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also a workers' society, both of which had some 30 to 50 members each.

- The population of Pine County in 1900 was some 11,000 persons. Of these, 237 were Finns. Further statistics on the Finns indicate their increase to a peak of 399 in 1910, a decline to 270 in 1920, to 241 in 1930, to 191 in 1940, to 86 in 1950.

Carlton County

The area covered by Carlton County is not large, but its role in the history of the Finns in Minnesota has been significant. Located on the western end of Lake Superior, in the immediate vicinity of Duluth, the county has been one of the first counties to be established in Northern Minnesota. In 1847 one Reuben B. Carlton, a soldier, arrived in the Fond du Lac region, where he remained for the rest of his life; the county established a decade later was named after him. The first county seat was at Twin Lakes, about 6 miles south of the village which later became Carlton. In 1870 the county seat was transferred to Thomson and in 1890, finally, to Carlton.


The Township of Thomson embraces some 41 square miles of land west of Duluth and extends to the eastern boundary of Cloquet. With the exception of the southeastern corner, the land is relatively level. The western boundary follows the St. Louis River, into which empties the Midway, flowing from the northeast, through the township area. The valley of the Midway was the land favored by the earliest settlers. Even though their farming methods were primitive, they were able to build their homes there and to assure themselves a certain income from the barren earth. They also knew what had to be done with the wilderness to transform it into waving grainfields and lush meadows.

The first Finns came to Thomson in 1873. Among them was Antti Karjala, who took himself a homestead site, which he sold six years later to Charles Johnson - who died under mysterious circumstances, lost deep in the woods, in 1892. John Kajander was another who came to Thomson in 1873 but who sold his land, a decade later, to Tuomas Hongisto. John Alatalo was another who did not have long to live in the community, to which he had come from Hancock, Michigan : he died in 1876, the first Finn to die in Thomson: he left his homestead to Peter Alatalo. Another


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