Immigration to USA

Isak William Vainio born  9/20/1891

Isak was born in a farmer family in the northermost part of Sweden. It was above the arctic circle
in a village called Kangos. He was the 4:th kid among 10.

He joined the army and became a sergeant. After the military service he worked as a a clerk at the railway company in Haparanda, a little village next to the border to Finland.

In June 1916 Isak decided to move to Butte, Montana. The World War One was about to start and he was worried to be drafted. He choosed to emigrate and got on a boat from Bergen in Norway heading for New York. He thought he would return soon but it turned out the other way - he stayed. Isak´s wife Amalia choosed to come to america with their newborn daughter Gerda. Isak didn´t want her to come since his plan was to return Sweden. He wrote a lot of letters and telling her not to come.

In 1917 Isak and Amalia got a son, Leonard, shortly after she arrived to US. At that time Isak was employed as a miner and lumberjack in Butte. He built a cabin at Georgetownlake, Montana. He was hunting and always had a supply of fish and meat for the winter. He was known to be very
economical and saving his money.

About 60 persons emigrated from the little village of Kangos. Many of them came to visit Isak in Butte and is hospitality was great and he offered his visitors food and help since many of them was poor. 


Maria Amalia Klockare born 10/11/1889

Amalia came to Kangos as a graduated teacher. In Kangos she met Isak and got married. They moved to Haparanda where they both got work. She left for the states even though Isak didn´t want her to come. Amalia expected to meet Isak in a nice suite with golden buttons but he met her at the railwaystation dressed in his mining clothing. Amelia cried.

Isak and Amalia often wrote letters back home. They often sent packages home to Sweden with rice, coffee etc. Due to the war there was a shortage of those products wich led to rationing

Isak and Amaila visited Sweden 1947 and stayed a year in their home village. They returned to USA in 1948 and were supposed to move back to Sweden in five years. After the years abroad they spoke with a mixed accent of finnish, swedish and english.

Amalia died 10/1/1951. Isak had grown up kids and grand children in Butte so he didn´t move back to his old home country. Isak died 6/4/1956 in silicosis, a disease many miners died of.


Ture Valfrid Ylivainio born 5/21/1894

Ture was Isak´s brother. He immigrated to Butte in november 1916. He travelled almost the same way as Isak. He got on a boat from Oslo to New York.

He was unmarried and also worked as a miner. He died in a train accident 6/20/1927. His relatives from Sweden raised a cross on his grave 75 years after his death.

Isak and Ture sold their parts of the inheritage from the family farm in Sweden to their brother Arvid. Probably to get money for the journey to America. 


If you have any further questions please don´t hesitate to ask me

Lars Ylvin - author