BioA: Niemi, Michael & Laura (50th - 1949)

Contact: Stan

Surnames: Niemi, Nyman, Frazier, Fisher, Ruether, Langford

----Source: OWEN ENTERPRISE (Owen, Clark County, Wis.) 10/20/1949

Niemi, Michael & Laura (50th - 15 OCT 1949)

A special church ceremony commemorating the observance of the 50th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Niemi, route 1, Owen (Clark Co., Wis.), was held at the Bethany Lutheran Church, Owen, at 1:30 Saturday afternoon. The Rev. T. M. Nelson, Greenwood, officiated at the services. Following the services, a reception was given the couple in the church parlors at which about 50 of their close relatives and friends attended.

Michael Niemi was born in Finland, Dec. 26, 1873, and came to America in 1891. Laura Mary Nyman was born in Finland on Jan. 24, 1878, and came to this country in 1895, to Waukegan, where they met and were united in marriage at the Waukegan Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rev. M. Saurn reading the vows. To this union has been born eight children, five sons and three daughters, all of whom are living, and during these fifty years there have been new members added to the family circle reaching to the fourth generation.

Mr. Niemi made a three month vacation trip to Finland in 1906 to see his parents and birthplace once more. He bought the home place for his folks and came back to Waukegan to work at his former job at the American Steel Wire Co. His wife and six children left for Finland in 1909 to live in the home he had purchased and he remained in America to work. He was doubtful whether they would be contented to remain in Finland, and it turned out as he thought. The children were dissatisfied with the strange surroundings, and especially with the food. They were not able to get the luxuries they had become accustomed to in America. They often sat on a long wooden bench, all in a row, and kicked their feet against it recalling the rolling of a ship at sea and waves beating against it. They talked about things among themselves and promised each other that when they would go back to America and never return to Finland. This saddened the mother’s heart and she herself had already begun to think in the same way, that there was no better land in all the world than America. She wrote to her husband about her thoughts and about conditions there. He send her a letter giving her the power of attorney to dispose of the home and other possessions there, and advised her to return to this homeland and the country of the children’s birth.

In the year of 1910 she bid the land of her birth and her beloved parents farewell for the last time, having lived in Finland for one year. Even then it was heart-rending when she had to say goodbye for the last time. She still remembers how, with a sad and heavy heart, she closed the door of her home of the last time.

With the blessings of her parents and with their best wishes for a safe journey they began the long, arduous return journey. After some time and a few lesser trials they were back in Waukegan once again, and the family rejoiced upon being together once more. However, the heavy, unpleasant work in the factory began to be almost too much for the father. That same spring in the year 1910, with John Pelto, who sold for the Owen Lumber Co., went as a guide to Owen, where Mr. Niemi bought 80 acres of wilderness land, but returned to his job in Waukegan. The following spring, in April, he came alone to build a house in the dense forest. The family arrived in Owen on Nov. 11, 1910, the mother and seven children of whom the oldest was 11 years and the youngest one month old. One son was born here on April 25, 1918. They have had many kinds of experience, but death is still an unknown visitor in the family, for which thanks be to God. There have been many trying times but they have been able to bear them by putting their trust in God.

Of the eight children, William and his family remain on the home place, carrying on his father’s work, while the parents are enjoying old age and the care that their children have provided them.

Now they have reached the evening of life and their youth left in the past, but their hearts retain the memories of those years. It’s to enumerate in writing all which two people experienced in the school of life and understand.

Their other children are: Mr. and Mrs. John Niemi, Mr. and Mrs. Curtis (Anne) Fisher, Lake Beulah, Ill.; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Niemi, Chicago and Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Ruether of Chicago. They have one great-grandchild, Valeria Ann Ruether.



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