Here are two random bits of information that I just uncovered about my great grandfather, Elias Puotinen. First, he owned his own logging camp in 1912 (source). Second, he sponsored a lot of immigrants coming over from Finland:
Mr. Puotinen was a prominent Finnish gentleman who was at one time manager of the Hematite Mercantile Store and, together with Matt Hurja of Crystal Falls, helped arrange for the immigration of his countrymen to work in the local mines. It is said that Mr. Hurja had agreements with the steamship lines in New York and was so well known that when men from Finland disembarked at New York, they were pinned with a tag which read “Matt Hurja”, and sent to Crystal Falls (source).
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Bonus: Also found this narrative by “Hap” Puotinen (my dad Art’s uncle/Grandpa’s brother) about logging in the UP.