Previous Page Search Again Next Page

for the Kansan Lehti in Ironwood, but he was prepared to resign to assume editorship of this new paper. With an editor already on the scene, the potential stockholders were called together, and so the Finnish-American Publishing Company was established with a capital of $20,000, and a board of directors was elected: John Saari, president, Konstant Kykyri, secretary, August Perry, treasurer, and as members, Pastor Lehtonen and John Thompson (Kukko) from Ely.

Continuing these speedy developments, Lilius heard that the printing presses of the now defunct Amerikan Kaiku were available for purchase, and so he was sent to New York to inspect this property: it was in good condition, the typesetting machine of the newest type, the press likewise, and all available for $3,000 cash. Within a matter of weeks the machinery was in Duluth and installed in ground floor quarters in the Metropole Building on Michigan Street, while personnel to run the shop were being interviewed and hired.

John Thompson, of the board of directors, was named business manager, and Lilius became officially the editor. However, the job of putting out a paper twice a week was soon too much for Lilius alone, so Reverend Erland Wirkki of Red Lodge was invited to become assistant editor. The only difficulty now was the ever-present financial one, and when Lilius informed the directors that expenses ought to be cut and income increased, the storm of criticism this aroused led to Wirkki's resignation. This move resulted in no cut in expenses, for Risto Lappala was engaged as the new assistant editor.

The newspaper continued to follow the policies originally laid down by its directors, but in practice it did not satisfy the various factions and tendencies. This, in turn, had a discouraging effect on the paper, already faced with financial problems, and so the business manager resigned. The directors and stockholders still refused to admit defeat and persuaded Kykyri, the secretary of the board to become the business manager. For almost a year more the paper struggled on, being forced to cut its staff, after all, to cut expenses, but in the end even this was not enough. A state of bankruptcy was eventually declared, with board president John Saari and treasurer August Perry, who held a mortgage for $700 against the company, as administrators of an enterprise whose debts amounted to about $12,000.

In reading old issues of the Amerikan Kaiku before and after its move to Duluth, it must be admitted that Sulkanen is in some respects right in claiming that in Erkko's hands the newspaper


Previous Page Search Again Next Page