Tuesday, September 3, 2013

From Finland to Fairport, Part 2

As I explained in my last post, the Finnish Heritage Museum in Fairport Harbor, Lake County, Ohio, is preparing a Memory Book to accompany the Spirit of Finland sculpture being dedicated this month on September 15. The sculpture commemorates all the Finnish immigrants to the USA. For the Memory Book I wrote about my own ancestors who immigrated from Finland. Because the infomation is so dense, I'm presenting my Memory Book essay in several parts on this blog.

Today I'm presenting Mattias Nikolai Stuuri, Walpori Wilhelmina Erkkila Stuuri, and their son Mattias Vihtori Stuuri:
Mattias Vihtori "Matti" Stuuri, circa 1945.
Mattias Nikolai Stuuri (1861-11/11/1922) was born at Huhtilinto in Kortesjarvi, Finland. He married Walpori Wilhelmina Erkkila (1860-1925). On 5/1/1889 Nikolai arrived in Canada and worked on the railroad around Montreal. His last name was originally Störr, but he changed it to Stuuri. Eventually he arrived in Lake County, Ohio. In September 1899, his wife Walpori with their daughter Hilma and son Mattias Vihtori “Matti” Stuuri (5/17/1888-5/13/1981) traveled from Hunkonilmi, Finland, to Hull, England, and took a train to Liverpool where they waited one week before sailing to New York on the White Star Line ship Germanic. The crossing to Ellis Island took another week. From New York they took a train to Painesville, Ohio, to join Nikolai. The family settled in Fairport Harbor, living upstairs at Rogat’s Hardware store. Nikolai died of mitral valve insufficiency, and he and Walpori are buried in Suomi Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Fairport. Their son Matti worked at Stores & Harrison Nursery. On 7/2/1912 Matti married Wilhelmina Elizabeth “Minnie” Hirvi (11/12/1890-12/7/1946), daughter of Wilhelm and Wilhelmina Hirvi. They had six children. Matti built the house at 503 Independence Street, Fairport, and lived there with his family until his death. He’s buried in Evergreen Cemetery with his wife Minnie.
This is how these people are related to me:
Mattias Nikolai Stuuri is my great-great-grandfather, my mother’s mother’s father’s father

Walpori Wilhelmina Erkkila Stuuri is my great-great-grandmother, my mother’s mother’s father’s mother

Mattias Vihtori “Matti” Stuuri is my great-grandfather, my mother’s mother’s father (the only one of my Finnish immigrant forebears who I knew in person)
Progress on the Spirit of Finland sculpture and its installation in front of the Finnish Heritage Museum has been updated with plenty of new photos on the museum website here. If you’d like, you can still donate to the sculpture fund. You can also become a member of the museum.

Next are Matti Uhmusberg Hietanen Sr., Liisa Kristiina Herttua Hietanen, and Matti Hietanen Jr.

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