Remembering the 100-Year Anniversary of the Death of Finnish Immigrant

Olli Kinkkonen was hanged in Lester Park for his acts, or lack thereof.

DULUTH, Minn.- Sept. 18, 1918 marks the supposed lynching of Finnish immigrant Olli Kinkkonen.

The story goes that Olli refused to fight in World War I and there was a toss up on if he was a peaceful man refusing to fight or an outspoken anti-war advocate.

A group known as the “Knights of Loyalty” labeled men who didn’t go to war as ‘slackers,’ abducted Olli, and likely hanged him from a tree in Lester Park. Some think it could have been suicide, however.

Olli was originally buried in an unmarked grave at the Duluth Park Hill Cemetery, but in 1993, a Finnish Cultural Group put a marker on his grave calling him a ‘Victim of Warmongers.”

 

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