An Immigrant Story - Oscar Dalback

A sign that reads, "Rousseau."
John Arvid and wife Ida Dalback are buried at the Rousseau Cemetery near Mass City.

NPS Photo

In 1890, at the age of 17, Oscar Dalback left his native Alajarvi, Finland aboard the ship Loverno, destined for Hancock, Michigan. In Oscar's case, an immigrant story soon took him to South Dakota, where he and his bride Johanna Paavola welcomed the first of their six children, John A. and Aiva Z. By 1900 the family was back in Michigan, near Greenland in Ontonagon County, where the rest of the children were born.

The Dalback children chose different pathways in life. John Arvid served in Company A of Michigan's 39th Infantry during WWI, returning to Ontonagon County after the war. Aiva continued her education and worked for the IRS in Washington, D.C. before moving to New York City. She wintered for several years in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Anna married Henry Koski and they made their home in Portage Entry, while Urho worked at the paper mill in Ontonagon and served in World War II. Impi Johanna became a schoolteacher before marrying Albert Rousseau of Rousseau, Michigan. Helen married Jerry Beeler of Detroit, a "Tool Crib Man," and they settled in Hazel Park.

Last updated: March 16, 2018

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