Julia Charlotte Huhta JohnsonX

Born: 1882

Location: Calumet

Julia was born in 1882 in Calumet, one of 8 children born to Peter and Brita (Bajari) Huhta. Julia's parents immigrated to Calumet from Sweden and Finland in the late 1880s. Her father was a carpenter and worked for he Ulseth-Bajari Lumber Company. As a young girl, Julia needed to work in people's homes to earn extra money. Her family lived on a farm in Woodlands, outside of Calumet, so she had a long walk to town to go to work in the wealthy homes. Julia attended a few grades at the country school in Woodland but needed to work so did not complete her education. However, she loved learning and continued her informal education after she was married and her own children were in school. She would sit with them as they did their schoolwork at home, learning right along side them. Julia loved writing letters and would keep a special dictionary nearby at all times. Her children and grandchildren have cherished that dictionary over the years reminding them of their mother's and grandmother's love of writing. Julia was married, had a son and was then divorced. She married a second time to Jacob Mattson and had two more children. Being left a widow, Julia found the Depression years especially hard on her family, so she spent time working on a sewing project for the WPA at the YMCA building on 5th & Scott Streets in downtown Calumet. Julia's daughter, Myrtle Barrette, remembers working for the National Youth Administration (NYA) during those Depression years. Julia was also a midwife and delivered many babies while in Swedetown. Her family remembers mother and grandmother fonly as an outsanding cook and baker. She enjoyed life.

Contributed by: Myrtle (Mattson) Barrette