Untola was born to the Tietäväinen family and his real name was Algoth, but he changed the name to Algot Untola. Untola had many pen names including Irmari Rantamala, Maiju Lassila, Algoth Tietäväinen, Väinö Stenberg, J.I. Vatanen, Liisan-Antti and Jussi Porilainen. Untola's profession was teacher. He graduated in 1891 from Sortavala. Untola's most famous books were Harhama (1909) which he wrote under the name Irmari Rantamala, and Tulitikkuja lainaamassa (1910) under the name Maiju Lassila. Untola refused to take the state literature prize which he got from these books.