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The Finnish farmers of Thomson have also had their own telephone company, started in 1917.

Finns in Civic Life: Since the first Finns came to Thomson after the community had already been incorporated, they had no role in civic life or in elective office at the beginning. Alex Esko became the first Finnish candidate for office, for that of supervisor, in 1892, and successful in his campaign, other Finns were encouraged and briefed in procedure. In the next election, Henry Sunnarborg was elected supervisor, and from then on, year after year, more and more Finns held office, until in 1898 the whole administration was in their hands. There it remained. for decades to follow.


Another significant Finnish settlement, that of Esko, developed within Thomson Township. The village was never incorporated, so its administrative affairs were a part of the township's. The first business in Esko was a small general store opened by Alex Esko's oldest son, Fritz. The store became known after its location - Esko's Corner, and the name commemorates pioneer Peter


Esko Cooperative store (Cloquet branch store).

Esko, whose descendants in the sixth generation now live here. In 1919 there was a one-room school at the Corner, an old dance hall across the road. When the Thomson school system was updated after the 1918 fire, the one-room school at Esko's Corner was replaced with a splendid, large high school.

From that time on, the Corner gradually grew, with new homes and businesses being built side by side. In 1926, the farmers in the vicinity set up the Arrowhead Cooperative Dairy, which has since grown to huge size, with branch outlets in Duluth, Kettle River, Floodwood, Two Harbors, Cook, Virginia, Grand


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