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private homes. At the present time the Finns belong to various Ely congregations and attend services of the Community Church, held at the Ely Methodist Church. However, records of the Suomi Synod do show that at the turn of the century there seems to have been a small organized parish, started by H. Anias, and which joined the Synod in 1907.

The only other joint effort to be found in Winton was a choral group, directed by Christine Herranen, which had been established in connection with the cooperative store. Actually, this cooperative enterprise was not an independent undertaking, either, but a branch of the Ely organization. Although this reflects the small size of Winton, smallness has not prevented individual Finns from showing their initiative. In 1900, Antti Hendrickson (Vuohelainen ), who had come to Winton 5 years earlier, started the first restaurant, and reports have it that it began to be filled with customers as soon as the walls and roof were up, and as soon as this business was properly open, Gust Johnson (Kustaa Marttila) began to build one, also. Johnson's became the leading place and remained in business for 40 years. Tomi Kukko, meanwhile, opened the first candy store in 1901, and John Marks the first clothing store 4 years later, while Mooses Hokkanen ran a grocery store. In 1915 there was started the boardinghouse Tarmo, made by expanding the Hendrickson restaurant building; this house was in business for 12 years.

In community life, Finns Mooses Hokkanen and Väinö Niemelä both served as mayors, and Kalle Erickson was a longtime member of the municipal council. Victor Hill (Siivonen) was Commissioner of Lake County (east of Winton.)

When the sawmills were working at capacity, the population of Winton rose to over 2,000, but when the mills were closed down, the exodus began: in 1950 the population was down to 184. The Finns moved away, too, to find jobs elsewhere. The Finnish hall was deeded to the community, which was unable to maintain it and sold it: it has become a tourist lodge. In the history of the Winton Finns, everything belongs to the past.


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