RESIDENTS OF INTERIOR TOWNSHIP,
One way to study a town's history is by looking at its people. When and
why did people settle here? Where did they come from and did they have a
family? Did the family stay in the area or move on? To learn of Interior
Township through its people, the Centennial History Class invited all
residents of the area, and those having roots here, to submit family
histories. This section contains those family articles submitted. Because
of space limitations, some of the articles had to be condensed; complete
histories, as submitted, will be displayed in the depot during the
Centennial celebration. To learn of some of the early settlers, History
Class members researched and completed those particular articles. A
sincere "Thank you" to those who took
the time to prepare and share their family's history with everyone.
THEN AND NOW
August (died 1902) and Greta Liisa (Newland) Anderson (died 1908) were
both born in Evijarvi, Finland, in 1856. They were married there and had a
son Axel; they came to the United States in 1885, settling in Lower
Michigan in Wingleton. Hilda Marie was born and they moved to Trout Creek;
they first settled in Swede Town. August worked for Patton Mill and was
in real estate. Their children were: Axel, born 1883; Hilda (Salonen),
1887; Margaret (Waterworth), 1888; Edith (Nappa),1889; Ellen (Hill),1891;
Albert, 1892; Carl, 1894; Jenny (Deacon), 1895; and Ruth (Graven), 1898.
Ruth is the only survivor.
John and Hilda Salonen were married in 1908. John came from Finland via
Canada to Hobbling, Minnesota, then to a farm north of Trout Creek. He was
into lumbering, also. Their children are: Viola (Ruutila), Esther
(Pelkola), Ernest, Ruth (Karjala), and Robert, the last two are deceased.
John died in 1940 and Hilda in 1971.
Arne Besonen and Kathleen (Puumala) were married in 1943. He worked in
Lansing before coming to Trout Creek to farm. They have eight sons and one
daughter: Arnie, married to Nadene Riehl, lives in Port Austin; Stanley,
married to Carme Mayra, lives in Metamora; Dennis, married to Christine
Maatilaa, lives in Ironwood; Bryan, married to Carol Manninen, lives in
Trout Creek; Muriel, married to Russell Kangas, lives in Marquette;
Darrell, married to Kimberly Norgren; lives in Minneapolis, as do Carl,
to Sandra Becker; Donald and David. Arnie worked for and retired from the
Ontonagon County Road Commission. Kathleen died in 1982.
Gabriel Besonen, Sr., lived in Agate and his children were John,
Alexander, Gabriel, Jr., Henry, and Anna Tumberg. The elder Gabriel moved
to Ishpeming and son Gabriel then lived on the tract, owning a flour mill
there. He had a patent dated 1894 which perhaps took over the freshly
select-logged timber leaving the small trees which he the cut into
Gabriel, Jr., and Alina Besonen had five sons: Bill, George Woodrow,
Henry, and Arthur. A son Arnold died when a tree fell on him while working
in the woods. The daughters are Bertha, Clara (Pulkas), Anne (Stein),
Tillie (Chapman), and Norma. Their home was unique; a house and a barn
connected with breezeway, the house being considerably higher. After his
wife's death, Gabriel remarried and lived in the remodeled North Agate
Henry Bessen and his wife Eva came from Finland with their children in
1888, settling in the South Agate area. Eva's first husband died in
Finland and they had a daughter Anna. Henry's and Eva's sons were Henry,
Jr., Andrew, Edward, and Louis. A daughter Lyydi Maria was born in South
Agate; she died at age twelve of diphtheria. The father was a woodsman and
he built houses. Eva was a midwife. Living to celebrate her 88th birthday,
she died in 1936.
Henry, Jr., and his wife Mary has 12 children Bertha (Koszarek), Mayme
(Taylor), Eleanor (Fruik), Sylvia, Lillian (Garlow), Juanita (Haarala),
Mabel (Deane), Dorothy (Fiegel), Ruth (Johnson), Matt, Arthur, Bernhard.
Henry was a woodsman and farmed.
Andrew and Lizzie Bessen lived in Agate where they had a gas station and a
Edward and his wife Taava had eight children. Arne married Kathleen
Puumala, Andrew, Aileen (Britten), Alvi (Buxton), Alma died at 10 months,
Aino, Alvar married Florence Maki, and Arvid married Louisa Buxton. The
father worked at lumber camps and farmed.
Aino and Any reside at the family home.
Louis Bessen and his wife Amalia had six children: Theodore married
Cecelia Madden, Aileen (Benstrom), Eva (Knivila), Louis married Marion
McLaughlin, Ernest married Dorothy Albright, and Roy married Eleanor
Anna and her husband Andrew Pulkas, Sr., had nine children: Arthur married
Clara Besonen, George married Emma Walls, Andrew, Jr., married Aune
Harkonen, and Louis married Virginia Manning. The daughters are Lillian
(Hackett), Eleanor (Houser), Aileen (McMillen), Sophie, and Anne
(Wicklund) who was raised by Pulkas' after her parents death.
Frank and Hannah Biekkola bought the Dave Gilders' homestead east of
Gardner Road. They were farmers and gave all of their six children college
educations. Fred was an Agricultural Agent in Baraga County; John lived in
Marquette; Warner farmed on the home
place; Lydia, Eleanor, and Lillian were teachers. The North Trout Creek
school teachers boarded at their home.
Edward Cameron I and his brother Bruce came to Kenton in the early 1890's
from Canada. Both were river drivers and loggers. Bruce died in 1904.
Edward married Mary McGinty in the late 1890's in Kitchie. Their sons born
in Kenton were Duncan in 1899 and Edward, Jr., in 1901. The family moved
to Trout Creek where they had a livery stable, hotel and saloon and
Edward II graduated from Ferris Institute and married Laura Curry in 1923.
He was also in logging. After his father died, he was State Liquor
Inspector. They had two daughters and moved to Detroit. Mary married
Howard Cronkright and has four children; Lois married Erwin Fitzgerald and
has four children.
Duncan served on the Trout Creek School Board, Township Board, and the
Ontonagon County Road Commission. He was inducted into the U.P. Sports
Hall of Fame. He married Dorothy Westnedge in 1920 and came to Trout Creek
in 1923. They had six children Joseph,
Jean, Dorothy, Ruth, Edward, and Bruce; all graduated from Trout Creek
Joe graduated in 1939 and married Maxine Johnson. He entered the service
in December 1941, and died in 1945 in the Belgium Battle of the Bulge.
Jean married Gus Lord and has five children. Dorothy married Edwin Hill,
has five children and lives in Marquette.
Ruth married Bruce Warren who coached at Trout Creek and was
superintendent from 1957-67. They have six children: Mariellen, Joe,
Dottie, Margaret, Laura, and Raymond; all attended the Trout Creek School
Edward III and his wife Mary live in Milwaukee and have six children.
Bruce and his wife Katie live in the Lansing area with their six children.
Bruce, interested in natural resources, had an article appear in the
Michigan Out of Doors magazine in October 1980, entitled,
"Build Your Own Wildlife Refuge."
Fred Carlisle was born in 1878, his wife Clara in 1887. They came from
Canada to Weidman, Michigan, in 1911 and had nine children Mose, Leighton
(deceased), Freeman, Wesley, Claude, Freda (deceased), Marldean, Gilda,
and Everett. The family lived at Johns on Lake, six miles south of town.
Mose attended McPherson School, four miles south of town; the others went
to the Trout Creek School. The boys worked at the Weidman mill until it
closed; Claude and Marldean also worked at the White Pine Mine for a
Freeman went to Jackson, Michigan, after the mill closed and worked at an
air conditioning shop. He married Vivian Aho in 1936 and they have three
Steven Carroll, a native of New York state, is given the distinction of
having been the first settler in the Trout Creek area. He came from
Nestoria in a snowshoeing party of cruisers in 1882. He reportedly carried
a stove from Nestoria on his back. He claimed a homestead on Section 24
north of Trout Creek. His bride, Sadie Horgan of Duluth, whose parents
were in the hotel business there, kept a diary. From this source has been
gleaned information about homesteaders in the area in 1890-91. With this
family lived another Mr. Carroll, Alexander, who was possibly Steve's
father. He also owned a quarter of Section 25. He was an avid fisherman,
reporting a hundred fish at a catch. S. Carroll died in 1934.
Steve drove supplies to the logging camps from Trout Creek, usually a
day's trip. Loggers whom he supplied were Angus Carmichael, the Francis
Brothers, and Stevenson. He hauled hay, oats, and potatoes to the camps
and drew out logs for house building in town as well as for neighbors.
During summers the men cleared land, drew sap from trees and cooked it to
sugar, selling to Oakley's store. They planted potatoes for supplying the
lumber camps. Blueberries were picked by the several bushels.
Mrs. Carroll must have been supplying even neighbors with baked goods, as
she was constantly making fried cakes and baking bread, pies, and cakes.
She also provided lodging and meals for men on their way to and from the
camps. Families would spend time there while homes were being built. Sadie
bought her first sewing machine in 1890. Their son Dan spent most of his
time with his grandparents in Duluth; he mailed newspapers by the bundle.
After being read and re-read, they were used to paper walls. Sometimes you
needed to hand sideways to read the comics. The log houses were
Carroll's first house was a log building on the back forty. New buildings,
which included a windmill and an impressive house, were built in the early
1900's. The elegant home was a three-story structure with lots of colored
glass windows. The beautiful winding staircase which opened into the
parlor is still a part of the house which is now owned by Mr. and Mrs.
Families living in the area, listed by Mrs. Carroll: Gasser, Wesenberg,
Davidson, Wade (baby's grave in Trout Creek cemetery), Franklin and Dan
McLaughlin, Esterling, Lathrop, Buck, Sundquist, Griffin, Blackman,
Bowman, Burdick, Bankcroft, Gilders, and Moffitt.
In the early days Steve Carroll and his neighbor Henry Provost raised as
high as 300 sheep, entering them in the fair at Escanaba where they won
Above information taken from Mrs. Carroll's Diary
Francis Chichester and Nellie DeFeyter were married on October 3,1914, in
Benzie County, Michigan. They had three children: Mabel Woodard, Virginia
Feller and Francis, Jr. He came to work for the Weidman Lumber Company in
1917 as a millwright and riding carriage at the sawmill, did woodswork,
and later saw filing. He worked for the Fox Lumber Company and at Fisher
Body in Lansing. After his retirement, he was a filing instructor at
Alberta, Michigan for Michigan Technological University.
Nellie was a seamstress and in the 1930's worked as practical nurse and
midwife. Some of the doctors she assisted were Dr. Porter, Dr.
Whiteshield, Dr. Lake, Dr. Hogue and Dr. Florentine. During these years
she also taught piano At the time of her husband's death in June of 1986,
they had been married 71 years. She turned 91 years of age February 18,
1988, and is in good health.
Mr. C. and Nellie enjoyed hunting, fishing, and camping together. He was a
member of the "Three C's" dance band, Francis played piano and
banjo; Cottenham, violin; and Caterso violin.
Dorias Curry worked in lumber camps in Western Upper Peninsula before
graduating from Trout Creek High School in 1923. He became a logging
foreman when young. From 1925 to 1930 he worked as a fire lookout for the
Department of Conservation in summers and
logging camps winter. He accepted a year-round job with the C.D. in 1930
under the title of Regional Chief; this meant being in charge of the
C.D.'s field activities in the Upper Peninsula. In 1963 he was appointed
Deputy Director of the department to oversee the field reorganization in
Lansing, for which he was commended. This accomplished, he returned to
the Upper Peninsula to fill the vacancy of Regional Chief. He retired in
1970. He was a rapid and retentive reader, an avid outdoorsman, and
by those who worked for him. He died May 28, 1983.
The Man From Trout Creek
by Kenneth S. Lowe
David Weber came to Canada from Germany and then moved to Weidman,
Michigan, where he worked; the Weidman mill. When the mill moved to Trout
Creek, the Weber family also moved in 1911. Their five children were Joe,
Mose, Clem, Clara (Mrs. Fred Carlisle), and Mary (Mrs. Henry DeVowe). Mary
and Henry had five surviving children: Conrad, David, Rosemary, Helen, and
Marjorie. Henry, Ward, and Margaret died at an early age. All of the
children attended the Trout Creek School; Marjorie was the only high
David DeVowe began working at the Weidman mill at an early age. He married
Doris Lundwall, who worked at the Weidman residence. David and Doris have
three sons; all attended and graduated from the Trout Creek School. The
boys are Jon, married to Leona Kananen; Gerald, married to Sharon
Hautamaki; and Eugene, married to Alice Virmal; David retired from the
White Pine Mine after ten years, and Doris, after working and retiring
from the Postal Department died in June, 1983.
Mrs. Clara Duby (1887-1950) operated a boarding house in Calderwood for
the Laittre and Anderson Lumber Company before coming to Trout Creek. She
had two daughters: Mrs. Roy Roxbury of Trout Creek, and Mrs. E. J.
Defresne of Escanaba. She took an active part in all community affairs and
was a member of the Cloverdale Rebekah Lodge in Trout Creek and of the
Presbyterian Church and its Ladies' Aid. Because of her hotel, she was
well known throughout the Upper Peninsula. Some of her guests were Trout
Creek school teachers and Weidman's office personnel.
M. J. Fox was president of the Von Platen-Fox Lumber Company at Iron
Mountain. He resided there his last 30 years and died at the age of 65
after a lingering illness. He was a widely known lumberman. Mr. Fox was
born January 2, 1876, in Vermontville where
he lived until he was two years old. Thereafter, he lived near Grand
Rapids, Petoskey, and Horton's Bay where he went to work at the age of 18
at the sawmill and in the country store in the evenings. He became a
school director there and married a teacher, Cloe Edith McCartney, in
1901. Then he moved to Boyne City and did odd jobs in Godfrey von Platen's
lumber yard, making $1.37 a day. He attended school in Valparaiso,
Indiana, and went to work for Mr. von Platen in 1896 as assistant foreman
foreman two years later. In 1910 he came to Iron Mountain where he built
the sawmill which he managed until shortly before his death. Mr. Fox
succeeded Godfrey von Platen as president in 1924. Mr. Fox had six sons
and a daughter. The sons were Abbott (general manager of the von
Platen-Fox Company), Robert, James, John, George, and Fred. His daughter
married Avery Jennison of Green Bay. Abbott Fox was in charge of the mill
in Trout Creek when it closed. At that time he donated the park site by
the pond to
Interior Township with the provision it would be developed into a
community park. It was then named in his honor.
Ezra Gingrich was one of the oldest residents of Trout Creek. He was
lumber yard foreman for the Trout Creek Manufacturing Company for many
years. Then he was foreman for Weidman Lumber Company for years until he
retired. The Gingriches had three sons: Miles, Wayne, and Sherman.
Dr. Wayne Gingrich was an eye, ear, and nose specialist who practiced in
Ironwood. Dr. Sherman Gingrich was a veterinarian. He practiced in
Ironwood and Trout Creek for a number of years. He later moved to L'Anse
and was there until he died. His wife Katherine taught at the Trout Creek
School in the 1930's. Dr. Miles Gingrich was a chiropractor. After living
in Arizona he moved to Trout Creek and then to Ironwood. His wife Freda
died in the mid-1980's. They have a son, Dr. Miles Gingrich, Jr. He also
chiropractor and practices in Lower Michigan.
Harry A. and Hattie P. (Jacobs) Gooding moved to Trout Creek in 1944, with
four of their ten children. He was a sawmill worker until unable to work
because of ill health. They moved to Randville, Michigan, in 1950, where
Harry passed away in 1952. Hattie remarried in 1954, to Melvin Federspiel.
In 1971, while living in Channing, Michigan, she passed away. They were
members of the Free Evangelical Church.
The four Gooding children to attend the Trout Creek School were: Douglas,
born 1929, married Ann Coatware Stebbins, has one child, and lives in
Kingsford, Michigan; Fern, born 1932, married Forrest (Tom) LaBine, has
three children, and lives in Bergland, Michigan; Ronald, born 1934, while
married to Barbara Johnson had three children and now married to Nancy
Lakkonen lives in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin; and Gene, born 1938, married
Nancy Keuther, has two children, and lives in Cleveland, Wisconsin.
Toivo Gustafson was married to the former Ellen Lindell of North Agate. He
is the son of Samuel and Amanda Gustafson of Paynesville. They bought the
former John Helin farm (who retired around 1940). They have four children:
Ralph, Dorothy (Carr), William,
and Gary. Toivo logged and had a dairy farm. He worked 26 years for the
County Road Commission. He died in 1987.
Ralph is married to Phyllis Tibbits. He has worked many years at the White
Pine Mine and his wife is a teacher's aide at the Trout Creek School. They
have four children: David, Roger, Steven, and Lori (Lannet). Dorothy and
her husband have two children and live in Denver. William is married to
Julia Benson, a nurse, and he works for Cooper Heating; they have two
children. Gary is at home and has a herd of beef cattle and employs
woodsmen in his logging operation.
Clarence Hale, of Winegar, Wisconsin, was hired by Weidman to build and
run the sawmill at Trout Creek. He and his wife Bessie had six children.
Clarence was in charge of all the men and machinery. He did the hiring,
firing, and was the timekeeper. He was
on the job until the day he died at age 69. Mr. Hale had been appointed
by the State Board of Control for Vocational Education as an instructor in
metal work for the national defense class in the Interior Township School.
Instruction was given in many phases of metalwork such as welding,
drilling, threading, etc., and horseshoeing. Those in the class were John
Cody, Eugene Dove, Ben Manning, John Bell, Ernest Hemming, Claude
Carlisle, Douglas Myers, William Nelson, Melvin Johnson, William Malin,
LeRoy Kumpula, John Coyle, Paul Mareno, Karlo Sallmen, John C. Vaughn,
Walter Pulkas, Roy Backa, John McLaughlin, Jr., Raymond Kallio, Arne
Moilanen, and Arthur Weber.
Norma (Nashland) Hardes started school in a one-room schoolhouse about 15
miles north of Kenton, known as the Skoglund-Nashland School. After she
finished the tenth grade, she attended Marquette Normal for the summer
session of 1920 after teaching a half year. She received a special permit
to teach the spring semester of 1920 at the Skoglund-Nashland School where
only her brothers and sisters attended. After a second summer at Marquette
Normal, she taught at the Golden Glow School for three years. She married
Adrian Hardes in 1924 and did not teach anymore.
Adrian Hardes was born in 1899, son of Rosa and George M. Hardes. He and
Norma had four children: George, James, Constance (Mohrman), and Shirley
(Odom). Adrian attended school and later entered the Military and Naval
Academy in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. He
was employed at Kingsford; then worked for the US Forestry as
superintendent of a CCC camp. He was the secretary-treasurer of the
Ontonagon Livestock Association and a director of the Ontonagon County
Soil Conservation District. Adrian was supervisor of Interior Township in
1927, deputy sheriff, member of the Board of Education, and member of the
Ewen Masonic Lodge, No. 515. Adrian died in 1956.
One of the early Trout Creek businessmen was George M. Hardes (1861-1921),
a well-known and highly respected lumberman. He was born in Elmira, New
York. At an early age he came to Michigan and went to work in a furniture
factory in Grand Rapids. A few years later he moved to the Lake County
area south of Traverse City, where he became involved in logging and
lumbering. It was during this period that he met and married Rosa
Rosenberg (died in 1959 at 96 years); they had two children: LeVerne and
In 1899 Mr. Hardes, along with Hudd and Judd Rosenberg, bought property in
Trout Creek from Mr. Durmont. In approximately 1903 the Rosenberg brothers
sold their interest in the properties to Mr. Hardes; they then moved to
the west where they established a
Throughout his years as a businessman in Trout Creek, Mr. Hardes was very
active in local and county civic affairs. His kindness, generosity, and
sincere interest in the welfare of the area was widely recognized. For a
number of years he served on the Com mission for Upper Peninsula
Development Association, the County Board of Supervisors, and the Interior
Township as supervisor. He was a member of the Trout Creek School Board
until his death and was very active in local war efforts during World War
two local churches at that time were built with lumber he donated.
George and Rosa Hardes had five children: LeVerne (Porter), Victor,
Florence (Hadrich), Adrian, and Marion (Ivers). Florence, the lone
survivor, resides in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Marion lived in
Connecticut until her death in 1982. Victor, LeVerne, and Adrian lived in
Trout Creek for most of their lives. Victor died in 1946, LeVerne in 1956,
and Adrian in 1956.
Toivo and Hanna Harju lived in South Agate only a short time before moving
to Trout Creek. He did millwork. Mrs. Harju was Mrs. Hattula's sister.
They had five children: Gertrude was a Navy nurse and she and her husband
live in Iron Mountain; Arvo was a brakeman on the railroad; Martha was at
home; Viljo worked for Abbott Fox Lumber; and Eva married a minister.
Kusti and Hilma Hattula came from Finland in 1903 with two children.
They first settled in Gay in the Copper Country and then moved to Trout
Creek in 1912. Although they had a total of 15 children, ten grew to
adulthood. Mr. Hattula was a jobber for Weidman Lumber Company until he
died in 1924 at Marquette from an ulcer operation. The family was left for
Mrs. Hattula to raise. Charles, the oldest, married Leora Cottenham. They
lived in Trout Creek a part of their married life and had one daughter and
a son. Selma married Royce Dutcher and lived in Trout Creek. They had five
daughters, two of whom married Trout Creek boys. Anita married Charles
Pottala and raised three boys and one girl. John went to college and
became a minister; he married a girl from Bovey, Minnesota, and raised
three daughters and two sons. Oliver married a girl from Mass City; they
had a daughter and a son. Ludwig married a girl from Ewen; they had one
son. His wife died when the boy was small. He then married a girl from
Wisconsin and raised three sons and three daughters. Susan married James
Christen and raised one girl. Ellen married Walfred Perttula and raised
three sons and one daughter. Martha married Waino Perttula and raised
three girls and one boy. Vivian married a boy from Watton and they moved
to Arizona and had five daughters.
Ms. Hattula had her Ladies Aid and other interests such as weaving rag
rugs to keep her busy besides raising her big family.
Mr. Hattula had a step-brother, Oscar, who also lived in Trout Creek with
his wife, Tillie. They had four children. Mrs. Hattula had a sister,
Hannah Harju, living here with her husband, Toivo, and their children.
Mattias Hautamaki was born May 16,1860, in Lapua Vaasa Laani, Finland. He
came to the Agate Falls area in the summer of 1887. He had walked the
D.S.S. & A. Railroad grade from Ishpeming, Michigan, as there were no
rails at that time. When he arrived at Agate Falls there was a crew of
men, mostly Chinese (Coolie laborers), building the railroad trestle (the
original was of wood). He later worked at Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio,
unloading ships. He also worked on the Canadian Pacific Railroad. He
settled on the Hautamaki farm in 1888. He was married to Maria Bergman in
1889 by Pastor Heideman at Trout Creek. To this union nine children were
born, all at the home place: Senia (Wakevainen), August, Minnie
(Peltola-Leinonen), Hilda (Manty), Aili (Lahti-Manty), Leonard, Reino,
Vernon, and Walter. The three still living are Aili, Vernon, and Walter.
Matt passed away in 1942 at age 82; Marie in 1953 at age 77.
Toivo (1904-1980) came from Ylistaro, Finland, in 1917 with his mother
Amanda to join his father Isaac on the South Paynesville Road. Toivo was
married to Saima Hiitola (1908-1985); she was born in Merijarvi, Finland,
and came with her mother, Hilda, to join the father Nisula in 1916; they
lived in Alston, Lake Mine, and moved to a farm on South Paynesville Road.
Saima was the oldest of 15 children; four orphaned children were taken in
to be raised with their own.
Toivo and Saima had two children, Hilda and Wilho. He worked for loggers,
drove school bus, and farmed until his retirement. Hilda does work as a
cook at the Trout Creek School; Wilho is retired from the White Pine Mine
Company. An only grandchild, Robert, lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and
two sons. Toivo's brother John still lives on the farm in Paynesville;
Hilda and Wilho reside at their home in Trout Creek.
John and Erika Helin came to North Agate in 1911 from Ishpeming. He bought
land from Frank McLaughlin on Section 4. He was a logging jobber for
George Hardes in winters and worked on roads in the summers. He was a
highway commissioner as well as an overseer in the early 1920's. He had
has own logging camps south of Jumbo. In 1925 he went into chicken
farming; this enterprise carried into the late 1930's. They also had a
sizable dairy herd. Mrs. Helin did rug weaving and massaging as a
sideline. They were very outgoing and active in church and community
affairs. The Helin children were Hilja, who married Werner Besonen and
after his death married Victor Salmela; Katherine married Justus Heliin;
Saima married Walter Johnson, and Ellen married Nels Tahtinen.
Antti and Greeta Hietala came to Trout Creek in 1903 from Ishpeming with
their two children, Jack and Esther. They homesteaded several forties of
land a mile and half west of Trout Creek. Seven more children were born:
Linda (Bessen), Naima (Heikkala), Lillian (Jones), Lydia (Helsius), Viola
(Kallio), Andrew, and Irene (Kaare). Mr. Hietala farmed and worked at
lumber camps during winter. He died in April 1932, and his wife died two
months later. The children attended the North Agate and Trout Creek
schools. Lydia still resides at the family home on M-28. Esther, Naima,
and Irene still reside in Ontonagon County.
Herman and Hilda Hietamaki came from Finland with one son, August, and
settled in Ishpeming where six more children were born. In 1919, after
W.W.I, they moved to Trout Creek to settle on a farm formerly owned by
Jacob Neimi. They farmed there until retiring and the property went to son
William and his wife, Annabelle (Russell). William was in the service
during W.W.II. Daughter Helen married Arne Kangas and they live north of
Trout Creek. The other children moved from the area. Herman Hietamaki died
of leukemia in June 1951, and his wife died from complications of a broken
hip in September 1962. August died in 1927 and Theodore in 1986.
George Hokkanen (1918-1969) married Sylvia Martz on July 26, 1955. He was
employed by the White Pine Copper Mine as a blacksmith and they resided in
Agate. They had five children: Robert, Newberry, Michigan; Lillian
Lindberg, deceased; Steven, Trout Creek; Linda Hacker, Watton, Michigan;
and Dora Silk, Trout Creek.
Peter and Amalia Johnson came from Finland around 1890. They shared living
quarters with the August Hutula family in Agate, where they logged a
quarter section. In 1902 Johnson bought out from Hutula and their son
Charles was born while they lived there. An early tax receipt on the
property dated to 1898. The Johnson children were Lempi (Samppi Suominen),
Elmi (Peterson), Marian (Wright), Ingrid (Rosenquist), Walter, and Ellen.
Walter worked as a truck driver for Weidman and Fox Lumber Companies. He
married Saima Helin. Their son Norman was a skilled tradesman at
Oldsmobile in Lansing; he passed away in June of 1983. Their daughter
Verna and her husband Philip Numinen have administrative positions with
the State of Michigan at Lansing. Their second daughter, Sheila Etelamaki,
is assistant controller at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.
Johnson's great-grandson, Karl Numinen, is U.P. representative for Senator
Riegle in Marquette.
Mrs. Selma Johnson, one of the oldest residents of Trout Creek, was born
in 1897 in Minnesota. She came to Trout Creek in 1920. Born to her were
ten children, three of whom died in infancy. Marjorie and Melvin have also
passed away. Those children living are Elizabeth Dishaw of Ontonagon,
Evlynn Moffitt and Lois Perttula of Trout Creek, Leighton Carlisle of
Michigamme, and Milton Albaugh of Green River, Wyoming. Selma worked in
the local sawmill and did farming for many years.
Henry and Hanna Kaare came to South Agate in 1913 from Chassell and shared
a dwelling with the Matt and Hanna Ojala family. Henry logged for the
Calderwood Company and later was a mechanic at the Walter Kemppainen
garage in Ewen. They were members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Their children were Elma, who took a commercial course at Suomi College.
She also studied music and led choirs in Detroit, where she worked at
Sears, and later in Hancock. She married Carl Krym, a business executive.
She died in 1980. Syma graduated from Grant Hospital School of Nursing,
Chicago, as an RN, pursuing that vocation until retirement. She was
married to a Methodist clergyman from Estonia, Europe. Ellen worked for 34
years in Child Evangelism Fellowship after graduating from Moody Bible
Institute, Chicago. George, capable at many things, was best in mechanics.
He married Irene Hietala and worked at the White Pine Copper Mine for many
years. Arvo, married to Mae Nuutinen, was a carpenter in the home
construction business in Detroit. John, married to Arlene Lespi, lives
west of Trout Creek. He retired from teaching in the Ewen-Trout Creek
school system after 30 years. All but one of the five children are Suomi
Leonard and Fanny Kahkonen were married in 1902. They came from Finland
and lived in Hancock for ten years and then to Trout Creek where they
farmed. Their children were Olga, who married Toivo Kariainen; Bill,
Sylvia, Esther, Linda, and also two who died
as babies. The father died in 1951, the mother in 1959.
The Herman and Anna Kangas family came from the Copper Country and settled
in the Trout Creek area in 1918. They had an apple orchard and raised
dairy cattle on the original Tom Gilder's homestead. Herman also drove
logging truck for the Weidman Lumber Company. Their children were Arne,
Eino, Reino, Ernest, Edwin, Esther, and Elma. Herman and Anna retired from
the farm in 1953 and moved closer to town. Herman died in 1965, Anna in
1973. Two sons preceded them in death: Eino in 1959 and Edwin in 1972.
and his wife Helen reside in Trout Creek. Ernest and his wife Helmi, who
came to Trout Creek in 1920, still live here. His main occupation was
construction welder and their children are Robert and James.
Herman and Matilda Kantola came from Ishpeming around 1912 to farm south
of the Mile Crossing. Sons Eino and Arne worked at sawmills. Daughter
Aileen was a store clerk at Rosbergs. Mr. Kantola was an uncle to Dr.
Taito Kantonen, a professor at a college in Ohio. A niece, Mrs. Aino Lilja
Halkola, is a poet and mother of David Halkola, a professor at Michigan
Charles Kariainen came to Ishpeming from Finland in 1909 at the age of 19
and arrived in Trout Creek in 1910. He married Amalia Jauhiainen, also
from Finland, in 1911. She was a housemaid at the Pulkas farm. In 1914
Charles bought 40 acres of cut-over land in Agate with hundreds of stumps.
He worked at Hardes sawmill and in the building of Weidman's mill at Trout
Creek in 1912, worked in area woods, and as a section hand for the D.S.S.
& A. Railroad. He worked mostly at the Weidman Lumber Yard as a lumber
piler. The Kariainens had five children: Toivo, born 1913; Charles, 1915;
Wilho, 1917; Arvo, 1919, and Paul, 1921. Amalia died in 1922 and Charles
married Nelma Peterson of Tapiola. They had two children: Sylvia, born in
1924, and Ernest, 1931. Charles died in 1954.
Melville and Shirley (Weber) Kimmel were married in 1950 at Manistique,
Michigan, and have two daughters, Carla and Pamela. Melville worked as an
electrician and mechanic and most recently as a job logger. Shirley worked
as an L.P.N. in hospitals and is semi-retired. The Kimmels lived in Trout
Creek for 20 years and presently live in Grangeville, Idaho.
Wilho and Ida Kivi came from Fitchburg, Massachusetts, in 1923. He was a
lumber handler at the Weidman Lumber Company. Their son, Frank, worked in
the auto industry in Detroit. Daughter Ida married August Laitinen, who
worked as a mechanic with the Ontonagon County Road Commission and the Fox
Lumber Company. The Laitinens had four children: John and Stanley of
Winthrop, Illinois, and James and Michael of Peabody, Massachusetts.
Charles Knivila (1880-1918) came to this country from Finland about 1900.
Selma J. Anderson (1885-1946) came to this country about the same time and
they were married in Iron River, Wisconsin, in 1904. They had six
children: Charles, Emil, Alex, Arnold, Vernice, and Elmer.
Charles (1906-1973) married Eva Bessen in 1934; she died in 1971. They had
two sons: Bruce, married to Peggy Perttula, is an engineer at Detroit
Diesel; and Douglas, married to Esther Larson, has three sons and one
daughter and works for G.M.C. Transmission in Detroit.
Emil (Ray) (1907-1988) married Mary Mareno in 1939. They have three sons:
Allan, born 1940, married Sue Behrend in 1970 and they have a son,
Bradley, and a daughter, Christy, and is a teacher at Michigan
Technological University, Houghton; Robert F., born 1945, is single and a
counselor at Pinconning High School; Steven P., born 1957, married Lori
Kuster in 1983 and worked for the DNR at the Gogebic State Park; and
Bernard J., born 1940, died at birth.
Alex J. (1909-1966) was a bachelor. Arnold R. (1910-1983) was married and
had a daughter, Beverly. Vernice, born 1912, married Henry Bessen, who
died in 1970. They had two sons, Richard, who works for the US Labor
Department, and Michael, who works for the City of Detroit. Elmer, born
1916, married Lucile Whitsell in 1947. She died in 1985.
Alex Knivila and Hilma Hautamaki both came from Finland and met and
married in Kenton. They had eight children: Theodore, Walter, Edwin, Lila,
Lillian, Mayme, Helen, Viola, and Elaine. They moved to Trout Creek in
1926. Alex died in 1931; Hilma in 1947.
Lila married Ernest Hemming. They both attended school in Trout Creek. He
joined the CCC and later the US Navy. He worked for different lumber
companies and also for White Pine Copper Company for 21 years. The Hemming
children are Danny, David, Sandra, Dale, Bonnie, and Laura.
George and Anna Kohtala came to Trout Creek in 1920 where he was employed
as carpenter, blacksmith, and farmer. Their children were Theodore, Helmi,
Reino, and Mrs. Kohtala's nephew, Ronald Moilanen.
Gust and Anna Korhonen came from Calumet, Michigan, in 1913, and settled
on a farm near Agate Falls, presently owned by Ed McLaughlin. They had
dairy cattle and chickens; in the winter Gust worked at lumber camps. They
were members of the Finnish Lutheran
Church that was located near the Agate Cemetery. They had three daughters
and two sons: Mary (Johnson), Martha (Anderson), Irene (Teske), Uno, and
The LaBine family is originally from Montreal, Canada. Medrick T. LaBine
was the first born of nine children to Armase and Lillian LaBine in
Michigamme, Michigan, on May 19, 1904. Medrick came to Trout Creek around
1926. His occupation was mostly driving truck, hauling coal from Ontonagon
and later slab firewood from the sawmills. He also worked at the pulp mill
On June 27, 1927, he married Bernice B. Moffitt, daughter of Archie and
Lillie Moffitt, at the Catholic Church in Champion, Michigan. Bernice was
born in Wexford County, near Cadillac, Michigan, on March 3,1909. The
Moffitts were some of the first settlers, having moved to Trout Creek
around 1912 from Lower Michigan.
Born to Medrick and Bernice were five living children. Archie A., born
1928 and married to Rose Marie LaCentia, has five children and lives in
Milpitas, California. Forrest (Tom), born 1934 and married to Fern
Gooding, has three children and lives in Bergland, Michigan. Cecil E.,
born 1934, while married to Beatrice McGeshick had four children, then
married to Ann LaCoste, adopted two children, lives in Wisconsin. Leota,
born 1937, while married to Charles Sharrard had five children (three
survive), and then married to Norman Millu had four sons. Leota passed
away January 19, 1987, and is buried in Trout Creek. Norman still lives in
Trout Creek. Dorothy L., born 1944, is married to Brian Williams, has four
children, and lives in Herrin, Illinois.
Bernice and Medrick both died at the L'Anse Hospital in 1980; she on March
9, and Medrick on July 23. They are both buried in Trout Creek.
John Laitala and his wife Ida Marie came to the United States in early
1900's, first moving to Hancock and then to Trout Creek. They bought the
farm in 1939. Their sons Emil and Albert were born in Finland; Sulo was
born in Trout Creek.
Emil married Pearl Anttila in 1938. Their children are John Henry, Maria,
Jacob and James. John is a maintenance engineer in Lake Forest; Jake is a
farmer; James has heavy equipment and operates locally; and Maria is a
Albert and his wife Elsie are on the former Sigfried Heikkala farm.
Sulo and Sylvia live in Ontonagon and operate Syl's Country Kitchen. They
have many children, Elsie, Dorothy, Martha, Marjorie, Carol, and Joann.
Marjorie is a surgical nurse at Ontonagon and Martha is a floor nurse
there. Carol is a registered nurse.
Henry and Anna Lakanen moved to Trout Creek in 1909 from Calumet, settling
to farm in the Mile Crossing area west of town. They became a sort of
pivot family amongst the Evangelical Lutheran Church, housing the incoming
ministers, etc. Henry worked at Hardes' Mill and hauled logs for William
Campbell. Their children were: Reino, Gertrude, Elissa, Eva, and Weikko,
all of whom graduated from the local high school.
Reino, having served in W.W.II, remained on the home place where he built
a small sawmill and still does custom sawing. In the fall of 1987 Reino
married the former Louise Meyers. Gertrude married John Ollila, Jr., was
educated at Suomi College, worked as
a postal clerk, office girl for Fox Lumber Company, and was a long-time
organist and choir director. Elissa married Loren King; Eva married
Stanley Birk and raised a family. She is presently Mrs. John Jones in
Maryland. Weikko married Sylvia Kariainen and they have a daughter Gina.
They currently live in Bruce Crossing.
Taito Lehto came from Finland as did his wife, Sanna; they went to the
Copper Country and made their first home at Chassell. They moved to South
Agate. He was in woodswork and they farmed. They had a son, Arne, and four
daughters, Edna (Capellman), Vieno (Crabb), Ida (Newton), and Ellen
(Perttula). All, except Ellen, are former Chicago residents and now have
homes on the Lehto premises. Another son, Waino, died at age six. Ellen
and Wilho live near town, following his retirement from work in Munising.
A Lehto granddaughter, Elizabeth, and her husband David Exline, bought the
Kaare property in 1985.
Edward Leinonen was born in 1878 at Puolanka, Finland, and arrived in
America in 1908. His wife, Reeta, was also born in Puolanka in 1887 and
came to America about 1907. They were married in Hancock in 1909. They
moved to Trout Creek in 1913, settling first two miles south of town,
later moving closer. They received their citizenship papers in 1934 and
1935, after classes in the English language taught by John Ollila. They
farmed and he worked at the lumber camps. They had six children: John,
Impi, Arthur, Tymi, and Signe, who married Harold Anderson and resides in
the house of her birth. Ed and Reeta celebrated their Golden Anniversary
in 1959. She died in May, 1965; he in December of that same year.
Herman and Matilda Lindell lived in the South Agate area before 1918, when
they bought land and moved to North Agate. He worked ten-hour shifts at
Hardes' Mill during the summers, traveling the four-and-a-half mile
distance on foot morning and night. It was said that his measured pace was
proof that he had served in the Tsar's army in his youth.
Mrs. Lindell heard the rumble of the 500-foot cave-in of the river bank on
the Middle Branch around 1930. People from as far away as Chicago came to
see the ominous sight.
Their daughter, Ellen Gustafson, is still a North Agate resident. Two
children, Tekla and Herman, are deceased.
Orson H. Losey came from Portland, Michigan, to Trout Creek in 1900 or
before. He and his wife Jennie ran a clothing store where the post office
now stands. He was an avid hunter and fisherman; one of the first fly
fishermen in the country. He had a hunting camp on the former Walt Smith
farm six miles south of Trout Creek. This camp is still used today. Mr.
Losey was the Interior Township supervisor in 1928 and 1929. He died
sometime in the 1930's. The clothing store burned in the '30's also. Elmer
Drier was living in the building at the time.
Kaarlo Elias, known as Charles (1870-1935), and Anna Gustava Leinonen
(1875-1931) were both born in Oulu, Finland. They were married in Kemi,
Finland, in 1897 and came to America four years later. They moved first to
Ishpeming, Michigan, where father, being an avid skier, participated in
ski races. They became American citizens in 1907 and later moved to a farm
in Agate, where they raised a large family. The family included Aili, the
first born, who died in Finland as a small child. Then came Charlie, Jack,
Paul, Arnie, Otto (all deceased), Sigrid, Edna (deceased), Lillian,
Martha, Aileen, and three who died at birth: Sadie, Matthew, and George.
Mother Anna was a midwife, delivering babies whenever needed. She was
deeply religious and is remembered for her beautiful soprano voice. When
the Calderwood sawmill was running, Charles would deliver farm products by
horse and buggy, or winter sled, some five miles away.
Mr. Madden was born in Chassell and Mrs. Madden was born in Baraga. He was
a depot agent in Baraga, Ishpeming, Nestoria, and in 1933 came to Trout
Creek to be depot agent until his retirement in 1958. They had six
children: Cecilia (Bessen), Violet (Manning) (died in 1985), James, Helen
(Nelson) (died in April, 1988), Robert, and Pat (Mattson).
Nicholas Maki (1898-1969) came from Finland in 1902 and settled in the
Trout Creek area. In 1924 he married Margaret Ojala (1905-1970) from
Chassell. They moved to Calderwood in 1933 and in 1968 moved back to Trout
Creek. Nicholas was a foreman in logging
camps, farmed, and worked at the Fox Lumber Mill in Trout Creek. The
Makis had seven children: Hjordis (Hiitola), deceased; Betty (Syrjala),
Bruce Crossing; Lillian (Lee), Winthrop Harbor, Illinois; Ernest, Neenah,
Wisconsin; Roy, Winthrop Harbor, Illinois; Roger, Bruce Crossing; and
Sylvia (Martz), Trout Creek.
George Manning (1880-1951) and Rosa Lee Jones (?-1979) were both born in
Kentucky and married in Wisconsin in 1903. They came to Michigan in 1916
and lived in Trout Creek for 27 years. He was a railroad employee and
later worked with Fox Lumber. They had four daughters: Virgie (Irish),
Pearl (Wilcox), Bertha (Green Fournier), and Virginia (Pulkas Wierikko).
Their sons were Glen, who married Yvonne Trembley; Ben, who married Violet
Madden (deceased), and Vernon, unmarried.
Glen's children are: Ronald (now deceased), who was with the Chicago White
Sox in 1950, entered the service in 1951 with the military police. Delores
(Warrick), Dawn (McIntyre), Nancy (Peterson), Joan (Pelkola) and Kathryn,
who died at two days of age. Ben's children are: Bob, Jim, Karen and
Sandy. Virgie's children are: Bud, Lyle, Delores and Patsy. Virgie is
Pearl (deceased) had a son, Norman. Bertha (deceased) had a son, Roland,
who also is deceased. Virginia has a daughter, Caroline. Glen and Yvonne
died in 1979 and 1973.
Jake McLaughlin's great-grandparents had their beginnings in Cork,
Ireland, and moved to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Grandfather Frank McLaughlin
moved to Falls Siding in the early 1880's and logged the Middle Branch
until 1910. He married Rosie Robinson, who
died in 1895. Frank died in 1927.
Frank's son, David William (Jake's father), moved back to Mt. Pleasant
where he married Frances Torpi. They returned to Falls Siding in 1900 and
he worked in and was a bookkeeper in lumber camps with his dad. William
died in 1942; Frances in 1946.
They had seven children: Tom, Jack, Joe, Ed Jake, Clara (Johnson), Rose
(Howlett), and Susan (Christianson). Jake is the only surviving member.
Jake attended the Falls Siding school. In December 1941, he moved to his
present home. He cared for a farm and cattle as well as operated the
Sunnyside Bar. In 1964 the cattle were sold off the farm and Jake retired
and sold the bar in 1974.
METOS: Thomas J. Metos (1897-1967) was born in Greece and came to the US
in 1912. He was a cook in Marquette, Michigan, for a few years. In 1928,
he married Jennie A. Pelkola (1905-1954) of Paynesville. They had 12
children: Katherine (Moilanen), James, Mary (Dezore), Effie (Thomas),
George, Alex, Jennie (Koski), John (deceased), Sylvia (Sain), Thomas,
Dorothy, and Robert. In the early 1930's they bought and began operating a
farm in the Agate Falls area.
Archie Cecil Moffitt was born in 1874 in Pennsylvania and moved to Hersey,
Michigan, with his parents where he was a farmer. Lillian Bertha Hilts was
born in 1877 in Hersey. They were married in 1896. They had six of their
twelve children in Hersey (one died there). They moved to Trout Creek in
1912 with five children: Teresa, Russell, Clistia, Elma, and Bernice. They
had six more children: Sheldon, and twins Leonard and Glenn (Spike),
Eldon, and twins Edson and Edwin. Three of these six children died at
birth. Archie worked for Weidman Lumber Company and also farmed. He had
three sets of oxen.
Clista Moffitt married Emil Hemming and had two children. He died in 1925.
She then married Adelbert Cronkright in 1926 and they had ten children.
Adelbert was born in Midland and came to Trout Creek after he served in
the Army in W.W.I. He worked at the sawmill and farmed. Most of their
children still live in the area: Vivian, Ernest, Mae, Daniel, Angeline,
Maxine, Richard, Gary, Duane, and Esther.
Henry Moilanen (1875-1964) was born in Puolanka Oulunlanni, Finland, and
came to the US in 1900. Settling in the Copper Country, he worked in the
mines. He and Susan Lahti, who came from Finland as a young girl, were
married in 1911 in the Copper Country.
They owned and operated a dairy farm in the Agate Falls area beginning
around 1919. Henry and Susan had five children: Taimi, Ontonagon Long-Term
Care; Arthur, Covington Rest Home, William, Mayme, and Lyyli, all
deceased. In 1947, William married Katherine Metos in Trout Creek. They
lived in Paynesville and Agate Falls area for several years before moving
to the Seppi farm in Trout Creek in 1966. William and Katherine had seven
children: Robert, Arlene, Jim, Dan, Mike, Dave, and Billy (deceased). Jim
his wife, Wanda (Urpila) have one son, Jeremy, and live in Trout
MYERS: Charles Myers came to Trout Creek from Pennsylvania in 1911. He
worked at the sawmill as a fireman. He married Tresa Moffitt in 1913. They
had five children: Reva, Dallas, Douglas, Dorety, and Verna. Charlie died
in 1957 and Teresa in n 1927.
Reva married John Johnson and had one son, John, who married and four
children: John (Jack) died in 1966; Johnny died in 1984 and Reva died in
Dallas, single, lives in Lansing. Douglas was killed at the White Pine
Mine in 1958. He was married to Viola (Dutcher) and they had three
children: Rosie, Floyd, and Ruth. They all have married and live in
Oregon. Dorety married and died 1985. Verna married Fred Johnson in 1946
and they had two children: Sandi married Dan Hemming, who is a foreman at
White Pine. They have three children and live in Trout Creek Freddie
married Alice Margaritis and they have two children. He works at White
Pine and they live in Paynesville. Vern still lives in Trout Creek, but
her husband, Fred, died in 1970.
Hannah Besonen married Antti Bakkola and had a son, Heino. Antti died when
Heino was young. Hannah then married Herman Soder and had a son, Reino.
Reino was young when Herman died. Both sons are deceased. Hanna and Gust
Nelson were then married and lived in Kenton until 1926 when they moved to
Trout Creek. They resided here until their deaths, Gust in 1936, Hannah in
1953. They had six, children: Elna (McLaughlin), Helen (Lespi), Walter,
and William, all deceased; and Jennie (May) of Watersmeet and Eleanor
(Madden) of Trout Creek.
August Nordine came to Interior from Sweden in 1893 and moved to Kenton in
1896 where he married his old country sweetheart. Six boys and four girls
were born to this couple and these ten children have spent practically all
of their lives in Michigan. August went into business for himself in
Kenton cutting railroad ties, and cedar posts and poles from the
Sparrow-Kenton lands in the winter. The summers were spent clearing and
farming a large farm four miles southwest of Kenton. In the meantime he
became involved in school and township politics. His boys seem to have
followed somewhat the same pattern.
Matti and Johanna (Valimaki) Ojala were born in Kuortane, Finland, in
1880. They came to the US and were married soon after the turn of the
century, settling in the Paynesville area for a short time. They moved to
Chassell, where he worked at a sawmill. They had eight children: Lillian
(Mrs. John Maki), Margaret (Mrs. Nick Maki), Helen (Mrs. Reino Heikkala),
Sanford, Sylvia (Mrs. Wynard Stille), Carl, Andrew, and Elizabeth (Mrs.
Leslie Wilson). The first five were born in Chassell, the others in Trout
Creek, where they lived on the South Agate Road. The father died in 1918,
a victim of the dreadful flu epidemic. His widow then married Jack Hukkala
and they had five children: Jack, Mary, Ruth (Mrs. Gerald Clark), Dorothy
(Mrs. Eugene Anderson), and Miriam (Risner). Only Sanford, Dorothy and
Miriam survive. After Hanna died,
Mr. Hukkala married Mrs. Gronvall, whose children were William, Erick,
Reino, and Gertrude.
John, Sr., and Fiina Ollila bought land in Trout Creek in 1904, but moved
to the area in 1912. She kept boarders who worked in woodwork. Their
children were Fanny (Mrs. John Perttula), Arla (Mrs. August Hautamaki),
and John, who married Gertrude Lakanen, and was a school teacher in the
area for many years. John was the Township Clerk for 40 years and has held
various positions in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. He has been a tenor
in choirs throughout the years and still provides the piano accompaniment
at the Senior Citizen Nutrition Program. John is the only survivor to
carry the Ollila name.
John and Sofia (Ristila) Paivarinta came from Nivala and Nurmo, Finland,
to Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1905. Waino and Ida were born there, after
which they moved to South Range where Linda, Isaac, and Arvid were born.
They then moved to Red Town in 1912; Charley and Alfred were born in Trout
Creek. John worked for Weidman Lumber Company and built the home and farm.
He logged at Johnson Camp, south of Trout Creek, and had a camp set up for
men at the farm, doing his logging south and east of town. He also logged
for Nordine, south of Kenton. After that he worked on the highway with his
team of horses.
When Waino was ten, he and the three next oldest children were old enough
to go to school together. They walked down the railroad track two and
one-half miles and Weidman's logging road. Their father walked them the
first day and came for them at three. They spoke no English so the next
day the teacher had Reino Suhonen interpret, from then on it went
Ida worked for Mrs. Dickson for $25 a month and other places, reaching a
wage of $45 per month working for Mrs. Weidman for two years. When working
at the Connors' home, Marie said, "Here comes the milkman, would you
answer the door?" Then and there, Ida met her future husband. Ida and
her husband, Nels Aho, raised four sons. The sisters and brothers left
home to work and eventually raised their own families. Waino never
married; he and brothers Isaac and Charley were in the Army.
In this five-generation family are the immigrant parents, John and Sofia
Paivarinta, with seven children, 12 grand-children, seven
great-great-grandchildren, and seven great-great-great-grandchildren.
John and Fanny Perttula moved to Trout Creek from Ishpeming in 1920. He
worked in the woods and as a township road commissioner. He served on the
Co-op board, the REA board, and the church council. He also was an agent
for the Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company. Fanny was one of the lead
singers in church. Their children are: Waino, married Martha Hattula and
worked at the sawmill; Walfred, married Ellen Hattula and was teamster at
the mill yard; Wilho, married Ellen Lehto and was a dry kiln operator;
Wilbert, married Lois Carlisle and was a lumber grader; Wesley, married
Cynthia Juntti and farmed before moving to California; Ruth, married
Robert Steinmetz and clerked at Settlers' Co-op before moving to Chicago;
Rueben worked at the Co-op store in Mass City, and now owns a glass
business in Bakersfield, California.
Victor Saari (1897-1921) was born in Finland and lived in Minnesota before
moving to Calumet in 1901. Selma Hogbacka (1879-1973) came to Negaunee
from Finland in 1902. Victor worked in the mines and Selma worked at a
bakery and a boarding house run by her
aunt and uncle in Negaunee. They married in 1902 and moved to Ironwood
where Victor worked in the mines and Selma at the Hotel Curry. Eight
children were born to them: Leslie (1906-1932), Ellen (1907 - ), Niilo
(1909-1987), Gertrude (1911 - ), Bert (1912-1980), Reino (1914 - ), Rudy
(1916 - ), and Ingrid (1919-1929). The family moved to Trout Creek in 1920
where Victor worked as a logger. In her later years, Selma was the first
resident at the Medicare Facility in Ontonagon and resided in Maple Manor
until her death.
Ellen (Saari) Anderson and her husband live in Ironwood and have two
surviving children. Gertrude (Saari) Westerberg and her husband have one
daughter and live in Ironwood. Reino and his wife Elsie live in Ironwood
and have three children; he worked at the White Pine Mine, Ahonon's Mill,
and the mines in Ironwood. Rudy, an entrepreneur, graduated from Trout
Creek in 1934, attended Michigan State University and in May of 1941
joined the Air Force. He and his wife Mary live in Ontonagon and had six
children: Guy (deceased), Vicki, Ted, Mary Kay, Ginger, and David. Bert
remained single and worked for Weidman and Abbott Fox lumber companies.
Niilo also worked at the sawmills, entering the Army in 1942. He was
wounded in action and taken prisoner of war in the
Battle of the Bulge; he was liberated in 1945. He was married to Esther
Franti and they had two daughters: Judith Demaray and Jeanette Stenson,
who live in Trout Creek with their families.
Michael Silk married Dora Hokkanen in 1974 and they have resided in Trout
Creek since that time. Dora is a U.S. postal worker and Michael is a truck
driver for Gitche Gumee Oil Company. They have two children: Summer Lee,
born in 1978, and Michael Joel, born in 1983.
Nestor and Ida Sjogren moved to North Agate from Calumet in 1917. He had
earlier worked and bought land in the Trout Creek area. They built the
house that their son John still lives in. Mr. Sjogren was educated in
Finland's Kansakoulu and graduated from the Forestry and Agricultural
School there in 1904. He did secretarial work in the church. He was a
talented Sunday School teacher and song leader, as well as a long-time
news correspondent to the Amerikan Suometar. He had training in
slaughtering animals. Mrs. Sjogren was one of the Lakanen family. She
worked in fabric mills in Massachusetts. She took part in community
activities and was well liked in the community.
Charles and Bridget Alice Garrick lived in Chase, Michigan, where four of
their five children were born: William, Robert, Charles and Mary. They
came to Trout Creek to homestead in 1893, where daughter Stella was born.
Mary cooked at the Hardes and Calderwood boarding houses; she married
Henry Aslin; they had two children, George and Lauretta, born in Red Town.
Mary later married Jack Staff and raised his son, Jack. She was the first
cook at the Trout Creek School when the lunch program began; she was a
member of the Presbyterian Church and was active in the Ladies Aid.
Lauretta Aslin married Fred Sliger in 1928 and had six children: William,
Charles, Nancy, Fred, and John. Daughter Mary Margaret died in infancy.
Lauretta was a cook at the Trout Creek School until retiring in the mid
1980's. Fred worked at various jobs including logging train engineer,
school bus driver, and had a garage with his brother Jack. Fred had three
brothers: Paul, Walter and Edward.
Fred's and Lauretta's children graduated from Trout Creek. William
attended Michigan Tech and is an engineer. Charles served in the armed
forces and works at the Empire Mine in Ishpeming. Fred attended Michigan
Tech and joined the Michigan State Police; he recently retired. Jack is
employed at White Pine; Nancy is married and lives in Iron River.
Paul Sliger was born in Oconto, Wisconsin, in 1900. His father, William,
was born in Canada; mother Margaret Maloney in Ireland. Paul's early years
were spent in Oconto, Nahma, Bonitas, and Trout Creek. In high school he
played basketball and was a track and field athlete, graduating in 1918
from Trout Creek High School. In 1919 he enrolled at Ferns Institute to
study banking but chose a career in logging and forest management. During
the 1920's he worked as a bookkeeper and foreman at various lumber camps.
Through most of the '30's he served as a superintendent at CCC camps.
During the 40's and 50's he was a ranger for the U S Forest Service,
retiring in 1959. He also served a term as Township Clerk, and was on the
school board for 25 years.
Hazel MacLauchlin Sliger was born in Chassell in 1902. Her father Albert
came from Canada to Michigan at an early age; her mother Louise Remington
was born in Marquette in 1883. The MacLauchlins had four children Haze,
Thield, Leona, and Grace. Hazel graduated from Chassell High School in
1920 and taught in the area.
In 1923, Paul and Hazel were married. A son, Bernard, was born to them in
1924; Bette (LePage) and Margaret (Besonen) followed in 1927 and 1930,
respectively. Bernard has served as President of Florida State University
since 1976. Margaret is employed by the Setters Co-operative in Bruce
Crossing and lives in Trout Creek, and Bette resides in Ewen, Michigan
During W.W.II, Hazel returned to teaching. She initiated the Mothers'
Club. At this time, too, kindergarten graduations were introduced. Hazel
continued teaching until her retirement in 1967. She led an active life.
She served on the boards of the U.P. Association of Rural Health, the Ewen
Medical Clinic, the Senior Citizen Board, Chairman of the Trout Creek
Civic Improvement committee. She was also a newspaper correspondent, in
addition to her church work.
Both Paul and Hazel died suddenly: he on August 19, 1964; Hazel in
February 1987. They are buried side by side in the Trout Creek
In 1903, at the age of 19 and following a hunting trip to the Upper
Peninsula, W. J. Smith started making plans to homestead in the Trout
Creek area. The following spring he went to work for his uncle on a farm
near Ionia, Michigan, to earn a dollar a day
plus room and board. This was what he needed for his grub stake. After
the harvest he drew his wages and began assembling his necessary
equipment. That fall he moved from the family farm near Portland to settle
in a two-room cabin in a small clearing south of Trout Creek.
Mr. Smith was a man of many talents. He bought and rebuilt a gasoline
powered machine that could be used on the railroad that passed within
three-quarters of a mile from his homesite. The tracks were provided by a
logging company for hauling logs into the
sawmill. Often he snowshoed the five plus miles to town, but used his
"Scoot Wagon" for bringing out supplies. Besides being an avid
hunter fisherman and trapper (he at one time tended a ten-mile trap line),
he was a skilled clocksmith and gunsmith. He made molds for bullets,
melted lead to fill them, then loaded his own shells. He took pictures
with a box camera, which used glass plates, developed and printed post
cards. To clear the forty acres of land for his farm, he used dynamite
that was packed in sturdy pine boxes. These boxes were then re-cycled into
chairs and tables to furnish the cabin. Besides caring for his garden, he
built a cabin, a woodshed, and had a barn well underway.
In 1915, W. J. Smith married Leila Burtless, a young teacher from
Marquette who was staying in Trout Creek with Mr. and Mrs. Losey. The
couple had four daughters, who when they were old enough were taught by
the mother at home. Within the next few years he added a third room to the
cabin and finished the barn, complete with a silo (the first one in the
area). To complete his farm, he acquired some livestock Later he built a
workshop, a garage and an addition to the barn.
In 1926, the W. J. Smith family moved back to Portland, Michigan, to take
over the family farm. The cabin they lived in still stands on the homes
south of Trout Creek. The farm buildings no longer exist.
In the summer of 1984, the Smith sisters returned to Trout Creek to spend
a day at their birth place. In that same year they compiled and had
printed a booklet that was dedicated to the memory of their parents on the
100th anniversary of the birth of W. J. Smith. The sisters are still
living in the Portland and Lansing areas. W. J. Smith died in 1959 and
Leila in 1980.
Willard Strangle was born in 1907 at the Paavola Location north of
Hancock, Michigan. Willard's father, Gustaf, was born in Pieskamaki,
Finland, and his mother, Elizabeth Tolonen, in Hyyrysalmi, Finland. His
parents married and lived in the Paavola Location until they moved to
Trout Creek in 1914, settling on One-Mile Road West, north of town.
Willard and his sister Nannie were born at the Paavola Location and both
completed eight grades in the Trout Creek School. Nannie married Hubert
Bosio and lived mostly in the Tapiola, Michigan, area, raising a daughter
Betty, now of California.
Willard's wife, Vera Emilia Niemi, was born in 1910 in Trout Creek. Her
father, Jacob Bernhard Niemi was born in Simi, Finland. Her mother, Lempi
Hietala, was from Ishpeming. There were four other children in Vera's
family: Martha, who marred Bill Tolonen, lived in the Alston area; Bertha,
married to Wayne Bosio, lived north of Trout Creek; Eero was married and
lived in Idaho; and Bruno, who was a baby when his mother died, was cared
for by Mrs. Nousiainen until he grew up. Jacob continued to work in the
area lumber mills while the older children cared for the household
Willard and Vera were married in 1930 in Koochiching County, Minnesota.
They lived in International Falls where their son Stanley was born. They
moved back to Trout Creek in 1936 and daughter Patti was born in 1937. In
1958, Strangle purchased the Andrew Pitkanen farm in Paynesville and has
lived there since, raising berries and garden crops. Willard also worked
in the woods, lumber mills and then spent 17 years working at the White
Pine Copper Mine until his retirement in 1970.
Stanley graduated from the Trout Creek School in 1952 and worked at White
Pine from 1955 to 1987 as an electrician. He is active in CB and Ham radio
and was in the television repair business. He's also active in photography
and is a licensed private pilot.
Patti married Denver Leinonen, a school teacher at Ewen and Almont
Michigan, who retired in 1987. They have two boys, James, born in 1961 and
presently in California, and Jerry, born in 1964 and a student at Northern
Nels and Ellen (Helin) were married in 1937. He was a milk truck driver
for the Stella Cheese Company from 1935 to 1942, ran the Mobil gas station
from 1942 to 48. He was also a woodsman, a fireman at Fox Lumber Company
from 1951 to 1960, and did carpentry. He died in 1987, three months short
of celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Ellen cooked at summer
camps and at senior citizens' nutrition meals. The Tahtinens had four
children. Roy is the pastor in E.L.C.A. at South Range, Michigan, past
District Dean, chairman of Senior American Coalition, and is on the
Ontonagon County Commission on Aging. He is married to Nora Hansen and has
two children. Donald lives in Cloquet, Minnesota, and is the proprietor of
Elcom Corporation, which makes in computers, in Duluth. He is a church
elder, and county G.O.P. chairman. He's married to Dawn Grandish and they
have four children. Diane, married to Douglas Canker, has three children
and lives in Waukegan, Illinois. She is a court clerk-typist for an
insurance firm. Eva, married to Wayne Lundstrom, has two children and
lives in Rapid City, South Dakota. She is an accounting clerk at First
THEBERT: Jane Blackwood and her father Peter moved to Agate Falls in 1940
when they took over the Agate Falls Resort. William (Cokey) Thebert joined
Blackwood in the store business and married Jane in 1941. The Theberts ran
the store from then until they sold it in 1969 and settled in Bessemer,
Michigan. William died in 1978. They had two children: Janis (Anderson),
born in 1943, and Joe, born in 1948.
Mr. and Mrs. Hanse Peter Thompson (now deceased) moved to Trout Creek in
1900 from Deer Park, Wisconsin. Hanse's brother-in-law Peter Shulstadt and
his wife Hannah were living in Trout Creek and got Hanse a job on the
section for the D.S.S. & A. Railroad.
The Hanse Peter Thompson's had ten children: Harris, Roland, Thora,
Elmer, Irene, Olive, Joenetta, Perry, and Oliver, who drowned in Hardes'
pond around the age of ten. A daughter, born in Texas, died there as an
Harris (deceased) married Rachel Ann Burlew, daughter of the Schroeders,
owners of the Cloverland Hotel. He worked at the school and later at
Weidman Lumber. Their son Harris (deceased) married Gladys Grabel and had
two children, Kenny and Jeanne. They moved to Flint where she worked in a
hospital and he with the Postal Service.
Roland (1889-1973) married Pearl, daughter of Dave Gilders who was raised
by Thomas Gilders, and they adopted Shirley Mae as an infant. He was a
Standard Oil agent for many years.
Thora (1895-1984) worked at the depot and Fox Lumber Company office and
cared for her mother.
Elmer (1890-1971) joined the Army at Fort Custer in 1918 and served in
France in the battles of Verdun, St. Mihiel and Neuse-Argonne of W.W.I. He
operated a livery stable which later became "Thompson Brothers'
Garage," where he worked as a mechanic. He married Alice L. Tooley.
They had three children: Elmer, Peter, and Mary, who all graduated from
Trout Creek High School. Elmer (Sonny) and Peter became mechanics,
operating the garage after their father's retirement. They also worked at
Pine Mine for a time. Sonny married Barbara Johnson and they had four
children: Debra and Terry in Florida, Tod in Bruce Crossing, and James in
Marquette. Sonny and Barbara live in Sarasota, Florida. Peter married
Maxine Davis of Sidnaw and they have three children: Carrie Sue, married
to Gregg Lindner of Milwaukee; Kenneth, who works in Milwaukee; and
Roberta, a student at Ewen-Trout Creek High School. Mary married Rodger
Nordine of Bergland. They have three children: Leslie, Janet, and Audrey.
They live in Bessemer, Michigan.
Irene Thompson (1902-1979) never married. She worked for Mrs. Duby at Camp
Kutonka, a girls' camp on Lake Michigamme. After operating a hotel in
Kenton for a time, she went to take care of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Carroll at
their farm until their deaths. Roland Thompson then bought the Carroll
farm and Irene lived there with Roland (who was widowed) for many years.
Sonny and Barbara bought the farm from Roland and Irene, who then bought
the Ezra Gingrich home and lived there until their deaths.
Olive (1904-1983) married Vivien, son of Benjamin Haight, and had one
daughter, Dorothea. Mr. and Mrs. Haight lived in Trout Creek, Sault Ste.
Marie, and Superior, Wisconsin. Joenetta (Netti) married Grover Nethaway
from Ovid, Michigan, and they had five sons and five daughters. Joenetta
died in 1960. Some attended school in Trout Creek for a time but moved
back to Ovid.
Perry (Pat) (1906-1975) married Marion Bennett and they lived in Trout
Creek, Arizona, and Sidnaw. They had five children who attended school in
Trout Creek when they were young.
Emmanuel Voigt was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 1935. His father Ernest
came from Germany at the age of six and his mother, Augusta, was born in
Wisconsin. After several moves, he started his own construction company in
Prentice, Wisconsin, in 1952. This business lasted through 1959 when he
married Marjorie Perttula and moved to Trout Creek. He worked for the Fox
Lumber Company, joined the Carpenter Millwright Local in 1962 and
continues in that line of work in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Marjorie is an Avon representative and both of them are active in church
and community affairs. The Voigts have five children: Pam (Platske), Mark,
and Michael, all living in Minneapolis suburbs; and Amy (Pietila) of
Paulding, and Matthew.
Return to Table of Contents
John Wakevainen, Sr., and his wife, Gustava, came from Finland. They had
five children: John, Jr., Donald, Arvo, Sally, and Laina. John married
Senia Peltola, moved to the Agate area and has three children: Ted, who
lives in Niles, Michigan; Fred, who is deceased; and Betty, who lives in
the family home. Donald and Arvo are deceased. Sally married and has one
daughter, Jewell Birch, living in Minnesota. Laina married Carl Anderson,
Sr., and had two children, Ray and Carl, Jr. Both are deceased as are the
The Mose Joseph Weber family moved to Trout Creek in the early 1900's, or
possibly before, and raised eight children and one granddaughter. Their
children attended and graduated from the Trout Creek School. They were
active in community affairs and belonged to the I.O.O.F. Lodge. Minnie,
his wife, worked as midwife and served on the school board and was a
saleswoman for door-to-door products. Mose worked at the Weidman Mill and
was caretaker of the Weidman residence. In 1940 they moved to a farm north
of Trout Creek and farmed there until 1948, moving then to Escanaba.
Minnie died in 1950; Mose in 1964. Four children survive.
John and Sanna Wiitanen were the first settlers in North Agate. The school
was built on their land. They had seven children: John, William, Hilia,
Wilho, Toivo, Lillian, and George (nicknamed "Russian John").
Wiitanen's raised quite a number of cattle on their farm. Children from
the school took turns hauling water from the spring located there. Mr.
Wiitanen built a closed cab for use as a windbreak, which was about six
feet long and four feet high. This was set on runners and pulled by a
Arvid and Alvar Besonen were getting wood from Section 10 and found the
Wiitanens had had an accident. The horse had gone off the trail and tipped
everything over, including himself. The young boys unhitched the horse and
raised the cab and its occupants, Mr. and Mrs. Wiitanen.
Created by Lynn V. Boston. Last update 24-Feb-1997.