Juuso Walden monument

Valkeakoski  >  Tourism  >  Sights  >  Juuso Walden monument

Juuso Walden monument

Juuso Walden monument

Bronze, steel, attached to natural stone
Revealed on 5 April 2017
Lepänkorva park 

Designed by Alf Lindström and Salla Lylynoja.


Juuso Walden received the bronze sculpture in the monument as a gift from his English business associates on his 60th birthday on 5 April 1967.

The sculpture was made by Scottish sculptor David McFall (1919-1988).

Juuso Walden’s daughter Riitta Wrede donated the sculpture to be used for the monument. Funds for the monument were raised in a general collection. 

The monument was designed by Alf Lindström and Salla Lylynoja. It was revealed on 5 April 2017, on the 110th anniversary of Juuso Walden’s birth.

Juuso Walden 1907 - 1972

Juuso Walden was an industrialist and an important builder of society. Valkeakoski, as well as the other industrial communities of the United Paper Mills developed into cozy communities rich with large housing areas, parks and sport and recreation areas.


Juuso Walfrid Walden was born in St. Petersburg on 5 April 2017. His parents were General Rudolf Walden, the managing director of a printing press and agency and later the founder of United Paper Mills, and his wife Anni (née Konkola). In 1932 Juuso Walden married Tellervo Arvola, MA. They had five children: Juuso, Kaarle, Eeva-Liisa, Riitta and Lauri.


Juuso Walden graduated from upper secondary school in 1925 and completed a university degree in economics in 1929. He studied in England in 1930-31, after which he came to work at United Paper Mills, initially as the office manager of the subsidiary Ab Walkiakoski. He was appointed as the sales manager at the company headquarters in Myllykoski in 1935.

After the Winter War in 1940, the chairman of the board of United Paper Mills, General Walden was called to serve as the Finnish Minister of Defense. His son Juuso was then appointed Managing Director of the company, at the age of 33. He was granted the Finnish honorary title of vuorineuvos in 1948.

Juuso Walden was one of the most prominent industrialists in post-war Finland. Under his leadership, United Paper Mills began expanding already during the war years, aiming to increase the solvency of the company and to manufacture substitute goods. Particulary the production of processed paper products was increased in Valkeakoski

United Paper Mills

United Paper Mills was owned and controlled by two families: the Walden family and the Björnberg family. In the late 1940s, managing director Walden was in favor of strong expansion of the company whereas chairman of the board C.-G. Björnberg supported a much more cautious approach. The differences led to an agreement to divide the company in 1952. The largest and most modern mill Myllykoski became the property of the Björnberg family. The other mills and the ownership of the company’s hydroelectricity resources remained in the United Paper Mills. The headquarters were moved to Valkeakoski.

Immediately after this, Walden began a major expansion of the new, smaller company. Plans and construction of the new Kaipola newsprint and magazine paper mill in Jämsä in Central Finland began right away. Construction work started in 1954, and the mill became the first completely new paper mill in post-war Finland. 

The company increased its production heavily in all mills in the 1950s and 1960s, and overall production in tons increased nine-fold during those decades. In other words, Juuso Walden was a bold builder – perhaps too bold. In Finland, as in the rest of the world, increases in paper production exceeded demand, which caused a sharp decrease in the profitability of the industry from the mid-1960s onwards.

Change in ownership

The consequences for United Paper Mills were severe losses, increased debts and a rearrangement of ownership. Decision-making power in important issues shifted to the financers, led by the Finnish commercial bank Kansallis-Osake-Pankki.

The family enterprise stage of United Paper Mills came to its end in 1969, when Juuso Walden retired, tired and in weakened health. He died in Valkeakoski on 19 Nov. 1972.

Unique personnel policy

The foundation of Juuso Walden’s personnel policy was the so-called 10 per cent deals, disliked by the trade union. By signing the deal, an employee could guarantee himself a 10 per cent bonus at the end of the year. Up to 12-14 per cent of male employees had taken the deal. 

Another distinctive feature of United Paper Mills was the treatment of married women. In Juuso Walden’s opinion, the place of a married lady was at home, caring for the home and the family. As a rule, when a female employee got married, she was let go from the company.

One-mark-plots and caring for the workers

The objective of the housing policy was that as many employees as possible could own their own home. The company supported home building in many ways, including selling plots for the price of one Finnish mark to war veterans. Salaried employees were to live in company-sponsored apartments so that it would be easier to transfer them to other mill locations.
The social activities of the company covered everything from versatile playground activities for children to work activities for pensioners. Women, both married housewives and female employees, were a special priority, and the company established clubs and domestic science advisory stations for them.

The company organized vocational training in its two vocational schools. After graduation, the students usually went to work in the company’s mills. The company also participated in the development of schools in its locations e.g. by establishing technical schools and supporting the establishment and expansion of upper secondary schools.

Besides the mill grounds, Juuso Walden was a familiar figure on the streets of Valkeakoski. His Land Rover was seen almost daily in various parts of Valkeakoski, as the Boss drove around inspecting the sports fields he had built and the living conditions of his employees.

Hospitality and sponsorship

Juuso Walden was a PR man of the highest level. President Urho Kekkonen was a friend of his, and this contributed in part to the continuous stream of visitors including foreign heads of state and other high-level guests who came to admire the Finnish industrial community.

Sport, especially football, was a great passion for Juuso Walden. He served as the chairman of the Finnish Football Association for 10 years. He was involved in various sport activities already as a young man, and was the founder of Valkeakosken Haka football club. From the 1950s onwards United Paper Mills was known as the employer of several world champions and gold medal winners.

Taking care of the comfortable surroundings of mill communities and supporting various leisure activities was an important part of Juuso Walden’s humane personnel policy, which still has a strong reputation.

Viimeksi muokannut: Hanna Parviainen, 9.4.2019 15:50