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J.H. Jasberg was a notable Keweenaw man.

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HistoryEdit

Manager of The Suomi College and Theological Seminary of Hancock, Houghton County, Michigan, whose portrait is herewith shown, is one of the most progressive and active of the Finnish citizens of the Northern Peninsula. The Suomi College and Theological Seminary was established September 10, 1896, primarily to give Christian instruction under the auspices of the Finnish American Evangelical Lutheran Church. At first, private quarters were occupied, but as the College prospered, in 1898 a fine college building was commenced, the corner stone being laid on May 30, 1899, and the structure being dedicated January 21, 1900. The building and grounds cost about $36,000. The College was the first of its kind to be established in the United States. At first, instruction was given only in English, Finnish, Latin, geography, arithmetic, zoology, writing and drawing, but in 1897-98, the course was extended to include United States history and geometry; in 1898-99 to include German, general history, botany and algebra; in 1899-1900, to include pedagogy; in 1900-01, to include Greek and physics; in 1901-02, to include chemistry; and in 1902-03, to include French and Swedish. The College has a seven year course, and while there were originally two instructors and two assistants there are now six instructors with five assistants. The officers are as follows: Rev. J.K. Nikander, president; Isaac Sillberg, of Republic, Michigan, treasurer; and J.H. Jasberg, manager. In addition to these three named, the board of directors includes; Jacob Piippola, Rev. Joh Back, Alex Pantti, Rev. Alfred Groning ,J.E. Saari ,Matti Pesamaki ,Henry Kangas and Rev. P. Airaksinen. J.H. Jasberg was born in Finland, November 1, 1861 in the Province of Wasa. For a time he attended the public schools, but from the age of 12 years on he received instruction from private tutors, being reared in the home of an army officer. He left Finland at the age of 19, and came direct to the Northern Peninsula of Michigan, locating at Calumet, Houghton County, where he arrived with practically no money. He secured work at cutting timber, and in the spring of 1880 went to work at the Allouez mine. In March, 1881, he went to Ishpeming, Marquette County, and later to Republic, where he worked steadily for about two years. Then in partnership with a friend he conducted a store at Republic, Marquette County, for a period of three years, selling out to the firm of F.H. Kearney & Company, for which company he later worked a short time. He removed to Ishpeming and there engaged in the insurance business, also handling railroad and steamboat tickets. In 1892 he disposed of his interests and went to Montreal, Canada, and continued to be engaged in the insurance business there and later in New York City until 1895. In August of the last named year, he sold his interests there and returned to the Northern Peninsula of Michigan, on a visit to his brother-in-law, Rev. J.K. Nikander, who was then conducting the Finnish church paper, which is now managed by our subject. Together they established a book store and publishing plant, the Finnish language being used. About 1900 they turned the plant over to the church organization. They originally employed six or seven men, but the enterprise has been enlarged under the capable management of Mr. Jasberg and now about 14 men are employed about the plant. New type setting machinery has been installed, a book bindery added and four papers are printed. Mr. Jasberg is also interested in many other Houghton County enterprises, being a director and one of the founders of the Citizens' National Bank of Houghton. He is chairman of the Houghton County District Agricultural Society, and is treasurer of the Finnish National Temperance Brotherhood of America, which he helped to found 17 years ago, and of which he has served as president and in other capacities. He is president of the Finnish Mutual Life Insurance Association, established in 1902, with offices at Hancock in the Post office Building. He was secretary of the Finnish Central Relief Committee, which has so ably assisted the suffering home people. Mr. Jasberg was married in Hancock to Wilhelmina Nikander, by whom he has the following children: Toiwo Henry; Onni John; George Israel; Urho Krustaa; Kaino Edward; Eino Adolph; Lempi Wilhelmina and Impi Marin. In politics he has ever been an active Republican. He has ever devoted his efforts to the advancement of the Finnish people, with whom he is most popular, and their progress in all line

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