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Finnish professional men and officials : Torsten Ohrbom, a Finnish doctor, was active for several years in New York Mills. Finnish members of boards of directors of banks have included Hugo Almquist, Adolf Anderson, Hjalmar Karvonen, J. K. Mäki, Felix Nylund, William Oman, O. Pary and Andrew Piilola; of them all, Hugo Almquist was probably the first Finnish-born president of a Minnesota bank, the First State Bank. At least the following Finns have served as Postmasters of New York Mills : Andreas Emil Anderson, Salomon Haarala (1889-1894), Andrew Lind, Walter Peltoniemi (for 20 years), Mamie Sondergaard and J. A. Anderson (1954-). The Chautauqua Monthly reported in its January 1908 issue that New York Mills had a Finnish-born Justice of the Peace. The first Finnish mayor of New York Mills was John William Trupukka, first elected in 1919 and again in 1924; others have been A. Anderson (1922-1932), Oscar A. Anderson, John A. Mark, Reino Heino and Edward Riippa. Mssrs. A. Anderson, J. W. Trupukka, Russell Parta, Fritz Carlund, George Wilson, and many other Finns have also been members of the School Board.

As early as 1897 the Finns realized that it was to their advantage to have officials of their own nationality. The Uusi Kotimaa wrote : "Formerly, when others were in office, the township and school district were badly in debt, but now that Finns have been able to serve in positions of responsibility for a few years, things have changed: the town debt has been completely paid and the school district debt reduced, and this year's School Committee has come up with the amazing fact that for the first time in the memory of man there are a few dollars surplus on hand." Ralph H. Smith has served as principal of the high school, and August C. Anderson and J. W. Trupukka as chiefs of the fire department. The 1948 roster of town officials listed John A. Mark, Mayor; Jack Kampsula, Secretary; Walter Tikkanen, Treasurer: Melvin Jacobson, August Johnson, and Rudy Kangas, members of the Council; M. S. Barnard and William Nikkari, Justices of the Peace; Fred Vapola, Assessor; and William Guelzow, police officer.


The farming community of Topelius (Dobelius), first known as Amboy, lies about four miles east of New York Mills. A major fire in the 1890s had levelled the entire area, but gradually the forest began to grow again and simultaneously the population. Having become a station on the Northern Pacific railroad line,


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