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strongly patriotic spirit prevailing: the Finns were beginning their Americanization.

The Finns also began to branch out from farming into other activities. Nikolai Johnson (Niemi) turned to shopkeeping, and Andrew E. Erickson (Törmälä), who had moved to Franklin in 1873 and had been a clerk, opened his own successful store.

Life in Franklin has changed greatly from the days of the pioneers. The log cabins and sod huts have given way to modern farmhouses, and cattle shelters to big barns. Automobiles and tractors have replaced oxen and horses. And the village of Franklin, whose population in 1950 was 546, has become so Americanized that it is difficult to think of it now as a Finnish settlement.

In Olivia (population 1,788) there was a Finnish relief committee during the Finnish Winter War of 1939, with J. R. Landy serving as its chairman. 15

In looking at census statistics, all Renville County still had 123 foreign-born Finns in the year 1900. After that the figure began to drop: 107 in 1910, 55 in 1920, 40 in 1930, 21 in 1940, and only 15 in 1950, when the county's total population stood at 23,954.

Sibley County : No Finns.

McLeod: One Finn.

Carver County: In 1930 there were 6 Finns, in 1950 but one.

Wright County, Center of Finnish Farming

Wright County lies north of McLeod and Carver counties. This region westward from the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis was originally a vast forest stretching from the bend in the Minnesota River to Mankato in the south, and then, with a width of 40 miles and even more, extending northward 100 miles beyond Minneapolis. The Indians, very graphically, called this region the "Big Woods" and the early settlers used the same name for it. It was a region rich in sugar maples, varieties of ash, elm and oak, and with a heavy undergrowth of shrubs and wild flowers.

Cokato: The Finns were not the first settlers in this county; in Cokato, for example, where the Finns first came, there had already been settlers since 1856, many of them Scandinavians or Irish. 16 It was on a morning in June 1865 when Mathias

15. Halonen, A. op. cit. p. 13. 16. Barberg, op. cit.


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