History of Aho Family

Hendrickson Family History

Tom Hendrickson married my aunt Tyne. Ceil Hendrickson was Tom's younger sister. She introduced my mother to my father, whom she knew from Ironwood, Michigan. Ceil was also my Godmother.

In October 1973, Ceil approached me concerning putting together a story about her family. This is the story we wrote.


John Henrik Rahkonen was born in Ullava, Finland in 1837. He married Maria Huhta, and they had 9 children, 4 of whom died in early childhood or at birth. The Rahkonen's came to America with the three youngest children, Joseph, Alma, and Hilma. For some reason they then changed the family name to Maunola.

John worked in the mines in Ironwood, Michigan. When he was older, he saved up his money in order to return to Finland, so he could die in his homeland. Just before he was to return to Finland, his son Joseph perrsuaded him to go into Hurley, Wisconsin - a nearby "wide open" town - for some farewell drinks. John got drunk, and they continued to celebrate for several days, until all the money was gone. John never was able to return to Finland, and he later died in Ironwood in 1893.


Joseph changed the family name to Hendrickson. He had been born in Finland in 1866. In around 1890, he married Anna Koskela in Ironwood. They had 8 children: Emil, William, Maria, John, Ann, Tom, Carl, and Celia.

Anna had wanted to start a candy store in Ironwood, but Joseph started a saloon instread. Since she was religious, she wouldn't let the children into the saloon.

Shortly after Joseph and Anna were married, Joseph lost a leg in a mining accident. He still like to dance on his wooden leg.

Joseph died of a heart attack in 1910, and a month later - on Anna's birthday - the last child Celia was born.

Not being able to handle the business after Joseph had passed away, Anna sold the saloon, and the family moved to a farm in South Ironwood.

The children


Emil grew up to become Iron County treasurer by the age of 24, but then he was drafted into the Army in WWI. Anna went into shock when Emil was about to leave, and she fell into a coma. They told Emil to get off the train, because of his mother's condition. She was in a coma for 5 days, so he was then deferred from the Service.

In 1922, Emil started a general store in Ironwood. He died in 1925 at the age of 32. Two years later, Anna died at 57.


William moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and organized the Finnish Congregational Church there, around 1935. He had two children. One child, Kenneth, became chief engineer of air and pollution in Miwlaukee. Kenneth shortened his family name to Henrics.


Maria became a legal secretary in Duluth, Minnesota, but she later became involved in some questionable land dealings after the big Minnesota fires of around 1925. She later moved to Milwaukee.


John took over the store after Emil died and changed it to a tavern. It was one of the roughest places in Hurley, Wisconsin. John had to bolt the bar stools to the floor to prevent them from being used as weapons in the various fights in the tavern.

He had two sons. One of them, Dick, moved to California to do technical work.


Ann married the city harbor master of Milwaukee. She later became injured in a serious car accident. In a depressed state, she committed suicide with an overdose of sleeping pills.


Tom married Tyne Aho in Ironwood and moved to Milwaukee to become a truck driver. His son James owns a Golden Chicken business in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Tom was an alcoholic, and at Jim's pleading Tyne divorced him in 1948. He drank heavily until his death in the 1970s.


Carl became a construction worker in Oregon.


Celia had been with her sister Ann the night of the serious car accident, but fortunately she left the car early. Celia later moved to Milwaukee and followed a happy-go-lucky life.


It is interesting to note that all of the Hendrickson children died of cancer, except Ann, who committed suicide and Carl, whose cause of death is unknown.

History of Aho Family