When my grandfather, Evert Huuskonen, emigrated from Finland in 1902, he left his occupation as a farmer. In America, he worked as a laborer in a railroad car shop, as reported in the 1910 census. The 1908 and 1912 Ashtabula City Directories listed Evert and Ida as living at 11 Bell St. in Ashtabula, presumably so that Evert could be close to his workplace. Both city directory listings reported that he was working as a laborer in a car repair facility.
The Bell St house was relatively small according to a 1909 Sanford Fire Insurance map of the area. It measured about 30 feet wide by 40 feet deep, with a second story measuring about 20 ft by 10 feet. It also had a small front porch. In the 1910 Census, Evert, Ida, and five children were enumerated as living in this house with its approximate 1500 sq ft of living space, along with three male boarders from Finland, aged between 21 and 26.
Evert Huuskonen moved his family to at least one farm before he was able to purchase his own farm in Williamsfield Township, in southeastern Ashtabula County. A family photograph taken about 1915 shows eight family members posing in front of a brick farmhouse along with an unidentified young man who probably was a farm worker. The location of this farm is unknown.
By 12 Sep 1918, when Evert reported to Draft Board No. 2 in Jefferson, the county seat for Ashtabula County, to fill out a World War I draft registration card, he was living in Simons, a populated place in the southeast corner of Williamsfield Township, Ohio. He was 44 years old, and listed his occupation as self-employed farmer.
The location of that farm was identified in the 1920 Census as on Center Road East in Williamsfield Township. Evert and Ida were living there with three sons: Emil, Hugh, and Walfrid. Evert was listed as a farmer on a dairy farm.
By 1930, Evert and Ida had moved to another farm on North Simons Rd, still in Williamsfield Township, according to the Federal Census. Son Walfrid was living with them in the household. Evert was listed as a farmer.
In the 1940 Census, Evert was aged 66 and apparently retired since there was no occupation listed for him. He and Ida were living in yet another location on Rt 7 North in Williamsfield Township. The 1940 Census also asked people where they lived in 1935 and the answer for Evert and Ida was “same place.”
In the 1940 Census, the citizenship status for Evert was marked NA, the abbreviation for “Naturalized,” which represented a change from earlier censuses where he was listed as AL for “Alien.” Ida continued to be listed as an Alien. The naturalization papers for Evert do not give a specific addresses for him other than RFD No. !, Andover, on his Declaration of Intent in 1935 and RFD No. 7, Andover, on his Certificate of Citizenship in 1938.
Sometime after 1940, Evert and Ida moved to a cottage of three rooms plus bath on the property of their son, Walfrid Huskonen, at 496 South Main St., Andover.
Evert died at home in Andover on August 14, 1947, at the age of 73 years. Ida continued to live in the cottage for a few more years until she moved to Ashtabula to live with her oldest daughter, Edith Nikkari.