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Vienna (Saari) Maki papers

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: IHRC1436


Papers of Vienna C. Maki in the Minnesota Finnish American Family History Collection consist of typed memories from the early 1900's including biographies of her parents, Gust and Katri Saari.. Also included are a transcript of an interview with Katri Saari; a photocopy of Katri's death certificate and an obituary about her; a copy of memorial booklet of Katri's funeral service held in 1984; a genealogical chart; photocopies of postcards; photocopies of Vienna's and her brother Edwin's (b. 1921) birth certificates; snapshots and pictures of family members and friends in the U.S., the farm, and furnishings; documents; diplomas; Americanization School certificates; sales slips; maps; land descriptions, etc. Later supplement to her family history consists of a typewritten manuscript entitled Appendum: My Family History - Part I, where Maki describes her memories of home, community, and school in the Minnesota iron range.


  • Creation: 1818-1988

Language of Materials



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Vienna Maki is a daughter of Finnish immigrants Gust (Aukusti) and Katri Saari (nee Laakkonen). Her father moved to the U.S. in 1912 and mother in 1913. They got married in 1917 in Chisholm, Minnesota, and Vienna was born in 1918 in Virginia, Minnesota. In 1922 the family moved to Angora, Minnesota, where she spent her childhood and youth. She graduated from Cook High School in 1937 and married Mr. Eugene Maki, also a child of Finnish immigrants, in 1941 in Hibbing, Minnesota.. They have one daughter, Jeanne C. Maki. The family has lived in Hibbing and in Mountain Iron, MN.

The following questions and responses come from the autobiographies obtained through the Finnish American Family History Project. Each immigrant was asked to provide answers to the listed questions. Most biographies are in English; some are in the immigrant's native language. Maki, Vienna

0629 Vienna Maki (nee Saari). [Autobiography in English] 162pp.

1. Country of origin? Vienna Maki was born in Virginia, Minnesota, on November 11, 1918. Her father Aukusti Saari was born in Kuortane, Vaasan Laani, Finland, in 1888. Her mother Kaisa Laakkonen was born in Maliskyla Nivala, Oulun Laani, Finland, in 1893. When she became a citizen her name was changed to Katri.

2. Occupation in native country? Maki's father's family were landowners. Maki's mother sewed. She also worked in a bakery.

3. Reason for immigration? Maki's father wanted to go to America. Maki's mother went to America as an indentured servant

4. Date of immigration? Maki's father immigrated in 1912. Maki's mother immigrated in 1913.

5. Did the author repatriate or remain in the U.S.? Maki's mother became a citizen in 1938, her father in 1929.

6. State(s) and city(s) of settlement in the U.S.? Maki's father first lived in Marquette, Michigan, and stayed with his sister for three weeks. He then lived in Carson Lake, Minnesota. He also lived in Virginia and Eveleth, both in Minnesota. Maki's mother first lived near Nopeming, Minnesota, on the farm where she was indentured. After her indenture she stayed in Duluth, Minnesota, with friends. She moved to Virginia, Minnesota, where a relative lived. She went to Eveleth, then returned to Virginia. Maki's parents lived in Virginia, Minnesota. The family later moved to Idington, Minnesota, in 1922.

7. Occupation(s) in the U.S.? Maki's father was a miner. Maki's mother worked in a relative's café then worked as baker in a boardinghouse. The excessive heat in the boardinghouse made her return to the café. She did some sewing then worked at a boardinghouse again. She switched jobs when she did not get her wages. She worked for a family whose child was ill. She worked for another family. In 1922 the family started a farm, still owned by the family when the biography was written. In the winters, Maki's father worked in the woods. Maki worked as a school cook for the National Youth Association. She wanted to be a teacher, but felt her parents could not afford the tuition. If she graduated, jobs might not be available.

8. Political affiliations in the U.S.? (also ethnic affiliations?) No information.

9. Labor or occupational affiliations in the U.S.? No information.

10. Information on family life?-nuclear and/or extended family? Maki's aunt stayed with the family for a short time. At one time, the school teacher stayed with the family.

11. Information on courtship or gender roles? Maki's parents met when she worked at the boardinghouse and he was one of the boarders. Maki's parents were married in 1917 in Chisolm, Minnesota. They took the streetcar to and from the ceremony. At that time many marriages were secret. When Vienna was born, her mother was ill with the flu. Vienna's father took over the household chores. While the Finnish men worked in the mines, lumber camps, or sawmills, the women worked in the boardinghouses, did the washing for other people, or were servants.

12. Information on the wider ethnic community? Maki's family lived in a mostly Finnish community. There were some Italians and people from Southern Europe. In ldington, Minnesota, they had Swedish and Finnish neighbors.

13. Experiences with discrimination or political persecution? No information.

14. Any other outstanding features worthy of notice? Maki described life in a small town in Minnesota and life on the farm. She talked of the aid from neighbors. A distribution center was set up for people stricken with the flu. There was more trading than selling at the country store. Maki described the weather extremes in the region. Education in a one-room schoolhouse is detailed.

15. Any account of the immigration process, voyage, Ellis Island inspection? Maki's father's passport was stamped in Hango, Finland. He left from Liverpool, England, on the ship Victorian. He arrived in Quebec, Canada. Medical examinations were given in Canada. From Ylivieska, Maki's mother travelled by train to Hango. She travelled to London, Hull, Quebec, then to Duluth, Minnesota.


1 linear inch

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