Previous Page Search Again Next Page

bachelors, Mikko Heikko from the Tornio River valley and his comrade whose name has appeared in various records in three different forms : Budas, Pudas, and Nulus. Just how many children came is uncertain, but the following were definitely in, the group : Kaarlo Lahti, Matti Niemi (age 18), Nikolai Niemi (age 10), Kalle (Kaarlo) Niemi, a few weeks old, and Ida Juhanna Rovainen (age 2). As soon as this group landed in Red Wing it continued on its way westward.

However, there soon followed a second group, consisting of Matti Tiiperi (according to Ilmonen, the name is Friberg 2) from Alkkula and his wife Elizabeth from Tervola, their three children, and two young single men whose names have been lost. This group stopped in Red Wing, and the men tried to earn money as woodcutters, but within three weeks Matti Tiiperi and his son and the two young single men were taken to the hospital, where they all died of cholera. Mrs. Tiiperi was left helpless, with two children to care for, and although she tried to escape the cholera by moving from Red Wing to St. Peter, one of these children died - just as the mother was giving birth to another son. Her other child who had survived, a two-year-old boy, was taken care of in a Swedish orphanage while the mother nursed her newborn son. The widow later remarried, and her two sons in later years used the name Mattson.

The third group to arrive consisted of four men : Elias Peltoperä and Esajas Kujala from Kemijärvi, Matti Määttä from Kuusamo, and Matti Marttala from Hietaniemi. For them Red Wing was but a brief stopover: Määttä joined the Union Army while the three others went off to lumbercamps.

In the spring of 1865 three friends of Peltoperä followed along the same route: Mattias Kärjenaho, Olaf Westerberg and John Wiinikka. That same summer there were a few more arrivals: Johan Paloniemi and Isak Antinjuntti, both from Hietaniemi, as well as Erkki Paavo and Antti Kauvosaari and two others whose names have been lost. 3

The summer of 1866 seems to have seen a greater number of Finns in Red Wing than ever, but for most of them the port was only a landing place, and not many settled in Red Wing itself. However, in the areas around Red Wing there were now many working in the forests, cutting fire wood for the river steamers. But even in the forests they were not safe from cholera,

2. Ilmonen, S. op. cit. II, p. 143.

3. Barberg, V., op. cit., plus Siirtokansan Kalenteri, 1940, p. 48.


Previous Page Search Again Next Page