|Kansan Kuvalehti was published monthly in Hancock, Michigan 1901 - 1903|
|A. J. Muikku's gravestone at the Quincy Hill Cemetery in Hancock in 1880|
J. Muikku, the first Finnish newspaperman in America.
Finnish newspapers are not very old (in America). Only about twenty four years has passed since the first Finnish newspaper began to appear in Hancock, Michigan, edited by A. J. Muikku.
A. J. Muikku was the son of painter from the town of Joensuu. He had attended school and matriculated, but if he had continued his studies or not, is not known. Since then, he worked for an observatory in St. Petersburg, Russia, as a counter, but was forced out and came to Copper Country in winter 1876. He started to plan a (Finnish) newspaper and received to some extent support of local Evangelical Lutherans. The project became a reality and Amerikan Suomalainen Lehti (Finnish-American Newspaper) was published in the spring of 1876 during the Philadelphia World Exhibition. In the paper there were many pictures taken at the Exhibition. This effort wasn't however long-lasting. Only twelve issues were published, as well as half of one issue at the expense of mr Bäckström who still tried to assist. Muikku himself was sent to Houghton prison because of trick. There he edited few issues of a small leaflet (Lehtinen), which some lawyers supported during a election dispute. In winter 1876, he fell ill at a Finnish (immigrant's) home on Quincy Hill , and there he also died.
In the spring of 1879 some Finns went one Sunday morning to Hancock's Cemetery take a look at Muikku's tomb. As a result this was organized a collection for the acquisition of a gravestone. Our photograph (above) shows Muikku's tomb decorated with wreaths.
A. J. Muikku's ways of life do not deserve a special commemoration, for he had had somewhat bad traces. But we must think and remember him as a founder of the Finnish newspaper business.
Post sriptum, November 21st, 2016I found more information in articles below (Amerikan Suomalainen Lehti, 1880). Anders J. Muikku' headstone was erected on Fourth of July in 1880. The money for it was collected by Erik Pikkarainen and Johan A. Alanenpää. Aleksander Leinonen, editor-in-chief in Amerikan Suomalainen Lehti,
was responsible for the project which cost about $ 25. His paper also published project's account summary and list of donations. So, you can see, if among them are some of your ancestors.
|Amerikan Suomalainen Lehti 05/07/1880|
As readers will recall, so last fall was already collected $ 15 for the purchase of the headstone for deceased high school graduate A. J. Muikku, who is remembered as the founder of the Finnish American press.Ten dollars more is still required to this need, and if someone would want to fill it up with a little, voluntary gift, so they will be accepted with gratitude by Erik Pikkarainen and the editor of this newspaper. It has been decided to erect the headstone with a suitable celebration on the next Fourth of July.
|Amerikan Suomalainen Lehti 07/23/1880|
The following persons donated money for the headstone of deceased high school graduate A. J. Muikku:
Nils Majhannu 25c, Johan A. Alanenpää 50c, Frans o. Salmonson 25c, Petter Kerttu 25c, Peter A. Christopher 25c, Matts Peteri 50c, Johan H. Joki 25c, Johan Anttihilli 25c, Isak Hirvaskari 15c, Andrew Johanson 25c, Erik U. Närä 25c, Isak Sandqvist 50c, Henrik Aho 10c, Peter Lustig 25c, Henrik Johanson 10c, J.W.Sjöberg 50c, Peter Frisk 10c, Salmon A. Alanenpää 15c, Isak Bäckström 50c, Isak Anderson 50c, Karl Martimo 25c, Matts Hiltunen 10c, Johan Frisk 50c, Daniel Halonen 1 markka, Johan Takkinen $ 1.00; Karl Teppo 75c, Peter Oström 50c, Stefan Olson Hill 75c, J.P.Johanson $ 1.00, A.E.Backman 25c, J.M.Wintori 25c, J.M.Holappa 5c, Olof Halonen 50c, B.O.Bäckström 20c, Peter Mark 25c, Johan Anttila 25c, Arvid Pitkänen 25c, M.H.Larson 50c, David Castrén 20c, A. Nylund 25c, J. Peterson 10c, S.Lustig 10c, F.P. 10c, H.H. 20c, Pe. Pikkarainen $ 1.00, Johan Eckrea $ 1.00, J.H.Ström 10c, J.T. 5c, Johan Österberg 25c, A.S. 5c, Karl A. Peltoniemi 25c, T.Strömberg 25c, Oscar Marttila 25c, Erik Pikkarainen 60c, Jaako Ojanperä 50c, Anders Matinlauri 50c, Peter B. Henrikson 50c, A(lexander) L(einonen) $ 1.60
Because the acquisition of the headstone has been my worry on, so I can now publicly recite my heartfelt thanks to all gift givers. Special thanks go to Erik Pikkarainen and Johan A. Alanenpää, who have taken care of these donations.