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Andrew Watilo, Sr
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Birth: Oct. 14, 1855, Finland
Death: Aug. 10, 1940
St. Louis County
Minnesota, USA

Andrew Watilo Sr., son of Anders Watilo (1819-1907) and Maria (1817-1894), was born near Vasa, Finland. He immigrated to Canada, leaving his wife and family in Finland. There he helped build the Canadian Pacific Railroad. After a few years he returned to Finland, but in 1888 he returned to the United States, entering the country at Sault Ste. Marie, then going to Ely, Minnesota where he worked in the D & I.R.R.. After the railroad was completed he worked in the Chandler Iron Mine for many years. In 1891 his wife joined him in the United States with their four children, Andrew, Sophia, Mary and Elizabeth. In October 1897, he was granted citizenship in this country. In 1906 he purchased a farm near Phelps, Wisconsin, were the family until 1925. The farm was located on the southeast sjore of Smokey Lake, and is now a golf course belonging to the Sand Lake Club. The original house is now the residence of the caretaker. His son-in-law, (daughter Mary's husband, John Honkala) purchased the land just to the north of his, but that land is in the state of Michigan, while the Watilo farm was in Wisconsin. So the fence line between the properties is actually the state line at that point. After selling the farm they moved back to Ely, were he lived until his death in 1940

Here is Andrew's obituary:


Andrew Watilo, Sr., Early Day Railroad Worker, Miner, Buried Wednesday.

Andrew Watilo, Sr., 84 years old, pioneer Ely railroad builder and miner, died at the Shipman hospital, Saturday evening, after an illness of about a month's duration.
Funeral services were conducted, Wednesday afternoon, from the Suomi Synod Lutheran church, of which he was one of the founders and a charter member, with Rev. Douglas Ollila in charge. Burial was in the Ely cemetery. Pall bearers were John Porthan, John Palmgard, Matt Laitala, Oscar Hakko, Jacob Johnson and Henry Pietila.
Mr. Watilo, who was born near Vasa, Finland, on Oct. 14, 1855, like many other young Europeans, immigrated to this country in a day when new towns, new industries, and new railroads were being born. Leaving his wife, and family in his native land, he came to Canada where he helped build the Canadian Pacific railroad in a day when brushes with the Indians in the far West were not at all uncommon.
After a few years he returned to Finland and in 1888 came to Ely were he worked on the Ely-Tower line of the D.&I.R.R. After the road was completed he obtained employment in the Chandler iron mine in days when it was Minnesota's first and only open pit mine. He was employed at the Chandler for many years.
After he haf worked in Ely for several years, his wife, accompanied by their four children, Andrew, Jr., Sophia, now Mrs. Harry M. Noll, Phelps, Wis., Mary, who became Mrs. Andrew Heikkinen, and Elizabeth, came to Ely.
Shortly after the turn of the century, Mr. Watilo served as street commissioner under the mayorship of P. R. Vail. Later he went into the cattle business and imported many fine herds of milch cows into this territory. He also operated a meat dressing plant.
In 1906 he purchased a farm near Phelps, Wis., were he resided until he sold it in 1925. He then returned with his family to Ely. In 1928 he and Mrs. Watilo observed their 50th wedding anniversary. She was taken by death in November, 1933, at the age of 77 years. From that time he made his home with his son, Andrew, until his death.
In 1902 the Suomi Synod church was founded by 24 local people one of them being Mr. Watilo. In the early days of the church, services and Sunday School were conducted at the Watilo home. At the dedication of the new $30,000 church edifice, early in June, he was one of the living charter members who were especially honored at the dedication banquet.
Surviving are four sons, Andrew, Jr., and Matt of this city; William J. and Emil A. of Ironwood, Mich., and a daughter, Mrs. Noll of Phelps. Preceding him in death were his wife and four daughter Mary (Mrs. Heikkinen), Elizabeth, Hilma and Saima.
There are 18 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren.
Out-of-town people attending the funeral were Mrs. Ralph East, West Point Kentucky; Mrs. Ed Heikkinen, Mr. and Mrs. Emil Kinner, Mrs. John Kangas and Jack Uppala, all of Phelps, Wis., and Mr. and Mrs. Matt Rinta, Gilbert, Minn. 
Family links: 
  Maria Watilo (1856 - 1933)*
  Mary Watilo Honkala (1882 - 1926)*
  Andrew Watilo (1884 - 1958)*
*Calculated relationship
Ely Cemetery
St. Louis County
Minnesota, USA
Created by: lovemeep
Record added: Apr 18, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 108701138
Andrew Watilo, Sr
Added by: Dianne P.
Andrew Watilo, Sr
Added by: Dianne P.
Andrew Watilo, Sr
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Jim Childers
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- LC
 Added: Mar. 8, 2014
Happy birthday to my 3rd great grandpa!!!!
- lovemeep
 Added: Oct. 14, 2013

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