John Herman Hokkanen
- Born: 15 Mar 1869, Leivonmaki, Finland 27
- Marriage (1): Eliina Liukkonen
- Died: 7 Dec 1943, Green, Michigan (Upper Peninsula) at age 74 27
- Buried: Carp Lake Township (Green) Cemetery, Ontonagon County, Michigan 27
From the Institute of Migration Emigrant Register Passenger Records.
Last name: Hokkanen
First name: Herman
Age or age class: 40
Port of departure: Hanko
Place of destination: Lewiston
State of destination: MI
Country of destination: USA
Price of ticket: FIM 241
Ship from Finland: Arcturus
Date of departure from Finland: 16.06.1909
Ship from England: Virginian
Date of departure from England: 25.06.1909
Ocean Line: *
List and page: 68/96
Remarks: Mk Eliina ja Sisko Hokkanen
The John Hokkanen family (John, Eliina and Sisko Eliina) moved from Finland and settled in Green, Michigan. They came from the Hokkanen home parish of Leivonmaki, Finland.
John and his family left Finland during the "Russification of Finland". Finland was a Grand Duchy of Russia which gave it some autonomy. In 1901 the Finnish army became part of the Russian army. During this time Russia was attempting to impose more control over Finland and reduce its independent status. Between 1900 and 1910 more than 58,000 Finns came to America. Prior to being a Grand Duchy of Russia, Finland was part of the Swedish Empire until 1806. It wasn't until 1917 that Finland declared its independence from Russia.
The following provides some information about the area the Hokkanen family was moving to in 1909:
The first logs were sawn into lumber here in January 1900. Later that same year the McMillans bought 9500 acres of timberland west of Ontonagon in the vicinity of what is now Green to assure a long term suppy of hardwood and hemlock for the mill. Unlike most other logging operations of the time, the McMillans sold their cut over land when it became available to prospective farmers. And so, Green was born. Almost all of the early farmers were newly arrived Finnish immigrants.
From PIONEERS OF GREEN
Published September 1976
Ontonagon Herald Co.
TOWNLINE ROAD - EARLY SETTLERS
By: Jack Heikkila
There were five Hokkanen brothers and their father, Jahvetti, that came from Finland and settled close together in Green. The brothers were - John, Emil, Jahvetti Jr., Nick and Karl. The brothers operated small farms and worked at the numerous lumber camps.
John Hokkanen and his wife, Elina, had one daughter, Sisko, and a son, Weikko. They had a big loss in 1907-08* when a forest fire destroyed their home. Victor Kangas, a neighbor recalls when he went to help fight the fire he heard rifle bullets going off in the burning building. Their home was located at the end of Hokkanen road which intersects Townline road.
* 1907-08 conflicts with the dates on their tickets from Finland. The tickets are dated 1909.
Emil Hokkanen, after staying in America for a short time, went back to Finland, got engaged to Eva Miettinennand they both came back and were married in Green. Two children were born to them - a son, Lauri, and a daughter Irja. Emil liked music and played the concertina and kantele. He often played for the dances. Eva did knitting - that was her profession in Finland. She knit stockings mostly, and at times would also knit sweaters. In 1921, the family moved to Neebish Island, located near Soo, Michigan.
Jahvetti Hokkanen, Jr. and his wife, Miina, had three sons - Karl, Armas, and Ernest. Jahvetti died accidentally when he was run over by the CM & St. Paul railroad train near the Green depot. Son Ernest, living in Green, is the only surviving immediate member of this family.
Nick Hokkanen and wife Liisa came to Green in 1903 with daughters, Lyyli and Liinu. Three more daughters were born to them - Inez, Edith and Celia. Inez remembers some of the wilderness living. Roads were not more than logging trails, groceries had to be got from Ontonagon and when you ran out of something, you just had to be without it. Water had to be carried from a nearby creek or the shallow dug well. A root cellar was built on a hillside and potatoes and other vegetables were stored here for the winter months. Besides farming, Nick operated the first sawmill in Green.
Karl Hokkanen was the last of the five Hokkanen brothers to locate in Green. He and his wife, Amanda came from White Pine after the mine closed down their operations. Three children were born to them - Karl Jr., Kaarina, and Arnold.
THE GREEN SCHOOL
New names for 1910 - 1911 show:
First Grade: Byron Alexander and Sisko Hokkanen.
Many Hokkanens children attended Green School from its opening in 1905 through its closing in 1932.
GREEN INDEPENDENT EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN
(Greenin Itsenainen Evankelinen Lutherialainen Seurakunta)
In the fall of 1904, sixteen people gathered together under a maple tree at the home of Jonas Ruuttila to consider formation of a Christian congregation. In 1905 the congregation was formally organized as the Greenin Itsenainen Evankelinen Lutherialainen Seurakunta. On August 5, 1906 land was purchased on which to build a church, and on September 30 of the same year Reverend Matias Strom, the congregation's first pastor, consecrated a cemetery on this ground. The church itself was completed in 1910.
Some of the first Sunday School teachers:
Mrs. John Hokkanen (Eliina).
The Sunday School was begun in 1915 and was held in the Finnish language. In the early years the children would go to Mass, Michigan for confirmation instruction and would board out in the homes in Mass.
The Finnish language was the tongue of the founders of the Green congregation and was the language which prevailed for many years. Finally, with the passing of the pioneer generation, the English language held sway.
Minutes of Meeting January 10, 1919
New officers were elected. Treasurer John Hokkanenn.
Green, Michigan was named after Thorton A. Green who was the General Manager of the C.V. McMillan Lumber Company. This business had earlier acquired large tracts of timberland in the unsettled area west of Ontonagon. It began to log-off these holdings in the early 1900's to supply its own sawmill situated in Ontonagon. As the timber was removed, the company would sell the remaining stump-land to new settlers for the purpose of farming - usually in 40 acre parcels. As a way of promoting his new enterprise, T. A. Green even established a model farm, called Hemlock Hill, to demonstrate the productivity of the land for growing crops and raising farm animals.
John and Eliina owned a flour mill, inn and had a home on a large lake in Finland. The person who was left in charge stole their holdings after they moved to Michigan's upper peninsula. 28
Noted events in his life were:
1. Picture: Green Evangelical Lutheran Church. This is a picture of the Green Evangelical Lutheran Church where John Herman Hokkanen was listed as Treasurer and his wife, Eliina, was listed as Sunday School teacher in 1919.
2. Picture: The ship Arcturus. John Herman Hokkanen emigrated from Finland on June 16, 1909 leaving from Hanko. The ship was the Arcturus.
One of the most long-lived passenger steamers at the Hangö-Copenhagen-Hull route was the ARCTURUS, a 2155 gross ton vessel, built by Gourlay Bros & Co, Dundee in 1898 for the Finland Steamship Co (Finska Ångfartygs Aktiebolaget - FÅA). She sailed between Hangö / Åbo and Hull until WW2 and took 67-1:st and 72-2:nd class passengers. She was in FÅA:s service for 57 years. The major incidence was when she collided with and sank the OBERON, owned by the same company on 19th Dec.1930 in the Kattegat. OBERON sank almost immediately with the loss of 40 lives. The commanders of the two ships were brothers. Damaged on Jan. 13 1940 in a Soviet air raid at Turku. Arrived from Antwerp on her last voyage on 22nd Oct. 1956 and was sold to Lübeck in 1957 to be scrapped.
3. Picture: Green Cemetery: Green, Michigan (Upper Peninsula). This is a picture of the Carp Lake Township (Green) Cemetery, Ontonagon County, Michigan. Notice the model of the Green Evangelical Lutheran Church.
4. Picture: Carp Lake Township (Green) Cemetery: Green, Michigan (Upper Peninsula). This is a picture of the John Herman Hokkanen and Elina Liukkonen grave marker.
5. Picture: Joutsa and Leivonmaki Finland. John Herman Hokkanen was from Leivonmaki. Eliina Liukkonen was from Joutsa. The towns are close to each other in the area of the southern solid star.
John married Eliina Liukkonen. (Eliina Liukkonen was born on 18 Jul 1879 in Joutsa, Finland,27 died in 1957 in Southfield, Michigan 27 and was buried in Carp Lake Township (Green) Cemetery, Ontonagon County, Michigan 27.)