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Bäck, M. Havukainen, S. W. Renfors, K. Salovaara, J. Wargelin, P. Keränen, M. E. Merijärvi and V. Kuusisto. After declaring its independence from Virginia, the church elected D. Könönen as pastor, to be succeeded by F. Pelkonen, J. F. Saarinen and Karl M. Aho. A special feature of the church program has been missionary work among the miners. It has also had a Ladies Aid, established in 1910, a Sunday School, 1914, a Deacons of the Church and Luther League, 1921, and the Bethany Guild, 1936. In 1906 the church had 244 members; in 1927 the figure was 365, and in 1953 it was 259. In 1953, also, its Sunday School had 115 pupils.

The Mt. Iron socialist chapter was started in January 1906, and it built a hall for itself the following year, providing facilities in particular for an active dramatics group. However, the chapter always had difficulty in finding sufficient members; initially there had been 25, and at the end of the first year the number had increased to 48. Then, however, when the local mines shut down after 1908, the Finns went elsewhere to seek work, and membership dropped to 13 in 1912, then rose slightly to 18 the following year. However, the hall was maintained until 1940 when its land, too, was taken over by the mine.

Other Finnish groups included a chorus, the Surina, which was active during the World War I era, more or less under the temperance society sponsorship. Its first directors were John Luoto and W. J. Kukkola. Other organizations have been a Civic Club, a Finnish Aid Committee, with Hans R. Renfors as chairman, and a local chapter of the MFAHS. The latter group was organized in 1946, with Oscar Hill serving as chairman, Alex Keto as secretary, and John Otava as treasurer.

Finnish businessmen have included Albert Anderson, G. Apuli, Nick Hill, George Kakela, John Ketola, A. W. Saari, and Victor Vanhala. Of these, the first two cited have also taken part in community affairs, with Anderson serving several years in the city council, and Apuli as a member of the board of directors and as president of the Iron State Bank, and as mayor of Mt. Iron. Elmer Saari has served as city manager, and Kaarlo Otava was named director of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Commission in 1955. Mt. Iron was also the home of Matt Viitala, a well-known official of the one-time federal prohibition enforcement agency.

The population of Mt. Iron was about 200 in 1892, and at the turn of the century it was 470, and climbed to 1,343 in 1920, and slowly to 1,377 in 1950. Renfors has estimated that the


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