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but 45 buildings in all Gilbert in 1908) to a flourishing town was the result of a tug of war between local officials and the mining companies, eventually won by the community. In this effort the Finns played a significant role through participation in responsible municipal posts. Foremost among them was John Saari, involved in the most varied of local activities before his election to the Minnesota legislature. The business he had started in Sparta, transferred to Gilbert and later known as Campbell and Kroker Company; was one of the most important in town. Another Finn, Nestor Laine (Karjalainen), who served for nine years as alderman, 7 years as inspector of municipal social services, and 12 years as overseer of the police, had begun his business career in Gilbert as a shoemaker in 1909, to which he soon added a shoe store and then expanded that in 1929 to a clothing store for men, women and children. During the years 1923-48 Laine also sold automobiles along with everything else, and his enterprise has been the largest of its kind in town. Konstant Kykyri, too, tried his luck at first in the business field, keeping a boarding house for miners, as he had previously done in Sparta, but he soon devoted himself to politics and subsequently served in many municipal posts, including that of inspector of streets. Another, A. J. Noble (Nopola) served as inspector of highways for the Gilbert area during World War I; M. A. Möykkynen belonged to the municipal council in 1920. Otto Lindholm, businessman, moved the soft drinks plant he had begun in Sparta and operated it in Gilbert up to 1935. Dr. Ilmari Pitkänen was a Finnish doctor in the community in the 1920s. Cooperatives have been present under the names of Hutter Farmers Threshing and Cooperative Association (1919) and International Working Peoples' Cooperative Association (1916).

Among those Finnish American boys from Gilbert who served in World War I, three lost their lives : William Henry Lahti,

Svante Lampi, John Oscar Wuori.


The most important center of population and Finnish settlement in Missabe Mountain Township is the main part of Eveleth, which extends across township lines into Fayal and Clinton. From a chronological viewpoint, it falls in behind Sparta and Gilbert, but like them, mining activity brought about its start. The most important local mines have been the following:


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