Finnish Immigrants in Cleveland by 1915

by , under, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Finnish

Recently, while checking the extent of Finnish immigration to Cleveland, I found a report in the Western Reserve Historical Society Research Library entitled Foreign People in Cleveland. It was in a 1915 reprint from the Western Reserve University Bulletin, Vol. XIX, No. 8 published by the Flora Stone Mather College Alumnae Historical Association. The reprint is available in the WRHS Research Library under the call number Pam. W366.

The following excerpt is about Finnish immigrants:

Page 34
VII—Finnish Immigration

Finns in Cleveland number about 1,500, 60% being women and 40% men, and there are 100 children

A few sailors carne before 1885, but the first family to settle here was Mr. Stone’s in 1885. A few Finns came from Canada, but there has been no increase since 1890.

The majority of them live on the West Side, some in Lakewood, some also live in the neighborhood of East 105th St, between Superior and St. Clair.

They came to better conditions. They have grammar school education, a few go to high school, and a few to Central Institute.

Their religion is Lutheran; they have no church building, but meet in a hall on the West Side. The church receives very little support. A number of the Finns go to American churches.

These people are home-lovers. The men work on the docks, some are carpenters, machinists, chauffeurs, tailors, and masseurs. 100 are pile-drivers. 300 girls are in domestic science [or service].

Finns are naturally musical and have several glee clubs in Cleveland. They are also socialistic and clannish, have a temperance society not because they are so temperate, but to hold the people together. This temperance society owns its building on the West Side.

The men become citizens and the women want suffrage. Five single women have taken out naturalization papers. These immigrants do not go back to Finland, there is nothing for them to go for. They seldom get into trouble, only half a dozen are arrested annually.

[From material submitted by] R. C. Stone, Masseur.

Charles R. Stone; occupation: masseuse; age: 46; born: Finland; immigrated: 1880; naturalized; is enumerated in the 1910 Federal Census (on as living on Superior Avenue in Cleveland. His household includes his wife Marie, age 49, who immigrated in 1881 and four children born in Ohio. Charles and Marie had been married 21 years by 1910. Further research on yields his naturalization record in Cuyahoga County in 1886.

  1. walfrid huskonen

    You will be interested to know that one of our relatives is included in the Finns in Cleveland by 1915. If you look at the 1910 census for Cleveland and search for Tekla Hwskonen you will find her. There are two name corrections; the first to Hoskonen and the second to Huskonen which is what is written in the census. She was one of Grandpa’s half sisters. Tekla later returned to Finland and married a man by the name of Jäntti. If you have the Huuskonen database that I created, you should be able to find her there also.


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