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all the locusts in the whole region suddenly rose up into the sky and darkened the sun as they flew westward. A few locusts have been seen since then occasionally, usually along roadsides, but they have never again multiplied the way they did in that year of 1877 and have not caused any damage since that time.

Fire, however, was a constant threat. A forest fire in September 1871 spread destruction, burning grain and hay and levelling two homes of Swedish pioneers, and six later fires are remembered, burning now a sauna, then a grain bin, or a barn with all the cattle, or a threshing shed, but only two fires were disastrous enough to demand human lives. In April 1877, five-year old Hilda Parbo was poking the fire under a big cauldron set up in the barnyard, and just then a strong gust of wind sent sparks which caught the little girl's dress. Her brother Isaac Arvid, who was only four, grabbed a handful of hay to smother the fire on his sister's dress, but when he saw that it was hopeless he ran shouting into the house, with his sister in her flaming clothes at his heels. While the mother was trying to do the best she could for the little victim, through the open window she heard the shouts of their neighbor's wife, and to her horror, she saw that the barn was on fire. All the cattle perished, except for one calf which happened to be out in the yard. And little Hilda died a few hours later.

In the winter of 1901, the mother of Abraham Salmonson (Rautio), Eeva Rautio, lost her life when her cabin burned, not much more than a stone's throw from the site of the Parbo fire. Mrs. Rautio's grandson Joe (Jonas) Salmonson was living with her at the time, but on the evening of the fire he happened to be away at a meeting of Temperance Society, and when he came back home he found his 79-year old grandmother dead in the yard, and the cabin a smouldering ruin. How the fire started was not established, but it is believed that the old woman, who liked to smoke a pipe, had been careless with it.

To these calamities should be added an outbreak of smallpox. In the spring of 1880, Nils Selvälä's wife, Katriina Kristiina Olsen (Stor), who had emigrated from Norway, had sent for her sister Anna Kreeta Pyttynen (from Vadsö) to come to America. As soon as Anna Kreeta reached Cokato she fell ill with smallpox, and before long everyone in the Selvälä family caught it. Mrs. Selvälä died, and while the rest of the family was saved the contagion had spread to their neighbors, the Parbo family, and ten-year old John Parbo and his five-year old sister Maria Alvina were soon dead. The authorities tried their best to


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