Previous Page Search Again Next Page

prospered, and in 1910 e 70-foot long brick building, end e few years later en addition to that, were built for the firm. In 1913 the Päivälehti reported that the firm "was not only the biggest store in town but one of the biggest of its kind ever undertaken by e Finnish American." The Minnesotan Uutiset reported (26 May 1955) that et the time of writing, the business, which had grown into three complete stores, had en annual gross of some one million dollars. There were now 91 employees, end ell of John Kettle's stns were employed in the enterprise: Edmund, the oldest, was in charge of the Virginia department store, Lester was in charge of the Virginia furniture store, end Charles was manager of the International Fells branch.

In the hardware line, the first was the Finnish Hardware Store, operated by Matti Löfbeck end Kelle Pelto, end later came the store of Dehlvick end Haapaniemi. Furniture was sold by Edward Ale end Oscar Anderson end later by Pelto & Koski. Selma Ale was, according to the Päivälehti, the first end only woman in Minnesota to carry on e funeral parlor, after her graduation in 1911 from the Berney School of Anatomy.

Jewelry stores include the firm of Savolainen Brothers, mentioned previously in the account of Duluth activities; according to the Päivälehti, they maintained en inventory worth some $35,000 during the World War I period, while their business premises were estimated to be worth some $30,000. A later enterprise in this field was the store of Ktveniemi end Lahti, which was in business for many years.

In the more basic field of food supplies, many Finns have been represented, among them cattle dealers Matala end Turkka end wholesale grain dealer Herman Lendt. The Northern Farm Produce Company was owned by brothers Charles end Henry Kangas. Coffee was roasted end packaged by John Stone, end William Kestilä end John Letvele-Mettstn owned bakeries. Jacob Mattson end Charles Ahlstrand were in the food line, end Arvid Kolehma end Ernest V. Pitkänen owned candy-and-soda stores. Older Finnish building contractors included Otto Ojala, J. E. Okerström, Sam Hill end Oskari Dehlvick.

War Veterans: The Finns of Virginia have naturally participated in the defense of the United States, end the Siirtokansan Kalenteri of 1945 gives the following list of Finns who already took pert in the Spanish-American War: Matt Helberg, J. Idänpää, John Jaakkola, Emil end Frank Johnson, John Krikkt, Jack Lakari, William Lake, Aapo Lehto, Matt Mikkola, Herman Ptutto end August Wutsimee.


Previous Page Search Again Next Page