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local government was organized, Andrew Anderson, Ed. Jacobson, Nels Magnusson, Alfred Maijala, Erkki Nieminen and Gotfrid Olson were elected the first selectmen. Some of these men were Swedish Finns; all of them proposed their township be named Vaasa. That name, however, was already in use, and the name Colvin was chosen, to honor a local timberman. When a local post office seemed to be in prospect, the Finns tried again to choose a name more to their liking and proposed Elo, but this time, it is said, the authorities in Washington hesitated, scanned the map, and chose Markham, after the nearby lake of that name.

The earliest organization in Markham was a workers' society, started in 1911, with membership over 50 at the end of the first year. Later it became an IWW organization, and still later, there was even a communist group in Markham. A cooperative was established in 1931, and in addition to its store it even built itself a hall. A temperance society, Lyhty (The Lantern), was started in 1933, and for several years it remained quite active.

For religious life, the local families had from the very beginning gone to church in Palo, a few miles away; they had even contributed funds to make the church in Palo a possibility. Later, in 1921, the women of Markham decided to start a sewing circle of their own, and this in turn led to a situation where it, holding meetings once a month, was addressed at those meetings by the Pastor Lepistö, who was paid $5 for each such visit. This went on for four years, and then a complete break from Palo was made and a congregation established in Markham. Affiliated with the Suomi Synod, its membership has averaged about 60 in the post-World War II years. In connection with this church, a popular summer school has been held, missionary work has been enthusiastically fostered. All this work was done for the first few years in private homes, later at the 'Salin School,' which became the Markham church.


Five townships - Fine Lakes ( organized in 1906), Floodwood (1893), Halmen (1903), Prairie Lake (1906) and Van Buren (1909) - form the southwest tip of the county. Of these five, Floodwood became the most important Finnish settlement after Erik Perkkiö had settled there in 1891. (Andrew Simi was the first Finn in Van Buren.) Other settlements were also born but remained abortive : for example, directly on the border with


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