This summer my husband and I traveled to Ironwood and the Keweenaw Peninsula for our vacation. His Eklund and Kivi ancestors settled there after arriving from Finland, most of the men working in the iron ore mines.
Last time, I discussed the Kivi family, related to my husband’s great-grandmother Mayme. This time, I’d like to talk a little about the Eklund family, relatives of my husband’s great-grandfather Leonard. The Ironwood Daily Globe is fully searchable at Ancestry.com for the years 1919-1977 and has been an invaluable resource. Ancestry also has a U.S. School Yearbooks, 1880-2012 collection, which includes Ironwood’s Luther L. Wright High School, where Leonard attended.
Leonard’s parents and sister are buried in Riverside Cemetery in Ironwood. His father Erick Eliasson Eklund came to the U.S. in 1896 and, in the 1900 census, worked as a mine laborer in Ironwood living with his brother Emil, sister Sofia and her husband Andrew Mattson. On November 23, 1901, Erick and Johanna Sofia Nelson (maiden name also possibly Stenbacka) were married in Ironwood.
They had a daughter, Helmi, in 1906 and a son, Leonard in 1910. In 1918, Erick worked as a surface laborer for the Oliver Iron Mining Company. The family lived at 228 E. Ash Street in Ironwood. According to his death certificate, Erick died on January 4, 1929 of pulmonary tuberculosis, which he had been suffering from for three years.
Here is a recent photo of the house on E. Ash St. where the Eklund family lived since at least 1918. In 1910, they were living on E. Oak St. Notice the garage, which Johanna received a permit to build in 1941.
Johanna Eklund died December 29, 1955 at 228 E. Ash, where her daughter Helmi and her husband Warren Ekman were living. The funeral was held Tuesday, January 3, 1956.