Indiana McCaslins

Alvi Vieno OjennusAge: 60 years19151976

Alvi Vieno Ojennus
Married name
Alvi Vieno Brown
Birth December 4, 1915 26 27

Source: Find a Grave
Note: Social Security Death Index gives 5 Dec 1915
Census 1930 (Age 14 years)
Birth of a son
Frederic Emil Brown
July 9, 1943 (Age 27 years)
Death November 21, 1976 (Age 60 years)
Source: Find a Grave
Note: Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital
Burial after November 21, 1976
Source: Find a Grave
Note: Bruce Crossing Cemetery (Find A Grave Memorial# 166539477)
Family with parents - View this family
Marriage: about 1910
3 years
elder brother
3 years
Family with James McCaslin Brown - View this family
Frederic Emil Brown
Birth: July 9, 1943 28 27Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna, Alaska
Death: June 26, 2014Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna, Alaska

BirthUS Social Security Death Index
BirthFind a Grave
Census1930 US Federal Census
DeathUS Social Security Death Index
DeathFind a Grave
BurialFind a Grave

Social Security Death Index gives 5 Dec 1915


Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital


Bruce Crossing Cemetery (Find A Grave Memorial# 166539477)

Shared note

"Bio for Alvi Vieno Ojennus Brown--her younger days" written by her son, James McCaslin Brown.

My mother Alvi was born on the kitchen table of her Aunt Hulda's house in Trout Creek, Michigan on 4 December l915. This is in Ontonagon County of the Upper Peninsula. She was the daughter of Finnish immigrants who arrived in America about l904--Jacob Emil Ojennus and Vieno Amanda Sjoblom Ojennus. Emil came as a teen to work with father and brothers in the Calumet Copper Mine at Calumet, Michigan. Vieno came alone as a teen to Fitchburg, MA and worked there as a housekeeper. How they met and married I don't know. Emil and Vieno were part of a very large migration of Finnish folk to America in this period of unrest in Europe which culminated in the Russian Soviet Rebellion and WWI .

Mama told me she attended "grammar school" in Bruce Crossing, MI. Her father quit the mine and homesteaded there. Mama said she and her two older brothers Reino and Waino walked "2 miles to school and back, through the deep show and blizzards, uphill both ways". The grammar school books she used "were found in an abandoned house in Neguanee, MI while they were picking apples one fall and she was able to use them at her school". She attended grammar school from 1921 to 1929. Then attended high school one year at Marquette, MI, which was the closest high school and she stayed with other family. Then Emil started working for the Settlers Cooperative store and the family moved to Cook, Minnesota, where Alvi attended high school at Eveleth, MN graduating in 1933.

Like many of her first American generation Alvi was fluent (reading, writing, and speaking) in both Finnish and English. I onced asked her if she thought in Finnish or English. Her answer was "yes". Then she explained that , depending upon whom she was talking to or what she was reading, her brain would operate in one or the other. "My brain can shift gears." In fact during the early 1900's into the 1930's the Upper Peninsula was a largely Finnish speaking community including business (I have some Settlers Coop records in Finn from l932), newspapers, and radio broadcasts). I don't know if Finnish reading and writing was taught in grammar school.

As an aside, I should note that the politics in the UP (similar to other parts of the world during the Great Depression) was very Socialist. In fact, I have paperwork documenting Grampa Emil's and Uncle Ray's memberships in the American Workers (Communist) Party during the l930's. Alvi was a devout Democrat all her life.

As another aside, Finnish was my original language as a baby. I learned English at age 4-5 when I started playing with English-speaking kids on Fireweed Lane. Typical of many 2nd generation Americans, I know only a few Finnish words that translate as Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, crazy girl, milk, stew, and bad boy.

Alvie died from Victoria B Flu at Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital.

Last benefit was paid to Trout Creek, Ontonagon, Michigan 49967