Minneapolis Finnish choral group - - - circa 1935 ?
Photo and below text credit :: book "The History of the Finns in Minnesota" (1957) by Hans Wasastjerna, translated from Finnish by Toivo Rosvall.
Online at :: http://www.historymuseumeot.com/mfahs/htm/part2_0050.htm (accessed 2017.oct.24)
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Caption from photo :: ""The Minneapolis mixed chorus. In the center is Mrs. Irene Halonen, director.""
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(page 124) "" ... Musical Activities : Musical activity, particularly choral work, has been present among the Finns in Minneapolis as long as any formal organizations have existed. They have had a place in all societies from the early temperance society to the present Finnish-American Society. The first permanent chorus was established in 1905, when Emil Kemppainen conducted both a brass band and a mixed chorus. He was succeeded by a musician named Lee, who, like his predecessor, came from a military band in Finland. For some years August Blom directed both band and chorus, and Kalle Kaario, another musician from the Finnish army, conducted the band. Then came Toivo Oksanen, who conducted both brass bands and orchestras, among both Finns and Americans, and then John Mickilä, who also conducted a chorus. "" - - - (page 125) ""The last conductor of the chorus of the Finnish Workers' Society was John Pietarila, a self-taught musician. In 1933, when Irene Halonen arrived from the east coast, where she had conducted choruses, she was first assistant to Pietarila and then took full charge of the mixed chorus, which advanced to a high standard of musicianship and which appeared before numerous audiences, both Finnish and American. When Finnish relief work commenced, the chorus was re-activated by Irene Halonen and played an important part in the fund-raising drives. ... ""
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Following text credit :: Exerpted from book: "The History of the Finns in Minnesota" (1957)
- - - By: Hans Wasastjerna - - - translated from Finnish by Toivo Rosvall
Online at: http://www.genealogia.fi/emi/art/410index.htm (accessed 2017.oct.25)
( part 3 of 3 - - - - - part 2 on previous page )
"" At the turn of the century the Finns began to appear in great numbers as office workers, nurses and teachers, among them Marie Kallio, who has advised thousands of immigrants on the formalities of becoming American citizens. Hundreds of Finns have studied at the University of Minnesota, and several Finns have been faculty members there, beginning with Clemens Niemi, who served as assistant professor, circa 1910. Robert E. Nylund and Professor Olga Lakela have taught in the Department of Botany, Gertrude Esteros in Home Economics, Pearl Niemi in foreign languages, Gerald Hill in music, Mary B. Lampe in physical education. John I. Kolehmainen has spent one academic year as visiting professor. Mr. Laitala has taught at the School of Engineering, Vera Mäkivirta-Clausen and Anne Kallio in the School of Medicine. During World War II, the Finnish language was taught to military personnel at the University by Arne Halonen, who has received the Order of the Finnish Lion from the President of Finland in recognition of that work. In the field of government, it should be noted that President Truman in 1945 appointed Viena P. Johnson to be Collector of Customs for the Minneapolis Customs Office. Esko E. Ranta, a Minneapolis lawyer, was appointed Finnish Vice-Consul in 1954.
In cooperative activities, a Cooperative Consumers, Inc., was established in 1935; three years later it had a membership of 157, but it was terminated soon thereafter. Previously, however, a cooperative life insurance company (Cooperators' Life Association) was established in 1933, with Arne Halonen the guiding spirit, and a cooperative Mutual Service Casualty Insurance Company covers fire and automobile insurances. Minneapolis has, of course, several successful cooperative enterprises, such as the Franklin Cooperative Creamery and the Cooperative Services, Inc., which is an oil distributor, in which the Finns have participated. (page 126)
Journalism and Literature : A center in so many respects, Minneapolis has also been a center for the printed word in Finnish. The fifth Finnish-American newspaper to appear, and the first of its kind in Minnesota, was the Uusi Kotimaa, ("The New Homeland") which began publication in August 1881, appearing first with a sample issue, in which the editors stated their program "The Uusi Kotimaa will be published in Minneapolis every Thursday. It will be liberal in every respect and will present to the best of its abilities useful, entertaining and morally suitable material, even longer novels, to increase the desire for reading among our fellow Finns, and to bring them the significant news from America and abroad. We shall try particularly to encourage our Finnish readers in this new country to preserve their national traditions and language, and as far as is possible, we shall inform them about conditions in this country."
The newspaper did change its day of publication from Thursday to Monday, and then from Monday to Saturday, but it did not change its program. Appearing first as a four-page paper, then with six pages, it did bring its readers the `longer novels' it promised, in serial form, novels with such titles as "The Wife He Deserved", "A Wife's Love", "There's No Place Like Home". Events in Minnesota and adjoining states were carefully followed, and other American news were given considerable space.
Subscription cost $2.00 the year in the United States, or 10 markkas per year to Finland, and subscribers were told that "a large group of people have joined to support this paper financially, so that subscribers need not fear they will be asked to give it support." The editor was August Nylund, who actually also owned the newspaper, although he had set up a corporation to supply financial support, a step most Finnish-American newspapers have had to follow at some phase in their existence. According to some reports, the "large group of people" supporting the Uusi Kotimaa were the churches, exclusively, and the newspaper was originally to have become their mouthpiece. That may have been so, but the newspaper very soon appeared to belong exclusively to its editor, who soon had to retreat from his proud words of financial independence, for after four months of publication the paper announced the establishment of an Uusi Kotimaa Association in Calumet, Michigan, and ended its appeal for members with the statement that "it is impossible to even hope at this stage that the paper will be able to exist with readers' subscriptions alone. (page 127) The editors alone cannot assume responsibility for the paper's future but must rely on the support of assisting organizations." The Finnish population of Minneapolis was too small at that time to give any assistance, so in 1884 Nylund moved his newspaper to New York Mills, to a region where there were more Finns and more prospects of forthcoming help.
The 'Uusi Kotimaa' was not the only attempt to publish a Finnish language newspaper in Minneapolis. In 1893 an "association" was established there to publish another weekly newspaper, the Amerikan Uutiset. Fred Karinen and August Edwards were its editors, but they were soon joined by a third man, Kalle Haapakoski. Within a year, however, exclusive ownership fell to Fred Karinen, and he transferred the paper to a region of a potentially larger circulation - to Calumet, Michigan.
In addition to these newspapers, a monthly, 'Lentäviä Lehtiä', appeared for a while before it was transferred to Duluth. Another periodical, the 'Kuvalehti', began publication in 1894.
During the period when he was still located in Minneapolis, Nylund published the following advertisement in the 'Uusi Koti maa' : "Since there seems to be a general lack of books for the study of English by Finns living in America, the undersigned has planned to prepare a practical English grammar for beginners if there are subscribers enough to warrant publication of such a book." Apparently not enough subscriptions came in, since it was never published. However, there was enough interest, somewhat later, for Matti Lehtonen, Methodist pastor, to publish in 1910, his "Practical Finnish Primer for Finnish-American homes, Sunday schools and summer schools." A brief book, of some 30-odd pages, it sold for 10 cents, and the first edition of 3000 copies was sold out in three years.(31)
In 1923, Betty Järnefelt-Rauanheimo wrote a 96-page religious book in English, 'A Mother's Farewell Letters', which was published by the Augsburg Publishing House in Minneapolis. In 1939, Elma K. Anderson published a pamphlet, 'Translations o f Finnish Songs', a collection of Finnish religious songs in English. A varied group of Finnish pamphlets have also been published in Minneapolis, including materials by authors working elsewhere: for example, the Cooperative Printing Association produced several printings of V. S. Alanne's work, Fundamentals o f Consumer Cooperation, a work sponsored by the Northern States Cooperative League. To the same category belong The Story of the Virginia Cooperative Society through 30 Years o f Progress, 1909-1939, and many others.
(31). Lehtonen, M. Käytännöllinen suomenkielen lukemisen alkeisoppi eli uusi Aapinen Amerikan suomalaisten Koteja, Pyhä- ja Kesäkouluja varten. Minneapolis, Minn., 1910, and 2nd, corrected edition, Chisholm, Minnesota, 1918. (page 128)
Finnish Population : A considerable number of Finns have lived outside the city proper, in the suburbs and elsewhere in Hennepin County. Recently, of course, many second and third generation Finns have favored the suburbs. (Hopkins, Osseo and Robbinsdale had Finnish aid committees, with their chairmen, respectively, being F. F. Sefcik, A. P. Hechtman and J. W. Roche. )
Statistically, there were 397 Finnish-born residents in the 228,340 population figure of Hennepin County in 1900. The peak number of Finns, 1,218, appeared in the 1930 census, when the county's population was 517,789. In 1950, when the county's population had increased to 676,579, the number of Finns had fallen to 847. ... (page 129) ""
( end of part 3 of 3 - - - - - part 2 on previous page )
Hans WasastjernaToivo RosvallMinneapolis Finnish ChorusThe History of the Finns in Minnesota