HIlma Christina Mikkelsen Tuomin, my maternal grandmother, was born in Vadso, in far northern Norway, in 1876. After some years of serving as a maid and doing some cooking, she sailed to America in 1902, arriving in Hancock, Michigan, where she continued the same work. Within a few years, she was in Port Edwards, Wisconsin, working for the Lewis Alexander family that owned the Nekoosa-Edwards Paper Company. The opportunity to do more cooking came when the head cook took ill. "Let me try!" she pleaded. "Ah, but what do you know of fine cooking?" asked the lady of the house. Well, Hilma had studied French cooking with one of the Norwegian families who traveled abroad. Her trial meal was a success, and she was promoted to Head Cook at the Alexander family home. In 1912 she married Kustaa Wilhelm Tuomin, a Finnish immigrant from Mantyharju, in Milawaukee, Wisconsin. Two daughters were born to them, Ema Pauline (my mother) in 1913, and Dagmar Wilhelmina in 1916. Hilma and Kustaa farmed on several locations in the Milawaukee area, finally setting in West Allis in a house they built at 2229 South 91st Street.
Contributed by: Hilma Pauline Fenton Kiltinen, Marquette, Michigan