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Lost a Father, Founded a Family

Lost a Father, Founded a Family

Matt Johnson, front row center, who never knew his natural father, became the father of a dozen children.  Matt’s father, Matti Salmi, a Finnish seafarer, died in Liverpool, England, in 1878, the same year Matt was born.  Matt’s mother, Priita Johanna, then brought him to the U.S. and, in 1882, she married another Finnish immigrant, Nels Johnson (originally Niilo Naatus).  Settling in Thomson Township in 1890, they would raise young Matt as a Johnson along with five more children.  Matt’s 12 children, 11 of whom are in this 1955 photo, all stayed in the Esko-Cloquet area.  Seated with their father are, from left, sons Charles, Fred, George and Bill Johnson.  Standing are Esther Pastika, Alma Niemi, Joyce Suominen, John Johnson, Henry Johnson, Ida Welton and Anna Juola.  Son Art Johnson is not pictured.  (Photo courtesy of Mary Ann Lipponen, daughter of Charles Johnson)

Uploaded: Fri Oct 08, 2010 @ 05:22PM by Davis Helberg

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