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stores, and all shopping had to be done in Tower; in the second place, there were no saloons in Soudan, which in this and other respects had to cede first place to Tower. In 1900, the total population of Breitung Township was 2,034 - and of these 1,366 lived in Tower. Ten years later Tower's share was even larger: 1,111 out of a total of 1,214. Since Breitung also had many other little villages in addition to Soudan, it was apparent that "one lived in Tower and went to work in Soudan."

It was to Tower, then, that the first Finns arrived in 1883 (Ilmonen claims 1884) in the following order : Olof and Peter Halonen, Erick Hiukka, Mikko Kiviniemi, Abram Kitti, Nels and Matt Hepola, August Myllymäki, John and Oscar Wäisänen, Evert Piutsu and Paul Leinonen. It is apparent that the Finns arrived as soon as the mining operations were begun, and they probably participated in the filling of those first five carloads of iron ore which left for Two Harbors on 13 July 1884. Many more trainloads followed, until the year 1892 saw more than half a million tons of ore loaded on the trains in one season. The number of Finnish miners also grew, and many of them were experienced men, and some of them had worked in Michigan's copper mines, and some were even veterans of the `rat holes' of Norway. Many of them regarded the mines as a necessary evil, into which one had to descend if one wanted to live. But after staying on for any length of time one got used to one's surroundings, and the place began to be `home.'

It was, however, a hard and drab life at best, and the life of the Finns under these conditions was apt to show little restraint. Heavy drinking, in particular, was prevalent and caused disaster

for. many a home. And it was to do away with this evil that the Finns began to start their temperance societies, the first one of which, in Minnesota, actually began its history in Soudan. With no precedent to go by, August Myllymäki, one of the first Finnish miners to arrive in Soudan, sent to Republic, Michigan, to have a speaker of that society, Herman Helander, come to Soudan to address the Finns, with Myllymäki paying the expenses of the trip. The result was the birth in Soudan of the Northern Flame Temperance Society, founded in a meeting at the home of William Erickson in May 1886. It joined, first, the Scan

dinavian-American Temperance League, later the Finnish league

of temperance societies.


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