Kauhajoki is a city in the province of Southern Ostrobothnia in Western Finland. The city has a population of 13,172 and is the 80th largest municipality in Finland. The municipality code of Kauhajoki is 232 and its area is 1315.46 km², of which 15.68 km² are water bodies. The population density is 10.14 inhabitants / km². Most of the Kauhajoki is located north of the Suomenselä watershed. Most of the area of the city is a gently descending plain, an opening expanse, and a barn sea to the west and north.

The neighboring municipalities of Kauhajoki are Honkajoki in the south, Isojoki in the southwest, Karijoki in the west, Karvia in the southeast, Kurikka in the north and Teuva in the west. Kauhajoki is the center of the Suupohja economic area.

The local newspaper in Kauhajoki is called Kauhajoki magazine.



The birth of the settlement
There has been permanent settlement in the area of ​​present-day Kauhajoki since the middle of the 16th century. In 1584 a separate chapel room was built in the locality. Construction was the first gesture of establishing one’s own community. Later, from this beginning, the Kauhajoki Chapel Parish developed, which in 1858 seceded from Ilmajoki as an independent parish.

A riot took place in Kauhajoki in 1658, where about 20 men from Kauhajoki clashed with Captain Arvid Mikonpoika Tim and Lieutenant Nandelstad.

The time of the Finnish war
During the Finnish War in the summer of 1808 in Kauhajoki, the peasants revolted the Russians. The event, called the Kauhajoki uprising, ended with a revenge trip by the Cossacks of the Russian Vasily Orlov-Denisov. The Kauhajoki was destroyed by burning and looting. During the Finnish War, the Russians are known to have tortured and raped the local population only in Kauhajoki. By early September 1808, the Russians had killed at least 13 people. During July and August 1808, a total of five battles of the Finnish War were fought in Kauhajoki: the Battle of Samelinlakso on July 27, the battle of Aro on July 28, the Battle of Parjakanneva on July 28-29. July, the Battle of Kauhajoki on 10 August and the Battle of Nummijärvi on 28 August. The Russians burned the Kauhajoki church with its staves and the rectory on September 1, 1808.

According to tradition, the bell of Kauhajoki Church was hidden in a Vaunulampi in Sahankylä during the uprising, and it is not known whether the bell is still in the pond.

After the Finnish war, Kauhajoki was without a church for a long time, which was due to the impoverishment of the parish due to the war on the one hand, and the disputes over the location of the church on the other. Finally, in 1818–1820, a new church was built on the site of the former church, designed by Salomon Köykkä-Köhlström, a well-known church builder born in Jalasjärvi, and his son Juha was the master builder. The Kauhajoki Chapel Congregation became an independent parish in 1858, but the first own pastor was not obtained until 1891. The Kauhajoki municipality began its activities in the meantime in 1868. The church was thoroughly repaired in 1902–1903 and 1955, but was destroyed by fire in 1956.


Establishment of a municipality and opening up of rail transport

The municipality of Kauhajoki was founded in 1868. The Suupohja railway from Seinäjoki through Kauhajoki to Kaskis was officially opened to traffic on August 1, 1913. In 1918, a civil war broke out in Finland, involving 1,115 Kauhajoki rivers. Of these, 51 fell and three prisoners of war died in red. During the Civil War, Kauhajoki served as a hub for transportation and maintenance. For example, 1,580 horse rides were made from the locality, mainly to Kankaanpää. Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Forces, held talks at Kauhajoki Railway Station on 8-9 September. on the night of March 1918 with his front commanders from the conquest of Tampere.

In 1908, the Koski school was founded. The following year it was the turn of the Muurahainen and Hangaskylä schools. Kokonkylä and Lylysalo schools were founded in 1914 and the following year the Ikkeläjärvi school. The schools of Pukkila, Uuro, Nummikoski, Nummijärvi and Kiviluoma were founded in 1918. In 1919, the schools of Harja and Luomankylä and the Suupohja country school were founded. The Household School and the Aro School were founded in 1920. The Kainasto School was founded in 1922. The Evangelical Folk High School and the Yrjänäinen School were founded in 1925. Kauhajärvi got its own school in 1926 and Nirva in 1928. In the same year, a joint school was established in the municipality. Puska School was founded in 1929.

Agriculture was the most important industry in the 1920s, employing 91.1 percent of the municipality's population. 51.98% were landowners and their family members, 21.57% were lampshades and crofters, 23.65% were self-employed and hill dwellers, and 1.27% lived in office buildings. Others were 1.49%.

The recession of the 1930s plagued the Finnish economy, but gradually the country began to recover. The peat and grain dryer industry and sawmills began to be established in Kauhajoki. In 1934, the Kauhajoki Museum Association was founded. Other events of the decade included the paving of the main street Topeeka, an agricultural exhibition and the drying of Lake Ohmerojärvi. The Ohmerojärvi school was founded in 1930, the following year the Lustila school and in 1933 the Pentilä and Jokimäki schools. Piipari School was founded in 1935, Möyky School in 1937 and Lamminmaa School in 1939.


As a meeting place for Parliament

The Finnish Parliament convened secretly in Kauhajoki during the Winter War on 5 December 1939–12. February 1940. The meeting place was located upstairs in the wooden part of the Sanssi school. That is why there are two presidential gavel in the coat of arms of Kauhajoki. Of those who took part in the Kauhajoki winter war, 46 fell.

In the Continuation War of 1941–1944, 287 Kauhajoki were killed. Nearly 2,000 Ingrians arrived at the investment camp established in 1943 in Kauhajoki. Of this crowd, 509 people remained in the locality. Mostly the Ingrians returned to the Soviet Union after the end of the war. In addition, 1,500 immigrants arrived from Karelia to Kauhajoki, staying mainly to live in the locality. At the turn of the 1940s and 1950s, the largest unified frontline area in Finland was established in Sahankylä, Kauhajoki, based on the Land Acquisition Act. The village was visited by clearers from all over Finland, who established a total of 42 settlements in the village.

The emergence of service industries after the wars
Pihkakylä school was founded in 1946, Koivumäki school the following year and Äijö and Nummilahti schools in 1948. Hakokallio school was founded in 1949 and Könnö and Sahankylä schools in 1951. Now there were 36 elementary schools in the locality. The Pihkakylä school was closed in 1958. This was the first closure in Kauhajoki.

Service industries with construction and industry took over the sector from agriculture and forestry during the 1950s, when agriculture and forestry provided a livelihood for 76% of Kauhajoki's residents. During the decade, the working-age population moved from the locality to Sweden and the cities. The church built on the Kauhajoki River in 1820 burned down in 1956. Two years later, a new church was completed.

Still in the 1960s, agriculture employed 71% of the bucket rivers. During the decade, the primary schools in Koivumäki, Hakokallio, Teevahainen, Möyky, Nummilahti, Lamminmaa, Pentilä, Kiviluoma and Puska were closed after the number of students decreased. Instead, the Suupohja Business School, Kauhajoki Citizens' College, Kauhajoki Vocational School and Kauhajoki Music College were established so that local youth could study in their hometown. Passenger traffic on the Suupohja line ended in 1968. In addition, main road 67 through the municipality was renovated in the 1960s.

Industry grew in the 1960s and 1970s, and agriculture and forestry employed only 39% of the Kauhajoki population in the 1970s. Services employed 32%. Major employers Rauma-Repola, Strömberg, Tiklas, Esko Salo and Maan Liha established their offices in Kauhajoki within a decade. The traffic volumes of Kauhajoki also increased and the center of the municipality changed when a new one was built to replace the old one. The primary schools of Uuro, Turja, Hangaskylä, Ohmerojärvi and Koskenkylä were abolished in 1972. The primary school was transferred in 1975.

Kauhajoki was also briskly built in the 1980s. Similarly, the number of jobs increased in industry and services. The roads leading to Hyyppä, Nummijärvi and Ikkeläjärvi received permanent pavement during the decade. The schools in Pukkila, Kauhajärvi, Harja, Piipari and Jokimäki were renovated and a nursing home, new apartments and a health center were built in the municipality. Architect's office Sipinen Oy won an invitation competition in 1981 for a new municipal building. The building was completed in 1983. The library building designed by Touko Saari was completed in 1989. The recession in the 1990s led to the departure of Strömberg and Rauma-Repola from Kauhajoki and at the same time to a deterioration in the employment situation.

The road from Kauhajärvi to the Satakunta border was paved during the 1990s. During the decade, schools such as Ikkeläjärvi and Harja were closed down in 1999.

After 133 municipal years, Kauhajoki became a city on July 1, 2001.

A shooting incident took place on September 23, 2008 at the Kauhajoki Service Education Institute, in which eleven people died.


Origin of the name

The Kauhajoki is named after the river of the same name that flows through it. According to the history of the Kauhajoki chapel in the Kauhajoki church archives, the chapel was once known in Swedish as “sleff-åå”, or kapustajoki. The son of the first permanent priest of the Kauhajoki chapel took the surname Haustramnius, or “Kauhajoki resident”. The first part of the name comes from the Latin words haurio, Hausi, haustum, which means to draw. The latter part of the name comes from the word amnis, which in turn means river.


The name Kauha may also have come from the original Nordic word gauža, meaning flood and boiling. Bucket is also a dialect and means horror. Originally, the meaning of the bucket was pale, lightness. The meaning then gave way to the word for the sign. Horror, on the other hand, originally meant pallor, and was accompanied by the word horror. The words kausta and kausa, which mean page and set aside, have also been suggested as the root word for the word Kauha. Admittedly, it is unlikely that the folder would have turned into a bucket.

It has also been noted that the majority of Kauha-derived names are located either on the watershed or above their immediate surroundings. So possibly a bucket could mean the upper reaches of a river, a watershed, or high terrain. The base of the bucket could be the ancient Scandinavian word haugr, from which the Swedish word hög and the Norwegian word Haug have been formed. Both words mean high place, mound and high.