Aliina Elizabeth OnkaloX

Born: November 4, 1881

My name is Aliina Elizabeth Onkalo. Many people call me Lena. I was born November 4, 1881 in Finland. My family came to American when I was in my early teens. On Octobter 9, 1897 I married Jacob John Onkalo. In 1905 we moved our family from Boston Location and settled in an area between Painesdale, South Range and Chassell. My parents, Issac and Maria Laitila, and my brother Victor live about a mile from us on the road to South Range. Victor is my only sibling and he loves horses and has worked with the huge logging horses that Jacob hires for his logging company. One day while working with the horses Victor was kicked in the head. He survived but hasn't been quite the same sine so he will never be able to live on his own. The loggers that Jacob hires stay in the bunkhouse and only come into our home when it's time to eat. I do the cooking for them, but I won't let them into the house until they've had a nice hot sauna since many of them carry lice from working in the woods. Our home also has a summer kitchen to keep the rest of the house from getting hot while cooking in the summer. With our children, loggers, hired hands, cows, horses, chickens, dogs and other animals, our home is a place of constant activity. Besides logging, Jacob is involved in many organizations. He was an advisor to agriculturist, Leo M. Geismar and to the school director, John M. Doelle and is established in the Suomi Opisto. He's also on the board of directors of the South Range Bank, and the head of the Baltic-South range Suomi-Synod Church, which he and I have been with since 1905, and many others. We even leased a piece of our land to have a school built, so now our children go to the Suo School by just crossing the river. This area has been referred to as the "Suo District." Suo means swamp in Finnish. Our eldest daughter passed away from Scarlet Fever in 1929 so our son-in-law and their 5 children also live with us.

Contributed by: Brenda Papke, Houghton, Michigan