John & Elmiina (Seitäniemi) Kangas
John "Tuffa" Kangas
John/Juho Kangas was born 31 October 1869 in Pulkkila, Finland, the first son of Antti & Maria Kangas. He emigrated to America between 1888/89 (as recorded in the 1920/30 Fed. census enumerations). John and Elmiina Kangas were married on Oct l7, l895 in Virginia, Minnesota. After a brief stint in the coal mines of Diamondville, Wyoming, they returned to Minnesota and secured a homestead and some extra land near Embarrass, Minnesota, in l90l. “Tuffa” was a blacksmith and had a shop, tools, forge.
He was a shoemaker, tanned his own leather and fashioned Finnish “sypokset” which he wore for work and everyday. They had a modern tractor, potato digger, “binder” and lots of other modern farm machinery. They were the first to have a/c current as they had their own generator. Later they had a good-sized dairy. They hunted wolves and also a bear or two. The house was a boarding house for railroad guys and loggers. Tuffa was a great craftsman. As a child at Christmas time I would always receive a pair of long woolen stockings that mummu had made for me from sheep and dog wool, and a pair of sabots (sypakset) made from leather Tuffa had tanned and fashioned. He ran an active blacksmith shop. Mummu said that whenever she and Tuffa had an argument he would go to his blacksmith shop and pound iron. Tuffa also made skis, snowshoes, fishing nets, and violins. The latter were made either of wood or bone. It seems that Tuffa always liked music, but during his youth a religious revival was going on in rural Finland, his parents were devout Christians, and music and musical instruments were forbidden in the household. So Tuffa would go to a neighbor's barn, where he made a violin, and learned to play it in that barn. It was sad at Tuffa's funeral when an old buddy of his played Finnish dirge music on one of Tuffa's violins. John Kangas died of a stroke 8 May 1951 in Embarrass, Minnesota and is buried in the Embarrass Cemetery, Embarrass, Minnesota. [*Stories and notes by John O. Kangas, his grandson]

Elmiina Kangas 1952
Elmiina Seitäniemi was born 21 January 1873 in Sodankylä, Finland. She was the daughter of Olli Seitäniemi and Briita Maria Mattanen. She emigrated to America in 1892/93. Elmiina was a Lapp, from very near the arctic circle. She came to Republic, Michigan in 1893, at age 20 years. She came to Virginia, Minnesota and worked in a boarding house there. She went to Eveleth in 1895 and met John Kangas there. John & Elmiina were married in 1895 in Virginia, Minnesota.
Their first son, John/Jussi Kangas was born in 1896 in Eveleth, Minnesota. They then went to Diamondville, Wyoming where Lydia was born in in a sod hut in 1899. *They lived in a sod house on a hillside. One day a moose wandered by and stepped on their roof and broke through. When John came home from work, Elmina had packed their bags, and announced that they were going straight away back to Minnesota. And so they did. In 1901 they came to Biwabik, Minnesota where Bill Kangas was born. They bought a farm in Embarrass, Minnesota. In 1901 they sent for John's parents, Antti & Maria Kangas from Finland. Otto Kangas was born in Embarrass, Minnesota in 1903. Elmiina died 2 January 1955 in Embarrass, Minnesota at the age of 81 and is buried in the Embarrass Cemetery, Embarrass. [Notes and stories by John O. Kangas]

John&Elmiina 1895
John & Elmiina 1895 Virginia, MN
John & Elmiina & Family
John & Elmiina
& Family
on the Farm
John & Elmiina 1948
John & Elmiina Kangas 1948
Mackie Visit 1948
Mackie Visit Kangas Farm 1948
Kangas Family
John Kangas Family
John "Tuffa" Kangas
John "Tuffa" Kangas
John & Elmiina 1945
John & Elmiima 1945
Elmiina Kangas 1952
Elmiina Kangas 1952