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It began in New York City when the Siirtolainen quit that city and left the Finns there without a paper of their own. At this point there arrived in New York the former editor of the Helsingin Päivälehti, Eero Erkko, who had been exiled from his homeland. In 1903, then, with Erkko as editor, the Amerikan Kaiku began to appear in New York. One of the ideas Erkko pushed in his columns was the need for a new Finnish-American organization to which those with national feelings could belong. The idea bore fruit in a meeting held in August 1904 in Ishpeming, Michigan, where people interested in such an organization gathered from all over the country and began the Finnish-American National League. The Amerikan Kaiku continued to foster the league and its ideals enthusiastically, but when Erkko was in a position to return to Finland, the paper no longer concerned itself with the matter. Indeed, it seemed to begin a rapid decline, which led to its name, if not much more, being transferred to Duluth.

The new phase began (according to Konstant Kykyri in the Siirtokansan Kalenteri for 1949) with a meeting on a winter evening around the stove of the Saari & Campbell general store in Sparta, Minnesota, in 1906, to discuss the possibilities of starting a newspaper. All the men present were members of the Knights of Kaleva: John Saari, Matti Sipola, John and Isak Hakomäki, Onni Kaivos, Ludvig Kokko, Erik Rosted, Konstant Kykyri, all of Sparta, and August Perry (Piira) from Eveleth and Pastor Matti Lehtonen from Duluth : all decided they wanted a newspaper, and all committed themselves to buying stock in a new venture, and promised to try to raise further funds, but only from other Kaleva men, to make a start possible.

At the same meeting they laid down the program they meant to follow, and this policy was also to be its death sentence, although they were unaware of it then. Disgusted with the newspapers which were then being published - filled with railing, carping, and insults, which had led many responsible for them to jail sentences and had given the Finns a bad name and had done nothing to foster their solidarity - the new group was determined that their newspaper would not set itself up as the special organ of any faction but would try to give recognition to the positive aspects of any and all, regardless of faction.

The project received warm support, and then came a further development which made the group hasten with their plans interested friends in Ironwood sent a young man named J. W. Lilius to Sparta. He had worked on a newspaper in Viipuri and had but recently come to the United States and was now working


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