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lest people believe that only teams of oxen chew their cud in Middle River."

As soon as greater numbers of Finns appeared, joint activities were called for. Evert Peltola has written in his recollections that the first joint meeting of Finns was a get-acquainted meeting at midsummer 1912, at the invitation of William Talkkari. The following winter the Reverend Heikki Sarvela came a few times to hold religious services, and he was followed by Pekka Käränen during the following summer. With the children of the Finns reaching school age, it was deemed necessary to start a Sunday school in the autumn of 1913, and classes were held at Evert Peltola's home, with Samuel Kauppila and Antti and John Tuura as teachers. The logical outcome was the establishment of a congregation in 1914, as a member of the Suomi Synod. Matti Kortesmäki, its first pastor, served for several decades, to be succeeded in the 1950s by A. Korhonen. With a membership of 143 in 1915, there has been a gradual decline, to 94 in 1955.

In Middle River was establishes the first of the Red River valley Finnish banks, previously cited. However, the bank was transferred to Red Lake Falls in 1933. The local cooperative was called the Farmers' Co-op Store, and when it joined the Cooperative Central, its gross annual income was $16,000.

In April 1949 Matti Erkkilä came to Middle River to address a group of some 40 Finns, who proceeded to establish a local chapter of the Minnesota Finnish-American Historical Society, with 12 members at the start. Evert Peltola was elected chairman; Jacob Matero, vice-chairman; Mrs. Kortesmäki, secretary; Jacob Karvonen, treasurer, and Evert Peltola, archivist. The chapter was very active for several years.

In Holt, situated south of Middle River, a few Finns have lived since the period of World War I. And in Grygla there was a cooperative, the Grygla Co-op Co., whose annual gross income in 1938, when it joined the Cooperative Central, was $61,000.

Kittson County

At the turn of the century there were 2 Finns here, after that only one up to 1930, then 5 in 1940, and in 1950 only one again.

Roseau County

In 1910, there were 6 Finns here, in 1920 there were 2, in 1940 there were 3, and in 1950 again 2.


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