Alexander Kutvonen was born in 1859 as the youngest child of
Niklas and Anna Kutvonen.
His mother Anna died when Alexander was five years old.
His father soon remarried, to Maria Kristina Myyrä,
and Alexander had four half-siblings.
Alexander began his career as a shop assistant and trainee
in Hamina ca. 1880-1883 with the merchant and industrialist Konstantin Aladin the Elder.
He then served three years of military service in the old Finnish military
(Suomen vanha sotaväki).
After that, he moved to St. Petersburg where he in 1890 married Swedish born
and they had two daughters
Maria Josefina and Ellen Sofia.
Alexander first worked at the Finnish Cooperative (Suomalainen Osuusliike) in St. Petersburg
before starting to sell goods by himself in 1891.
Sofia died in 1902 in Vyborg where she had been in hospital.
In the following year, Alexander married
Hilja Eufemia Kurki, my grandmother.
Alexander and Hilja had four children,
Helvi Mirjam who died as a young child, and
Retail and wholesale trade was Alexander's life's work in St. Petersburg from 1891 to 1917.
The trade of Finnish cheese was an important component of the economic relationship
between Finland and Russia at the time.
Alexander expanded Finnish cheese exports to Russia and handled one-third of the total amount.
Finnish cheese was highly regarded in Russia for its quality,
and it was often sold in high-end food shops and restaurants.
At the best, he operated three
stores in St. Petersburg selling Finnish groceries
and one selling Finnish fabrics.
In the months before the Russian Revolution,
Alexander and his family returned to Finland,
where they settled in Hyvinkää, north of Helsinki.
Later they moved to Alexander's birth town of Vyborg, where he also died.
➔ An imaginary portrait of Alexander at the age of 60