nearly all Finland-Swedish churches belong to that group. In any country other than the United States, it would have been unthinkable that a group of 300 adults and chidlren would even try to build a building, pay a pastor's salary, provide some money for an organist and other officers and in addition make contributions to the central organization.

Church work in small congregations is often supported in part from home mission offerings. The Finland-Swedish Lutheran congregations in such instances received support from the Swedish church, that is, the Augustana Synod. Other denominational churches could usually count on help from the American churches of their denomination.

All church work is accomplished through freewill offerings of money and talent, the sources for which are many and varied. But as a rule the members themselves must be ready to carry the load. Often a specified sum was allocated to each individual. That system of gathering the necessary funds was probably satisfactory when all were just as rich or, perhaps, rather when all were equally poor. But things changed and gradually it came about that some were more fortunate than others. A few became quite wealthy while others retained the same status they had from the beginning. Some met with success while others suffered adversity. Thus it became obvious that it was unfair to expect that all should contribute equal amounts to support the church and its program. Therefore, the system was introduced which provided that each member should determine what his contribution should be. But instead of this system resulting in individuals' capriciousness causing them to contribute as little as possible, it resulted in increased contributions for the work of the church. Congregations that have adopted the new system now find that they are better able to carry on their work. It is true that even to this day much education and a great deal of diplomacy is required on the part of the pastor to convince members who grew up under a taxation system to adopt the freewill way, but it is and has proven possible.

There are many different societies operating within each church, serving the congregation in the same manner as the branches serve the mother tree. The principal and most active societies within a congregation are the women's society and the young people's society. In many places a women's society was organized before the congregation came into being. Then followed a Sunday School and finally the congregation itself. In larger churches there are other groups with various names and purposes. For the construction of church buildings, it often happened that a certain society accepted the responsibility for raising funds for the windows, a second society worked on the pews, a third for the heating system, etc. These societies are freestanding to the extent that no one can commandeer anything against their will. But at the same time, the church's constitution usually specifies that the pastor is to be the moderator for all societies functioning within the congregation. As far as is known, there has never been a power struggle between a society and the congregation because it has always been understood that the society functions within the congregation. Because of the different organizations, the members do have the opportunity to partake more directly in the running of the enterprise.

Finland-Swedish churches usually are organized as individual corporations which means that essentially all decisions are made within the congregation itself. The details of operations are somewhat different in the various denominations but because of the complete separation of church and state, the congregation has the obligation to handle its own affairs. This method of governance can leave something to be desired but surely there isn't a church member in America who would be willing to change places with someone from another country where the state runs the church. The Roman Catholic church always tries to mix church and state even here in America but many Protestants do not always see clearly enough to detect this. However, one antidote exists - the existence of the Ku Klux Klan.

As previously pointed out at the beginning of this chapter, Finland is a Lutheran country with that church claiming about 97% of the population. Because of that fact, we find only a small number of Baptists and other free-church members among the Finland-Swedish immigrants. Because of the strength of the free-church movement in America, it was relatively easy for Finland Swedes of that persuasion to make headway because of the closer relationship they were able to achieve with their American counterparts than was possible for the Lutherans. The Lutheran church has always been considered a foreign church by Americans. In the United States, the reformed denominations have always considered themselves to be the masters in all church matters. They appear to ignore the fact that Swedish Lutherans came to America and founded their churches as early as 1638. They also choose to ignore that the first early missionary work among the Indians was instituted by Swedish Lutherans and even there the Finland Swedes were present.

The reformed churches in America are stronger than the Lutherans. The Baptist church is the largest, followed by the Methodist with the Lutheran in third place since they passed the Presbyterians in numbers a few years ago.

Among the Finland Swedes, only the Baptists and the Mission Covenants are represented through individual congregations.

The Finnish Baptist Mission Society was organized in Chicago, IL on March 31, 1901 by a few people with a special interest in mission work among their country-men in America. (At this point the author provides a footnote to explain that the name had been chosen in anticipation that the organization would encompass mission work countrywide among both language groups.) Up to that point, their interests had been taken care of by the Swedish and/or American Baptist churches. Pastor Edward Fleming was elected chairman; A. M. Wickstrom, Vice Chairman; H. R. Schultz, Secretary and Jacob Peterson, Treasurer.

Pastor Edward Fleming made contact immediately with brothers in the faith in other places such as Michigan and Minnesota for the purpose of uniting the Baptists from Finland in promoting the mission activities more effectlvely.

On November 15-17 that same year a larger missionary conference was held in Chicago where the plans for mission activities were presented. Pastor Fleming had prepared plans beforehand for an American Baptist mission association in order to promote favorable disposition toward the project. Interest was awakened in many hearts which was turned into more zealous efforts in behalf of missions.

They gathered again on December 20 that same year. At that meeting they took up the question of actually calling workers to the field. At the same time that suitable men were found to take up the work among the Swedish-speaking people, they were unable to find anyone equipped to work among the Finnish speakers. Therefore, they called a Finnish-speaking pastor from the homeland but he refused the call. In 1902 they again called a Finnish man who spoke both languages. This man, John Lindgren, accepted the call and carried on a fine work among his Finnish-speaking countrymen. Finnish literature such a bibles, new testaments and tracts were procured through grants from the American Baptist mission society. Pastor Edward Fleming was also called as a missionary.

Branch divisions were organized here and there in different localities. Their task was to gather funds for the establishment of Baptist missions among the people from Finland living in the United States.

Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota were the first destinations for establishing missions. Baptist people from Finland had begun their own work in Worcester in 1895 and organized their congregation in 1900. Work was soon expanded to Garner and other cities in Massachusetts.

In the mining districts in Northern Michigan such as Negaunee, Felch, Bessemer and Ironwood, the Holy spriit worked mightily among the countrymen where Pastor M. Esselstrom carried on his labors.

In Minnesota, especially in Duluth, just as in the mining districts, gatherings were held among the relatively large numbers of Baptists who had arrived there from the homeland. A congregation was established in Duluth in 1904, in Chisholm in 1906 and also in that year a Finnish-speaking congregation was established in Duluth.

Congregations were also established in Felch, Michigan 1900, Gladstone 1905, Hancock (Finnish) 1906, Roscommon 1920 and Dollar Bay 1923.

In the State of Washington, Baptist congregations were established in Seattle and Tacoma in 1908 and Hartford in 1911.

In Chicago a congregation was established in 1904, in New York in 1909, and in Gardner, Massachusetts in 1908. In Fitchburg, Massachusetts a Baptist congregation of people from Finland was established, but later united with the Swedish Baptists in that city. The same was true in San Francisco, CA.

In Butte, Montana there was a Swedish Baptist church which was reorganized in 1925 under the name of Swedish-Finnish Baptist Church.

Young men who felt the call to preach God's word entered the Swedish Baptist Preaching Seminary in Morgan Park, IL and went out, after completion of the required courses, to different communities where work was in progress which resulted in many congregations being established.

Swedish Finn Evangelical Mission Association in America was organized on 7 August 1907 in Springfield, Massachusetts. (The author provides a footnote here that the information was provided by Pastor Aug. Willandt.) At the invitation of manufacturer Gabriel Carlson, in Springfield, a group of interested "Missionsvänner" gathered in his home, 11 Columbia Terrace, to discuss the spiritual situation among the Finland Swedes in America and the result was the organization of the above named association whose purpose was to preach the gospel to the dispersed countrymen in America and to support the Free Mission Society in Finland to the extent that capabilities would permit. The Association consists of congregations and individual believers in places where there are too few countrymen for organized work. The first officers were Pastor M. Josephson, New York, Chairman; Mr. Gabriel Carlson, Springfield, Vice Chairman; Pastor August Willandt, Brooklyn, N.Y., Secretary; Pastor Alex Hällis, Worcester, MA, Vice Secretary; and K. Hendrickson, Springfield, MA, Treasurer.

At the present time, the Association's chief activity is to send aid on a regular basis to the Free Mission Society in Finland. In the beginning the Association provided significant aid through the efforts of manufacturer Gabriel Carlsson. After his death, his wife, Ella M. Carlson, has often been helpful to the Association.

Among those who have worked diligently with the Association and who have passed away, we can list Pastors Herman Grönlund, Oscar Öhblom, Alex Hällis and the Congro Missionary Julina DeMasör.

This year (1930) Pastor K. A. Gabrielson, Worcester, MA is President; August Spellman, Bronx, NY, Secretary; and John Söderstrom, Brooklyn, NY, Treasurer. The Association has its annual meeting in the fall circulating among Worcester, Bronx and Brooklyn.

Among the Finland-Swedish Lutheran pastors and laymen as early as 1910, there existed thoughts about the need for some type of an organization to promote missions. Some actions had been taken and finally in the summer of 1916 a meeting was held in Duluth, Minn. where the question of a Finland-Swede Lutheran conference was discussed in great detail, but nothing definite was decided. Since then, the conference question has never been brought up for action. A conference among Finland-Swedish Lutherans never seemed to become a necessity such as was the case with the Finland-Swedish congregations under leaderhip of the American Mission Society. Such a Lutheran conference would have been useful for only a limited group of Finlaand Swedes and would have worked to prolong the cleft between the Swedes from Sweden and the Swedes from Finland that much longer.

In the summer of 1917 there was a meeting in Metropolitan, Mich. where a mission society among the Finland-Swedish pastors and laymen was organized whose by-laws contained the following: (1) "In keeping with God's grace and help to spread and promote God's life-giving words, especially among the Finland-Swedish people in America, (2) To the degree that means, strength and opportunity provides, work for the establishment of Finland-Swedish congregations in cities and towns where such organizations are desirable and possible; and to encourage uniting with Swedish Lutherans of the Augustana Synod where there are insufficient Finland Swedes to make it possible to establish an independent congregation."

That Society had a short life, about 4 years is all. The reason for its short life was probably because it duplicated an existing mission organization in the Swedish Lutheran Augustana Synod which caters to Finland Swedes as well as to those born in Sweden. Another reason could be that this organization did not have an American mission society well to draw from.

Those churches and organizations do not exist solely for their own membership. They are also available to those outside their own little circle. The Sunday Schools welcome all who present themselves and educate all without fear or favor. Many of the students attending confirmation classes come from homes where the parents are not members of any church. When it comes to pastoral services, such as baptisms, weddings and funerals, there is no discrimination against non-members. Often it happens that there are more pastoral services performed for non-members than for members.

In the beginning Swedish was the official and exclusive language for all Finland-Swedish churches. The passage of time has brought changes in this area. The new generation and new families have brought in people who are not comfortable or fully competent in Swedish. This is especially true in mixed marriage families. Thus it has become necessary to progressively adopt the use of the English language. This is to be regretted from many standpoints but it seems to be unavoidable. It is only a question of time before everything must be conducted in English.

Chapter 16:

Congregations in the Eastern States

Church work among the people from Finland was initiated in New York as early as in the middle of the 1880s. A congregation was established and a Finnish pastor ordained in the Augustana Synod served that congregation for a short time. But the pastor was dismissed and the church was sold.

Shortly thereafter, in 1887, the Finnish Seamens Society established work among the seamen. Pastor Emil Panelius was sent to administer the work. Even though his calling was to serve only the seafarers, he nevertheless extended his ministry to the immigrants. Somewhat later when Pastor Panelius had left the field, the work was continued under the leaderhip of several different pastors each of whom remained for only short periods of time. Pastor Alfred Gröning, now the parish pastor in Kristinestad, Finland, finally was able to set up the work so that it would be supported by two societies, one Finnish and the other Swedish, but misunderstandings surfaced and cooperation vanished. Some of the Finland Swedes departed and united with one of the many previously established congregations among the Swedish people. However, most of the Finland Swedes remained completely aloof from all church ties. Under those circumstanes, there still were some who longed for their own Finland-Swedish Lutheran activity in the world city.

Lutherska Johannes Församlingen i Brooklyn, NY

(The author provides a footnote that the following material was taken from the pages of the paper "Finska Amerikanaren.")

Pastor John Nyström visited Brooklyn in the summer of 1913 immediately following his ordination. Preliminary plans were made and steps were taken for the establishment of a Lutheran congregation among the Finland Swedes and on September 20th that year the St. John's congregation was organized with 30 communicant members. Pastor Nyström was the moderator at the organizational meeting with A. Söderström serving as secretary. The Augustana Synod's proposed constitution for congregations was accepted.

Theological student A. Holm was called to serve as the preacher and Pastor John Eastlund was called as Vice Pastor. A church was rented on Cumberland Street and beginning in November weekly services were held on Sunday evenings.

A Sunday School was established by P. Pennström and student A. Holm also on September 20, 1913. At the first congregational meeting on January 8, 1914, Mr. J. A. Skrivars was elected as Sunday School teacher (in reality Superintendent) with Mrs. A. Holmen as assistant.

A young peoples society was organized in March 1914 by student Holm. The beginnings of a ladies society had been initiated in June of 1913 but actual organization did not take place until August of that year.

Pastor John Gullans was called to become the pastor in June 1914. He accepted the call and entered on duty in November of that year. In the fall of 1916 the church moved into the Finnish Lutheran Church in Sunset Park. Sunday School was also held there.

The congregation had, from the very beginning, existed in two divisions - one in Brooklyn and the other in the Bronx. Because of the great distance between the two, it was agreed that an independent congregation would be established in the Bronx.

Early on, the people began to think about having their own church building and so a lot was purchased. But gradually the people became displeased with the site; unfavorable changes were taking place in its surroundings. Also at about this time, an offer was received for a church in a favorable location at a reasonable price. That church was purchased and is now in use by the congregation.

After ten years of steadfast and persevering work, Pastor Gullans resigned his care of the congregation because the strain of the two congregations had become too great for his physical strength. Beginning in 1924, he accepted the charge of the Bronx congregation.

Pastor Gustav A. G. Carlson was then called to become the pastor and took up his duties in the fall of 1924. He served for more than 3 years and during that time funds were being gathered for a proposed new and larger church building.

Pastor Carlson left in 1927 and the congregation was vacant for two years with Pastor John Eastland serving as Vice Pastor. Beginning in the fall of 1929, theological student Walter Blomquist conducted services until the summer of 1930 when Pastor A. Walfred Anderson, previously called, took up his duties.

Svensk-Finska Evangeliska Bethlehems Församlingen i Bronx, NY

(The author provides the following footnote: "History written by Pastor F. R. Malm")

This is the oldest congregation among the Finland Swedes in the mighty metrop-olis on the Hudson River. Its organizer, Pastor M. Josephson, started preaching to our countrymen in the Bronx and Harlem in 1897. This resulted in the organi-zation of a Mission Society in 1900 together with a Sewing Circle and Sunday School. A meeting place was acquired simultaneously. Two years later, that is in 1902, the congregation was organized with 20-30 members. It was incorporated under the laws of the state of New York with the name as noted above. In 1907 it moved to its own church building which it first rented from the American Congregationalists and later purchased in 1907. It was completely restored and an addition constructed in 1918. Not many years later, this church had to be evacuated and a new one was built. Hopefully, we will be able to celebrate our 30th Anniversary there. The following six pastors have served this congregation: M. Josephson, J. Tinell, A. Hällis, E. O. Hedberg, V. Öblom, and F. R. Malm, its present pastor. The following Pastors, V. Öblom, Borgendahl and A. L. Anderson have served vicariates for longer or shorter periods. The congregation has also had one of its members become a preacher and at the present time another one is preparing for preaching status.

Just as a tree over the years produces shoots and branches, so also have our operations reached out. In addition to the basic preaching services, we have a well-organized Sunday School, an especially active Young Peoples Society with a junior division and also a Death-Benefit Society. The congregation now numbers 112 members with a Sunday School of 127 scholars, a Young Peoples Society of about 60, a Martha Society of 48 members with a junior division of 18 while the "Bethlehem" Aid Society has over 200 members.

On the initiative of the young peoples society, a summer place on the ocean near Pelham Bay Park was purchased. That is now the renowned "Camp Bethlehem" which is well known among Swedish Mission folks. Here we have tried to unite recreation with spiritual enhancement. Without question, Camp Bethlehem has been a unifying factor to offset the scattering forces of summer. A preaching station has also been established at the camp.

All of the above is an outline of the outward significance of our congregation - its basic structure, so to speak. But more significant is the inner workings of the Spirit motivating brotherly love. Also interesting and significant is the fact that here we can provide the gospel to our countrymen in this city, the chief entrance to this great country, our adopted land.

Svensk-Finska Lutherska Församlingen i Bronx, NY

(The author provides a footnote to the effect that the following information has been garnered from the pages of "Finska Amerikanaren")

This congregation was established on January 1, 1919 under the leadership of Pastor John Gullans with 126 communicants and 70 children. The Augustana Synod's suggested constitution was adopted and the congregation was accepted into the New York Conference the following spring. This represents the formal division from the Brooklyn Church. Pastor Gullans continued to serve both congregations until 1924 when he resigned from the Brooklyn church because of too heavy a workload.

The congregation at the time of its formal organization had a fully functioning Sewing Circle, a Young Peoples Society and a Sunday School. The Luther League and "Girls Aid' were more recently organized. All these organizations have been of much material assistance to the congregation.

There had always been a wish for having their own church building. This wish was fulfilled in 1927 when a larger church building was erected on a site previously purchased by the church. The new church has a central location and the bottom level is completely finished. The parsonage in the same bulding is also completely finished. The building as presently completed has cost the congregation $82,000.

The congregation has always been self-sustaining and now numbers over 300 communicants and 110 children and therefore is among the largest Finland-Swedish congregations in America. There are 115 students in the Sunday School.

Just as in other congregations in this world city, this one also has to suffer much membership bleeding. Outflow occurs in large numbers especially in the spring time when people travel to other areas, often to their homeland.

No one can really compute the spiritual value of the work done by the congregation. But as a corollary, the congregation serves as a cultural center of great depth. Its two choirs have each contributed mightily to Sunday services and festivities of all types. Of course, the intent is that through the use of all of the means of grace, the members will become better equipped to take part in the triumphant congregation above.

Bethel Missions Församlingen i Brooklyn, NY

(Again the author provides a footnote that his source for material is "Finska Amerikanaren")

Pastor Andrew Groop began making preaching visits as early as 1892. A group gradually assembled which eventually began to consider the establishment of a congregation. In 1899 Pastor M. Josephson was asked to come to New York to undertake systematic research among his countrymen. On New Years Day in 1900 at a meeting in a previously rented hall at the corner of Fifth Ave. and 23rd St., a group of 17 persons signed that they would become Charter Members and so the congregation was organized.

In September 1901 a hall was rented on 34thAvenue. Several zealous members under Albert Andersson's leadership had worked hard to gather the required paraphernalia, but Pastor Josephson had begun to favor the work in the Bronx, so that the congregation was left without a teacher.

Following the above, the congregation was intermittently led by Pastor G. Blomberg and by brothers Ivar Hendrickson and E. Danielson. In 1905 the congregation came under the leadership of Pastor August Willandt. This resulted in rapidly expanding the work. Pastor Alex Hällis served the congre-gation during the years 1909-1912 when Pastor Willandt again assumed the leadership. He remained until 1923. During that time membership increased markedly and the rented hall became too small. They were fortunate enough to be able to purchase the church which they are now using.

Since 1923 the congregation has been pastored by A. R. Lindblade 1923-1925, O. E. Edwards 1926-1928 and currently is being served by Verner Wickström.

Many members have come and many have gone as is customary in this seaport city. Today the membership is 63, seven of whom accepted membership in 1930.

The congregation supports a Sunday School, a Martha Society and a Young Peoples Society with a junior division.

Svensk-Finska Baptist Församlingen i New York

(Again the compiler provides a footnote that his source is "Finska-Amerikanaren")

On July 31, 1905, Pastor Erik Janson from Finland preached in the Fourth Avenue Baptist Church in Brooklyn. This was the beginning of the Finland-Swedish Baptist work in the World City and its surroundings. In late summer that year Pastor Edw. Fleming came to New York and meetings were held here and in surrounding communities. A congregation was organized in Jersey City on the 3rd of October 1905. This congregation was served by Pastor G. A. Schugren from 1906 through May 1908. Student J. A. Kallman served the congregation during the summer months of 1908. Pastors M. Mattson and Axel Edwards also served this congregation but because of various difficulties concerning the work in the Jersey City congregation, another congregation was organized in the Bronx on the 20th of March 1909. Pastor A. J. Stormans acted as the presiding officer and the congregation was given the name cited above.

Pastor Albert Esselström served the congregation in 1909 to 1910 and was followed by Pastor Axel Edwards. Pastor Erik Jansson served in 1911 well into the following year. In October 1912 Pastor Isak Roy became the pastor and remained for 14 years. He was followed by Pastor J. A. Kallman who is still the pastor as this is being written.

The congregation purchased an old house on the corner of Cypress and East 137th Street. The first floor was remodeled into a small hall for Sunday School use, prayer meetings and other small meetings. Sunday Services were conducted in the Alexander Ave. Baptist Church.

The present church property consists of an apartment building where the first floor has been outfitted as a church.

Lutherska Bethelförsamlingen i Jersey City

(Here the footnote reads: Data supplied by Pastor S. L. Wilson.)

Following preliminary work, a church society was organized in the suburb of Greenville in 1921. Pastor S. L. Wilson together with his wife continued with Sunday School work and preaching visits. At a church service in January 1923 the pastor broached the subject of this Society uniting with the already functioning Swedish congregation in Jersey City. But instead, the Society voted to organize a congregation which was done and which came into being on February 1, 1923 at the parsonage of the Swedish Lutheran Church with a membership of 15 communicants and 30 children. The name, as noted above, was accepted as the official name. At this point, the meeting was adjourned with the next meeting to take place in the home of Oswald Rosenberg. At the next meeting, the Augustana Synod's constitution was adopted and the congregation was accepted into the New York Conference of the Augustana Synod at its next meeting in Brooklyn, NY. From the very beginning, this little congregation has had the advantage of being able to have services every Sunday. Also to this date it has had the privilege of being served by its founding pastor, S. L. Wilson. The Sunday School was received as a legacy from the church society which was merged into the congregation. A women's society was quickly established and continues to provide faithful support. A young peoples society was organized in 1925. There has never been a phenomenal growth in numbers, but nevertheless it now embraces 60 communicants and 20 children. The thing that has been a real drag is that the congregation does not have its own meeting place for Sunday services. There is great hope that steps can be taken toward the purchase of a site for the future church when we get our own teacher. The congregation decided in 1929 to accept the recommendation of the District and Conference to enter into a joint pastorate with the Eleonora congregation in Bayonne, NJ. The congregation has already experienced a milepost on its journey in that at its 5th anniversary cele-bration on February 5, 1928, it experienced a tremendous attendance. This celebration also marked the first experience of acting as host for an annual meeting of the New Jersey District .

Swedish Finnish Baptist Church of Worcester

(The author provides a footnote stating that the following material was supplied by K. A. Pearson.)

A substantial number of Finland Swedes settled in this city when emigration from Finland commenced in the 1870s. Some of these were Baptists who frequented various churches in the city. In accordance with information found in old minutes, they nevertheless thought of themselves as guests and strangers in those churches. Even though occasionally a few were won for the Lord, it seemed next to impossible to gather significant numbers under the influence of the word. Soon the thoughts of establishing a self-sustaining mission among the Finland Swedes grew stronger and stronger. The first efforts occurred in 1895 when Pastor J. A. Wiklund started conducting public meetings among our people. Up to that time no organization had been formed. Believers from various communions attended and assisted at the meetings with the common goal of bringing our countrymen to the knowledge of the saving power of God. Considerable success was achieved during that time.

A mission society was established in 1895. This was later dissolved when the congregation was organized. During the winter of 1899-1900, the resolve to organize a congregation continued to grow so that on June 20, 1900, the First Swedish Finnish Baptist Church with 23 members was established. Three of the original charter members are still members. Pastor J. A. Wiklund accepted the call to become the congregation's first pastor. A hall was rented at 274 Main St. where the congregation continued to meet until the building was consumed by fire in 1902. All church equipment was destroyed in the fire. The congregation then rented space for church services at 207 Main St. Over the years, the following preachers have served the congregation. J. A. Wiklund 1900-1901, K. A. Arry 1901-1903 (died), Matts Esselström 1903-1910, J. A. Kallman 1910-1913, A. Rausk 1913-1919, Isak Berg 1919-1924, Emil Nylund 1924-1927, Karl A. Pearson 1927--.

Many of the congregation's young men have over the years chosen to serve as evangelists, namely Edward Fleming, Isak Roy, J. E. Koskinen, Harold Peterson and Erk Frykenberg, the last named as a missionary to India in the service of the American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society.

The congregation's present church, mortgage-free since 1925, was dedicated in 1914. A lot and building had been purchased in 1906. For a few years, the house was rented, but later remodeled into a church. The church has a convenient location on the corner of Belmont and Edward Streets.

The church has had 300 members since its establishment. An impressive 30- year celebration was held in August 1930. The present membership is 78.

During the 30-year life of the congregation, the total ingathering of funds from all sources exceeds $45,000. This does not include the moneys received by the congregation from the American Mission Society. From the very beginning, the congregation has received support from the Worcester City Mission Board and the Massachusetts Baptist State Convention.

The Sunday School was organized before the congregation was chartered. It has been a great blessing to the advancement of the congregation. Its present superintendent is Edward Nelson.

The Young Peoples Society was organized in 1896 but was reorganized in conjunction with the establishment of the congregation in 1900. It has worked diligently and in harmony with the congregation, contributing in both the spiritual and financial realms. Its present leader is Axel Christenson.

A Womens Society whose name is "Ihärdighet" (perseverance) has labored diligently over the years to safeguard the economy of the congregation as well as for the furthering of home and foreign missions.

The Bethany Lutheran Church in Worcester, Mass.

(The author provides a footnote that the material came both from the "History of the Swede-Finns in Worcester" and from "Hälsning från Amerika".)

Finland-Swedish Lutherans were residents of Worcester for almost twenty years before they began to seriously consider establishing their own church. They were served by the Swedish congregations and their pastors during that time and that was thought to be sufficient.

J. G. writes in 'Hälsning från America" in 1904 as follows: "Good morals, clean living, and helpfulness appears to have been ingrained in the hearts of the noble-minded sons and daughters arriving from the land of a thousand lakes. Though some had the insight to realize that those inbred characteristics have their origin and nourishment in the church, they did not consider themselves capable of undertaking actions for church building partly due to their limited numbers and partly because the Swedish churches offered a spiritual home to anyone who was looking for it. Thus quite a number joined the Lutheran Gethsemane church while others united with churches of other denominations and others remained completely removed from everything spiritual."

Yet, in the spring of 1900 people began talking about a Lutheran church for the Finland Swedes. Thus it came about that on August 28, 1900 the Swedish-Finnish Lutheran Church was organized. In the following year the congregation joined the Augustana Synod. John Peterson presided at the organizing meeting while Axel Franz served as secretary. Theological student C. A. Larson from Gardner, who previously had conducted preaching missions in Worcester, was called to provide weekly church services, establish church records and organize a Sunday School. He accepted that call. Services were celebrated each Sunday forenoon and the Sunday School was organized with Josef A. Bengts as superintendent.

For the first 6 years, services and Sunday School was held in a hall located at 207 Main St. In 1906 under the leadership of Pastor John Gullans, the congregation built the bottom level of the church and was able to occupy it that same year. This is still the worship center for the congregation.

Pastor John Gullans accepted the call to become the church's pastor and entered on duty in the summer of 1902 after his ordination. He remained as the church's pastor until 1907 and was followed by theological student Johannes Nyström who served for more than a year. Pastor Carl J. Silfversten served the congregation from 1909 to 1910. Pastor Gullans was again called and served the congregation for about 5 years. Since that time, the following pastors have served the congregation: Johannes Nyström, Emil Johnson and A. J. Lawson who is now the congregation's pastor. During the periods of vacancy, the following students have served the congregation: C. A. Larson, H. Kullander, Robert Swanson, Harry Kuniholm and Axel Holm. Also catechists Claus Davidson and T. W. Lindström have conducted Sunday services during vacancies.

The congregation during its 30 years' existence has accomplished good and blessed work through the following organizations: Ladies Aid Society, Martha Society, Faithful Workers, Mens Club, Young Peoples Society, "Senapskornet", Church Choir, Junior Choir, String band, Mens Choir Eko, Sunday School and Bible Classes.

John Peterson and Axel Franx have served many years as Sunday School Supeintendents. The following have served as Choir Directors and Organists: Fritz Hartz, Mrs. J. Gullans, Alice Johnson, Edith Peterson and Ingred Franz. Edward Mangs has the honor of having been a member of every choir in the church.

K. J. Lind has been the secretary of the congregation for many years. As presidents of the Womens Society, we must mention Mrs. Matts Mattson and Mrs. J. Peterson.

J. E. Hartz and O. Carlson have served for many years as guardians of the church property.

In 1929 the congregationchanged its name from the Swedish Finnish Lutheran Church to the Bethany Lutheran Church.

The Bethesda Missions Church of Worcester, Mass.

(The author provides a footnote that this history is written by K. A. Gabrielson.)

This mission work among the Finland Swedes in Worcester had its cradle in the Swedish Mission Covenant Church on Salem Square. Many Finland Swedes were members of that church. Because they believed that they would be able to serve more of their countrymen better, they joined forces to start their own mission. For a time they had their home in the American Union Church. Since January 15, 1917, the congregation has occupied its own temple on Belmont Hill. Pastor J. Josefson was the first pastor to preach to this group of Finland Swedes. Since that time, many pastors have worked with the group including P. A. Mickels and Alex Hällis. The latter is well known even in Finland for his blazing zeal. His labors resulted in the acquisition of many able workers for the membership. After Pastor Hällis' departure, the congregation was served by student Victor Öblom and Pastor O. G. Norseen. Pastor Herman Grönlund served with vigor from 1909 until his death in 1911. He was followed by Pastor Victor Öblom but he also was harvested by the grim reaper after only seven months of labor. These beloved servants live in the memories of the members of the congregation.

Pastor N. O. Lind served the congregation the longest and under his leadership the church building was purchased and so now the congregation had its own home. He was followed by Pastor Edwards who through his unselfish and faithful service kept his flock together and united in peace and harmony. He remained with the congregation until 1926 when K. A. Gabrielson took up the work.

The church has featured evangelistic services, young people's activities and Sunday School. The Martha Society has labored mightily. This latter group has been of great economic help to the congregation as well as a source of spiritual leadership.

Thus we can say that this congregation has been a factor among many which have served to awaken our people and caused many sons and daughters from our heavily-burdened Finland to remain near to the cross of Jesus. There, there is succor for our people - and for all mankind. The writer of these words has had the good fortune for four and a half years of being able to preach the gospel of Christ to Finland's sons and daughters in Worcester. Beginning on October 1, 1930 that preaching will be handled by O. P. Peterson, a pastor with much experience. If the congregation remains committed in faith, prayer, and labor, it will prosper.

Gardner, Mass.

The Immanuel Lutheran Church of Gardner was organized on December 30, 1884. (The author provides a footnote that this information was taken in part from "Sändebudet" and part from "Finska Amerikanaren".)

Earlier the Finnish-speaking people of the city had been consulted about the possibility of cooperation in church work but since they were not amenable to any change in their constitution, cooperative work was out of the question.

At the organizational meeting, Karl Blomquist served as the presiding officer while Herman Jacobson was the secretary. The name "Finsk-Svenska Evangeliska Lutherska Församlingen" was adopted as the official name. The following officers were elected for a half year: Karl Blomquist, President; Herman Sand, Vice Pres.; J. Herman Jacobson, Sec.; Wilhelm Waxlax, Fin. Sec.; Edward Nyman and Axel Teir, auditors; John Berg, Isaac Backman, John Kuniholm, August Scott, John Fant, Otto Sand, collectors and Edward Jacobson, Church Warden. A three-man committee was appointed to consult with the Finnish people of Worcester concerning the calling of a joint pastor.

Pastor W. Durchman, Seamens pastor in Brooklyn, N. Y. was the one who pre-sided at the first meeting where the need for a Lutheran Church was discussed.

On March 6, 1895, the congregation began Sunday School work. John Kuniholm was the superintendent; John Lind was elected parish clerk and organist. In the beginning, the congregation did not belong to any Synod but on February 5, 1899 the decision was made to join the Suomi Synod. Pastor John Nyström in the congregational history wirtten for the 20th anniversary celebration wrote as follows: "As stated, the congregation joined the Suomi Synod. But soon it was apparent that the congregation did not receive the support that one had the right to expect from a parent organization. This was especially noticeable in the language area. The Synod's annual reports were printed in the Finnish language and when the congregation was vacant, it was not able to call a pastor from the Suomi Synod. Those were the essential factors which caused the congregation to begin to consider a change of synod. At the 1906 annual meeting it was voted to leave the Suomi Synod and seek entrance into the Augustana Synod. At a special meeting on March 7, 1906 the congregation voted to accept the Augustana Synod's constitution without changes."

The following pastors have served the congregation: W. Durchman who visited the congregation from time to time until January 8, 1896; Albin Hukkanen, ordinary (regular) pastor from January 1896 to April 6, 1898; M. Havokainen for a few months in 1899; G. A. Ekman 1899; Student C. A. Larson 1899 to Oct. 1901; Pastor C. J. Beckman 1905 to 1905; N. J. Lindahl 1905 to 1906; C. A. Larson 1906 to 1908; Catechist Danielson 1911 to 1912; Theological Student Johannes Nyström for a few months in 1912; Pastor John Gullans, Vice Pastor 1912 to 1913. Pastor Johannes Nyström began his pastorate in 1913 and remained until 1918; R. Byrenius, 1918-1919; Pastor G. Berg, 1919-1922; Pastor F. E. W. Kastman, 1922-1927; Pastor Walter Lindberg, 1927-1930.

In 1929 the congregation changed its name to the Lutheran Immanuel Church.

In 1901 the congregation began to seriously consider the erection of a church building. On August 16 that year it was decided to construct a church building on a piece of land in the vicinity of Parker St. That was considered to be the most appropriate place for the church. In addition the congregation had received the property as a gift from the contractor John Leamy. He was also the contractor who built the building. The building was completed in April 1902 with the first service taking place on the first Sunday in May. During Pastor Kastman's pastorate, the building was thoroughly renovated and rebuilt in its present form. The Finland-Swedish colony continued to grow in the neighborhood of the church building. Thus the church is readily accessible to most of the members. The parsonage was built in 1909 under the leadership of Pastor S. P. Holmberg.

Many different societies are active in the church, each one supporting the congregation in many different ways. They continue to function for the benefit of God's kingdom among the Finland Swedes.

The Swedish Finnish Baptist Church of Gardner. Immanuel is presently served by Otto Bergquist as pastor for the Scandinavian Lutherans of the city. (The author provides a footnote here that he had gathered the information from the pages of "Finska Amerikanaren.")

A few of the early Finland Swedish Baptists attended the Swedish Baptist Church, but inasmuch as the people were not eager to attend the Swedish church, they began to have meetings in the homes. The first pastors who conducted Baptist services among the Finland Swedes were J. A. Roos and Herman Litorin from the Swedish Baptist church in the city. Later the people were served by Pastors J. A. Wiklund and Carl Orre from the Swedish-Finnish Church in Worcester. Pastor M. Esselström who had come from Finland visited Garner once a month. In October 1903 a mission society was organized together with a sewing circle which later became quite a blessing for the work.

The activity expanded and the homes became too small to accommodate all who wished to attend, so A. Backman decided to build a home for himself near the corner of Wasa and Coleman Streets. In the back end of the house, he set up a prayer room which was made available to the mission society. The room was dedicated in 1904 and continued in use until January of 1909. Sunday School was started in the summer of 1904 with A. Backman as director. He still continues in that post. A young peoples society was organized in 1906.

Pastors Isaac Roy and A. J. Stormans and later M. Esselström served the people at various times. The group continued to grow slowly so that the prayer room became too small. Thus onMay 25, 1908 the people decided to build a church building with construction commencing immediately.

The congregation was organized on September 17, 1908 with 36 members and was recognized as a regular Baptist congregation by its sister churches. Pastor Isaac Roy accepted the call and served the congregation until 1912. The work continued within the congregation as well as with the construction of the church building. The church was dedicated on January 31, 1909 in thankfulness to the Lord. The first floor was fitted out and equipped in 1911.

Isaac Berg, a young man from the congregation, enrolled in the preaching academy in Chicago and on completion of his studies took up the work of the congregation in June 1913. He remained as shepherd until July of 1918. During that time two young men were recommended to the preaching academy in St. Paul, MN.

After Pastor Berg left the congregation, it has been served by Pastor Anton A. Anderson, preacher . H. Hjort, Pastor J. A. Wiklund, Student Erik Frykenberg and also by brothers A. Backman and Gustav E. Sand.

In the fall of 1926 Pastor Isaac Roy was called to preach on Sunday evenings. He accepted the call and has preached at all meetings since then. The church as been repaired both inside and out and the grounds around the church have been improved.

When a society was sponsoring a preaching mission, the American Baptist Mission Society would contribute $10 per month toward the salary of a brother doing the preaching. After the congregation was organized and a fulltime pastor was called, the contribution was increased to $25 per month.

During 10 years of the congregation's existence, it has been served by fulltime pastors.

The Lutheran Church of Woonsocket, R. I. (The author provides a footnote that information was provided by August Josephson.)

This congregation was organized on March 2, 1906 with Pastor F. W. Lindström presiding and with Chas. J. Carlson as secretary. He was also director of the Sunday School from the very beginning. The church was built in 1911. Pastor F. W. Lindström served for many years as the congregation's teacher. After his death, Pastor Carl A. Albin became the church's teacher.

The congregation because of its limited membership is yoked with two other congregations into a single pastorate. Divine services are conducted only twice a month. The congregation owns a desirable, practical church building.

The Tabor Lutheran Church of Branford, CT. (Information was provided by Pastor A. T. Bergquist.)

A brief account of this church is included because the large majority of the present membership are Finland Swedes. The congregation was organized on January 2, 1888 under the leaderhip of Pastor Sandström. The charter membership consisted of 27 communicants and 13 children. A church was completed in April of that same year but burned 2 years later. A second building was built on the same lot the next year.

The membership has increased especially during the most recent years. The original members came mostly from Sweden, but gradually more and more Finland Swedes united with the congregation. Most of those have their roots in Övermark and Närpes. Over the year, many Swedes moved away from the city while as a rule the Finland Swedes continued to live in town. Thus there has been a realignment of the membership. As of now, it shapes up as follows: Born in Finland 123 communicants Born in Sweden 77 communicants Born in Norway 2 communicants Pastor A. T. Bergquist is the present pastor.

Bethleham Lutheran Church in Georgetown, CT. (Information garnered from "Korsbaneret")

This congregation was organized on July 7, 1908 by the New York Conference President Dr. G. Nelsenius. A couple months later a building site was purchased and it was decided to begin construction of the church building immediately. It was completed and was dedicated November 20, 1908 by Dr. Nelsenius. The church is constructed of wood but without a tower and basement. There is, however, suitable office space and a work area on one side of the building. The pipe organ is placed in the balcony above the entrance. The nave seats 200 people.

The church, whose members came from Åland, was originally called the First Swedish Finnish Lutheran Church which name later was changed.

The present pastor is the former India missionary, O. O. Eckardt.

Chapter 17:

Congregations in the Central States

Lutherska Församlingen i Metropolitan, Michigan (The author provides a note that the information comes from "Missionsposten")

Several pastors visited Metropolitan between 1885 and 1893,conducting preaching services for members of the community. In 1893 Pastor C. P. Edblom began his regular visits to the community. The congregation was founded on August 21, 1895 during one of his many visits. The name listed above as adopted during that meeting. Pastor Edblom presided with Alfred Anderson serving as secretary. The Augustana Synod's constitution was accepted. The congregation was incorporated in 1901 and accepted into the Augustant Synod in 1902.

The first church building was constructed in 1900 by the men of the congregation with material costing $475. When the building became too small, a new building was built in 1907 but the first floor under the church proper was not completed until 1920. That same year the church was fresco-painted and art glass windows were installed. Much of the actual work was done by the members this time also.

From the day of its establishment until July 1909, the congregation was served by either vice pastors or students. In the summer of 1909 the congregation's first pastor, K. M. Holmberg arrived. He had been ordained that June. Pastor Holmberg carried on an excellent and blessed ministry in the congregation until leaving in May of 1912. The congregation was vacant for about a year until Pastor Herman Anderson was called and took up his duties in 1913 but remained for only a little over a year.

Again there was a vacancy for about a year. Pastor B. E. Walters was called and arrived in May 1915. After his arrival, the congregation again began to prosper, membership increased and a great deal of good was accomplished during his ministry.

The parsonage had been built in 1909 and its barn the following year. A Ladies Aid Society had been organized in 1896 with the Sunday School following shortly after the founding of the congregation. The "Willing Workers" society came into existence in 1907 and the Luther League in 1908. Somewhat later both mens and womens missionary societies were established. A confirmation league and bible study classes were established early on.

Pastor Walters moved to Merrill, Wis. in 1922 and was succeeded by Pastor G. A. Östergren in 1923. He remained for two years and was followed by Pastor Frank Peterson who is serving at the present time.

The congregation owns a park immediately to the north of the church which was donated by Mr. & Mrs. John Isaacson. The courtyard on the East side of the church proper was donated by Mr. & Mrs. Matt Johnson.

The following vice pastors and students have served the congregation: Philip Thelander; C. P. Edblom; Augustus Nelson; A. J. Malmquist; C. A. Lund; and G. S. Olson; also students Gustav Bergman, C. E. Lundgren, C. E. Olson, Gustav Öberg; Carl J. Silfversten; B. E. Walters; K. M. Holmberg; J. A. Samuelson; Herman Anderson and Laurence Nordström.

Baptist Församlingen i Gladstone, Michigan (Again the author states that information comes from "Missionsposten".)

John Hult and his family were the first Baptists in the area. Others came later. The congregation was established on August 21, 1905 in the home of John Johnson. Pastor Edward Fleming presided with A. J. Anderson serving as secretary. J. Hult was elected as treasurer. Just one month after the congregation had been established, a church building had been built which was dedicated on September 29, 1905. Many people in addition to church members had assisted in the construction. Andrew Blomquist preached the first sermon in the new church.

The following brothers have served the congregation during its 25-year existence: M. Mattson, who was the congregation's first preacher, made only occasional visits to the area. Andrew Blomquist served the congregation in 1905 and 1906. He organized the Church's Sunday School whose first superintendent was J. Hult.

Carl J. Wörgren served the congregation for about a year until June 1908. During that period a young peoples society was established. Albert Esselström served the congregation from 1910-1912. The parsonage was built during this period. Axel Edwards served the congregation from 1912 through 1915. Werner Nelson was called and served from 1915-1921. Under Werner Nelson's leadership the church building was rebuilt at a cost of $5,000. Following his departure, Dr. H. Kasen, a church member, officiated for about a year after which John Hugo became pastor, serving from 1922 through 1925. It was during this period that the basement under the church was completed. John Söderman came to Gladstone and was the congregation's teacher from 1925 to 1927 following which N. Werner Nelson was again called. He accepted and continues as pastor.

A very active ladies society named Dorcas continues to support the work of the congregation in an exemplary manner.

The congregation originally received financial assistance from the American Baptists and from the Mission Society but has been completely self-sustaining for many years.

Lutherska Församlingen i Dollar Bay, Michigan.

Even as late as the beginning of the 1890s there were no evidences of church activity in this community. Occasionally the area had been visited by Finnish pastors J. G. Nikander and J. Back from Hancock, Mich. But because of the pressure of work among their own Finnish people, they could not continue the occasional visits with any regularity. Pastor S. A. Lundholm, a member of the Swedish Lutheran Augustana Synod, visited the area occasionally in 1897 and 1898 for the purpose of conducting preaching services. He was followed in those endeavors by theological student Joel Olsenius and later by C. O. Lundquist, also a theological student. Pastor J. T. O. Olander also visited Dollar Bay a number of times. Pastor A. A. Dahlberg, formerly a member of the Methodist communion, was assigned to the area. He visited Dollar Bay in 1900 and in the fall of that year the congregation was organized. Pastor Dahlberg presided at the meeting with Mr. August Boatman serving as secretary. Because of certain improprieties in conjunction with the organization, it was decided at a meeting on March 12, 1902 to reorganize the congregation. Pastor J. T. Olander served as presiding officer with Charles Boatman serving as secretary.

The congregation quickly set about building a church building. The men of the congregation provided the labor under the supervision of Matt Sved. The building was completed before the end of the year 1902.

The first Sunday School superintendent was John Berg who served for a period of three years. He was followed by Chas. Boatman, serving for five years and he was succeeded by Isaac Franz who served for 19 years. When English became the language of the Sunday School, Franz decided to step down which resulted in the election of Oscar Boatman as superintendent.

At the close of 1903, the membership numbered 141 with 59 communicants. The ladies society was organized in 1905 by Pastor Erik Rhener, serving through the years with great distinction. The Luther League was established in 1909 and since its organization has been of great benefit to the young people as well as promoting the welfare of the congregation. Later a choir was established which has contributed mightily to the devotional enrichment of the public services.

The following pastors have served the congregation since its establishment: J.T.O. Olander; Erik Rhener; Edward Ekstrom, F. E. W. Kastman; E. G. Granquist; G. H. Bomgren; F. Edward Olson and C. O. Soderblom, who is presently in charge of the work of the congregation. This is in addition to the workload of his own congregation in Calumet, Mich.

Many different students have from time to time been responsible for the care of the congregation. Isaac Franz and Chas. Boatman have always been available to take charge of services when necessary during vacancies or when needed.

Betania Baptist Församlingen i Dollar Bay, Michgan. (Here the author provides a footnote that the information was sent by John Steve.)

On November 26, 1922 a missionary society was formed among the Finland Swedes in Dollar Bay. At the first meeting there were 16 people who signed on as members. The purpose of the society was to unite the friends of missions and to further missionary work in Dollar Bay and the surrounding area. This society did not survive long because it soon became apparent that what was needed was to establish a congregation and become a member of an association which would facilitate being able to receive missionary assistance from sources beyond Dollar Bay. A meeting was announced for June 17, 1923. At that meeting a congregation was organized which received the name noted above. The congregation started with twelve members. Missionary Anders Bloomquist and Pastor John Hugo were present and executed the organization. Delegates from Negaunee, Felch and Gladstone together with God and his Holy Spirit were present so that it became a special day in the Lord's courts which we can never forget. Weekly meetings were scheduled and souls were awakened and saved. On August 11 that year, six persons were baptized by Pastor A. Edwards and became members of the congregation. The congregation does not have a regularly called pastor but thanks to our preaching brethren from the Swedish-Finnish mission society, our congregation has continued its work through the years. Pastor A. Edwards was the first one to come here to preach and the congregation is in large measure the fruit of his diligent work. We are only 16 members strong but have 30 children and teachers in our Sunday School. The young peoples society has 20 members. Thus we are only a small band but we do not believe that we are either timid or abandoned because the Lord has promised to bless all good works.

Lutherska Sionsförsamlingen i Ironwood, Michigan.

Since the time that Finland Swedes first came to Ironwood, their religious needs were taken care of by the Swedish Lutheran pastors who visited the city quite regularly and finally became residents. The Finland Swedes slowly grew in numbers but only a very few were members of the Swedish Lutheran Church. In the fall of 1908 Pastor Öberg from Duluth visited Ironwood and raised interest in the Finland-Swedish community for starting their own congregation. Shortly thereafter a congrgation was organized with the name as listed above. Pastor J. W. Johnson chaired the meeting and Victor Hendrickson served as secretary. About 40 people signed on as members.

Theological student Carl J. Silfversten was called to serve the newly established church during the Christmas holidays. A meeting place was rented, chairs were procured and the room, thus prepared for church services, was put to use Christmas morning 1908. The Sunday School was immediately organized as well as a womens society. The church record books were set up and by January 1, 1909 the congregation consisted of 108 communicants and 152 children.

The following spring theological student F. E. W. Kastman came to serve the congregation during the Easter holidays and during the summer vacation period. Property was purchased for the sum of $3,000. Pastor E. A. Peterson was called to become the permanent pastor. He accepted and came but remained only a week and then suddenly departed without benefit of resignation or farewell. Student X. Magnussosn served the congregation in 1910 and student T. A. Holmer in 1911.

Pastor Carl J. Silfversten was then called and entered on duty on November 1, 1911. At the annual meeting in 1912, it was decided to make plans for the construction of a church building. By January 16 it was decided to erect the building and work should begin as soon as $3,000 had been subscribed for the enterprise. The contract with Olson and Berg, Building Contractors, was signed on July 1. The contract specified that the contractor would construct the building and complete the upper section of the church. Work was started but progress was hindered partly because of weather and partly from other causes. The greatest problem stemming from three banking problems through which the church, the members and also the city's business people lost large sums of money.

When the building shell had been completed, but there was still delay in the interior finishing, the men of the church stepped in and completed the interior of the bottom floor (this had not been included under the contract price) so that it was ready for use by February 1, 1913. The church proper was finally completed and was dedicated June 1, 1913. Membership had increased and now numbered 153 communicants and 195 children.

In the spring of 1915 Pastor Silfversten left Ironwood. Pastor F. E. W. Kastman was called to take his place and he commenced his duties that same year. The church's activities continued to grow. The remaining debt from the church building program was retired and improvements continued to be made on the church's property. The membership also continued to grow.

After seven years, Pastor Kastman moved from Ironwood and was succeded by Pastor C. A. Benander who served for five years. Then Pastor Kastman was again elected to be pastor of Zion in Ironwood as well as Sharon in Bessemer, Mich.

There are many groups active within the framework of the Ironwood congregation. We list the following: the Ladies Society, the Young Married Womens society and the Luther League. The Sunday School which was established soon after the organization of the congregation, was originally directed by M. Mickelson. Later Viktor Hendrickson served as the superintendent for many years. He was succeeded by Alfred Björklund.

The important position of congregational secretary is now filled by Elmer Liljequist. The church building was painted in 1925. Also the interior was redecorated that same year. In 1928 a new pipe organ was purchased and installed just prior to the 20th Anniversary Celebration.

Lutherska Församlingen i Brevort, Michigan.

This congregation was organized in 1910. The membership consists almost entirely of people who claim the Åland islands as their home. Originally the congregation conducted its divine services in a school house. But because the building was old and proved to be very inconvenient, the members decided that they must build a new church building. In 1922 the congregation did build a new church located in an area of the community which possesses a special natural beauty. The church has a light and pleasing nave. The church is beautiful and modern both inside and out. Pastor S. P. Holmberg, living in Newberry, Mich., is in charge of the congregation.

Lutherska Bethesdaförsamlingen i Ashland, Wisconsin. (Here the author provides a note that John K. Johnson was provided the information.)

The first Finland Swedes who came to Ashland remained aloof from church ties for a long time. Slowly some few began joining the Swedish Lutheran Sharon Congregation but most continued to remain aloof from church membership.

Different preachers other than Lutherans visited Ashland from time to time.

Soon, however, it became apparent to the Finland Swedes of Ashland that if they wished to retain the faith of their fathers, they must produce a Lutheran Church organization. Thus a congregation was established in 1907. John K. Johnson served as the secretary for the organizational meeting and 25 people signed up for membership. A Sunday School was also organized that same year. Its superintendent was Edward Carlson who was succeeded by Matt Backlund and Jacob Sundquist. They served for a short time.

John K. Johnson was then elected as Superintendent and now has served for about 20 years.

In 1907, through the mediating efforts of Pastor G. Öberg, the congregation affiliated with the Minnesota Conference of the Augustana Synod. The first deacons elected were Jacob Sundquist, Edward Carlson, John Blomquist, Andrew Stenman and Matt Backlund. The first "trusties" were John K. Johnson, Andrew Mattson, Henrik Stenbacka and John Erickson.

In 1909 the congregation bought a school building from the city which they remodeled into a church. It is still in use today.

The following pastors and students have served the congregation: Pastor Gustaf Öberg, F. E. W. Kastman, C. A. Carlstedt, August Road and N. A. Nelson together with students Edw. Ekstrom, Claus Thunberg, F. G. Granquist and Nels Benson. Pastor N. E. Nelson is the present pastor.

Svensk Finska Baptist Församlingen i Wentworth, Wisc. (Information provided by Felix Esselström)

This congregation was organized on January 11, 1921 among and for the Finland Swedes who resided in Wentworth. The membership at the time of organization was 21 but has since grown to 75. There has been a very active Sunday School ever since the time of organization. They own their own church building valued at $2,000. It seats 150 people.

The church has often had the services of visiting pastors to conduct services but has regularly been served by students, especially during the summer months.

Lutherska Bethelförsamlingen i West Duluth, Minn.

The first Finland Swedes to arrive in Duluth had very little interest in anything having to do with church and church life. Those who did have some interest visited existing churches occasionally but without making any commitments. Not until 1896 did the question arise concerning the need for a Lutheran church for Finland Swedes. The question surfaced again the next year when it was decided to establish a church. The deliberations were chaired by Herman Johnson while Andrew Anderson served as secretary. The nature of what the constitution should be like is not known. This all happened in November 1897. Erik Johanson, a native of Jeppo where he had been a school master, who was present at the meeting was chosen to serve as the preacher. A small church at the corner of 60th Ave. West and Bristol Street was rented where services were conducted for a time.

Later a small church at the corner of 59th Ave. and Elinor Street was purchased from a Norwegian congregation. Services were conducted here until the building was moved to 54th Ave. West just north of Grand Ave.

Erik Johanson spent a short time in Ironwood, Michigan where he studied with a finnish pastor named Eloheimo who ordained him. After his ordination, he served Bethel church until 1901.

Upon Johansson's departure, the church was without a leader. At that time they tried to form a joint pastorate with the Finnish Church in order to call Pastor J. J. Hoikka from Crystal Falls, Michigan. However, the Finnish people did not agree to that arrangement. The student, now Dr. J. E. Nyquist, served the congregation during the summers of 1901 and 1902.

In the interim, Dr. J. A. Krantz, pastor of the Swedish Lutheran Elim Church, was asked to take care of the church's pastoral needs. Services were not conducted on a regular schedule and church work almost came to a standstill.

On April 13, 1905 at a church meeting, it was decided to reorganize the congregation and subscribe to the Augustana Synod constitution also to request entrance into the Augustana Synod. Dr. Krantz served as the chairman with A. Granquist acting as Secretary. Later August Gustafson served as the church secretary for many years and upon his resignation Victor Henrickson was elected Secretary, a position he occupies to this day. William Holm is the congregation's present Treasurer.

Theological student Carl J. Silfversten was called to serve the congregation during the summer of 1905 and student Gustav Öberg served during the summers of 1906 and 1907. Gustav Öberg was ordained in 1908 and accepted the call to serve as pastor.

The Sunday School was organized in the spring of 1905, evidently with John Peterson as Superintendent since he is listed as the first Sunday School Superintendent in the church minutes. Earlier minutes do not indicate the presence of a Sunday School but it has been stated elsewhere that a Sunday School was in existence before that date. John A. Forsman has served as director of the Sunday School for most of the time since the organization of the church. August Gustafson has been just as diligent in serving as assistant director.

In 1907 the church was again moved, this time to the corner of 53rd Ave. West and Wadena Street. The parsonage was built in 1909 next to the church. The congregation's name, which had been the Swedish Finnish Lutheran Church, was changed in 1912 to the Evangelical Lutheran Bethel Church.

Pastor Öberg resigned in the fall of 1912 and Dr. Krantz was called in to manage the congregation's work during the vacancy. He carried on until the summer of 1915 when Pastor Öberg was again called.

The church was old and small and there was much talk about a new church building. In the spring of 1916 the old church burned so that now the congrega-tion was forced to build a new church building. It was built on the corner of 53rd Avenue and Ramsey Street and is a completely modern and comfortable church. During this period the congregation moved ahead in many ways which included a substantial increase in membership. However, Pastor Öberg left the congregation in the fall of 1919. Pastor F. Edward Olson was called to serve during the vacancy. He remained for one year. Pastor Carl J. Silfversten was called during the summer of 1920. He accepted and began his duties on October 18, 1920. He is the present pastor.

A pipe organ was installed in the fall of 1922 which was followed by the painting of the interior of the church during the summer of 1924. The normal auxiliary organizations such as the Ladies Missionary society, the Dorcas young women's group and Boy Scouts are all very active. Progress is ever upward so that it can be safely said that the congregation is one of the largest Finland-Swedish churches in the United States.

Ebenezer Baptistförsamling i Duluth, Minn. (The author provides a footnote that the material was taken from congregational statistics written by J. Blomquist.)

Before this church was organized, there were groups of Finland-Swedish Baptists who were members of existing Swedish Baptist churches in the city. These people received transfer certificates and gathered on November 9, 1904 in Wasa Hall on 52nd Avenue West and Ramsey Street where they organized the church bearing the above name. In addition to the organizing members, a substantial delegation of pastors and members from other churches were also present. The congregation had 21 charter members. Brother Andrew Blomquist was called to serve the congregation until they could receive a permanent pastor. He served the congregation for three months during which time 7 new members were added to the rolls.

Augusta Söderberg, a Sunday School missionary, was called who was supported by the American Baptist Missionary Association. She began her work on Dec. 1, 1905 and served until Dec. 1, 1908. The Sunday School was established on November 13, 1904 with Gust Nyman as director. He continued in that post for 17 years. John Fagerström is the present director. A Ladies Society was established even before the church as organized. Mrs. Chas. Hill was its first president. Mrs. J. Blomquist has been the president of the Ladies Society since 1918.

John Fors, who was then studying in Chicago, was called to be pastor. He accepted the call to take effect after his ordination. His service began on Feb. 1, 1905 remaining until Oct. 1, 1907. A Young Peoples Society was formed on May 2, 1905 with 12 members. It is still active to this date and continues to be a significant part of the congregation's operations.

The question of building a church building was discussed at a meeting on February 26, 1907. The gathering of funds began immediately and a lot was purchased at the corner of 52nd Ave. West and Ramsey Street. Excavation for the basement was started in January 1908 but had to be terminated because of lack of funds.

Pastor Fors resigned and moved to Finland in 1907 causing the pastoral position to become vacant which lasted for three years. During the vacancy, activities were monitored by Pastors Isak Roy and Alfred Ohman together with pastors from other Baptist churches in the city. Despite the vacancy, the church membership did increase.

Pastor M. Esselström was called in 1910 and occupied the position for a year. Following Pastor M. Esselström, the church was served by Pastors Alfred Ohman, Albert Esselström, H. Myhrman and A. J. Kasen. Pastor A. J. Stormans became the congregation's leader on April 6, 1924 and still continues in that position.

Thoughts of their own church building rested for about 7 years but on October 11, 1914 it was decided to sell the previously purchased lot and acquire a new site. To that end 3 lots at the corner of 40th Ave. West and 4th Street were purchased and the construction of the new church building was started immediately. The work was carried on under leadership of Pastor Myhrman and Mr. J. Fagerström and on January 14, 1915 the first meeting was held in the basement of the new building. The church was consecrated on June 25, 1916.

Betfage Baptistförsamling i Chisholm,Minn. (Information was sent in by J. E. Ström.)

Finland Swedes began arriving in Chisholm in 1902. Among them was Mrs. Sofia Strong, a native of Kållby, Pedersöre. She had been a member of the Baptist congregation in Jakobstad. In the summer of 1903 Mrs. Strong established a Sunday School with 10 students which still continues and has proven to be a great blessing to the whole community. The activities carried on today are the fruits of her small beginnings.

Many other believers arrived and the work was expanded. The first Baptist preachers who preached God's word to the Finland Swedes in Chisholm were Jacob Bakk and Pastor John J. Fors from Duluth together with missionary John Lindgren and Pastor A. J. Stormans who at that time served the Ebenezer Church in Duluth. The efforts of those brothers created a revival during which many were changed and were brought to the realization that their sins were forgiven. The first baptismal service occurred on June 25, 1905 conducted by missionary Lindgren.

The number of members increased and the operations expanded because of the unity in building the church in accordance with the teachings of the Bible and the apostles. November 26, 1906 was a glorious day when the congregation was formed with 12 members clasping hands while hymn number 464 from the "Nya Psalmisten" was sung.

Years passed and the congregation grew. On February 1, 1914 it was decided that a chapel should be built. The decision was executed with such dispatch that the chapel was dedicated on August 16th that same year. A Women's Society that was organized on June 6, 1906 is functioning within the congregation. In truth, we must admit that the sisters have performed magnificently over the years. There is also a Young Peoples Society which was established in 1915. This organization has also contributed greatly to the success of the congregation.

Pastor A. J. Stormans is the present shepherd.

Svensk-Finska Baptistförsamlingen i Chicago. (The history was written and provided by Pastor Isaac Berg.)

It is with deep reverence and thankfulness that these few lines concerning our congregation's history is written. We are thankful for the love and responsibility which our brothers and sisters had for our peoples' spiritual welfare that caused them to undertake the missionary activities in Chicago in spite of great difficulties which they met and had to overcome.

A Missions Society was established in 1901. Its work was richly blessed so that a congregation of 14 people was organized on March 19, 1906. Two of these are still active members. For 14 years the congregation worshipped and had their meetings in rented quarters but was always conscious of the discomfort of being under control of others which caused a constant wish to live under their own roof. This wish was fulfilled in 1919 when the congregation was able to move into its own church building which had been purchased and renovated. In that church the work was prosecuted with such blessing and success that it soon became too small so that plans had to be made for a new church which was ready for occupancy and consecration in the spring of 1928.

The congregation to date has been served by 4 regular pastors who have served with zeal and fidelity, performing the Lord's work in word and deed with humble-ness and grace.

Over the years the church has had 263 members on its rolls and at the present time the membership numbers 125. Total funds which have been gathered and spent between 1904 and 1930 amounts to a little over $100,000. When one considers that the membership is made up of people who have had to work hard for their daily bread, we surely must admit that this is a true missionary deed.

The congregation has always supported a Sunday School, a Young Peoples Society, a Women's organization and in later years boys and girls societies where the purpose has been to take care of the younger generation.

As described above, our congregation, the only church-related entity for Finland Swedes in Chicago, has lived and worked among our people for over 27 years. The field is wide and difficult but our congregation is convinced of its God-given mission and tries with single-minded purposefulness to fulfill that mission. May our peoples' interest in this country endure!

Congregations No Longer in Existence:

Lutherska Johannesfõrsamlingen i Superior, Wis.

That congregation was established in 1899 by Pastor Erik Johnson who was serving the Bethel church in Duluth. After its birth, he also had its care for a time. After his departure from the field, the care was vested in differing students. Pastor Öberg from Duluth then served the congregation for a time and church life was lively during that period. It had as many as 50 members for a time. Both a Ladies Aid and Young Peoples organization also existed for a time. When Pastor Öberg left Duluth in 1919, the charge in Superior was given to Pastor A. T. Ekblad who quickly dissolved the congregation. A few of the members united with the Lutheran Pilgrim congregation.

Lutherska Vasaförsamlingen i Escanaba, Mich.

This congregation was established by Carl J. Silfversten in the summer of 1910. In addition to establishing the church, he also served it through visits from Gladstone, Mich. where he had his pastorate. From the beginning, it was an active church. A Women's Society was established which supported the work in its own way. A building lot was given to the church by a sawmill so then funds were being gathered to erect a building. When Pastor Silfversten left Gladstone, the care of Vasa church was given over to Pastor C. A. Lund in Escanaba. Progress slowed and then finally ceased completely and the congregation dissolved.

Svensk-Finska Missionsförsamlingen i Ironwood, Mich.

It was established in 1903. Herman Grönland and Jonas Anderson, both students at a Congregational educational institution in Chicago, visited Ironwood during the summer of 1908. At that time there were no Finland-Swedish church activities in the city. A congregation was established, funds were gathered and a church building constructed in the Norrie area where a large number of Finland Swedes lived. The activities continued for about six years. The congregation was served by J. Anderson who had been ordained by the Congregational denomination. Later it was served by a Pastor Thomas. Then some improper things occurred which made it necessary for Pastor Thomas to leave after which activity ceased. The church building was sold and the members scattered in many directions.

A congregation was established among the Finland-Swedish Lutherans in Ashland, Wisconsin in 1907 by a man named Mattson who claimed to be a pastor. But it soon became apparent that his clerical abilities were at best quite limited. As this became more noticeable, church activities decreased to such an extent that the congregation was dissolved after only a year's activity.

Chapter 18:

Congregations in the Western States

Lutherska Ebenezerförsamlingen i Hartford, Washington

(The author provides a footnote that the material was furnished by Carl E. Forsman.)

Pastors and preachers of different types and faiths visited the area almost as oon as settlers began arriving. Among the Finland Swedes was a preacher who was known as Närpes Johnson. While there were many different comminities of faiths among finland Swedes in the early days, they all came together for church services and devotions. Soon there was a non-denominational Sunday School meeting regularly with an attendance of 45 children.

The first division among the Finland Swedes in Hartford occurred when the Baptist group built their own church building. The others then built a meeting house on a lot given by Andrew Sjöholm, a native of Kvibo. The Sunday School responsibilities were assigned to Alfred Norman from Kvevlax who also conducted the non-denominational worship services. Originally there were eight Lutheran families among the non-denominational group that held their meetings in the new meeting house. They became the nucleus of the group that met with Pastor John Gullans of the Swedish Lutheran Church in Everett when he began his visits to Hartford in the summer of 1909. Travel between Everett and Hartford was tedious and the pay for Pastor Gullans was low. Nevertheless he soon was able to effect the organization of a Ladies Aid Society. A church lot was purchased and a con-gregation was organized with the name as listed above. The group was small but filled with hope. Pastor Gullans worked diligently for the congregation's future. Most of the early members were emigrants from Finland although a few were from Sweden.

When Pastor Gullans moved to the East Coast, his place was taken for a short time by Nels Benson (now a missionary in China). Soon, however, Pastor A. V. Anderson was called to the Everett Church. He, like Pastor Gullans, also served the Finland-Swedish church in Hartford.

Pastor Anderson left in 1917 and was succeeded the following year by M. L. Swanson who remained until 1923. The congregation continued to grow slowly with English being used more and more. Sunday School and confirmation classes were conducted in the English language. Pastor G. Ahnquist was called and served the congregation until 1929. At this time, the congregation was con-tributing $200 per year for their pastoral services. When Pastor Ahnquist left the Everett church, he was succeeded by Pastor John Billdt who also serves Ebenezer.

The following four students have served Ebenezer from time to time: Nels Benson, G. W. Henry, B. Erholm and Harry Lundblad. Carl E. Forsman has served the congregation as deacon, secretary and Sunday School director for many years.

The building that was first built soon became dilapidated. Thus it became necessary to either build a new building or completely restore the old one. Funds were solicited and work was begun to completely rebuild the existing building. Thus in the fall of 1930 we had the joy of moving into the completely rebuilt building which now serves as our church. The rebuilding cost was $1500 in addition to the over 100 days of free labor.

The congregation has endured reversals as well as successes, joys as well as sorrows. Its present debt is $300. We look ahead with hope and confidence and especially upward to Him who is the source of everything good.

Baptisförsamlingen i Hartford, Washington

(The author provides a footnote that the material was supplied by C. G. Lundberg)

As far as is known, August Lundberg was the first Finland-Swedish Baptist to settle in Hartford. Pastor Ed. Fleming who served the church in Seattle, was the first Baptist preacher to conduct Baptist services in Hartford. The church was organized on July 24, 1911 with Pastor Edw. Fleming serving as chairman and A. J. Stormans as Secretary.

During the early years following its organization, the congregation had many visiting pastors including Edw. Fleming, Seattle; John Friborg, Everett; J. E. Kasen, Seattle; Adolf Anderson, Everett; also Sigfrid Sundberg and E. A. Bjur. The present teacher is Pastor Andrew Swartz who also was the first permanent pastor. The congregation built its first church building in 1912.

Pastor Edward Fleming and Aug. Lundberg organized a Swedish Sunday School in 1908. The vert first Sunday School was started in 1905 by E. A. Mattson. That Sunday School used the English language. The Swedish Sunday School was later taken over by the Lutheran congregation but in 1909 a new Swedish Sunday School was organized by John Lundberg who made his home available for that enterprise. After the church building was erected, the Sunday School has used the church but the language used has slowly changed into English.

Over its lifetime the congregation has had both successes and adversities. Many new members have moved in and many have moved away. The membership now numbers 76.

The church work has for the most part been conducted in English especially in the most recent years. Now there are many members who know only English. However, Wednesday night prayer meetings are still conducted in Swedish.

Första Lutherska Församlingen i Rochester, Washington.

(G. Öberg has provided the following information)

The congregation was organized in 1902 by Pastor C. E. Frisk who at that time was a pastor in Seattle. At its organization the church had about 30 members. Following its organization, it has been supervised by different pastors from neighboring congregations. Both Swedish and English worship services are conducted but English is used exclusively for Sunday School and Confirmation instruction. The membership has increased significantly and is now over 100. The congregation has its own church building.

Another congregation with essentially Lutheran teaching and beliefs has been organized in Rochester by former Methodist Pastor G. A. Hiden. There are about 10 Finland-Swedish families as members of that church. However, it does not belong to any Lutheran association.

Emmaus Lutheran Church, Seattle, Washington

(A footnote indicates that the material comes from the congregation's 1928-1929 Year Book)

This congregation calculates its beginnings from a meeting in Seattle on July 29, 1906, which was conducted among people who were interested in a Lutheran congregation for Finland Swedes. A church society was formed as a result of that meeting consisting of seven members, five of whom are still members of the congregation.

In the month of January 1909 the congregation was formally incorporated in accordance with state laws. Pastor John Gullans was the first pastor. During the early years, services were held in rented quarters in Fremont and Ballard.

A building site was purchased in 1910 and plans were made for the construction of a church building. The cornerstone was laid on November 27, 1910. Construction was completed and the church was dedicated on January 25, 1915. The following pastors have served the congregation: John Gullans, F. E. W. Kastman, J. H. Warmanen, B. T. Erholm, Pastor C. A. Bengtson is the present pastor.

This is the first church among Finland Swedes to have adopted English as its official language.

Lutherska Bethelförsamlingen i San Francisco, California

(A footnote advises that Pastor Herman Lind had sent in the material.)

The Finnish Seafarers Mission Society had for about 15 years been providing Christian services among Finland Swedes. During that time, some kind of a Church Society had come into existence and continued to function for a number of years. However, the Seamen's Missionary suggested that the Finland Swedes should join the Augustana Synod. That advice was taken and on June 5, 1925, the above-named congregation was organized with 42 members. It united with the California Conference of the Augustana Synod. The congregation entered into a joint pastorate with the neighboring English Lutheran Congregation. This relationship was somewhat unsatisfactory and was canceled in a few years.

The congregation purchased a suitable church building from the American Congregationalists. In addition to the church-service area, the building houses Sunday School rooms, kitchen, and pastor's living quarters with a sizeable meeting room under the pastor's quarters.

Pastor Herman Lind served the church during the first three years of its life. Following his departure, several pastors were called, but all declined until finally Pastor N. J. Forsberg was installed. He served for only a short time, dying in 1929. Following Pastor Forsberg's death, Pastor Lind was again called and is presently serving the congregation.

Mr. J. E. Holmberg has served as Sunday School Superintendent from the time the congregation was organized and continues in that post. He, together with Elis Rydman and Andrew Brickman, serve as Deacons. The present Trustees are Andrew Ahlström, Isaac Johnson and Axel Lindström. The congregation's secretary is G. E. Fagerlund. The present membership is 73 communicants and 16 children.

Congregations No Longer in Existence:

Pastor C. J. Renhard in Aberdeen, Wash. reported that a Finland-Swedish con-gregation had existed in Cederdale, Skagit County, Washington for a time but is now dissolved. The reason for its dissolution is not known.

Pastor A. J. Stormans in Duluth, MN reported that a Finland-Swedish Baptist congregation existed for a time in San Francisco but was dissolved with its members joining existing Swedish Baptist churches.

Remarks by the Author: There are several other Finland-Swedish churches in various cities such as Eureka, Calif., Tacoma and Seattle, Wash. and Negaunee, Mich. which had to be left out because, despite repeated requests, it was impossible to obtain reliable information from local residents.

Chapter 19:

Sick Benefit Societies

The very first Finland Swedes who came to the United States had to be satisfied with very simple social activities. Those few who settled in industrial areas had the option of joining Finnish speaking societies if they were able to use that language. Others joined Swedish societies and usually continued their member-ship in those societies for the rest of their lives.

However, most Finland Swedes remained aloof from the ties with any social type organizations. Some of them remained aloof for reasons of thrift. Many were bent on saving enough money to return to their homeland to pay off their homestead debts or to purchase a farm of their own. Every cent that was possible to be saved was put aside for the future or for the homeland. These people did not have the means to belong to an organization regardless of how worthy its purpose.

Some, on the other hand, thought and operated from a diametrically opposite point of view. In a short time they forgot their relatives in the home country. Instead of saving their hard-earned wages, they spent their spare time in restau-rants and taverns where money disappeared with alacrity, the result being that there was not sufficient left of the week's pay for food and shelter. Most of it had been left at the tavern. The social life in the saloon was anything but edifying; nevertheless, it satisfied some individuals who found in boasting and bragging the best expression for their limited accomplishments, and if on occasion one convinced his neighbor at the bar of his personal superiority by the use of his fists, why that was neither shameful nor harmful but rather considered the normal thing.

However, there were from early times a group very different from the two described above. At first this group was the smallest, but gradually it grew until finally becoming the largest group among the Finland Swedes and remains so to this day. This group came to America for the purpose of settling down and assuming the responsibilities required of good residents and at the same time taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the new country. They gradually acquired citizenship, saved their money and purchased their own homes. They not only took care of themselves but also offered a helping hand to their brothers and sisters from their native country when that proved necessary.

It was among this group that the various societies grew. These are the people who have supported the different organizations both church and secular among the Finland Swedes.

At the time when Finland Swedes began arriving in the states, there was practically no protection against accidents and calamities suffered by workers. Thus there were many accidents which took place in the work place. On those occasions the worker usually wound up on the short end of the stick while the employer usually went scott free. Thus the workers were forced to care for themselves which often put them in an especially hard bind. Sickness, just like accidents, often kept the provider from his labors which also resulted in great suffering for the family. The unmarried worker suffered alone. The fellow workers who were healthy or were less prone to be visited by afflictions were always ready to help their unfortunate brothers. But in many cases that temporary help was not enough. There was a need for more powerful intervention to help the families visited by great adversity. It went against the grain to turn to the community or municipality for help. Timidity and the Finland-Swedish temperament prevented that sort of thing. It was those things that activated the need for sick benefit societies. Also it became known that many other folk groups were already organized into such benefit groups. The next step was to make plans for equiva-lent work among Finland Swedes.

"Imatra" was the name of the first sick benefit society in the nation among the Finland Swedes. It has been organized in Worcester, Mass. on May 2, 1889. In the published history about Finland Swedes in Worcester we read: "Swedish Finlanders were living in Worcester for almost a decade before they organized a sick and death benefit society. Here we were strangers in a foreign country and in the beginning we did not want to think about the possibility of either becoming sick or being laid to rest in our final resting place in a foreign country. But with the passing years, as death became more prevalent and the need for a sick and death benefit society became more acute, other areas of need also surfaced. When the question of a single organization to meet all the surfacing needs began to be discussed seriously, opinion was divided between sick benefit work and temperance work. These questions were discussed man-to-man in homes, factories, in boarding houses and wherever men were gathered together. The absence of strong leaderhip was probably the underlying reason behind the tardiness of action. Finally, on May 2, 1889 we took courage and established a sick and death benefit society and gave it the name 'Imatra'." (Here the author provides a footnote that Imatra is the name of the greatest waterfall in Finland.)

Later in the same history we read: "The sick benefit society Imatra during its early years was of special importance for our people. It was the only organization we had. The older ones say that at that time everyone was waiting for the Imatra meetings because they were the only meetings where our people could come together and chat with one another. It is clear under those circumstances that at Imatra's meetings questions other than sick benefit subjects were discussed, subjects of concern to our people. If someone was without a job, he of course would go to Imatra's meetings to learn where there might be job openings. If one wanted to meet a friend, Imatra's meetings were the best hope to accomplish that objective. Often the initiative for in-gatherings for deserving countrymen took place at Imatra's meetings. Also we were generous with society funds. Sometimes travel money was provided to someone in need or sick who should be going home. The society's motto 'When working together we receive power from each other.' The literary programs which were usually provided were not always the choicest from an artistic point of view, but the spirit was good and many good admonitions were provided by the spoken word and by the reading of inspiring messages. Songs from the old country were sung with much gusto. The admonitions were those so necessary for the young immigrant in that confusing world. They provided warmth that served as a 'pick-me-up' for the weary during the days when Worcester showed little love for the immigrant but rather used his sinewy arms and rosy cheeks to estimate the money that could be garnered from his employment. At the society's meetings there also was a reading from God's word, a hymn was sung and God was asked to bless the work of the society. This custom survived until canceled at the March 9, 1907 meeting."

The above quotations were provided from Imatra's history because it is typical of the history of many societies of the period and also gives an illustration of com-munity life among Finland Swedes in the early days. Societies came into existence during the time when the feeling of being strangers was strong enough to bind the people together for support and edification both from desire and need.

The year 1902 found the establishment of a second sick and death benefit society in Worcester. This society was given the name Saima. (The author provided a footnote that Saima is the name of Finland's largest lake.) The society, Saima, operated for nine years in parallel with the earlier established Imatra. In addition to sick and death benefits, the society Saima incorporated temperance as an integral part of its program. It quite naturally developed that many people became members of both societies and even held offices in both. The impropriety of this duplication soon became apparent and committees were established in both groups to work out the details of a proposed merger. That merger became a reality in 1911 and the new association chose the name Per Brahe. Per Brahe was a Swedish statesman whose memory is greatly honored in Finland. He served as governor general of Finland for over nine years.

The Finnish Brotherhood Society WASA in New York is the second oldest society among Finland Swedes in America. It was established on September 22, 1894. Its purpose was to assist its members and their families in times of sickness and death. In addition to the assistance granted to its members, the association has often granted help to persons in need outside their own membership, even to granting aid to persons in need in the home country. The society provides yearly right sizeable sums for pure charitable purposes. The membership consists mostly of people from East Bothnia but also many from other areas of Finland as well as those from Sweden and Norway.

The Finland Swedes of Branford, Conn. organized a sick benefit society on Oct. 8, 1897 with eight charter members but four left quite quickly. Others did seek membership and the rolls grew slowly. The membership consists mostly of persons from southern East Bothnia.

A sick benefit society was organized in Fitchburg, Mass. on April 11, 1901. It had the name "Österbotten", East Bothnia.

The Swedish-Finnish Sickbenefit Federation of Greater New York was incorporat-ed March 19, 1907. Its recording secretary, Hjalmar Johnson, has advised that its membership now is between two and three hundred and yearly sick benefit dis-bursements average between two and three thousand dollars. In addition it provides yearly Christmas gifts to orphans.

The society's membership dues are currently 75 cents per month with sick benefit payment of $10.50 per week for 14 weeks plus an extended period of 14 weeks at $7.00 per week which totals $245 for 28 weeks. The death benefit is $125. The society also takes charge of funeral arrangements if there are no relatives available in the area.

"Nordvakten" (North Watch) is the name of a sick and death benefit society established in Springfield, Mass. in 1907. It has built a summer home on a beautiful lake where members can spend their summer vacations. The building is modern and pleasant and is a credit to the Finland Swedes of the city.

Other sick benefit societies were quickly established in many areas of the country so that soon there was much talk about the establishment of a federation for the uniting of the various benefit societies throughout the nation.

It was in Bessemer, Mich. that the dream of an encompassing federation was given greater consideration. Thus we now quote from "Hälsning från Amerika" (Greetings from America) concerning early history of sick benefit activity in the Central States.

"For information relative to the first action to establish a sick benefit federation we must go back to a January evening in 1898 in a kitchen in Bessemer where we find three people in a lively discussion around the question of what kind of a society should we be considering. This resulted in the decision to establish a sick benefit society. One of the participants accepted the responsibility for preparing by-laws. One agreed to provide publicity and set up a meeting, while the third person was reluctant to become involved.

"A meeting was arranged and resulted in a goodly turnout. The hastily prepared By-laws were not accepted but rather it was agreed that copies of By-laws should be requested from Imatra in Worcester which was done and received, but because the society in Worcester was not designed for expansion into other locations, they had to be modified to fit Bessemer's requirements since they envisioned a national federation.

"Another meeting was called for February 5th at which time they really went to work and organized the association and at the same time the first local society calling itself "Osterbotten No. 1 (East Bothnia No. 1). Sixteen members were enrolled at that meeting. At first the association met with opposition from various quarters resulting in few new members. But after a time the opposition tired, ushering in a brighter future for the society with new members being initiated every meeting, causing a remarkable growth for the society.

"Now it was time to think of establishing a division in Ironwood, but opposition was again experienced. The people of Ironwood who had signed to become members did not come to the announced organization meeting. Despite this setback, hope was not lost and work continued for the association. Finally on June 17, 1899, local No. 2 was established in Ironwood and local No. 3 in Negaunee followed quickly on June 27. A little later local number 4 was established in Crystal Falls. Representatives of those four societies met for the first annual meeting on Feb. 5, 1900 with the establishing of the National Board with Oscar Nordling from Ironwood becoming the first financial secretary of the National Association. On Sep. 30, 1900, the fifth local was organized in Calumet. There was no further growth until 1903 when six new locals were established."

The national sick benefit association continued to grow quite rapidly because of the establishment of new locals in many communities around the country, partly because of the agitation and publicity received from the national association. Many existing locals also joined the national association but many others con-tinued without ties to any national organization.

At the time of the merger of the sick benefit union and the temperance union in 1920 the membership in the sick benefit union was slightly greater than 3,500.

Chapter 20:

Temperance Work Among the Finland Swedes

In the good old days virtue did not encompass the art of allowing your liquor glass to remain untouched. All real men took their drinks as a matter of course and the brandy glass was not always allowed to remain untouched by a woman's hands either. The young learned from their elders and anyone with the slightest talent for singing always knew the drinking songs. This fact was not the exclusive characteristic of any one country or people but rather was a world-wide phenomenon.

America's freedom also included the freedom to drink as much liquor as desired. Those who came here from distant lands understood this even though they were unable to speak the national language. This was readily apparent when one observed a reeling individual stagger along the streets and byways in the new homeland. Such staggering was a universal language.

Finland Swedes did not provide an exception to that universal theme. They had always wanted to be a part of the regular population and in this respect they were remarkably successful. When others consumed their fill of the strong spirits, the Finland Swedes followed suit. A few were more moderate but others were quite the opposite and there were very few total abstainers.

In those days tavern keeping and the dispensing of hard liquor was considered just as honorable a calling as any other employment. Thus in most communities where Finland Swedes settled there usually was a countryman who had chosen the tavern business as his calling. Taverns became the men's clubs where the events of the day and times were discussed in detail at the long bar in the large assembly room or at smaller tables in dimly lit corner. Each nationality frequented its own bar. Answers to work problems were pursued there around the frothy glasses and for that reason remained unanswered. Great political problems were discussed around the tables holding the strong spirits and men let their lives be guided by little political demagogues. Yes, even religion was discussed on Saturday evenings in the communities' spirit-dispensing bars and then they would sleep off the "hangovers" at home the next day during church time.

And so it continued year in and year out. The laborers became poorer and poorer and their families suffered; that was the normal course of events. Tavern operators became rich, or so the men thought, but that actually was the exception.

Eventually some people began to worry about this, as well they might. They saw that tavern life was a curse on the people and began to say so vocally. A few awoke from the torpor which tradition and comfortable practice of easily available liquor had lulled them into. They stopped drinking and became teetotalers.

Many Finland Swedes were among the first to be able to pass by the open doors of the bars and others followed their example. Some of those arriving in the United States had paid attention to the call of temperance before leaving the homeland and their sound reasoning made them aware that the drinking of alcohol became a curse on their lives. In certain larger communities where groups of Finland Swedes lived discussion took place around the subject of establishing temperance societies for the purpose of supporting one another in refraining from drinking liquor and to watch for violations of law by tavern operators. And there were enough violations so that they could keep warm from their efforts.

Before any temperance societies were established by Finland Swedes, some of them had united with existing Swedish societies in various places. Their memberships in these societies spurred them with zeal to work among their own people and thus won converts for their ideas of temperance.

The first temperance society among Finland Swedes was established in Worcester, Massachusetts and received the name "Aavasaksa". (At this point the author provides a note which explains that the name of the highest mountain top in Finland was chosen to signify the solidity and stability that was expected of those taking the vow of temperance.) Mr. K. W. Johnson who came to Worcester in 1886 writes in the "History of Finland Swedes in Worcester" about the estab-lishment of the society as follows: "Ongoing preparatory work in the interest of temperance was continued from 1886 until the fall of 1891 when a few interested countrymen met in a brainstorming session to consider what should be done to more effectively counter the ever-growing problem of drunkenness among our countrymen. A suggestion to form a temperance society was offered. The suggestion was discussed in detail and preparatory steps were taken; arrangements were made for the preparation of By Laws and on February 27, 1892 a regular temperance society was organized with 16 members. And as far as we can determine among our countrymen Aavasaksa was the first temperance society established among the Finland-Swedish immigrants in America." The author provides a footnote that states that K. W. Johnson was the driving force for temperance work in Worcester.

The countrymen who took the initiative for the organization of Aavasaksa were: K. J. Nylund, Mickel Carlson, Matts Rickson, C. J. Söderback, William Mattson, J. A. Anderson, J. Brännäs, J. P. Carlson, H. W. Mangsen, John Rickson, Gustaf Erickson, G. W. Johnson, Carl Carlson, John Sjöblad, Adrian Petterson and K. W. Johnson.

Shortly after the organization of the Society, a lending library was opened for books and other reading matter suitable for both young and old. In addition this Society performed much good in many ways during its lifetime. Among its enter-prises was sponsoring the establishment of the paper "Finska Amerikanaren". It Also was the leader in organizing singing societies, sewing circles and mission societies which often later became congregations.

The Society Aavasaksa ceased operation on the 3rd of January 1914.

A temperance society by the name of The Star of Vasa was organized in Escanaba, Mich. by C. F. Franzen in 1895. This society was accepted as a unit of the I.O.G.T. Its life was very limited since it was dissolved in the same year.

In January 1897 a temperance society was formed in Whitinsville, Mass. It received the name "Wasalaset" (Wasa lock). Its president was a Mr. Broman.

Five years after the organization of Aavasaksa, the temperance society Sveaborg was established in Gardner, Mass. on April 11, 1887. On January 30, 1898 the temperance society "Morning Star" was organized in Ironwood, Mich. This was followed by an active period of temperance awareness among Finland Swedes throughout the nation. Temperance societies were organized in both east and west so that by the year 1910 there were at least 50 temperance societies among Finland Swedes. Activity did not cease at that point since additional temperance societies continued to be organized. Of course, occasionally some societies suspended operation, sometimes because of work stoppages which caused mass movement of labor, and other unrecorded reasons.

Almost simultaneously with the establishment of local temperance societies came the realization of the need for cooperation among the difference area societies. Therefore, one after another of those local temperance societies joined the Finnish National Alliance of temperance societies. At least 16 local societies joined that alliance within a 5-year period.

Soon however it was realized that the building of a Finland-Swedish temperance federation was quite desirable and possible. A certain lack of interest was noted among the Finns when they were united with the Swedes. Therefore, it was believed that better results could be achieved among the Finland-Swedish societies if they assumed leaderhip of their own destiny. While the handbooks and by-laws had been adequately translated into Swedish and the Finnish alliance tried conscientiously to care for the Swedish sections, the inconvenience of the language barrier could not be overcome. The annual meetings, which usually were and should be an inspiration for the participants who could then serve to inspire the local membership back home, missed the mark for the Swedish group among the delegates.

All business was transacted in the Finnish language which was natural since most delegates were Finnish speakers. There were few Finland Swedes conversant with the Finnish language that were members of the Swedish sections which had the result that seldom were there suitable persons that could be sent as delegates to the annual meetings. For that reason, it was difficult for the Swedish sections to keep up with developments in the temperance movement or to participate fully in deliberations and conferences. The Finnish-speaking members of the alliance were also cognizant of this fact and therefore did not oppose the establishment of a separate federation among the Finland Swedes.

But the establishment of that view of education did not happen all at once. From past experience, they understood the frequency of failure when there was need for cooperation among Finland Swedes. Therefore, a great deal of preparatory work was done before the 1902 Finnish Temperance Alliance meeting in Worcester. The local Swedish societies were urgently requested to send delegates to that meeting but only two were present because of the travel distances and cost. Therefore, the question of instructions concerning the establishment of a separate Swedish Temperance Federation was left to the National Board of the Finnish Temperance Alliance.

Quickly after the close of the meeting in Worcester, correspondence was started with different Swedish societies which resulted in a meeting in Crystal Falls, Mich. on the 21st and 22nd of November 1902. A relatively large number of delegates attended mostly from the central states with the largest number coming from Mich. The question of the separation of the Finland-Swedish group was brought up for action. The Alliance advised that they were willing to assume the organizing expenses of the new Federation and would provide the sum of 50 dollars for the nucleus of a funeral expense fund.

With the receipt of that report, it was decided to organize the "Svensk-Finska Nykterhets Förbundet av Amerika". (The Swedish-Finn Temperance Federation of America). Sixteen local societies with about 500 members enrolled immediately and by the end of 1903 it was reported that seven other local societies joined in a period of one year.

The new Federation elected personnel were as follows: Charles Carlson, Amasa, Mich., President; Mrs. S. Blomquist, Amasa, Mich., Vice President; Andrew Ekström, Crystal Falls, Mich., Secretary; and Andrew Granberg, Amasa, Mich., Treasurer. The following were elected as board members: Victor Jacobson, Ironwood, Mich., A. G. Wickman, Metropolitan, Mich. and Herman Holm, Eveleth, Minn.

The Temperance Federation held its annual meeting in different areas each year with the exception of 1916. The democratic trend in the Federation was evident from the very beginning and continued during the life of the organization because of which new officers were elected yearly to further the causes of the Federation. While it is true that the same names can be found in leaderhip roles time and time again, that was, of course, necessary because a complete change of personnel would have found it most challenging.

The frequent yearly meetings provided new impetus and the returning delegates could report on the successes of the work and show evidences of progress and thereby stimulate new purpose and more intensive interest. For those communities who had the good fortune of being exposed to a Federation's annual meeting would experience real festival days when visitors gathered from far and near, make new friends and renew acquaintances and take advantage of the programs presented.

The Temperance Societies had incorporated into their by-laws a funeral expense grant for departed members. That grant consisted of the sum of 50 dollars which was paid on the death of a member.

The Federation continued to grow over the years not only through the acquisition of new locals but also because of increased membership within the locals. In that way, the feeling of kinship among the Finland Swedes was strengthened at the same time that temperance was advanced.

The desirability of traveling representatives arose from time to time among Tem-perance Society members. The Federation's "Minneskrift" (Book of Memories" contains the following: "Because traveling representatives have shown that they can influence our people, the society has from time to time tried to find suitable persons to visit communities where the society is already represented, together with places where it might be possible to establish new locals. In the summer of 1909, school master Johannes Klockars from Kronoby was engaged to visit most of the local Finland-Swedish temperance societies. Two years later editor E. J. Antell of "Finska Amerikanaren" (Finnish American) on the initiative of the Tem-perance Federation traveled around the country in the interest of the paper and the perpetuation of the Finland-Swedish culture in general. He visited almost all communities where Finland Swedes reside. Mr. John Udell, one of our own well-known temperance members, has undertaken two tours - one in the fall and winter 1914-1915 and the other in the summer of 1915. Later the Federation's president John E. Smith visited the local societies in the western states. The traveling representatives were able to liven up the societies to greater zeal for temperance. Many new members were accepted into the local societies but not all remained true to their promises of sobriety. In the Federation's Book of Memories published in 1917 John Berg writes about the changes in membership. "Usually we receive about 1200 new members every year but even so our growth in membership is very slow and in some years there is actually a negative growth. (The author provides a footnote here that a growth in membership from 500 in 1902 to 2,600 in 1917 cannot be considered as such a slow growth.) Between 1,000 and 1,200 members have been received each year during the last ten years (1907-1917). In spite of that, the total membership has only increased from 1,600 to 2,600. That means that the society cannot hold the interest of people who do take the pledge of temperance. The enlisted recruits apparantly must find little pleasure in our society life. They apparently do not find the contentment, the pleasure, the satisfaction and the encouragement they expected; they find that for some reason they have made a mistake in their calculations and so return again to their former ways. That's one explanation. But clearly there are other explanations: Among our people are many itinerants, adventurers, and unstable individuals. Today they are here and tomorrow gone. They can enter a temperance organization today and tomorrow meet a group who have their haunts in the pubs and who are always ready to down their drinks. Because of work related causes, many members are forced to move to places where perhaps there are no temperance activities. Another peculiar circumstance, something that every society has experiences, is the fact that as soon as young people marry they leave the society and its lifestyle.

In contrast to these unstable, fickle individuals who have had a short exposure to temperance work and then gone their own way, we have another class, a sound to the core troop whose reward is that our society came into being and lived through the years. Within each society we find one of a few of these earnest true and steadfast teetotalers who have gone along and stood by because of their principles, remained teetotalers and continued to work for temperance. They have remained faithful through prosperity and set-backs, through stormy weather and sunshine and no power on earth could move their steadfastness." We have quoted the above to show what a leading person within the temperance Federation had to say about the members of the organization because the words of an outsider would surely be misinterpreted.

There has not been a dearth of leaders within the Temperance Federation. We can name the following: John Udell, Andrew Ostrand, J. Victor Jacobson, Thomas Stenius, John Smith, C. W. Silverberg, Axel Koll, William Holm, John Beck, Ed Smith, John Berg, among many others.

As an organizer of local temperance societies, Henry Lillsjö surely rates as number one. This is especially true in the west coast area. He not only established the first temperance society but in reality was the organizing force behind almost all west coast temperance societies. As acknowledgement for that and all his other work for the temperance movement, he was elected as an honorary member by the west coast circle of temperance societies.

Every local society within the Federation had its own name and number. Of the names chosen for the local societies, we note the love and feeling for the homeland expressed in 15 of those names. Also we find the need to manifest the friendly dispositions prevailing during the organization period which has found expression in the names chosen for 12 of the local societies. It is also noted that 11 names have been chosen to celebrate the beauty of northern nature while the beauty of the heavens was celebrated by choosing the names of stars.

By the end of 1916 the Federation consisted of 60 local societies with 2,607 members with fixed assets totaling 82,800 dollars.

The newspaper "Ledstjärnan" had been the official voice of the Federation since its organization at the beginning of 1906.

The Federation's program was promulgated in "Minnesskrift" published in 1917 under the title "Vad vi Vilja" (What we wish). It is quoted here: "We wish for the shaping of a fresh, strong, brave and alert humanity. Therefore, intoxication is our sworn enemy. Alcohol destroys our bodies and different organs, is the cause of sickness and most premature death. Therefore, away with alcohol! Alcohol has a noxious influence on the soul and mind. Alcohol dehumanizes a person and brings about subhuman actions, strife, struggles, fights, homicides, misfortune and ruin. We wish for happiness and joy. Drunkenness not only affects the generation which indulges but also is carried over to succeeding generations. Alcohol causes the race to become sickly, weak, and pitiful. We wish for a strong, smoothly running future generation! Inebriates spoil life. Alcohol users become ugly, ugly due to their sickness and ugly in their appearance. We wish for beauty in thought, beauty in appearance, beauty in the home, beauty in streets and byways! Alcohol aggravates social misery, increases poverty, and want becomes gruesome. Therefore, we lead the war against alcohol. Alcohol is an unhealthy enjoyment substance for such people. We want healthful enjoyment for hale and hearty people. An alcohol drinker often becomes selfish, places his own enjoyment ahead of the comfort and happiness of others. We wish to have unselfish people who will be willing to help neighbors. Alcohol often causes people to act lower than animals. We wish to establish new conditions for peoples' material improvement and spiritual outlook. This, in short, is a summary of what we wish! For this we are united and for this we work, publish, advertise and fight. We are convinced that whosoever desires to understand will understand. We invite all to follow our lead and become members of the Swedish-Finn Temperance Federation. Join our struggle and we shall win!"

Before we close the chapter about temperance work among the Finland Swedes, we wish to point out that much direct and indirect temperance work was carried on by the paper "Finsk Amerikanaren", especially during the early years. The owners of the paper were sober men and their traveling agents were temperance zealots. If the paper had not had men with such insight and spirit, the temperance work among the Finland Swedes would have progressed more slowly. We should also add that, that newspaper and its employees were church friendly. Thus the temperance work among the Finland Swedes as a rule did not become church hostile.

Chapter 21:

The Order of Runeberg

The national Sickbenefit Union and the Temperance Union worked side-by-side for nearly 20 years. In many cases, they utilized identical meeting places but held separate meetings. Also, it seemed that in many cases, the membership was almost identical. Both groups provided assistance with burial problems and expenses when death occurred. That situation represented double expense and caused greater expenditure of meeting hours than should be necessary. Also, it is true that some people found it difficult to maintain membership in two difference societies with significantly similar aims, namely, to facilitate the gathering of peoples for mutual assistance and furtherance of charitable and cultural enterprises.

For those reasons, the question kept surfacing among many individuals as to how to bring about amalgamation of the two organizations so that they could pursue their work over a broader area and involve more people while at the same time conserving time and money. This problem became more and more acute, especially during and following the first world war when there were so many changes taking place anyway. The sick benefit alliance did not publish a paper but the Temperance Union had its own newspaper, the "Leading Star". That paper published the views of their people concerning the amalgamation. Also many people expressed their views in the paper "Finska Amerikanaren" which always opened its pages to everyone.

The board of directors of the sick benefit society passed the following resolution in early 1918: "Based on the opinions expressed in Finska Amerikanaren concerning the merger question by Kretsen No. 10 and Ankaret No. 25, and others, we wish to recommend the following:

1. The two societies should merge into one organization with a single board of directors with common objectives, management and treasury.

2. The new common organization is to be based on a temperance foundation in accordance with the prohibition laws of the nation and no one is to be granted membership who knowingly breaks the federal prohibition laws or who is known as a devotee of drunkenness.

3. Every member in good standing in each of the merging organizations shall be entitled to membership in the new union without the need for a new acceptance vote, balloting, or entrance fee, subject to the completion of all items on an application form if one is not already available in the archives of one of the merging units and further, subject to the passing of an acceptable physical exam by a duly authorized physician, if not already completed and recorded. Each member so accepted will be entitled to sick and burial expense in accordance with the applicable grade of membership.

4. The amalgamated organization will be responsible for the obligations and insurance the original organization had entered into with the individual members until legal time has elapsed or another grade of membership has been attained, all in accordance with applicable insurance laws.

5. Members less than age 16 and over 45 together with those who have not or cannot pass the physical exam will become social members in the new union and in their respective local societies with the same dues previously paid in the original organization.

In behalf of the Swedish Finn Sickbenefit Society Finland of America. John Beck, Pres. John A. Forsman, V. Pres. John S. Bäck, Sec. A. Ostrand, Treas. Alfred P. Pierson, Attorney."

In order to shed more light on the discussions concerning amalgamation, we quote John A. Forsman's December 19, 1919 clear and objective analysis: "Amalgamation is a product of our time. Labor unions, business entities, societies, congregations, church communions, charitable groups, educational institutions, and other working groups, whether religious or secular, are all heading in the direction of consolidation. The individual, as well as the individual approach to business, is becoming lost in the masses of consolidation. The small and individual business now has little room in society. Consolidation is the watchword of the times. Regardless of how unwilling we may be or how much we struggle, we nevertheless will be engulfed in the ravaging maelstrom of the times. We can no longer think small or expect to accomplish anything worthwhile on a small scale. The above thoughts are essentially those expressed recently by Dr. J. A. Krantz, the present Supt. of Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul.

"And is it not so? Of course; that is the spirit of the times. And we cannot expect that our organizations will not catch the infection. We can vote 'No' on the amal-gamation question but will that put an end to the problem for all time?

Much has already been said so I shall try to be brief. There are three points I would like to make.

"First: Interest in temperance will die in the wake of the Federal prohibition law. That should not be so because our people will not all at once become teetotalers. Experience shows that interest in temperance is quite small in those states where prohibition has been in effect for some time. Many temperance societies have little to show for their labor; many no longer have regular meetings and some have even ceased to exist. The sick-benefit movement has arisen to save some of those societies. The idea is good but how should it be accomplished - by amalgamation or by introduction of a sick benefit program into the temperance alliance? Is not amalgamation the most practical solution?

"Second: The members of the Board of the Sick Benefit Union and its leading members are teetotallers. As far as I know, I am the only board member that does not belong to the Temperance Union and I was a teetotaller before the Temperance Union was organized. Further, most of the leaders of the Temperance Union also are members of the Sick Benefit Union. How then can you suppose that the new organization could possibly fall into the bonds of drunkards and profligates? If now the Sick Benefit Union without any temperance foundation and under the dominion of the free liquor sales environment elected sober leaders and conducted sober and ethical annual meetings and other festivities, which they have been doing, especially in recent years. What have we to fear now that we would be organized under the Federal prohibtion laws with sober leaders and with a majority of teetotallers with the remaining few associated with teetotallers and in dry communities?

"Third: The Temperance Society does not have the right to carry on sick benefit activities. This was made clear by the words of its president writing in No. 47 issue of Finska Amerikanaren. This is also known by the other members of the society. Why then criticize the temperance societies' Board because the sick benefit idea was never consummated? That idea can never be consummated as long as the pre-conditions are missing.

"It seems as if the sick benefit idea is the only thing that will be able to bolster up the interest in many local temperance societies. If one local after the other ceases to operate, the national will soon be unable to carry on. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And who is not able to point out several societies who find it difficult to schedule two legal meetings a year in order to elect its officers. If we, the board members of the Swedish Finn Sick Benefit Society were politicians and placed our own interest first, we would not be for amalgamation. But this is not a question of personal advantage but what is best for our people. Let's first determine what is best for all of our people and then vote accordingly. "Remember the welfare of all people comes first." Duluth, Minn. Dec. 12, 1919"

Many saw the affair as quite risky and wondered about the wisdom of amalgamation. Underneath everything there was a two-pronged fear. The friends of temperance knew that some among the membership in the sick benefit societies were not afraid of taking an occasional drink when the spirit moved. Thus, an amalgamation might tend to weaken the interest in temperance among the people which could negate many years of labor. Others, those who had a deep love for liquor, would reason that union with the temperance group would serve to restrict them from the joy of having an occasional glass of foaming ale.

But it was not only the temperance question which was involved in the problem of amalgamation of the two societies. The age requirements for sick benefit membership was also germain. The fact that a large group of temperance society members had passed the age when sick benefit could be paid could serve as a detriment to the amalgamated society. The resolution of that problem was very necessary to make union possible.

John A. Forsman in his New Year's greetings of Jan. 1920 to the membership of the sick benefit society wrote: "We still do not know whether the union question will pass. But let's not lose heart. Good planning, unity and persistence must accompany progress. In many locations it is not possible to increase membership in any significant numbers. But in every location it is possible to develop ourselves and make our meetings more interesting and more educational. Our meetings should be, and as individuals we must deport ourselves so that each countryman or countrywoman, educated or not, will be able to view it as an honor to belong to our society."

In the April issue of the Leading Star there was a suggested consitutional change promulgated by the then editor of the paper, John E. Smith, that could be accepted by both organizations. The May issue of that paper contained suggested revisions to the previously published suggested constitutional changes. Those suggested modifications were prepared by And. Ostrand, J. R. Stolborg, Aug. Lithen, Isaac Anderson and John A. Forsman. The same issue also contained suggestions for changes and additions by J. A. Back. In like manner, Jacob Jacobson, John E. Rank and Victor Nyman also provided some changes and additions. All this witnessed to the intense interest surrounding the question of amalgamation.

In order to try to resolve the matter, voting lists were sent to each local society or division of the two societies so that each member had an opportunity to vote for or against union. An overwhelming majority voted in favor. Therefore, the question was considered to be settled.

Because of the preliminary work, an agreement was reached to hold a meeting among delegates at Waukegan, Ill, in August 1920. The Sick Benefit Union was, in a manner of speaking, prepared for the amalgamation through a decision reached at their previous annual meeting in Butte, Montana. To facilitate the amalgamation, both the societies scheduled their annual meeting in Waukegan.

There were lengthy discussions in both societies. The Temperance Society presented the following resolution: "That the board and delegates visit the Finland of America's annual meeting for the purpose of together with that organization discussing proposed by-laws for a unified society." The result was 47 Yes votes and 17 No votes. The Sick Benefit Society repeated the actions of the Butte meeting which resulted in 46 votes for union and 1 vote against.

After a ten-minute break, the delegates from both societies met in a joint meeting where the following resolution was read and accepted: "The Swedish Finn Sick Benefit Society (Finland of America) and the Swedish Finn Temperance Society of America assembled in annual meeting in Waukegan, IL. is herewith declared to be legally united through the acceptance of the Federal Prohibition Law as a foundation, together with what we hereinafter decide will become legally binding for the new united society."

The first question became what will be the name of the new organization. At least 9 different names were suggested. The name "Order of Runeberg" was accepted on the very first ballot which name had been suggested by C. G. Frost. That is how this united organization among Finland Swedes came to bear the name of Finland's greatest and the North's most famous poet.

The preamble of the constitution contains the following: "The purpose of the Order of Runeberg is to unite in brotherly harmony men and women who speak and understand Swedish or English languages, without regard to political or religious views; to further unity, friendship and helpfulness and the striving for temperance and education, to jointly gather means for helping sick members or those who through misfortune have been unable to work, and in addition promote the advancement and welfare among our people in this country.

The Order seeks to accomplish these goals by all suitable means such as through lectures, discussions and social gatherings covering the enabling arts, through the spreading of information and temperance literature and by members' examples of practical living. It is therefore incumbent on the members to promote diligently the organization's temperance efforts as well as to refrain from political and religious arguments within the Order since they readily bring on disunity; to stand by and help each other with locating work and employment where such help is needed or called for, as well as helping in other ways to improve each other's social and economic well-being.

The Order of Runeberg is the only large organization among the Finland Swedes in America. It consists of local societies that are required to hold monthly meetings. Its field of operation is the entire United States and Canada. It is divided into three districts (Eastern, Central and Western), depending on geographical location. The districts may pass their own rules and regulations as long as they do not conflict with their state laws or the Order's constitution.

The national is required to hold meetings every four years. Delegates to those meetings are elected by the districts and require 2/3 majority for election. One representative is elected for each 500 members or fraction thereof. Each delegate has one vote. Also each officer and member of the executive committee has one vote with certain exceptions. The president and vice president appoint the following committees: Finance Committee, Law Committee, Publicity Comm., and Resolutions Comm.

At the National meeting, the officers are elected for a term of 4 years. They are President, Vice Pres., Secretary, Treasurer, and three auditors. The marshall, assistant Sec. and guard are appointed at the meeting. Officers are to serve until their successors have been elected. The executive committee (The Officers) shall enforce the constitution and by-laws, control the payment of bills, control and collect payments by the divisions, organize new divisions, suspend local divisions for constitutional infractions, if required, verify and adjudicate appeals by members, control the issuance of the Order's annual report and be the controlling entity for the Order's affairs. with good moral character between the ages of 16 and 45 who can speak and understand Swedish or English and subscribe to the Order's principles can become members subject to being able to pass the physcial examination.

New divisions or societies may be established where at least 10 people signify a desire and when the executive committee finds it advantageous to organize such a division. Existing societies among Finland Swedes in the United States and Canada may become subdivisions of the Order if their request is approved by a 2/3 majority vote and the members pass the required physical exam.

The dues and benefits are graduated. The entrance fee is $2.00 for men and $1.50 for women. Quarterly dues are $2.75. At time of death a 125 dollar payment is made to the next of kin. During sickness there is a payment of 10 dollars per week for a period of 20 weeks in one year for the same sickness. There were other actions taken for the members' benefit.

The constitution states "No division within the Order shall approve a person for membership who knowingly breaks the Federal Prohibition law or is known to give way to drunkenness."

The newspaper Leading Star was taken over by the Order of Runeberg and is published monthly.

The first officers elected at the time of union in Waukegan, Ill. were: John A. Forsman, Duluth, President; Emil Ekblad, Gardner, Mass., Vice President; John S. Back, Escanaba, Mich., Secretary; Carl V. Frans, Manistique, Mich., Asst. Secretary; J. Victor Jacobson, Ironwood, Mich., Treasurer; John E. Smith, San Francisco, Calif., Marshall and Editor for the Leading Star. Chosen as Trusties were John W. Ekblom, Seattle, Wash.; John Wärnström, Negaunee, Mich., and Walter Ekholm, Fitchburg, Mass.

The membership count at the organization meeting in Waukegan, IL was about 4,500 and since has almost doubled. Invitations were sent by the Secretary to independent societies to join the Order. That invitation was listened to by many societies nationwide who one after the other have joined the Order.

On December 20, 1920, the president of the Order wrote the following about the prospects for the future: "Most certainly we will succeed.  We come from a people who could do all except betray its honour.  And those who were present at the annual meeting in Waukegan will not soon lose their belief in the future.  There we saw how those who fought to the bitter end against amalgamation, who with eagerness joined the majority when the voting was over.  We can certainly say about our people 'With these troops we can defy the world'.  But my friends, to win significant progress requires that every member whether officer or not - fulfill his obligations."
                                             Order of Runeberg Statistics

From 3rd Quarter Report Nov. 1930 Carried over from previous qtr. $83,298.42 Income during qtr. 21,431.79 Expenses during qtr. 20,329.52 Balance on hand 84,400.90 Sick benefits paid 9,070.12 Fixed assets 85,345.00 Loose assets 13,969.09

                                                       Membership by Districts
                                                      Central        Western         Eastern      Total  

Chil. 200 176 55 431 Social 357 524 105 986 Sick Benefits 2,850 2,442 1,445 6,737

Total: 3,407 3,142 1,605 8,154

Chapter 22:

Other Organizations

Alongside many of the previously discussed organizations and often as integral parts, other smaller operations came into existence for the purpose of meeting specific needs. Foremost among those needs were choral singing and other musical needs as well as other more general needs

Singing Societies

The first singing society among Finland Swedes in the United States for which statistics are available is the one that was organized under the jurisdiction of the temperance society "Aavasaksa" in Worcester, Mass. in 1896. How many other singing societies since that time have seen the light of day, lived but a short time and then entered eternal rest, are unknown but surely are scores in number.

Temperance societies throughout the country fostered singing groups among their activities. It probably is safe to say that a singing group or society had existed for a longer or shorter period of time in almost every temperance society.

Within the temperance society "Morgonstjärnan" in Ironwood, Mich. there were reports as early as 1908 about the existence of three different singing groups when finally a fourth group named "Brage" was organized. A male chorus functioned for a number of years in Gladstone, Mich. and in Ludington there was a mixed chorus, and also one in Ashland, Wis. In Escanaba, Mich. there was a report of a mixed chorus that had been organized before 1908 and evidently continued to function for some years. Seattle, Wash., Astoria, Ore., Duluth, Minn. and Branford, Conn., together with other communities had formed mixed choruses which functioned for longer or shorter periods of time.

Just as choral music has been promoted by social organizations, it has also been fostered by church related organizations. Music has always been the backbone of public worship. Therefore, it is really superfluous to dwell at length about church choirs inasmuch as it is difficult to conceive of a congregation that has not supported a church choir at some point in time. At the same time, we must point to the respect due those who are entrusted with the task of being a church organist and choir director, an honor, to be sure, but a most difficult task because of trouble and anxiety involved.

It is in the far west that the greatest advances have been taken in the field of music. The program for the Runeberg Choruses' 1928 Music Festival in Seattle, Wash. is the source of much information about music among the Finland Swedes on the west coast.

According to that program, Tacoma, Wash. was the location of the oldest musical organization on the west coast. During the earliest years in the life of the temperance society "Mount Tacoma" there was much speculation about the possibility of organizing a chorus so that in 1913 a chorus named "Norden" was organized. The first director was Oscar Sandstrom. When he was no longer able to continue as director, Martin Carlson was elected to take his place. Interest in the chorus continued for four years when there was a pause in its activity. But soon interest was rekindled and the singers regathered but the chorus was renamed Finlandia and continues active in Tacoma as this goes to press.

The male chorus Eko in Seattle, Wash. was organized in June 1914 under the direction of John Lillquist. It has been directed by H. P. Sather since 1916. It has a membership of about 30.

The Runeberg chorus in Olympia, Wash. was organized in Mar. 1922 with a membership of 20. Esther Adams served as conductor. Choir practice was conducted in various homes during the first few years but as the membership and interest increased, larger quarters had to be sought. The chorus is self-supporting, raising their funds through concerts and other festivities.

Choruses were organized in both Hoquiam and Aberdeen, Wash. in 1924. In 1927 they decided to amalgamate. At the time of that amalgamation they adopted the name "The Runeberg Chorus." The two cities are so near each other that distance is no hindrance in pursuing their common goals. Anna I. Anderson is the director of the chorus which now has a membership of 40 singers.

The Runeberg chorus in Portland, Ore. was organized in January 1926 under the directorship of Ernest Harold. Later Mrs. Anderson-Hult assumed the directorship of the chorus.

The Runeberg chorus of Seattle, Wash. was established with 15 members on June 16, 1922. There was great interest right from the start with rapid increases in membership so that soon it became the largest chorus on the west coast.

Also outside the nation's borders in Vancouver, British Columbia a Runeberg chorus was established in 1928 with a membership of about 40 singers. This chorus participated for the first time in the Song Festival in Grays Harbor in 1929.

In the spring of 1924, a decision was made to form a union of singing societies in the state of Washington. At that time only two choruses existed in the union but soon three other choruses joined and the membership of the union rose to about 150.

In the fall of that year a song and music festival was held in the twin cities Aberdeen-Hoquiam. The festival was well attended and many people traveled long distances to reawaken their memories of song festivals in the homeland.

This was the first larger song festival organized among the Finland Swedes in America. Since then song festivals have been arranged yearly in different cities where choruses are active. Thus song festivals have been held in Olympia, Wash. in 1925, in Tacoma, Wash. in 1926, in Portland, Oregon in 1927, in Seattle, Wash. in 1928 and in Grays Harbor (Aberdeen-Hoquiam) in 1929.

Just as this league of singing societies as the first to arrange song festivals in different cities, so also was it the first to organize a song trip to the homeland in 1930. Surely thoughts of a journey to the homeland by groups of singers must have surfaced in nearly every active chorus in America especially when news was received year after year about Swedish choruses from the homeland making visits to Sweden. (At this point the author provides a footnote explaining that a male chorus in Duluth consisting of Swedish and Finnish singers was on its way to the homeland but only got as far as New York when financial discord caused a division among the members so the trip was cancelled.) The first chorus that kept its sights on the possibility of a trip to the homeland was the Finlandia chorus in Tacoma. Those bold thoughts resulted in plans and the singer excursion to Finland became a reality.

The purpose of the trip was not to fill the world with amazement at the singing of the chorus but rather to further a closer relationship between the people of the homeland and their dispersed countrymen so that the bonds of friendship would be strengthened and the sense of solidarity would be increased, and lastly also just to visit the old dear homeland.

The reception of the Runeberg chorus in the homeland was magnificent and the singers came home with many splendid memories. Right away in Helsingfors the reception surpassed all expectations and was followed by many cordial welcome festivals throughout the Swedish communities in East Bothnia. (Here the author provides a footnote to the effect that he had personally met and talked with the soloist Miss Blanche Johnson and her impressions of the trip was that it was the very best.)

In New York they have organized the "Finnish Song" movement which is serving to instill the importance of choral singing among the Finland Swedes. Surely choruses must have been in existence in New York in earlier days but statistics do not seem to be available. In any case, choral singing organization is not as well established in the east as is the case in the west coast area. Perhaps the large festival which took place in Gardner, Mass. in the summer of 1920 when many local choral groups attended is a first step in that direction.

So far the Finalnd Swedes in the central states have not organized any groupings of choral singers.

At the present time, there is a great deal of discussion concerning the future of choral singing among the Finland Swedes especially as to whether choruses should remain under the sponsorship of the Order of Runeberg or not. Really, it matters very little who the sponsor should be; the important thing is that choruses are established and continue to function. And since the Runebergers seem to have provided an answer to the problem, it seems logical to believe that they will continue to work for the promotion of choral singing among their countrymen.

Band Music

Not only have the Finland Swedes been active in the study of choral music and the formation of singing societies, but they have also been students of and promoters of instrumental music. It seems as though early on they had more feeling for the strong noisy sounds of brass instruments. Therefore, it was not unusual to find horn music bands in many different communities. Just as it was common to find singing groups being sponsored by temperance and sick benefit societies, those same societies often sponsored other musical groups.

The first band among Finland Swedes that received wide publicity was organized in Gardner, Mass. in 1895. It was called the Vasa Band. At its organization it had 12 members and was directed by Axel Teir. Later it was directed by Emil Skogström. It continued to function until 1902 when it was reorganized and adopted the name "National Band." Many members joined at that time and an American became its director.

Somewhat later a band was organized in Eveleth, Minn. At one time it was known to have a membership of 24 functioning under the name of the "Runeberg Band." It has its own By-Laws and instruments but otherwise was in fellowship with the temperance society "Runeberg."

In the fall of 1898 a band was organized among the Finland Swedes in Eureka, Utah. Its membership consisted mostly of young men. Later the group made great strides under the direction of Hjalmar Hermanson who had come from Wakefield, Mich. perhaps primarily for assuming that directorship. As a general rule, choral and other music groups came into existence through the efforts of an existing social society but in this case the music group was the source for the establishment of a temperance society in the fall of 1899. Band leader Hermanson was the moving force behind that effort.

In the summer of 1904 in Dollar Bay, Mich. a band was organized among the membership of the temperance society. It was named The Vasa Band. That organization later contributed in a special way in maintaining the accord among the temperance society's membership. The band accompanied the members to the annual temperance league meetings in Eveleth, Minn. in 1905 and Ashland, Wis. in 1906.

In Metropolitan, Mich. a band was formed under the auspices of the temperance society which provided transportation for the band to the temperance league's annual meeting in Ashland, Wis. in 1906 and Escanaba, Mich. in 1907.

A band was formed within the temperance society "Sveaborg" in Seattle, Wash. which functioned for only a short time. The band which was established within the memberhsip of the temperance society Aavasaksa in Worcester, Mass. in 1906 was given the name "Fennia." The members of the temperance society "Fyrens" in Hoquiam, Wash. organized a band named "Nord." That organization continued for a time to assist the society at festivals, dances, etc. In Bingham, Utah the Finland Swedes had a musical group known as the Bingham Concert Band.

At the present time interest in bands and band music is declining so that there have been no new bands organized for some time and many of those previously organized have ceased to function. On the whole, interest in music seems to be languishing everywhere so that the Finland Swedes like everyone else seem satisfied to sit at home and enjoy music via radio rather than travel far afield.


Orchestral music does not seem to have interested the Finland Swedes as much as band music. Thus there have not been the same efforts expended in that direction. Possibly the people may have been less inclined to expend the time and energy that is required by the more intricate orchestral music. However, Finland Swedes have not found themselves to be terror stricken by orchestral music since they have set about the task of organizing orchestras among their members. Thus we find a smaller orchestra among the members of temperance society "Mississippi Valley Rose" in Palisades, Minn. In Ironwood, Mich. the temperance society "Morning Star" formed the orchestra called "Topelii Orchestra of Ironwood." In Jul 1907 the following anecdote was reported about that orchestra: "When we consider the short time, hardly two years, that the Topelii Orchestra of Ironwood has been in existence, to have earned such high recognition is remarkable. But with the interest and musical talent of the members, the progress has been unparalleled."

Other small orchestras among Finland Swedes have been reported here and there in different communities though detailed reports are lacking.

String Ensembles

Occasionally string ensembles have been reported among a few societies but more especially in church circles. Many Finland-Swedish congregations support a string ensemble. This is especially true among the reformed congregations where the services are freer than in the Lutheran tradition where the services are liturgical and well known to the average Finland Swede.

Ladies Societies

In connection with temperance societies and an integral part of them, ladies societies have functioned in many communities. Ladies societies have usually devoted themselves to crafts with special emphasis on sewing and needlework. Their labors have raised large sums of money which have been donated to the treasuries of the parent societies.

Athletic Clubs

Finland Swedes ever since the days of the Vikings have inherited great reverence for body strength together with the glorification and care of the body. The one who was strong had many admirers and friends, not only among his male cohorts but also among the community's maidens. In olden days it was common in the Swedish communities in Finland that young men would, usually in a joking manner, try to convince each other of their physical strength. But that had to take place in an honorable manner. When fights occurred among the young, it followed that they would use their fists, strength, agility and skill. A few might even follow the example of their Finnish neighbors and fall back on the use of knives but such use was not acceptable nor honorable.

In recent years attempts have been made to guide young peoples' thoughts and inclinations in the direction of sports, resulting in the establishment of many athletic organizations in the Swedish districts of Finland. And because the inclination towards sports had been awakened in the homeland, it followed that predilection would carry over into the immigrants in America. Young men who have some knowledge of physical exercises serve as leaders for gymnastics, physical exercises and wrestling. Teaching and learning is accomplished according to the rules of that particular art or craft.

Lending Libraries and Study Circles

Discussions about the need of lending libraries occurred early in the lives of the Finland-Swedish organizations. In the temperance society Aavasakas a lending library was established only a few weeks after the society was organized in 1892. It was opened with 57 Volumes that cost the society $46.90. Right from the start, books for both young and old were stocked and they saw extensive usage. Temperance Society "Österbotten" in Negaunee, Mich. had a lending library but its size was not given in the source from which I gathered the material. Books from both Sweden and Finland were stocked. Seattle also had a lending library with the temperance society. The temperance society "Sylvia" in New York had a literature committee which was charged with the responsibility for making plans for a library. In Waukegan, Ill. the Finland-Swedish temperance society had the only Swedish library in the whole city. Presumable lending libraries were avilable in many societies even though specific information is lacking from most places.

In many places much work and effort has been expended in the formation of study circles. Charles Sjöberg in Detroit worked tirelessly for the establishment of such groups and was successful, even in Detroit, in establishing a beginning in this area which was supported by local divisions of the Order of Runeberg. The purpose of study circles as reported in the suggested By-Laws is as follows: "in communities where there is an Order of Runeberg local and where conditions permit, study circles are to be formed whose purpose shall be to awaken interest in individual study and modern literature, and in this manner develop members who will be alert and thinking persons who can contribute to the elevation of the Order's cultural standards."

Finally, at least it would seem to be proper to include what others are saying about the social societies and their significance to the United States. In a speech by Thomas A. Cotton given at the annual meeting of the "National Fraternal Congress of America" in Detroit, Mich., he described the vital role that social societies play in the life of the country and admonished their leaders to pay special attention to the work that social societies do. Mr. Cotton pointed out that in this country there are more than 40,000 local societies that emphasize helpfulness, that they have over three million members and assets worth more than two hundred million dollars. They have insurance's whose value approaches 2,000 million dollars and constitute almost one-third of the country's social system.

Mr. Cotton pointed out that self-help has always been emphasized among the immigrants who have come to the States during the last two or three generations. At first, life insurance and sick and accident benefits were the most important programs of the societies. In time, they were followed by many other activities such as social welfare, construction and support of old peoples homes and similar institutions. Many societies have attempted to further peoples' growth in understanding of life's intricacies and to give to America some of their cultural inheritance from the homeland.

With respect to work with young people, Mr. Cotton pointed out that about half the young people who are members of social societies are members of societies organized by foreign-born people. The total number of young people included in the statistics of the 200 societies listed in the "Statistics of Fraternal Societies" is 912,700. Of those, 498,000 are members of the 68 foreign language societies. Striving to bring the first and second generations into membership is the most important work that can be done among young people. Through brochures, lectures and plays, etc. parents strive to familarize their children with the culture of the homeland. Often it is necessary to make detours and to try different approaches to interest the children. For example, arrangement of sports competitions, baseball leagues, articles in English in society news sheets and other similar actions. Interesting work has been done by the Turner-Sokol- and Falcon societies to try to interest the children in gymnastics since that activity was important in the old country.

That Finland Swedes have been involved in the above described activities redounds to their credit, for when all is said and done all the work done by social societies is a link in the chain of American culture for the uplifting and improve-ment of the people.

Chapter 23:

Newspapers and Reading Matter

In the mother country Finland Swedes were not only taught to read but were actually reared to be readers. For this study, we will pass over the requirement for teaching the catechism and bible history for they are part of the old world's living conditions. But we are thinking of lending libraries established in most parishes and villages for the purpose of fostering reading among the people.

The selection of books were not always of the highest quality but were never the trash that frequently can be found on the shelves of American libraries and book stores. The books found in the lending libraries in the homeland were generally of a worthwhile nature: histories, books of travel, natural sciences and other educational materials. Books of that nature were carried in the lending libraries established in the home of a farmer or other location where the books were easily available to the people who borrowed them and read them. Thus in the homeland there were many people with extensive book learning despite the lack of extensive formal school attendance.

Newspapers circulated, though perhaps somewhat slowly, in some Swedish speaking communities. In the "good old days" it was often the case that several families joined in subscribing to a single newspaper. In those cases, the news perhaps was not very fresh when it had to pass through many readers' hands. But then a fact not previously known is news even if it is a month old.

On arrival in America the Finland Swedes were endowed with a love for reading which was not diminished after arrival. Of course, it was not easy to acquire Swedish books in many places but, to the extent possible, each one gathered his supply of books. To the extent we have been able to check, we have found that many temperance societies had early on established their own libraries. In many large cities Swedish books were to be found in book stores but that was not the case in smaller communities.


In this country we now find that newspapers seem to have taken the place of books so that a home without a newspaper must in some respects be considered as a very backward home. However, the idea of subscribing in advance for a newspaper does not seem to have taken hold among our people in this country; the pay-as-you-go plan prevailed.

About the question of availability of reading matter, one very important thing was lacking, namely, a newspaper that would supply news and information from homeland together with news from other areas of the country where Finland Swedes had settled.

Concerning efforts to establish newspaper work, we read the following in "The History of Swedish Finns in Worcester, Mass.": In the year 1895 a publishing company was under consideration but because of intervening obstacles, the negotiations could not be finalized. Again in the fall of 1896 interest in a news-paper reawakened among the members of the society "Aavasaksa" and a company was formed whose object was to publish a two-language newspaper - Swedish and Finnish - but the twin died in the cradle.

"Finska Amerikanaren" (at this point the author added a subscript which states that Mrs. Anna Antell, Josef A. Bengts and Otto A. Gullmes provided the informa-tion for this subsection.) saw the daylight on January 2, 1897.

A number of Finland Swedes in Worcester, Mass. had for a long time felt the need for a newspaper that would serve to knit together the Finland Swedes in America. Because of the scarcity of funds they had not dared to establish a newspaper. At last the desire to try became overriding and a company was chartered.

Among the leaders we find H. Hendrickson, J. A. Nygård, Axel Frantz, Olof Westerback, Josef Bengts and Charles Granö (actually the older Granö) plus other interested persons. From the funds that were subscribed, equipment necessary for a four-page newspaper was purchased. A small dark closet-like room was rented in a building where it was proposed the newspaper should be published. That same room was to function as the editor's office and a business office for the company. The actual printing was to be done by an American print-ing firm. With that all completed, everything seemed in readiness and all should proceed like clock-work. Had the authors of the plan for the business realized the costs involved in publishing a newspaper, it is safe to say that "Finska Amerikanaren" would not have been launched at that time.

Josef A. Bengts (Traskare Joe), one of the founding fathers, was designated as a traveling agent for the paper and a better agent could not have been located. He traveled from district to district and subscriptions kept pouring in week by week.

Unlucky choices in selecting editors was the first setback. Two were dismissed within 3 months. Finally, in the spring K. Hendrickson, the company president, traveled to New York in hopes of finding a suitable candidate. There he met E. J. Antell who immediately displayed great interest in the idea of uniting the widely-scattered countrymen through the pages of a newspaper. Mr. Antell accepted the position of editor at a salary of $10.00 per week.

Everyone quickly realized that the right man had been found to be the editor of the paper. In a short time, the format of the paper was changed to provide for 8 pages of news. The editor then accepted the duties of bookkeeper and his salary was increased to $20.00 per week. With the arrival of the new year, everything was expected to become satisfactory. "Traskare Joe" gathered new subscribers in the Central states while in the East each subscriber was to send in his subscription for the following year when due. Management waited and waited. Some renewals were received, but most never came. Operating funds became non-existent; loans had to be made to meet printing expenses. The editor had to wait for better days. That wait became long so that eventually the entire company became tired.

Then Axel Hornborg, manager of Hornborg and Company offered to buy "Finska Amerikanaren" for 1500 dollars. That was a goodly sum for such a shaky company, but he also harbored a benevolent interest in the strivings of his countrymen in this new country. Thus the paper with its editor moved to Brooklyn, New York in February 1899 but unfortunately, it continued its shaky existence. The income hardly covered half of the expenses. For almost two years, Mr. Hornborg & Co. continued the subsidy but finally the burden became too great. Because the countrymen as a whole did not take enough interest in the paper, the situation seemed hopeless.

However, by this time, the paper had gathered a number of good friends, and trusting in their help, management decided that they would not let the paper die, now living from week to week, always trembling for the day of reckoning. The number of friends did grow slowly but steadily with the assistance of the good travel agents like John Udell, John Carlson, Alfred Wicks and Victor Jacobson taking turns in covering the constituency. Local agents also assisted in many areas where there were concentrations of Finland Swedes, many without charging for their trouble. Finland Swedes in greater New York continued to increase their interest in the paper and in 1902 established the society "Friends of Finska Amerikanaren" for the purpose of gathering funds through subscriptions and festivals. The first such festival took place in 1902 which turned out to be a rousing success.

Cooperation was nationwide through the sale of raffle tickets and over 800 people attended the gala festival itself. It was the opinion of all that that evening was the most enjoyable ever experienced in their new country. The net income from the festivities was used to efface the debt plus a $500 down payment on a "linotype" machine. The remaining cost of 3500 dollars for that machine was to be repaid monthly over a 3-year period.

"Finska Amerikanaren" now had a period of calm which, however, did not last long. During Bobrikoff's regime in Finland, the paper was banned from the country. This was a significant loss since there were 700 subscribers in Finland. The following year was also one of loss for the paper because of the fire in the printing plant which destroyed just about everything. The society "Friends of Finska Amerikanaren" remained firm in their commitment to the paper which then recovered following those losses, increasing its size to 8 columns and 12 pages.

A few years passed and the world war broke out which again caused great anxiety. No mail came from Finland. Where could one get news from the homeland? But the paper fulfilled its mission adequately and by its well-written articles about the war garnered great prestige among the Scandinavian press corps in the United States. Again economics threatened seriously which caused the need to increase the subscription price to $3.00 per year and for the first time in the history of Finska Amerikanaren and without any special monetary effort, the paper ended the year with a balance of $400.00.

"Finska Amerikanaren" becomes a stock company

The great dissension rocking Finland in 1918 was exported to the Finland Swedes in the United States resulting in subscribers to the paper, though small in number, being divided into two political groups: those who supported the government and those who supported the revolting labor group. The paper remained true to its early principles which naturally meant that the more radical element deserted. This, of course, had a significant effect on the paper's economic well-being. It became much more difficult to balance income and expenses. As early as 1921 the publisher of "Finska Amerikanaren" began considering the need to cease publishing. But then conditions improved somewhat, so it was decided to keep the paper alive. Things rocked along until toward the end of 1922 when conditions became so overpowering that the Antells were forced to decide to cease publication.

However, before that actually became a reality, Mrs. Antell, toward the end of December, discussed the problem with Victor W. Holmberg, an old and loyal friend of the paper. Even though at that time he was involved in a large compre-hensive construction program, he nevertheless took time to devote to the paper. He invited a group of countrymen to a meeting in his home at 4404 Sixth Ave. for the purpose of finding a way or ways to keep the paper alive. The following were in attendance: Pastor J. Gullans, William Sandström, John Carlson, Tristen Antell, Emil Ekblad and Mr. Holmberg. They discussed the situation in much detail and decided that the paper should not be allowed to die. They immediately made several hundred dollars available to cover the most urgent needs. At another meeting a few days later when J. A. Nygård also attended, the stock company, The Finnish American, Inc., was organized with a capitalization of $15,000 with each share of stock carrying a nominal value of $5.00. Those in attendance immediately subscribed to $2,000 worth of shares. Mr. Holmberg and Mr. Sandström subscribed $500 each and so it continued that by January 11 a total of $5,000 had been subscribed. Emil Ekblad was put in charge of stock sales and by spring stock sales amounted to $8,000.

In the beginning of January 1924, the composition room was moved from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle to New York in Uutiset. The editorship continued to be handled by editor Antell. But his strength continued to diminish so that by March 27, 1924 he resigned the editorship which he had so honorably fulfilled since 1892. Mrs. Antell filled the position until the arrival of editor Axel Cederberg who had been called from Finland. He arrived in late June 1925.

Editor Cederberg fulfilled his duties until September of the following year when he had to return to his homeland because of the nation's immigration laws. The editorial duties were then handled by Elin Edström who had been employed as clerk since the spring of 1925. She handled the editorial duties until June 1926 when she also returned to Finland. The editorship was then assumed by Otto A. Gullmes who twice previously had served the paper as typesetter and/or assistant editor. At the same time his wife was engaged as clerk. In addition to his editorial duties, Mr. Gullmes covered all business affairs of the corporation.

During the first two years in its new location, the paper had to take note of some hundreds of dollars in losses, but beginning in 1926 the paper could show many offsetting cash balances. In February of 1928 a modern typesetting machine was purchased with available cash by which the paper's typographical appearance was greatly improved. In June of 1929, the paper moved again, this time to a commercial location at 4314- 8th Ave. The following year in April the paper purchased the entire building for $18,000. In addition to the paper's business office and printing rooms, the building encompasses two modern six-room apartments.

Since its incorporation, the Board of Directors, with two exceptions, has consisted of the same men who through significant economic sacrifices prevented the death of the paper in 1924. For the first five years, Victor W. Holmberg was the President while during the two most recent years J. A. Nygård, one of the original founders of the paper, has been the President. William Sandström has been Treasurer and John Carlson has been the Secretary, both since the first organizational meeting of the corporation. In addition to the foregoing, George E. Ervast, Ivar Teir and Otto Gullmes complete the present Board of Directors.

"Ledstjärnan" (Leading Star)

This paper claims its origin from the temperance league. The temperance league board members had a meeting on January 17, 1908 during which the question about the needs for a newspaper was discussed which resulted in that Victor Jacobson should try to determine from local societies the likelihood of the number of subscriptions which would result if a paper were to be established.

At the annual meeting in Negaunee, Mich. in July 1903, the principal officers were given the task of arranging the necessary measures to effect the establishment of a newspaper.

At the annual meeting in Ironwood, Mich. the editor of the Swedish Temperance News, Pastor J. O. Johnson, speaking on the subject of temperance, advanced the proposal which substantially indicated that for the sum of $26.60 per month the Temperance News would make two pages in its paper available for the temperance league's use. The result was that the temperance league agreed to take part in the publication of the Swedish Temperance News, compensating the News the agreed upon sum of $26.60 per month. This provided a temporary solution to the newspaper question. But that solution was not considered satis-factory for the long haul since many important questions required detailed on-going discussions among the membership and two pages per month did not provide for sufficient space.

Therefore, at the 1905 meeting in Eveleth, Minn. another lively discussion took place about society publicity which resulted in the decision to publish their own newspaper and its name would be "Ledstjärnan". The first issue was published in January 1906. John Udell was elected as Editor. It was further stipulated that expenditures could not exceed $350 per year which sum was dedicated for the Editor's use. The paper's mission was stated to be" to promote united and forceful temperance work and education." The size of the early issues of the paper does not seem to have been recorded but during the next annual meeting in Ashland, Wis. there was considerable discussion about the need for enlargement of the paper.

At the annual meeting in Escanaba, Mich. in 1907 the following motion regarding "Ledstjärnan" was passed. "The Leading Star shall continue to be published in its present form but the governing board is authorized to publish an 8 or 12-page Christmas issue if it finds that to be desirable."

In the "Minneskrift" published in 1917 by the Temperance League, John Berg, the then editor of "Ledstjärnan" wrote as follows: "The Society has published its own paper "Ledstjärnan" since 1906 which over the years often had come out twice a month but for the present now is being published once a month in a somewhat smaller 20-page format. The Leading Star has surely been a good medium for spreading knowledge about the dire effects of the use of intoxicating liquors. It always left its mark of confrontation and had in that manner become more effective than would have been the case for a purely news publication. A confrontational publication is just what a reform movement requires, a publication that awakens and invites, inspires and illumines, and that is just what the Leading Star has striven to be. Looked at from a business point of view, the society's paper has had less success, but when has a confrontational paper, a common man's paper that didn't espouse popular causes been able to expect to garner great success? The Leading Star has in spite of all difficulties fought its way through and then home. Each year its account has wound up in the red by several hundred dollars, which sums have been made up from the society's general funds."

The Leading Star became the Order of Runeberg's official publication when the Temperance Union and the Sick Benefit Societies were merged in 1920. John E. Smith became the editor and served until 1924 when Victor Jacobson was selected as Secretary of the Order with a further commission to also be the editor of the Society's official publication.

The following persons have served as editors of the Leading Star: John Udell Jan. 1906 July -1906 Andrew Ostrand 1906 -1907 Thomas Stenius 1907 -1909 John Udell 1909 -1912 John Berg 1912 -1920 John E. Smith 1920 -1925 Victor Jacobson to the present time

The content of the Leading Star has been varied and diverse. In the early days it was not uncommon to find articles written perhaps, not by the editor, but by others that were colored more or less by radicalism. In connection with political radicalism which normally had little connection with temperance work, some correspondents mixed in radical religious ideas. The greatest joy of some correspondents is to read and deliver to market certain unverified assertions of half-educated "scientists" whose science consisted of rejecting Christian truths for the purpose of grasping at unproven theoretical straws. In more recent times, that which had been colored red has faded considerably even among the Finland Swedes, a fact which can be noted even in the always moderate financial contributions to the Leading Star.

The Leading Star's readership has constantly been on the increase and is now sent without charge to the members of the Order. Approximately 5,000 copies are printed each month. The paper which is now larger and move diversified than ever has been a significant factor in the advancement of the culture of the Finland-Swedish people for the past 25 years.

The official language of the paper has always been Swedish. Now we begin to find more and more articles using English, the national language, usually composed by the younger generation.

Newspapers and Reading Matter

"Missionsposten" (Mission tidings) is the name given to a newspaper published by Finnish Baptist Mission Society of America. At that society's annual meeting in Duluth, Minn. in 1918, it was decided that a newspaper would be printed so as to publicize the society's activities and to make the gospel more easily available to the widely scattered countrymen. Originally, it was envisioned that the publication would be issued in both the Swedish language and Finnish language. However, that plan could not be brought to fruition.

Pastor M. Esselström was designated to be editor-in-chief which position he continues to hold to this date. H. J. Jäppinen was selected to also be an editor but his position as associat did not last. Other preachers also assisted in publication.

"Missionsposten" was originally published in Worcester, Mass. since it was the home of the editor. He later moved to Duluth. The paper was published there in 1911 and 12. It then moved to Chicago also with the editor where it continues to be published. The size of the paper was four pages and six columns. The sub-scription price was 75 cents per year. In addition to moneys received from sub-scriptions and advertising, the paper also received donations to assist in its support.

The original name of the paper was "Finska Missionsposten" but was changed to just "missionsposten." It presently has a press run of 1800 copies. It appears monthly.

"Svensk-Finska Budbäraren" (Swedish-Finnish Messenger) was the name of the ecclesiastical newspaper which was organized in 1908 by the Swedish-Finnish Evangelical Mission Society. Its first editor was Pastor A. Willandt. It had a large circulation and was well-liked by the people because of its fresh evangelical content. But the economic crunch and abnormal conditions caused by the world war caused the society to conclude that it would be necessary to cease publication. Its final number came out in the Fall of 1925.

"Sändebudet" (Ambassador) was the name of a Lutheran paper that began publication in July 1909. Pastor Carl J. Silfversten together with other pastors and students serving the Swedish-Finnish Lutheran congregations in America were responsible for its publication. The intention was that through news and communications from and between different Swedish-Finnish congregations, they would encourage each other in their labors for the kingdom of God. By means of articles of a Christian character, it attempted to enhance the faith and spiritual well-being of their countrymen. It also served as mission literature to those who remained outside the circle of faith.

The first number appeared in July 1909. Printing and mailing took place in Marinette, Wis. while its business office was located in Worcester, Mass. It had an eight-page, three column format which it continued for many years. In 1910 the main office together with the editor moved to Gladstone, Mich. which also became the mailing city for the paper despite the fact that the printing was done in Ishpeming, Mich. In March 1913 the paper was moved to Ironwood, Mich. But the printing was not considered satisfactory, probably because the personnel were Finnish and there was no one able to proofread Swedish. Therefore, in April 1914 agreement was reached with a publishing firm in Duluth who completed the printing in an eminently satisfactory manner. With this move, the paper was decreased in size but with a corresponding increase in number of pages.

In 1915 Pastor Oberg who had returned to Duluth became the editor for the paper and remained as such until January 1920 when Pastor Johannes Nyström served as editor-in-chief for about a year. During that time the paper was published in Worcester, Mass.

Pastor Gustav Oberg who had moved to Gardner, Mass. was the editor for a time but by March 1921 the editorship reverted to Pastor Silfversten who had moved back to Duluth, Minn. At this time the paper was also headquartered in Duluth.

The paper's official name had from the beginning been "Svensk-Finska Sände-budet" but because it had borrowed the name from "Sändebudet" which was published by the Lutheran Evangelical Society in Finland, the words "Svensk-Finska" were eliminated when the paper moved back to Duluth. At that time the paper had about 1400 subscribers.

The following pastors served as associate editors at various times: John Gullans, F. E. W. Kastman, Edward Ekström, S. A. Holberg, F. G. Granquist, K. M. Holmberg, B. E. Walters and Herman Anderson together with students serving Finland- Swedish congregations.

Economic difficulties were always present as a threatening cloud throughout the life of the paper. Some special support did come from various sources. However, many subscribers neglected to send in their subscriptions. All in all, the chief editor did not receive the support he had been promised. There had never been any discussion about compensation for his labor. Consequently, he was forced to cease publishing with the December 1925 issue. "Sändebudet's" ministry had truly been a blessing but its debts had to be assumed by the chief editor.

"Ny Tid" (Modern Times) was the name of a monthly paper that was produced in Chicago for a short time. John Berg was its editor. The paper had a radical editorial policy both politically and also with respect to religion. The newspaper enterprise failed for the simple reason that Finland Swedes are fundamentally not radical. "Ny Tid" died a sooty death (truly red soot) after a short and ineffective life.

"Bethel Bulletin" is the name of a church paper that takes the place of "Sände-budet" in the Bethel Congregation in Duluth, Minn. It utilizes both Swedish and English in order to meet the needs of both young and older members in the congregation. It is a four-page, four-column monthly publication edited by Pastor Silfversten.

"Ebenezer Church Bulletin" is a small church paper edited by Pastor A. J. Stormans in Duluth. The purpose of the paper is to publicize the news and activities of the Ebenezer Baptist congregation and to serve God and minister to the needs of the congregation. It is a four-page, two-column monthly publication using both Swedish and English.

Other Literature

In the literary realm, Finland Swedes in America on the whole have not been great contributors. They came to America with the objective of earning their daily bread and literary accomplishments are not great contributors to that objective. In addition we must remember that the migrant from the Swedish-speaking districts in Finland belonged to the broad strata while the others remained at home. Should anyone want to believe that East Bothnia, the area where most immigrants originated, was not capable of producing authors and writers, we only need to remind them that Runeberg, Topelius and others were East Bothnians.

Even so there is no dearth of authors and writers among the Finland Swedes in America. We can point out Charles Sjöberg who expressed his feelings in labor's interest even though his radical disposition often took away his poetic accomplishments. We think of Otto Lundell with his beautiful songs and ballads, together with B. O. Lunden and many others. Sjöberg was the only Finland Swede in America who dared to have a group of his poetic creations published which was called "Toner och Missljud" (Tones and Dischords).

In 1904 a group of Finland Swedes produced an album which they called "Hälsning från Amerika" (Greetings from America). Mr. John Udell was the Coordinator and leading star in its production. It is a satisfying piece of work which accomplished its intended purpose. The religious and social life, as it was lived and experienced at that time, was carefully described. Many pictures from many different places were included.

In 1908 the Swedish-Finn Temperance Union published a book called "Svensk-Finska Nyterhetsförbund i Ord och Bild". The book gives a history of the society's accomplishments from its inception through 1908. Included is a resume of all annual meetings together with a short history of the different locals which belong to the Union, as well as stories and essays dealing with the subject of temperance. Pictures of local societies and important individuals are also included. Thomas Stenius edited the book.

The above-mentioned society published another book in 1917 called "Minnes-skrift" which provided a history of its 15 years of labour. This book provides the names and home districts in Finland of each member in each local society together with pictures of many of the locals and some individuals. The book was edited by John Berg. The above books are very valuable because they give us an insight into the efforts of the Finland Swedes in behalf of temperance as well as their overall social life and activities.

"Historik över Svensk-Finnarna i Worcester, Mass." (History of Swedish Finns in Worcester) was published in 1920. The Swedish-Finn friends of temperance were the guiding spirit behind that endeavor. Pastor Johannes Nyström was the chairman of the publication committee. The origins and activities of the various city congregations and societies are presented which, when viewed from an historical standpoint, do have a lasting substantive value.

The Lutheran Congregation in Metropolitan, Mich. published a book of Remem-brances in 1921 which they called "Minnesalbum" which covered the congrega-tion's activities over its 25-year life span. Pastor B. E. Walters was the editor for the album. The history is valuable because it provides a faithful picture of the new settlers' life as well as the life and activities of the community.

The Bethel Lutheran Congregation in Duluth, Minn. published its 30-year history in 1928. It characterizes the work, the anxiety and the joys which pertain to a congregation within a large city. Pastor Carl J. Silfversten edited the history.

The Finland Swedish Baptist mission society published a year book in 1910 which describes the society's activities during the previous years.

Chapter 24:

The Homeland and the Emigrants

As would be natural, the people in the homeland looked with great disfavor on the emigration since it represented a tremendous drain - a blood-letting so to speak - which would be apparent in all walks of life and would cause difficulties through-out the nation. It resulted in the decimation of the entire labor force.

A great deal of effort and money had been expended in fostering and educating the deportees to make them into useful citizens, and as soon as they were ready to take their places, it became necessary to watch one large group after the other wave goodbye to the fatherland - provided they had even that much consideration. (At this point the author provides a footnote that he remembers his own departure and that so many in his company were so intent on their own welfare that they could not make the effort to raise their arms in a good-by salute.)

Of course, there were many in the homeland who had a certain feeling of joy that the deportees would escape the dreaded military service "Ryssbacken", (Russian hill) in common terminology. It was the Russian requirement that made sure that the training was complete and adequate. The period of service ws three years. How much better that those men should go to America, find work, and in three years time they could send home large sums of money.

Of course, not everyone harbored such thoughts about the emigration if everyone could have foreseen that instead of a temporary trip abroad for a few years, emigration would in most cases result in permanent departure, then everyone probably would have been opposed to emigration. But everyone was sure that emigration represented a temporary sojourn for the purpose of acquiring funds and then returning with plenty of money and rich experience to settle down in their homeland and live happily ever after. That's the reason the feelings were divided.

Thus, little was done to stem emigration since opinion was divided. Efforts were made to check the tide of emigration by means of seminars about America and about the motherland. However, those efforts were, for the most part, nonproductive. Such was also the result of the efforts to deprecate America which often was a ploy used by the educated. To provoke and annoy was equally ineffective. Argumentation was completely ineffective when a person had become infected with "America fever."

For those of us who are here to stay, when thinking back to the time of our emigration, cannot conceive of anything which could have been said or done which would have caused us not to emigrate. There were so many circumstances which contributed to emigration that could not be overcome.

Inasmuch as people in the homeland were divided concerning the benefits or harm of emigration, no thought was given to being helpful to the emigrant upon arrival in the new country. It is quite possible that more helpfulness might have fostered a warmer feeling for the old country. Perhaps this might have enticed a few to return home.

(At this point the author inserts the following footnote: Since writing the above, I read in "Vår Tid", published by the Swedish Information Bureau in Helsingfors, the following statement by bank director Rainer von Fierandt: "What the Swedish Finnish people concerned about their countrymen abroad can do to help in easing the turmoil of the early days of their emigration, is to provide them with assurance that they have not been abandoned by their homeland and to foster the retention of their interest and love for their old homeland alongside the growing interest and love for their adopted Country." Those sentiments should have been aired 40 years ago.)

But as far as is known, there were no official actions taken to maintain contact with the emigrants. That could have been done easily in the religious sector. Official action could have been taken to make contact with the Swedish church in order to come to an understanding with respect to Swedish-speakers from Finland. There is no doubt but that such action would have been a great significance for the present and way into the future. Such thoughtfulness for the emigrants would have resulted in conditions in the church and thankfulness to the mother country. A few pastors could easily have been included among the emigrants with the same intent and purpose as those sent out for the seamen's mission work without its costing nearly as much. (At this point the author provides the following footnote: Regardless of how emigration is viewed in Sweden, one thing is certain; emigrants were followed by servants of the word.)

Consulates that Finnish citizens could turn to for assistance in America were Russian and the high officials that were in service to the emperor were, of course, required to provide service to all people from Finland. However, everyone can understand how much consideration would be avilable to emigrant Finland Swedes.

In any case, the interest of the emigrants should have been safeguarded in some way. If the organizations in the homeland, that carried on propaganda about emigration had instead sent delegates to America to search out and help the emigrants, they would have garnered more results, goodwill and under-standing than their lectures at home could possibly produce. And such goodwill would surely have been rewarded.

It surely would have served the homeland as a whole if more attention had been paid to the conditions in America which enticed so many thousands from their home and hearth. A shake-up in many directions would certainly have resulted in the homeland from such measures and many lives would have been saved for the homeland. But at that time the thinking was that there was nothing to be learned from America. In Sweden such nonsense had been put to rest long ago and is today on its way out in Finland also. Now we find that time after time industrialists and businessmen visit America for the purpose of finding things that can be useful to the homeland.

The homeland still has not come to realize the humiliation it causes an emigrant to be required to provide posting of wedding banns long after the wedding had been completed in America. Married couples can come to Finland from any country in the world and all that is required is that they have papers showing that they are married. But when an emigrant comes home from America, no evidence is acceptable. Banns must be posted. Many place the blame on the clergy, but if that were the case, they would also insist that an actual wedding ceremony be performed. Blame must be placed squarely on the edicts promulgated during the time when an emigrant was considered an individual who has no rights. Whatever the source of that edict, it is still a fact that it has been very harmful for the homeland. It certainly doesn't cause the emigrant to love the mother country.

The welcome given to a returning emigrant also makes a great deal of difference. When visiting the homeland after a sojourn in America, he is often exposed to thinly concealed disdain. Everything that is reported about America is considered only as "American yarns" which in other words are lies. Of course, it is true that some of the reports are impossible exaggerations but most are not. Even though most reports are factual without exaggeration of dissembling, nevertheless when they involve America, they are automatically classed as lies.

(At this point the author provides the following footnote: In the summer of 1908 when the author was on a visit in the homeland, he displayed a photograph of the steamer Lusitania which mentioned that the ship was approximately 800 feet long. A certain gentleman, when the size of the vessel was mentioned, answered simply, "such a thing is a lie.")

In any case, the emigrant did not suffer any incurable distress from his treatment and the same is true about the neglect to which they have may have been subjected. The unfair treatment only served to make permanent the mutual disdain between the emigrant and the homeland which was rehardened with each new exposure. It is of course true that a few returning emigrants conducted themselves in a manner that was anything but befitting a cultured individual, but the person was never blamed for his actions. America was always to blame in the eyes of the hometown people.

America has often been called the mortar of the nations, in that way attempting to explain the pulverization and mixing that takes place among the arriving nationalities. We could just as easily call it the grindstone of the nations. America grinds off the many corners that the various people bring with them. Those corners are not ground off in a few weeks or even a few years. There are no men and/or machines in this ingenious country that can grind off the rough corners of a hard-necked immigrant in a few short hours. In the event that the immigrant has spent most of his sojourn in a lumber camp, the grinding process is much slower. But this shouldn't be attributed to the fault of America. It really depends on the material being polished.

We have had the pleasure of receiving and treating quite a number of visitors from the homeland. It has felt like a breath of home country breeze which has set our heartstrings into vibration when the visitors have "gone under." It certainly can't be that group which is under consideration.

If "gone under" means those who have met an unknown fate, then we have a subject that has no solution. It is true that there are many Finland Swedes among the missing, but we cannot assume that they have met an unknown fate. Many who leave a village or town without giving a destination are later located near the place that they had left. There seems to be a peculiar longing in certain people to get away from their immediate neighborhood, possibly without any other reason than an ardent desire for remaining unknown and perhaps also one or more valid reasons for making such a move. Time after time we stumble onto men who live alone, perhaps on a wooded hillside or perhaps on the shore of a solitary lake. They support themselves as well as they are able in a primitive way but they do have the advantage of being out of the way of others.

We can take for example a 35-year-old man who became involved in a love affair with a widow with two or three children. He married her. He used his savings to pay off the debt on her home. His wife prevailed upon him to lend money to her relatives. After 10 months of married bliss, his wife died. This left him with the responsibility for her children. He had none of his own. Her relatives would not repay their debts because they maintained that they had borrowed the money from his wife. Soon his wife's relatives made life miserable for him by maintaining that he did not care adequately for the chidlren in spite of the fact that, with hired help, he was doing the best that he could. Soon it just became too much for him and he simply disappeared. He wasn't that far away but no one knew where he was inasmuch as he made no contact with anyone for a year and a half. He had become sick and from the hospital he contacted a sister who came and cared for him for a time. However, he did not get well and after spending a time in the hospital he died. Probably one could say that that man had "gone under. But it is hard to understand why one should say that. Many similar examples could be cited.

Another leaves the area where he is acquainted. He travels a few hundred miles to a city or area where he settles down. He makes no acquaintances. He works hard and saves his money more than he would have done if he had remained in the neighborhood of his countrymen. Soon that saving becomes his only goal. Perhaps he continues to work and save until he dies even though his original thoughts had been to go home to his mother country and there settle down. It was only a couple of years ago that a man was found dead in a ditch only a short distance from the author's window. He came from the same parish as the author. He had disappeared insofar as he did not communicate with others; he saved money; that was his whole life as far as we could determine. Another man married a woman of a different nationality and joined her family and faith. Three years ago the author buried a man from Åland. He had married a French woman but did not join the catholic church even though the children grew up French and in the catholic church. He had even changed his name so that he was unknown to nearly all of his countrymen. About this man we could perhaps say that he had "gone under" but that was really not the case. The only thing we can say about such people is that they have been derailed. Things that can contribute to such derailment are boredom, maliciousness, stinginess, stubbornness, pride, and perhaps most often, just plain stupidity. Pastors often are required to sit by their sickbeds and therefore have become privy to much in the lives of such people.

There is something about big city life that irritates human sensibilities. It is a fact that living in a large city is exasperating, especially to those who have been brought up in the country. It is hard to imagine anything less suitable for each other than a country boy from Swedish-speaking Finland and a large city in America. The fact is that the country boy must quickly learn to conform or move away. One person can conform and another is not able. There are only two choices; move to the country or remain in the city. Those that stay have a hard fight to make a living. Anyone that is sober, orderly and careful will succeed. Someone who is not willing to take care of himself will not get ahead in America and we believe that neither will he succeed anywhere else in the whole world. In any case, there are a few Finland Swedes who fail because of a debauched living lifestyle. However, there are very few who do not make it by one means or another. Life is dear even to the smallest worm and a Finland Swede is not one of those who fail in the first go-round.

On the contrary, it may be that those who have been reported missing actually have managed surprisingly well. They may have been incorporated into other national groupings and thus accomplished noteworthy things and prospered in many ways. But that prosperity has served to cause them to forget both the motherland and their own people. Thus they soon are considered missing and soon fall into oblivion but they have not "gone under."

Instead of offering some melancholy observation about those we may consider to be missing, we really have the option of believing that for the most part they have managed well considering how poorly they had been prepared for the battles they faced in a foreign land.

As an appropriate addition to what has been written concerning the terminology "gone under", we make reference to the report concerning "Lost Sons" which the New York Council of Welfare produced recently which was reported in the November 29, 1930 issue of the Literary Digest. The results of an examination of 14,000 men on a certain night in New York City was: "The typical Bowery Bum is a native-born American unskilled, unmarried and naturally without work." It sounds like there were no Finland Swedes among them.

Chapter 25:


This chapter contains short biographies of some Finland Swedes in the United States. There is no claim that they are better or superior to the thousands of their countrymen.

It only means that they responded to the author's expressed wishes to receive such items of information. They, like all their countrymen, arrived in the States empty handed. They have all tried to make their contributions for the good of their countrymen and to benefit their new homeland and have thus become a part of the diverse American peoples.

PASTOR A. WALFRED ANDERSON was born in Jomala parish in Åland on May 9, 1891. Incidentally, this was also the home parish of the first Swede in Finland. At the age of twenty-one, the family home became too crowded so we find him in America in 1912. He settled in Norwood, Mass. where he worked for a time as a carpenter.

After a couple of years stay in Norwood, he exchanged his plane and carpenter's bench for books and a school desk. He became a student at Upsala College which was then located in Kenilworth, N. J. In the fall of 1917 he entered Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. but transferred to Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kans. the following year where in the spring of 1922 he passed all required exams. That fall he entered Augustana Theological Seminary in Rock Island, Ill. where he completed the three-year course of study and was ordained as a pastor in the summer of 1925.

For health reasons, he accepted a call to sunny Texas with El Campo becoming his first pastorate where he labored faithfully and with great zeal for five years. In the summer of 1930 he accepted a call from St. John's Finland-Swedish Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, NY.

During his service in Texas his pastoral duties were conducted exclusively in English. Clearly, it warmed his Swedish heart to be ble to return to be with his countrymen and once again use his beloved Swedish language.

Pastor Anderson was married in 1921 and has two daughters.

JOHN S. BACK was born in the Korsnäs parish but early on came to Övermark where his parents procured a homestead. During his adolescence, high schools were rather scarce in farming areas and for the most part the common people were more or less opposed to those "high-toned schools". He had to start his schooling in the common Korsnäs schools. He did, however, continue his schooling in Närpes and was the first student from his home town to graduate from high school (folkskolan).

Back visited Sweden two years in a row, but emigrated to America during Bobrikoff's time in the spring of 1900. For a while he lived in Millville, Mass. but went to Escanaba, Mich. in the fall of 1902 and this has been his home ever since. He was married about a year after he arrived in Escanaba.

In the summer of 1905 he was elected vice president of the local sick benefit society and the following year he became its president. At the annual meeting of the National Sickbenefit Society, convened in Escanaba during the summer of 1907 he was elected to be its secretary, an office he held until 1922.

Since the fall of 1917, he has conducted an insurance and real estate business. Since 1922 he has devoted full time to this business and has seen it grow into a very substantial enterprise. He also has a small printing business which produces significant printing jobs for his countrymen.

He has taken an active interest in the social work in his home city, holding offices in the Scandinavian Brotherhood, the Vasa Order and Odd Fellows. He was one of the first members in the Order of Runeberg in his city. He is also a member of the Swedish Lutheran congregation and a member of its Board of Administration.

He has been a widower since 1921 but nevertheless raised four children, a daughter who is a nurse at the Augustana Hospital in Chicago, and a son who maintains himself at the state university in Madison, Wis.

In the summer of 1922 he visited his mother country which enabled him to spend time with his mother which proved to be the last time before she died. His father is still living.

JOHN BECK was born in Närpes on November 5, 1874. At eighteen he, together with other young men, journeyed to America and after an adventurous trip arrived in Worcester, Mass. on April 12, 1892. He didn't remain in Worcester very long for he soon went to Ontonagon, Mich. That city was laid waste by fire about four years after his arrival which caused Beck to move to Calumet, Mich. That was in August of 1896. In Calumet he worked for a mining company for about 10 years.

In the fall of 1908 he left the mining company and moved to Baraga, Mich. where he went into partnership with J. A. Anderson in a commercial business operating under the name of Anderson and Beck. In about four years, Anderson sold his share of the business to Beck who still operates it under the name of Beck's General Store.

Beck during his entire sojourn in America has cooperated in the cultural under-takings for his countrymen and labored for his own and their benefit. He served as president of the sick benefit society from 1903 until its union with the temperance society in Waukegan, Ill. in 1920. Presently he is a member of the national executive committee of the Order of Runeberg and also president of the Central District of that organization.

John Beck became a member of the Swedish Lutheran Congregation in Calumet, Mich. in January 1899 and served as a Sunday School teacher for about ten years. Upon coming to Baraga, he was involved in the organization of the Lutheran congregation of that city and has served as its secretary since that time. At the present time he is a member of the board of the Superior Lutheran Conference. Within his home city he has held and continues to hold a number of important positions. It is remarkable that his energy suffices for all his under-takings and interests. He has been the mayor of his city for 16 years as well as chairman of the finance committee. He is also a bank director, chairman of the school committee as well as a member of several American societies.

In 1898 he married Augusta Kronquist from Pedersöre. Their home is open to all. One can always count on a friendly reception because both husband and wife compete in making the visitor feel at home.

JOSEF A. BENGTS was born in Yttermark, Närpes on October 3, 1869. He graduated from high school in his home city and completed his military service in the sharp shooters battalion in Vasa in two years. He came to America in 1895 and first worked as a wire drawer in a Worcester, Mass. factory. He later worked as "horse and driver" in the same factory where he was responsible to see that the bundles of wire were moved at the proper time from one place to the next proper location. In March of 1892 he accepted responsibility as a traveling agent for "Finska Amerikanaren", visiting many cities and towns in Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Later he worked a short time in Duluth, Minn. but was injured at work, following which he again assumed duties as traveling representative for "Finska Amerikanaren," visiting the states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Illinois in addition to the states previously named.

He had employment with the Finnish Family Grocery of Worcester, Mass. and on March 21, 1900 he married Maria Mangs. In 1901 he became manager of the Gardner Finnish Cooperative Grocery Co. in Gardner, Mass. and remained in that position until 1907 when he again traveled for "Finska Amerikanaren". In 1908 he went to Butte County, South Dakota where he accepted and occupied a homestead where he continues to live to this day. He now owns a 200 acre farm and in addition farms 1,200 acres of leased farm land. He runs a so-called "diversified farm" including the rearing of cattle, hogs and other animals. Mr. Bengts has always worked for the good of his church and the community wherever he lived. In Worcester he worked diligently for the establishment of the Swedish-Finnish Lutheran Church and was its caretaker and first Sunday School Supt. He has labored diligently for the cause of temperance wherever he lived and was active in the establishment of a number of temperance societies among the Finland Swedes. Recently he has been serving as an assistant judge in Cash township together with having been the "census enumerator" for the 1920 census. He also served as secretary of the school board of his district.

FRED COLE (KOLL) was born in Kållby, Pedersöre, near Jakobstad in 1883 in a home where he had seven siblings. His father died when he was five, and when he was seven, he became self-supporting. He delivered papers and was an errand boy for his uncle, Erik Koll, who was a building contractor, and buyer of trees and forests.

At 18 he came to the United States and lived in Bessemer, Mich. where his uncle was a mine foreman. Mining, however, was not to his liking so he looked for work in Ashland, Wis. In the homeland he had acquired knowledge about lumber and wood products which he was able to use in Ashland. Later he went to Superior and was employed by the firm of Barrett and Record. Early on he received instructions to supervise the building of barges which was well within his sphere of knowledge. Then came the construction of the Hanna coal docks followed by similar work for Whitney Brothers. He was then employed by Superior Shipbuilding Co. to supervise the reconstruction of their dry dock in Superior. He then moved to Port Arthur in Canada where he worked for a time in the shipyard supervising the construction of many freighters plus the largest passenger liner now plying the Great Lakes. From Port Arthur he went to Seattle, Wash. where he supervised the construction of 11 barges and a submarine, accomplishing all this within a four-month period.

At the time of the start of the World War, we find Fred Cole again in Port Arthur. When work slackened off in Port Arthur, he moved to Duluth where he became chief inspector in the McDougal-Duluth Shipyard. In the beginning he supervised 6 people but as economic conditions improved as a result of the war, manpower in the shipyard increased to at least 3,000 men.

Cole has always been popular with his workers and for that matter with all his contacts. He is now married for the second time. His wife and daughter now live in Detroit while he pursues his boatbuilding career in many places. For the present he is in Duluth for the construction of a smaller steamship for the Duluth-Superior Dredging Co.

ANDREW EASTMAN was born in Purmo on April 1, 1855. He remained at home in his father's homestead until he became 18 years old when he left for Åbo where he worked in a shipyard and also in a carpenter shop. He then moved to Helsingfors where he obtained employment as a carpenter. But after three years, he contracted America fever and set his course for the land in the west. That journey soon brought him to Minneapolis, Minn. where he still continues to live.

He began his career in the new land by becoming a hod carrier; that is, he carried bricks and mortar up the ladder to the masons building the walls. The use of hoistts and lifts was still in its infancy in those days. Then he learned the art of brick laying and stone masonry. In a few years he became a foreman and gradually became a building contractor in his own right.

Andrew Eastman had become a practicing Christian during his youth so that upon arrival in Minneapolis he joined the Lutheran Augustana Congregation in that city and participated with zeal and interest in its warm church life. He has represented his church at many conference and synodical meetings where he has expressed his views in his clear East Bothnian style using his beloved mother tongue.

Andrew Eastman is married and has six children.

EMIL EKBLAD was born in Wasa on June 3, 1874. He completed high school (folkskolan) and also some courses in the Wasa Swedish Lyceum and then settled on a commercial career. In 1902 he went to America and settled for a time in Worcester, Mass. but soon moved to Gardner, which became his home town for many years. He became active in both church and society circles. He was a member of the building committee when Sveaborg's social hall was constructed. He was president of the sick benefit society, Star of East Bothnia and president of the National Society which acquired and supports the park where the Finland-Swedish societies hold their summer festivals. He is also a member of numerous other societies and was the last vice president of the temperance society and was elected vice president of the Order of Runeberg when it was formed as an amalgamation of the temperance and sick benefits societies in 1920.

Ekblad was a notary public and justice of the peace in Worcester County and operated the largest real estate business in Gardner. He was one of the founders of the Chairtown Cooperative Bank of Gardner and served on its board of directors until moving from Gardner in 1921.

Longing for his fatherland became overpowering so that in the summer of 1921 he said farewell to America and returned to his native city of Wasa. For a time he served as an officer in the stock company Fram and served as its chief of publicity. He also handled the advertising section for the newspaper Vasa Posten. In addition he was a member of and president of the Wasa Swedish Church Choir. He became a member of the Vasa Temperance Society, Vasa Brage, Friends of Labor, and the Vasa Sailing Club. He was also corps chief for the Wasa volunteer fire-fighting unit for a two-year period.

America fever once again became dominant and he returned in 1925, this time to Detroit, Mich. Within a year he again became a notary public in Wayne County. He also directed the Finnish section of the Swedish American lines office inthe Temple Building at 73 Monroe Ave. He also operates a fire insurance and real estate business.

Ekblad has been a representative and correspondent for the newspaper "Finska Amerikanaren" for 25 years and in 1925 he made a business trip for its interest at the time of its reorganization. He is well known among his countrymen as "Wasa Emil." His newspaper articles carry the signature Emil E. Longing for his motherland has dictated 15 Atlantic crossings so far.

PROF. ELMER A. FORSBERG, MFA, was born in the village of Yxpila in the province of Gamlakarleby on July 16, 1883. He came to the United States with his parents as a boy of eight in 1891. By 1898 he had graduated from the public schools of Chicago and become employed by the newspaper "Gamla och Nya Hemlandet" (the old and new homeland) where he labored for a time, moving to the firm, Charles A. Stevens and Brothers. He was employed there until 1904 when he entered the technical school of the Chicago Art Institute. When he completed his studies there in 1908, he was accepted as an instructor. He is now a member of the faculty, serving as professor and head of the drafting, painting and illustrations department. He has also been a faculty member at the Wisconsin School of Arts in Milwaukee and the Chicago School of Applied Normal Arts. He made study trips to Europe in 1911 and 1924-25. In 1926 he arranged for an art exhibition of paintings from Finland at the Chicago Art Institute, later moving it to the Milwaukee Art Institute, then to Herron Institute in Indianapolis and on to Kentucky University and other locations.

He is a member of many art societies, the Association of Chicago Painters and Sculptors and the Chicago Galleries Association.

During the First World War he was the chairman of the Finnish Section of the Foreign Language Division of the United States War Loan Organization of the Seventh Federal District. At the present time he is chairman of the Finland Committee and member of the Committee of Nationalities for the Chicago 1933 World's Fair. He is the President of the Chicago Art Institute Alumni Assn. and the Chicago Art Institute Faculty Assn. His other memberships include the Cliff Dwellers, the Lake Shore Athletic Club, The Finnish American Athletic Assn. and the Swedish Club.

In 1923 Finland's President named him a Knight of Finland's White Rose, First Class, and the following year he was appointed Finland's Consul in Chicago.

Professor Forsberg was married in 1915 to Anna Sandquist also from Gamlakarleby. They have two children.

JOHN A. FORSMAN is a native of Pedersöre where he hardly had time to wear-in his teenage shoes before coming to the United States. He was only 17 when he arrived. Without money or a trade like all others, especially those arriving during Cleveland's administration, he had to be satisfied with the heaviest of body labor. Several years flew by. He did have a desire for knowledge but was short on means. As an older "he-man" he had the problem of reconciling himself to the requirements of spending time in school.

Nevertheless, in the fall of 1902 he entered Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. where he studied long enough and hard enough to complete academy requirements and obtain credit for his freshman year at the college. Later he continued his studies at the state university where he received his bachelor of science degree.

After completing his academic studies, he became the Supt. of the Swedish Lutheran Children's Home in Andover, Ill., following which he served as an instructor in natural sciences, agriculture and handicrafts in the high school in Stephen, Minn.

Many of our countrymen forget their roots when they are fortunate enough to garner a smattering of knowledge. John A. Forsman was not numbered in that category. He always loved his own people. In the summer of 1912 he settled in Duluth and organized a real estate company, the West Duluth Realty Co., which he still leads.

He has always been an ardent champion for temperance, working for that cause in conjunction with members of the Anti-Saloon League. Ever since moving to Duluth, he has been an active member of the Bethel Lutheran Church where he served for many years as a deacon even to the point of occupying the pulpit during the absence of the pastor. He has been an unfailing supporter and leader in the work of the congregation. His work with the young people and children has been of special help and significance. He was the director of the Sunday School for 17 years, serving with insight, love and ardor. He was a member of the board of the Minnesota Lutheran Conference Orphanage in Duluth.

John Forsman has been very active in Sick Benefit Society work both locally and nationally, most especially in the formation of the Order of Runeberg, serving as its first president. He is married and the father of three sons and a daughter.

DR. CARL J. FRANZ (Rösgren) was born in Norrnäs, Närpes in 1899. He came with his mother to America in 1912 and settled in Butte, Mont., entered the city's schools as a thirteen-year-old boy with learning the new language as his first obligation. This he quickly mastered with complete satisfaction. He soon outpaced his American schoolmates who had been in school much longer than he. He quickly completed High School and entered Butte Business College where he completed his courses in short order, following which he continued his studies in the North Pacific Dental College in Portland, Oregon where he received his doctor's certificate. Thus it seem that he completed what is usually considered 20 years' worth of study in a period of 11 years despite the fact that he had as an immigrant, to begin his upward climb on the very lowest step. At the present time (1931) he is a practicing dentist in Spokane, Wash.

PASTOR JOHN GULLANS, D.D. was born in Övermark on January 23, 1870. At 17 he followed others in coming to the land in the West, arriving in Branford, Conn. on May 24, 1887. He labored in a factory until the fall of 1890 when his desire for education drew him to Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. He graduated from the college in the spring of 1898 and then in the fall of 1899 matriculated in the theological seminary in the same school complex. He completed his theological studies and was ordained a pastor on June 15, 1902.

His first pastorate was the newly established Finland-Swede congregation in Worcester, Mass. where he remained until 1908 when he accepted a call to Everett, Wash. After serving that congregation, he accepted a call to the recently established Finland-Swede congregation in Seattle, Wash. His service there was not of long duration since in the summer of 1911 he accepted a call to return to the Worcester church. In 1914 he accepted the call from the Swedish Finn Lutheran St. John's congregation in Brooklyn, N.Y. His service there reached the point where that congregation could sponsor a congregation in Bronx, N.Y. In the fall of 1924 he left Brooklyn to concentrate on the church in the Bronx which he still serves. During his student years, he served many congregations as assistant preacher and/or teacher.

Dr. Gullans, during his years of service, accomplished an astonishing amount of work in his many congregations. If someone were to be designated a pioneer and leader among the Finland Swedes, Dr. Gullans surely deserves that designation. In Worcester during his first pastorate, a roomy, substantial and well built first floor of the church was constructed and Pastor Gullans was responsible for the ingathering of the necessary funds. During his two years in Everett, Wash., he worked to develop the interest of his countrymen in the outskirts areas. He established a congregation in Hartford and another in Seattle. Besides his other missionary work, he edited a monthly paper called "Sionsbladet". In Brooklyn and the Bronx he has accomplished heroic work. In Brooklyn a church building was purchased and in the Bronx a church building was built.

In addition to Dr. Gullans' need to expend a great deal of energy in the work of his local congregations, his talents were in great demand by the needs of the larger church. Among other things, he has been a member of the board of the Swedish Lutheran immigrant home in Boston, serving as its treasurer. In Washington he was also secretary of the Columbia Lutheran Conference and also secretary of its mission board. While in the New York area, he was also a member of the board of the Lutheran Orphanage in Jamestown, N.Y. and the Immigrant home in New York City. Within the New York District he was president for two years, and was manager of the fund-raising effort for Upsala College.

During the years when rental housing was practically non-existent in New York, Dr. Gullans was in demand from his countrymen for help in organizing cooperatives for the purchase of large apartment buildings. He served a chairman and advisor for five such cooperatives. In addition he was also active in the formation of the corporation which now owns "Finska Amerikanaren" and for a time he was a member of its governing board. In 1920 as a representative for Finland, he was designated by the mayor of New York to be a speaker at a loyalty mass meeting honoring General Pershing and Prime Minister Colby.

While Dr. Gullans has been a citizen of the United States since 1893, he has nevertheless followed carefully the strivings and progress in his homeland even to the extent of having made two visits there.

His meritorious contributions to his denomination have been appreciated in that in 1929 he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity by Upsala College of East Orange, N.J.

In 1902 he was married to Clara A. Johnson and that union was blessed by two sons and a daughter. Sad to say the daughter died at an early age.

When we reflect on Dr. Gullans' eventful life which is characterized by intense interest and love of work, it appears much more remarkable when we remember that during much of his life he was more or less plagued by poor health.

E. WILLIAM HOLM was born in Rangsby, Närpes on August 7, 1875. He lost his mother at an early age. His early education was received in an elementary school where the students had to be in their seats by 6 o'clock in the morning and in order to be sure of having learned his lessons well which was his most earnest desire - it often meant that he needed to get up at 2 in the morning. He later attended high school (folkskolan) and was the first student from his community to receive his graduation certificate.

At the age of 16 his home became too crowded, so he departed for America. He arrived during the 1892-93 depression years when times were difficult for every-one. He worked in Michigan in the sawmills, in the forests and on the railroad and even on board ship when necessary. His inclination, however, was toward books and education. He entered North Park College in Chicago, Ill. at the age of 24 where he studied the commercial course. He actually was the first Finland Swede to attend that school. He completed his course of study in 3 years but later attended Suomi College in Hancock, Mich. for an additional year of study. He was the first Finland Swedish student to attend that college also.

After completing his studies, he entered the field of commerce, coming first to Worcester, Mass. and later to Gladstone, Mich. In 1906 he came to Duluth, Minn. where the West Duluth Mercantile Co. was organized wth Mr. Holm as manager which position he still occupies. The company under his leaderhip has grown to be one of the most significant businesses owned by a Finland Swede here in the United States.

Mr. Holm has been very active in society life. He was one of the first Finland Swedes to become active in sick benefit and temperance work and was often sent as a delegate to annual meetings during the years when temperance work was carried on jointly by Swedish-speaking and Finnish-speaking Finns. He is now a member of the Order of Runeberg where he serves as treasurer. He is also a member of many American clubs and societies.

He has been very active in the Bethel Lutheran Church of West Duluth where he has been a trustee and treasurer for many years.

In 1905 he was married to Anna Frost who also comes from Närpes.

Andrew Ostrand wrote the following to Mr. Holm: "I saw and remember you in the school at Suomi College and North Park College. I considered you as an example and leader that inspired many. I saw you as one among our first representatives at the Finnish National Alliance annual meeting that later gave rise to the idea of the Swedish Finn Temperance League, etc. Yes, your mark is clearly stenciled on the first page of Finland Swedish History but perhaps will never be recorded. Honor and thanks for your noble strivings."

J. VICTOR JACOBSON was born in Munsala on August 19, 1879 and almost 20 years later arrived in the United States. Since his arrival he has lived in Ironwood, Mich. After short periods of employment in a number of establish-ments, he landed a position in a clothing store where he remained for 18 years. He then took and passed the Post Office exam and remained there about 3 years.

However, the area which is of great significance to his countrymen was where he made his greatest contributions and therein lies the most meaningful phase of his life. As early as 1902, he assisted in organizing the Swedish Finn Temperance Alliance of America. He was a member of its Board of Directors serving at various times in each and every office. Likewise, he was a member of the sick benefit society serving in positions of trust.

When the Order of Runeberg was formed in 1920 by the merger of the Temperance Allicance and the Sick Benefit Alliance, Jacobson was elected as treasurer of the merged order. In 1925 he was elected as secretary and with that election he also became the editor of its paper "Leading Star" which position he still occupies. The work in this area is of great significance and great cultural value for the future of his countrymen.

Jacobson is also a member of Zion Lutheran Church of Ironwood, Mich. where he has also occupied many positions of trust. He has served as chairman of trustees, secretary and treasurer of the building committee when the church as under construction. He is also a member of the board of the Superior Conference charitable organization.

He has even been involved in the city's political life, serving as an alderman for two years.

By his straightforward East Bothnian temperament, Jacobson has won many friends wherever he has gone. He is known among his countrymen nationwide. His fluent speech and quick wit serves him well.

He was married in 1903 and has a daughter who is a student at the state university.

BLANCHE IRENE JOHNSON was born in Ashland, Wis. in 1905. She was educated in the schools of her native city, Ashland, and was the first Finland Swede to graduate from both the grammar school and high school of that city. She later graduated from Northland College, also in Ashland, where she specialized in mathematics, voice and music, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1925.

She had been active in her home congregation since the age of thirteen, serving as both organist and Sunday School teacher. During her student days she traveled widely with the ladies student quartet. During the summer of 1924 that quartet gave concerts in various cities in Massachusetts and other New England states.

Following graduation, she spent two years as Librarian at Huntington College in Huntington, Indiana, followed by three years as a mathematics teacher in the Painesdale, Mich. school system. She is now teaching voice in the Proctor, Minn. school system.

She was a soloist with the Runeberg Chorus on their 1930 European tour. She has also sung in many other concerts and also over the radio in many cities including Boston and Springfield, Mass., Fort Wayne, Ind. and Calumet, and Duluth, Minn.

Blanche Johnson in many ways is a good example of the rising generation among the Finland Swedish people in the United States.

JOHN K. JOHNSON was born in Vörå in 1864. In 1886 he entered military service in Vasa but spent his first year in Russia and his second year in Villmanstrand. He spent his third and last year with the reserve company in Laihela where he became a corporal and then was designated to be company commander.

In 1890 he decided to try his luck in America, arriving in Ashland, Wis. on the 22nd of May. During his first 10 years in Ashland, he was employed in iron and charcoal work shops. For the next 10 years, he earned his living in the milk business which evidently led to awakening his interest in agriculture which became his final occupation.

Early on he became interested in many things. Thus we find him involved in the organization of the Scandinavian Publishing Co. He was a member of the board and was the company's secretary. He helped organize a "help and unity" society, serving as its president for many years. He also was involved in organizing a temperance work among the Finland Swedes in Ashland, an activity that still consumes much of his time. Likewise, he was involved in establishing the great Väinö Chorus (Väinökökren) in Ashland at and one point served as its president.

Mr. Johnson has also been active in church work. He was one of the founders of the Bethany Lutheran Church in Ashland and has served as its secretary, council member, and deacon. He made important contributions to the Sunday School, being elected its superintendent in 1912 and still continues in that office. For many years he played an active role in young peoples work. He has occupied many positions of trust in his congregation, conference and synod.

During the world war, he organized a Red Cross Chapter among the women of his congregation which accomplished much laudable work, which brought honor to the Finland Swedish people. He is a member of the Farmers Cooperative Union and Ashland Hospital Association.

WALDEMAR JOHNSON belongs to the younger generation of Finland Swedes in America. He was born in Ashland, Wis. on February 16, 1904. He lost his mother at an early age through death. Following her death, he accompanied his father back to the homeland where he grew up in Östensö, Pedersöre. The father returned to America the following year. The lad went through "folkskolan", was confirmed and returned to America in 1919.

As soon as he returned to the states, he began to study English with private teachers and in a little over a half year, he was accepted as a student at Denfield High School in Duluth, Minn. He finished the four-year course in three years and went on to State Teachers College in Superior, Wis. where he studied to become a high school teacher, receiving his Bachelor of Education degree. He entered Iowa State University in the fall of 1928 where he studied History and Psychology. He received his Master of Arts degree following the public presentation of his thesis on "The Liberal Movement in Finland from 1863-1900". His father died in 1924.

He became a teacher in the High School in Humbird, Wis. at New Years time in 1930, and became its principal the following year. He married Elvira Thompson in August 1930.

ELVIRA THOMPSON. Her career is just as interesting as that of her husband, Waldemar Johnson. She was born in Duluth in 1908 and traces her lineage to the Pedersöre district just like her husband. Her parents lived for a time on a farm a few miles from Duluth so she went to school there. Later her parents returned to Duluth so she graduated from Duluth High School. She, like her husband, finished the four-year high school course in three years. She matriculated at State Teachers College in Superior, Wis. and completed the four-year course in 2 1/2 years. She is presently a teacher in Humbird, wis. teaching English and history of the Middle Ages. She is also Librarian at the school library.

During her student days she made quite a name for herself as a debater since she was never bested in any of her debates.

PASTOR FRANS E. W. KASTMAN was born in Övermark on July 10, 1881. He attended grammar and high school in his home town and was confirmed in 1897. Two years later, when the home became too crowded, he like many thousands of others, made his way to the land in the west. During his first year, he took his hard knocks in Kenosha, Wis. and then in the fall of 1900 he entered Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. He finally passed his student exams in the spring of 1907.

That fall he matriculated at the Theological Seminary in Rock Island, Ill. completing his studies there in 1910 and received ordination at the Augustana Synod's jubilee convention in June of that year. He has completed post graduate work at the university in Seattle and at Augustana Theological Seminary in Rock Island, Ill.

During his student years, he assisted in many congregations and after ordination he has had the following pastorates: Ashland-Bayfield, Wis.; Seattle, Wash.; Dollar Bay-Hancock, Mich.; Ironwood, Mich.; Gardner, Mass.; and recently Bessemer, Mich. which has recently been united with the Zion congregation in Ironwood, Mich.

Pastor Kastman had been the Secretary of the Superior Conference for about a year when he resigned just prior to his departure for the east coast. Also he has served as presiding officer, secretary, statistician and treasurer at various times in his Mission District. During his time of service in the Seattle area of Washington, he organized a congregation in Port Blakely, also erecting a church building there. While in Gardner, he was involved in enlarging and renovating the church building. And just two years ago in Bessemer, Mich. he was involved in the construction of a beautiful new church building.

Pastor Kastman married Maria Ahlsten in 1910. They have two children.

ALEX KOLL is a native of the Pedersöre district where he was first heard from in 1882. He grew up, went to school, and lived in both "Gamlakarleby" and "Jakobstad" and held business positions in both cities. He says the following about his trip to America: "I left Jakobstad in 1903 at the age of 21 when a group of young men decided to thumb their noses at the Russian military conscription which sent so many young men out of the country for service in Russia." He came first to Astoria, Oregon, but remained only a short time when he continued his journey to Seattle, Wash., arriving there in August 1903. There he engaged in many kinds of work for about two years until he was able to master the English language. In 1905 he obtained employment in a Seattle business firm and two years later in a colonial trading company. Two years later he, together with Alfred Wicks, started their own colonial trading company which has met with great success during the last 20 years.

Mr. Koll has participated with his countrymen in temperance work beginning back when he lived in Gamlakarleby where he was a member of a temperance society and later in Jacobstad where he was the secretary. During his short stay in Astoria, he helped to organize a temperance society and served as its secretary. In Seattle he collaborated in temperance work and in 1922 was elected as president of the local Order of Runeberg lodge, a position he occupied for four years.

Mr. Koll has a glowing interest in many things and subjects but perhaps most especially in Swedish culture, Swedish language and Swedish literature which includes a deep affection for his native country.

In 1910 he married Hanna Lillquist and they have reared three lively children, a son and two daughters. The Koll family have much interest in Lutheran church work among their countrymen. They are members of the Emmaus Lutheran Church.

DR. JACOB ERIK NYQUIST was born in Sundsvall, Sweden but together with his family returned to their home city of Kvevlax, near Vasa, following a four-year stay in Sundsvall. He spent his childhood there, finishing two years of Folkskolan. In 1886 he came to America with his mother, settling in Bessemer, Mich. where his father had already been living for four years. His mother died six months after they arrived in Bessemer. In Bessemer he spent two years in the city's schools. His father was killed in a mining accident four years after his mother's death. So now we find the lad, Jacob, an orphan in a strange country. He did have relatives in Hopkins, Minn. so he went to live with them there. He got work in a factory where he remained for about a year. In the fall of 1892 he traveled to St. Peter, Minn. where he enrolled in the academy at Gustavus Adolphus College, where he remained for seven years, passing his student examinations in 1899. He then worked as a school teacher for about a year after which he continued with his studies. Actually he matriculated in the State University School of Medicine and after completing the required course of studies received his medical doctor's certificate in the summer of 1905.

He opened his medical office in Cloquet, Minn. remaining in practice there for about 10 years when he moved to Duluth where he is a practicing physician with office in the western part of the city.

Dr. Nyquist has cooperated with his countrymen in their cultural and other pursuits. He has helped in sick benefit society work, serving on occasion as a delegate to various functions. At present he is assisting in the work of the Order of Runeberg.

He is a member of one of our Lutheran churches in the city and served as a Sunday School teacher and board member for many years. At the present time, he teaches the Bible class. He has often been a delegate to conference and synod meetings.

Dr. Nyquist was married in 1908 and has one son.

In 1929 the Nyquist family traveled to Europe. In addition to their homeland, they visited Sweden, Germany and Austria. Dry. Nyquist also pursued special studies in surgery and medicine. The trip through Sweden and Finland was made by automobile. The doctor had the special privilege of visiting his old home town of Kvevlax.

ANDREW OSTRAND was born in Pörtom parish on June 11, 1877. He spent his childhood in the village of "Sidbeck" where he attended high school (Folkskolan). He arrived in America at the age of 20 and lived for his first five years in northern Michigan where he labored in the forests, mines, saw mills and on the railroad.

In the fall of 1902 he entered North Park College where he studied English and bookkeeping, finishing the three-year course of study in the spring of 1905.

In the summer of 1904, Mr. Ostrand was chosen to be secretary of the Swedish-Finn Temperance Society, remaining in that post until 1907. Also he was the Editor of the Society's newspaper "Leading Star" during 1906 and 1907, following which he had the position of president and treasurer of the society. In addition Mr. Ostrand was the treasurer of the Swedish-Finn Sick Benefit Society many years up until the amalgamation of the two societies under the name of "Order of Runeberg".

Mr. Ostrand's most important work was, in fact, his labor in behalf of the cooperative business in Crystal Falls, Michigan where he served as its business manager for 20 years. Under his skillful management, the cooperative became a flourishing business, blossoming from an insignificant beginning in the spring of 1911 to the present with an annual sales of many hundreds of thousands of dollars. The cooperative is now valued at $150,000.

Besides his active membership in the Order of Runeberg, Mr. Ostrand also held active memberships in many American organizations among which is the local Rotary Club where he has been its president.

He has also been active in the First Lutheran Church and the local YMCA where he has been its president.

In 1908 he married Edna Grönlund from Dollar Bay. They have one son and two daughters.

PASTOR CARL J. SILFVERSTEN was born in Närpes in 1879, completing the regulation High School course in two years, receiving his completion certificate in 1895. He studied at the Nykarleby teachers seminary from 1897-1899 and then came to the United states in 1899. He worked for a little over a year on the railroad. He then entered Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. in the fall of 1900 and transferred to Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. in 1903. He graduated in 1907, studied theology at the Chicago Lutheran Seminary and Augustana Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1909. He received his Master of Arts degree in 1910 through his studies of Swedish, Norwegian and Danish literature.

Pastor Silfversten has served congregations in Worcester, Mass., Gladstone and Ironwood, Mich. and Rhinelander, Wisc. and since 1920 has been the senior pastor of the Bethel Lutheran Church in Duluth. He has been a member of the Superior Conference board (Lutheran) serving as its secretary for one year, as the Ogema District Luther League President for two years, as Superior Conference secretary for four years, and as the Duluth District President for one year.

Pastor Silfversten's publications include "Christian Science vs. the Bible" 1915, "Greetings from the Homeland" 1926, and "Bethel Lutheran Church History" 1928. At the present time he edits and publishes the Bethel Bulletin. He has also submitted many articles on Church and Religious subjects to various news media.

Pastor Silfversten organized the Vasa congregation in North Escanaba, Mich. in 1910 and the Immanuel Church in French River, Minn. 1924 which he still serves.

He is a member of the Swedish Historical Society, Augustana Historical Society, Minnesota Historical Society, National Geographic Society, People's War Power Society and St. Louis County Historical Society. He was active in organizing the Swedish Culture Society of Duluth in 1924 and is its president.

Pastor Silfversten married Ellen Benson in 1909. They have three children.

ED SMITH was born in the Korsholm Parish on August 15, 1867. He was one of the few who was able to attend High School in the entire Korsholm Parish. But the desire for education, coupled with energy, served to propel him to make the long walks alone so that he finally received his completion certificate.

As a 17-year-old youth he set his course for the United States specifically to the mining district of Michigan. In Michigan he worked for a time in different iron mines but about 40 years ago he moved to the iron mining area in St. Louis County, Minn. The extensive mining districts of Vermilion and Mesaba had just been opened and Ed Smith obtained employment with the mining company. He worked hard and diligently and after about 10 years was made mine captain. This position he occupied for two years when he was appointed by the State of Minnesota to be the inspector of all mines in St. Louis County which encompasses the largest iron ore field in the whole world. It is estimated that at least 40 million tons of iron ore are produced each year in this county. Since Ed Smith became the mine inspector, he has induced the mining companies to take steps to improve safety in the mines which has reduced mortality to the lowest point known in any mining area. Smith's responsibility extends over about 200 mines.

He is a member of the Swedish Lutheran Church of Eveleth and has filled many positions of trust therein. He is also a member of many societies in the city including the Order of Runeberg where his work was of basic importance in that he was among the founders of the Temperance Society in 1898 which was named Runeberg. In addition he is a member and director of the Northern Minnesota Engineers Club and also the Lake Superior National Safety Council.

He is married and has three children. His wife hails from Kvevlax. The family has made two trips to the homeland.

PASTOR ANDREW JOHNSON-STORMANS was born in Pedersöre on October 17, 1879. His parents were warm Christians who through exhortation and advice caused a deep religious disposition to take root in his being. He attended the village schools and later night school which caused him to accumulate the necessary knowledge to obtain his certificate from high school.

In mid-winter of 1902 he was stricken with America fever with his first place of residence being Metropolitan, Mich. However, it wasn't long before he continued his journey all the way to Tacoma, Wash. where he at first was employed as a builder. He soon joined a Swedish Baptist Church in Tacoma and became very involved in church work especially among the youth serving as Sunday School Superintendent and youth leader.

Because of his talent as a speaker and youth leader, he was early on urged to begin to study for the ministry and since he had already been leaning in that direction, he enrolled in the fall of 1903 in the Swedish Baptist Seminary in Chicago which was a division of Chicago University. During Christmas and summer vacations, he served congregations in Waterville, Kansas; Felch, Mich.; Duluth, Minn. and Chicago, Ill. In the spring of 1907 he withdrew from the role of student in favor of serving in the ministry and accepted a call to the Finland-Swedish Baptist Church in Chicago. He has also served congregations in Tacoma, Wash.; Butte, Mont.; Seattle, Wash. and now serves the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Duluth, Minn.

Pastor Stormans has undertaken many missionary journeys through many different states. He has also assisted in establishing congregations in San Francisco, Calif.; Hartford, Wash. and New York, N. Y.

In addition to his pastoral activities he has for many years served as secretary for the Finnish Baptist Mission Society in America, this while acting as associate editor of that society's inhouse newspaper "Missions Posten".

Pastor Stormans married Marie L. Risberg in Chicago in 1929. They have two children, a son and a daughter.

PASTOR EDWIN SUNDT was born December 16, 1891 in Helsingfors, Finland. He completed his schooling in that city and came to Galveston, Texas in 1910 where he obtained employment in a business establishment. After a few years, he tried to organized his own business but after various experiences he again accepted employment as a manager first in a business in Georgetown and later in Somersville, Texas.

In 1921 he left the business world to enter Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Penn. as a student. He was ordained in April 1924 as a Baptist pastor. He continued his education while serving a congregation and received his Master of Theology degree in 1930.

In 1929 he became a traveling preacher and missionary to rural congregations in the Baptist association. Recently he has been writing religious articles for various newspapers and has worked with A. J. Myers in completing the book called "The Country Church As It Is".

Pastor Sundt was married in 1914 and has three children.

JOHN UDELL was born September 19, 1880 in the Malax Parish of East Bothnia, Finland. He was educated in the elementary schools of his local community followed by completion of the required High School (Folkskolan) curriculum. In 1900 his America fever became so strong that he decided to travel to the promised land in the west. Dollar Bay, Mich. became his first stopping place.

In the fall of 1902 he became a student in North Park College in Chicago, Ill. That was where he spent his next four years, studying business in addition to the normal college courses. His first venture into the business world occurred in Ashland, Wis. where, together with a Mr. Palmquist, he opened a small book store and printing company. He quickly sold out his share and moved to Ludington, Mich. where he obtained a position with the First National Bank. He advanced rapidly in responsibility and became the cashier of that bank. Later he became manager and head cashier of the Farmers' Savings Bank in the same city. After a stay of seven years, he set out for Los Angeles, Calif. where he obtained employment in an office.

However, his stay in Los Angeles was not long because in 1916 he was back in Michigan and obtained a position as clerk of the Benton Harbor Malleable Foundry Company which later entrusted him with the honor of becoming the company's treasurer. When a few of the leaders of that company together with Michigan's former governor, A. E. Sleeper, and bank commissioner F. W. Merrick in December 1919 purchased Muncie Malleable Foundry Co. in Muncie, Ind., John Udell became a partner and was entrusted with the head cashier's position together with the task of serving as a leader and director of the firm, a position he still occupies.

In addition to those responsible positions which he has so successfully fulfilled, he has also taken time to accomplish many worthy works among his countrymen. Just a short time after his arrival in the States, he became a member of a Temperance Society and has been very active ever since. He was among the leading forces that effected the organization of the Temperance Alliance among the Finland Swedes. John Udell together with Andrew Ostrand prepared the Alliance's handbook and By-laws. He also served the Temperance Alliance as its president for one year, Vice President for three years, Secretary five years and editor of its paper Leading Star for four years.

During his student days, he traveled as a representative for "Finska Ameriknaren" and received a comprehensive knowledge about his countrymen in many places throughout the country. This knowledge served him well when the booklet "Greetings from America" (Hälsning från Amerika) was prepared in 1904. It was Udell's pen that provided the important information about the Finland-Swedish people of that time. He was engaged by the Temperance Alliance on occasions as a traveling representative to extol the importance of temperance especially among his countrymen.

John Udell is a leading personality in many areas in his home city of Muncie, Ind., a city of about 50,000 people. He is a director of the Delaware County National Bank, the Muncie Rotary Club, Muncie Community Fund, and the Delaware County Tuberculosis Association; he is president of the Muncie Chamber of Commerce and the Muncie Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, etc.

He is married and has two daughters.

It is a beautiful life's work John Udell has fashioned these last 30 years and the most beautiful thing of all is that he has not forgotten his country, his people, or his Swedish language.

JOHN WÖRLUND was born in the Wöra parish on October 13, 1847. He came to the United States in 1873 and worked for a while in Renovo, Penn. following which he went to Benson Landing, Vermont. For a time he pursued his fortune in Canada, inspected a ship in Quebec, signed on and went to sea. But with thoughts of wife and children in the homeland, he signed off the ship in England and went to Sweden. He went first to Stockholm thinking he would find work there. Then he went to Gävle and Sandviken where he worked for a time. In letters from acquaintances he received word that work was plentiful in Norrland so he went up there. He soon came to Luleå where he united with his family and found more lasting employment there. He lived in Luleå for seven and a half years.

There was a great Christian awakening in Norrland at that time and Wörlund was changed. With Jacob he could say "I have seen God and my soul is saved."

From Luleå he came for the second time to the United States in 1883. He landed in Wood County, Wisconsin, which still continues to be his home. He occupied a large piece of land, cleared and broke up the ground until at least he had a large and attractive farm.

His family arrived the following year and he became a member of the Lutheran Church in Siegel, Wood County, about seven miles from Wisconsin Rapids. Early on he was elected as a deacon in the congregation, a position he occupied for many years. He even began to conduct Sunday School out there in the countryside. He served as a Sunday School leader for over 30 years. During that time two churches were built out in the country and when a congregation did not have a pastor Mr. Wörlund was often called upon to conduct the public worship service.

In 1913 the Wörlund family moved from Siegel into the city. There he was involved in building a third church to which he donated the church bell. He was often sent as a delegate to Conference and Synod meetings and even served as a preaching assistant on occasions. His first wife died a few years ago and he is now married to authoress Rosine Widfeldt.

Chapter 26:

A Few Prominent Finland Swedes - now deceased

We would gladly write a memorial rune about all those who during their life-span made significant contributions for the development of their adoptive country, but it would be an impossible task to gather the necessary facts about all the individuals who should be included in such an undertaking. Nevertheless, we will devote the final chapter to present the biographies of a few noteworthy departed countrymen.

EDVARD JOHANNES ANTELL whose name is so firmly inscribed in the annals of our people here in America that it can never be erased, was born on March 22, 1852 in Viborg. He was the son of the then Governor and later Senator Samuel Henrik Antell and his wife, Fanny, who was born Wallenius.

Having passed the necessary examination to be classed as a "student," he entered Helsingfors University in 1869 to study law. He quickly passed all examinations, following which he held the position of temporary vice provincial secretary in the Province of Nyland. With an unusually keen mind, quick witted and sharp repartee and with an ever ready alert wit and good humor, Antell soon became one of the most popular cavaliers in Helsingfors society of the 1870s and 80s. The young man's skill as a horseman and his support of equestrian sports also contributed to his popularity.

Law and civil service with their narrow and confining work did not fit into Antell's love for freedom and openness. So in 1887 he chose to steer his course to the free land in the west. Here he found, like all other new arrivals, that it was immediately necessary to start with hard laborious work, a fact which he himself has often stated as being of great benefit to him. Later he worked in commercial firms and as a traveling real estate agent for a couple of large companies. As an agent for one of those large firms, he visited his countrymen in many of the states of the Union as well as many areas of Canada and thus gained a knowledge of his countrymen on this side of the ocean.

This knowledge became very useful for Antell when he was called by his country-men in Worcester, Mass. in 1897 to become the editor of the recently established newspaper "Finska Amerikanaren". He remained in that post for about three decades until March 27, 1924, when he had to give up because of poor health and advancing age. He could look back on a long and laborious but also a successful and fruitful career. With good reason, a prominent Finland Swede characterized Antell as "a man who has done more than any other individual for the unity of the Finland Swedes in the United States and thereby forged a linkage between them and the homeland."

Editor Antell died on July 23, 1926 in Brooklyn, N.Y. leaving his spouse, Anna Antell (maiden name Hornborg) and six children. They were married in 1890.

(This biography was written by George E. Ervast.)

GABRIEL CARLSON was born in Korsnäs in 1861 and came to America in 1884. He settled in Minneapolis, Minn. where he labored for a time as a carpenter. One day while making repairs in a ready-made-clothing factory he noted how the raw material (cloth) was washed by hand. The idea came to him of how that might be done by machine. He fabricated an installation using brushes operated by air pressure and found that it worked. He was able to secure a patent on his idea. He transferred his patent to a firm in Springfield, Mass. which manufactured cleaning machinery. Carlson became a share owner in the company as well as a leader for the work force. He was elected to membership on the Board of Directors. Over the years Gabriel Carlson's ideas for improvement in the machinery resulted in great expansion of the company. The work force that in the beginning consisted of only six people grew mightily over the years, sometimes employing as many as 600 people. The name of the company was Confectioner's Machinery and Manufacturing Co. which name later was changed to National Equipment Co. now completely controlled by Americans.

Gabriel Carlson was a warm and religious man. He supported everything that was of benefit to his countrymen. Because of an accident in the factory, he was so badly injured that he died on April 19, 1908. He left his spouse and four children. His memory is revered among the Finland-Swedes of Springfield.

(This biography was supplied by Mrs. J. White of Springfield, Mass.)

JOHN NYBERG was born in the Nedervetil Parish on April 14, 1847. His parents both died when he was still a young boy so that early in life he had to learn to take care of himself. He arrived in America at the age of twenty, coming first to Chicago. But after a short stay he went to a lumber camp near Newago, Mich. working there until he mastered the new language. In Finland he had learned the watchmakers trade which he sought to pursue as soon as he had mastered the English language. After working in that trade for a couple of years in Newaygo, he was advised to go to Grand Rapids where prospects for greater income were brighter. There he worked for 55 years in the same company, truly an outstanding record for industry and loyalty. In Grand Rapids he made the acquaintance of Fredrika Johnson who belonged to the well-known Johnson clan from Jönköping. They were married on July 4, 1871. He Lord blessed them with seven children of which six are still living. Mrs. Nyberg was called home on August 1, 1922. Because of his dependability and talent, he became counselor, business agent and banker for hundreds of settlers. Anyone needing to sell or buy something consulted with Nyberg for advice and help. Especially when one needed to send money home to friends or family, Nyberg was the man to turn to. He fulfilled those consignments without charge and they amounted to many thousands of dollars over the years. His reputation for trustworthiness was such that hundreds of immigrants, many having no previous personal dealings with him, nevertheless were willing to entrust him with their hard-earned savings.

"Highly valued in the eyes of the Lord is the death of the pious." That quotation was brought forcefully home to us when we received word that the Lord had seen fit to call home John Nyberg, the organizer of the Bethlehem Congregation in Grand Rapids, Mich. For nearly 60 years, he had been a pillar of the congregation which he had organized as a newly married man. The couple, he a little over 20 and the bride just 18, had opened their home so that the third Swedish Lutheran congregation in Southern Michigan could be organized. Only recently having made peace with his God, he became the protector of the little congregation with the warmth and ardor of a new lover. When early on doctrinal strife and dissension crept into the little Swedish community, it was Nyberg's profession of fidelity and reverent leadership which, humanly seen, saved the recently established congregation from changing allegiance or simply passing into oblivion.

In the local congregation Nyberg has fulfilled all duties entrusted to him in an exemplary manner. Well read as he was, he exerted a deep influence on those who came under his leadership in Sunday School and Bible class. Few laymen have kept up with the flow of theological events to the extent practiced by John Nyberg. Even during the last few years, when his health forced him to be confined to his bed, he continued to devour the latest theological periodicals and books.

(This biography written by N.G.H. appeared in a 1928 issue of "Augustana.")

ANDREW A PALM was born in Nedervetil in August 1857. His formal education was limited to two weeks. He was forced to support himself when he was 11 years old. He came to America when he was 19. It is of course superfluous to say that he arrived with his only asset being the strength of his hands and a willingness to work hard. In that respect he was equal to other immigrants at that time.

He came to White Cloud, Mich. where he labored for about a year in saw mills and logging camps and then moved to Ludington which is also in Michigan. In 1891 he married Johanna Erickson from the Karleby parish in Finland. The following year, together with Jacob Anderson, he purchased a small furniture shop. Two years later he purchased Anderson's share and from then on he was the sole owner of the establishment. He continued to operate the shop alone for 30 years until it was taken over by his sons. Despite his lack of formal education and modern accounting methods, he was nevertheless able to establish his own operating and accounting system so that the business prospered. For what he lacked in formal business education, he substituted honesty which provided such confidence among the people that he became a wealthy man.

He was much interested in church work in the Swedish Lutheran church of his home city where he served as a "trustee" for many years, a deacon for 16 years and a Sunday School teacher for about 25 years. He was always faithful in attendance and if he was absent, it was a sure sign that he was not well.

Because he may have been deficient in formal education, he made sure that that did not carry over into his children, for they all graduated from high school and matriculated at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. Two of his sons are pastors in the Lutheran Church and the other two are businessmen. His two daughters are teachers.

At his death on May 21, 1927, he was mourned by his spouse, six children and an especially large circle of friends. During the period of his funeral, all business affairs in the city were closed and flags were flown at half staff. The floral display in his honor was unparalleled in the history of the city. His memory is honored by all who knew him.

(The information for the above biography was provided by his son, Pastor E. A. Palm.)

CHARLES SJÖBERG was born on Kuggö Island in the Pargas parish in 1877. He died on June 14, 1930 in Detroit, Mich. Sjöberg spent his earliest childhood years in southern Finland, later moving to Vörå where he completed his high school education. In the spring of 1898 he moved to Vasa. There he found his companion for life in 1904. He came to the United States in 1913, living for a time in Eveleth, Minn. In 1916 he moved to Detroit, Mich. where he remained for the rest of his life.

Sjöberg has played a leading role in many different societies in many different locations wherever he has chosen to live. As early as the time he spent in Vasa, he organized the Swedish Constitutional Workers Society. In Eveleth, Minn. he took an active part in the various Finland-Swedish societies in that city. In Detroit he organized "Länken N:R 49, S.F. of America" and has remained a driving force in that society.

Charles Sjöberg is survived by his wife and four children. Emil Ekblad writes about him as follows: "Sjöberg during his industrious working days took time to gather a large measure of knowledge through self study. His well-rounded educational attainments were at an exceedingly high level. In conversation and in discussion, he often surprised us by his ready inventive and ingenious answers and through his great insights into nearly all subject matters. In temperance work where he was a most zealous and devoted champion, he performed a significant and most telling labor. He was an asset for the Order of Runeberg, yes actually an asset for all Finland-Swedish peoples in Finland as well as in the United States."

Charles Sjöberg had a group of his poetic creations published under the title "Toner och Missljud" (Tunes and Discord).

(The information for this biography was taken from Finska Amerikanaren.)

B. A. SJÖBERG (Seaborg) is the name of a man we surely need to remember.

Sjöberg was born in Kristinestad, Finland on July 29, 1841 and died in Lewiston, Idaho on November 17, 1923. In 1855 Sjöberg, as a young man, was employed as an assistant in a Trading Co. in Vasa. This equipped him with the necessary business acumen to organize his own trading company there in Vasa which he managed from 1860 to 1866. This included owning and managing ocean-going trading ships. At about this time he leased the Ilhala Estate in "Storkyro" and served in that county's administration for about a year. Since this was a period of depression in Finland and because the country's economy was ailing, Sjöberg decided to emigrate to the United States. He arrived in New York in the fall of 1867 and moved to Jamestown, NY in 1868 because he had a contract with the New York Central Railroad.

In 1873 we find him in Astoria, Oregon where he changed his name to Seaborg. In 1879 he moved to Ilwaco, Wash. where he organized his first Salmon Packing Co. which he named "Aberdeen Packing Co." Later he established a total of 10 salmon canning factories in the following places: Ilwaco, Aberdeen, Bay Center, Fairhaven, Stanwood, Eagle Cliff and Bay View, all in the state of Washington; two in Oregon, in Astoria and Rogue River, plus one in Wrangel, Alaska. The factory in Fairhaven was at that time the largest in the world.

In addition to his fish-canning factories, he built a number of railroads and owned many steamships and business establishments. He also conducted extensive business dealings in Ilwaco, Wash. The city of Aberdeen received its name from Seaborg's Fish Canning Factory. He had purchased for a dollar two acres of land where Aberdeen's central business district is now located and later sold lots there for a dollar each.

Seaborg was also a politician. He was a member of Washington State's first senate in which he represented three counties. He was the chairman of the Senate's Commerce Committee. He even was a school committee member and served for 8 years on the harbor pilots commission.

His wife was from Vasa and a member of the Vasastjärna family. One of his sons was an agent for the fisheries commission of the State of Washington. He was killed in an accident a few years ago. Another son drowned. A daughter, Mrs. R. A. Hawkins, lives near Ilwaco and is proud of her lineage from Swedish Finland.

Seaborg savored life to the fullest. He often said, "it is difficult to think of life as it really is, working night and day and then, when you have finally learned how to live, you are called home." Seaborg's philosophy of life was his own: "Live according with the dictates of your conscience and give each one what is rightfully his; try to do your best; the Lord does not demand more than he gave." Those ideals contain the power which allowed him to prevail over all obstacles in an eventful life. A correspondent wrote the following in "Finska Amerikanaren" after Seaborg's death: "He was a man that, when the history of Oregon and Washington is written, he would be included. But in the eyes of Finland he was an emigrant. Most countries follow the fortunes of their sons and daughters in foreign countries, help them when necessary and rejoice when they do well. Many countries would have been proud to call Seaborg their son but not Finland." Those words by the correspondent are too harsh. It may be true that Seaborg may have devoted himself to his own interests and affairs to such an extent that he forgot his mother country and perhaps there he may be classified as a missing person.

Material for the above biography was supplied by J. E. Wicks.

DR. M. ÖSTMAN (Bergödoktorn), a man worthy of note among Finland Swedes. Östman was born on Bergö, an island in the archipelago south of Vasa on April 10, 1860 He was among 12 brothers and 3 sisters. Because of this and like so many others, it was necessary for him to support himself at a very young age.

Thus at the age of 12 we find him with the Mannelin Trading Company learning the fundamentals of landscaping and flower culture at the owner's estate near Metviken which later stood him in good stead. To begin with, it involved rising at three o'clock in the morning to hand-carry water from a well located alongside the principal building to insure that everything on the grounds was adequately watered and the paths completely raked before the specified hour. During the winter, it involved general oversight of the buildings and grounds of the whole estate. That he should eventually become responsible for the whole estate was not to his liking. Thus he became intrigued by an advertisement in a Helsingfors paper which caused him on the spur of the moment to board the steamer "Tärnan" for a trip to Helsingfors, the capital. He searched for and because of his boldness was able to land a position as assistant at the Angerska pharmacy and as part time helper at the pharmacist's estate near Borgå.

After seven years in the capital city, the young man's thirst for knowledge proved overpowering. He, therefore, made a number of study trips to Stockholm to garner more knowledge in the botanical as well as the medicinal fields. After satisfying his thirst in these areas, he returned to Bergö. He labored among the people there on the island and in the rural communities on the mainland, alleviating and healing sickness and disease, usually with very little compensation. His sympathetic, steadfast character and friendly manner won everyone's admiration.

That cupid's arrows were never able to penetrate his defenses is explained by the fact that he had promised his mother on her death bed that he would never marry. The world knows that he did keep that promise as long as he lived.

That Bergö also became too confining for his temperament became apparent since on November 28, 1901 we find him at the Vasa railroad station, flower-bedecked to begin his journey to America. The steamship Polaris left Hangö on New Years Eve as dusk was settling in while he joined everyone on deck with searching eyes contemplating the rapidly disappearing dearest land on earth. Hangö's "blinking eye" continued sending its farewell message late into the evening.

He arrived in Gladstone and Escanaba, Mich. and remained in that area until early spring of 1903, when he moved to Duluth. He remained there until October of that year when he set his course for the West Coast with Seattle as the target. Here he spent his remaining years, 25 in number.

Doctor Östman during his 23-year practice in Seattle gathered a circle of friends among his clientele that in many cases had come to him on crutches and who, after his treatment, threw them away because they could stand and walk without them.

Behind his mask of gruffness which he adopted in the best interest of his patients, there was a sympathetic heart in hiding. It did not pay to show it because it was not desirable to show weakness, only strength.

He was one of those who dauntless took the lead when Swedish culture and idealism was involved and his career can be compared to that of the exponents of Swedish culture at home in the mother country. Dr. Östman was truly one of those who belonged to the constellation of Finland-Swedish heroes. He also took his place among those who served humanity. Anointed by the desire to serve a suffering humanity, he had with untiring and never-ceasing spirit of self-sacrifice burned his energy on the altar of love and sympathy for the benefit of his fellow-man who have been met by sickness and adversity.

Dr. Östman was a true son of Finland. While he was separated from his mother country, he was never capable of replanting his roots in foreign soil. His heart always remained in summer dreamy Suomi.

The material for this biography was gleaned from Finska Amerikanaren.

Supplement to Chapter 17 "Congregations in the Central States"

The following material was received too late to be included in the original manuscript.

Swedish Finnish Baptist Congregation of Felch, Michigan. This congregation was organized on October 14, 1900. Prior to that time Pastors Nelson and M. Esselström had preached in the community occasionally. The congregation's first president was J. Kasen who served for a year until Andrew Kasen was elected who served until his death. In the year 1909 the congregation decided to build a church building and began work immediately and thus had the building completed before the end of the year. The spiritual work was handled by temporary speakers and visiting students. But in 1914 the congregation called its first pastor, Axel Edwards, who remained with them until 1917. After a vacancy of about a year, Pastor H. M. Myhrman was called who served the congregation for a year when he was succeeded by his brother Andrew Myhrman. The church building was rebuilt in 1921. Again a vacancy occurred because Pastor Myrhman moved away from the area. Thus the congregation received only occasional care for a two-year period until Pastor Edwards was again called and remained until the fall of 1926. He was succeeded by Andrew Kasen who remained until his death in 1928. B. E. Vinquist became his successor. He continues to serve and is especially effective in Sunday School and the women's society. Both have been and continue to be very energetic.

(The above material was sent in by Alf. Nylund.)

First Lutheran Church in Eveleth, Minn. is a congregation where the majority of the members are Finland Swedes. The congregation was organized on December 11, 1900. Even at that early date there were Finland Swedes present. The congregation's first Sunday School Superintendent was O. E. Örnberg a Finland Swede. The congregation now owns suitable property with the church building valued at $20,000 and the parsonage at $15,000. The membership numbers 295 communicants and 149 children.

(The above material was sent in by Pastor E. A. Lindgren.)

First Lutheran Church in Crystal Falls, Mich. About 75% of the membership in this congregation are Finland Swedes. However, no additional statistics were received.

REFERENCES The author lists the following literature as his sources of information for the preparation of this book.


Nedanstående böcker, tidningar och tidskrifter hava tjänat författaren vid insamling av material och fakta för utarbetandet av detta verk:

Allsvensk Samling, utgiven av Föreningen för svenskhetens bevarande I utlandet. Americanization of the Finns, John Wargelin, 1924. Annals of the Swedes in Delaware, J. C. Clay. Atlas of the World, Literary Digest, 1930. Augustana Synod Minutes, 1930. Boken om Vårt Land, Z. Topelius. Coos Bays Times, Southwestern Oregon Edition. Emigrationen och Finlands Ekonomi I 19:de Århundradet, O. H. Kilpi. Finlands Svenskar, olika författare. Finska Amerikanaren, The Finnish American, Inc. Från Amerikas Underland, Artur Hedlund. Församlingsbladet, Förbundet för svenskt församlingsarbete i Finland. Församlingshistorik, Ebenezer Baptistförsamling I Duluth, Minn. Historik över Svensk-finnarne i Worcester, Mass., Svenskfinska Nykterhetsvännerna. History of Minnesota, Wm. Folwell, 1930. Hälsning från Amerika, John Udell, 1904. Kyrkohistorik Årsskrift, 1929, Sverige. Korsbanéret, Augustana Book Concern, Rock Island, Ill. Ledstjärnan, S. F. Nykterhetsförbundet - Runebergorden Literary Digest, 1930, New York. Minnesalbum, pastor B. E. Walters, Metropolitan, Mich. Minnesota Stats Tidning, St. Paul, Minn. Minnesskrift, 1902-1927, S. F. Nykterhetsförbundet. Missionsposten, Finska Baptist-Missionsföreningen, Chicago, Ill., 1930. Människovännen, Jakobstad, Finland. National Geographical Magazine, 1930, Washington, D. C. Närpes Historia, K. I. Nordlund, 1928. Program from Singing Festival, Seattle, Wash., 1928. Protokollsutdrag, ur Finska Baptist-Missionsföreningens protokoll. Prärieblomman, 1910, Aug. Book Concern, Rock Island, Ill. Runeberkörens program från Finlandsresan 1930. Socialekonomisk Tidskrift. Svenskarnas Bosöttning I Finland, Prof. T. E. Karsten. Svensk-Finska Nykterhetsförbundet i Ord och Bild, S.F. Nykterhetsförbundet, 1917. Svensk-Finska Sändebudet, C. J. Silfversten, Duluth, Minn. Svenskt I Finland, olika författare. Svenskt Kyrkokoliv i Finland, Förbundet fö Svenskt församlingsarbete i Finland. Svenska Turistföreningens Årsbok, 1927. Swedish Settlements on Delaware, 1638-1664, Amadnus Johnson. Suomi, the Land of A Thousand Lakes, G. A. Hidén. The Indian Wars of Pennsylvania, C. Hale Sipes, 1929. The New International Encyclopedia, Dodd, Mead and Co. Toner och Missljud, Chas. Sjöberg, 1926. Utdrag ur protokoll från Lutherska Missionsföreningen, 1917-1918. Vasa Posten, Vasa, Finland, 1930. Vårt Svenskfolk I Amerika, Georg von Wendt, 1922. Vår Tid, Svenska Upplysningsbyrån, Helsingfors, Finland. Wasabladet, Wasa, Finland, 1930. Washington State, Great Northern Railway Co. Where Pennsylvania History Began, H. D. Paxon. Year Book and Directory 1928, Emmaus Luth. Church, Seattle, Wash.

Translated by Frans E. Strandberg, 1995, from FINLAND SWEDES IN AMERICA by Carl J. Silfversten, 1931.

Personal tools
blog comments powered by Disqus