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Among other things, Piippo had learned in Finland, from an uncle who was a dentist, how to take care of the ill and how to prepare various medicines. However, his medicines called for Finnish herbs, for which he could not find counterparts in Minnesota, so he used to write to friends who were setting out for America to bring him the necessary plants. 28

Following this first group of Finns to which Piippo belonged, another party arrived in the region in 1867: Antti Anderson (Kaukosaari), Erkki (Erik) Haara, Matti Jacobson (Makkonen), Johan Lehto, Peter Peterson (Välimaa) and Thomas (Tuomas) Thomson (Maikko.) During the years following, the settlement grew, so that in 1883 there were 133 Finns, of whom 38 had come from Kuusamo in Finland, 15 from Piippola, 13 from Tervola, 12 from Rovaniemi, 8 from Ii, 7 from Muonio, 1 from Kemi and 1 from Suomussalmi. 29

Naturally these Finns - all from northern Finland - were followers of the teachings of Laestadius. Their formal religious meetings began in 1870, and an Apostolic Lutheran church was built in 1877, the oldest of such churches whose interior has been preserved intact in its original state. 30 Among the preachers of this church have been Matti Haapala, Herman Jacobson (Karj alainen) and Johan Lehto.

At the turn of the century, an Evangelical Lutheran church got underway, too, and a church was erected in 1901; it was badly damaged by storms in 1917 and then was promptly rebuilt. In 1923 this church had 170 members, and in 1955, 69 members. Pastors have included M. Anttonen, J. Huuskonen, S. A. Anttila, J. Urpilainen, J. Haakana, E. V. Niemi, S. A. Krankkala, M. P. Miettinen, E. A. Heino, H. Esala and R. W. Heikkinen.

A Finnish temperance society, Taisto, was established in 1900.

In 1950 the population of Holmes City was 655; a good number of them are of Finnish descent.

Alexandria: The nearest settlement to Holmes City is Alexandria, where Finns have been permanent residents. One M. Luukkonen, who lived there for a time, even held the position of bank director. During the Finnish Winter war, there was a relief committee headed by Mssrs. Robards and Putnam.

Brandon: The nearest railroad station to Holmes City used to be that of Brandon, from whence mail was delivered to the

28. Barberg, op. cit.

29. Estimate of Finnish population in Holmes City in 1883, by Uusi Kotimaa correspondent J. Fredrickson. Archives of the Finnish American Historical Society. 30. Finnish Pioneer Day. Duluth, Minnesota, 1949. p. 21.


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