Jalmari Ollila

Rådhusgatan 16 - Jalmari Ollila

Jalmari Ollila

Company director

(b. 1892 - d. 1976)

Jalmari Ollila was the office manager of Kaskö Wood for several decades. Besides working in the wood business, he was responsible for companies in shipping and the fur industry.

Jalmari Ollila grew up on a farm in Lappajärvi, just under 200 kilometres from Kaskinen. His father died when he was young. He was fortunate to have a brother working in the United States to support him through his studies at business school in Vasa and Helsinki.

His first proper job was with the French company Révillon Frères, which hired him to buy furs from Siberia in 1916. Little did he know that this business trip was going to draw him into the turmoil of the Russian Revolution in 1917 and the civil war that followed. He had to escape the Bolsheviks by taking the Trans-Siberian railway to Vladivostok. He managed to board a boat headed to Japan and, from there, a ship that would take him back to Finland.

While he was on this journey back home, the ship made a stop in Singapore, where he stumbled upon a fortune-teller. This local man made a prediction that he would live to the ripe old age of 84. This divination seems to have been accurate: he passed away in 1976, at exactly the age of 84.

This building at Rådhusgatan 16 was constructed by Jalmari Ollila himself in 1930. He married a teacher and had two daughters. He was known as a man with a good sense of humour and one who treated his subordinates fairly. Everyone in Kaskinen knew his big wallet -- which is now in the collection of the Kaskinen Local Museum.