Lifelong Lake County resident Leo Albertson will serve as the Grand Marshal for this year’s Lake County Round-Up.
Albertson, 88, has lived all but four years of his lifetime in Lake County, and has plenty of history in the region, as a result. In addition to the honor of Grand Marshal, this year also serves as the centennial of his parents’ homesteading in the Yocum Valley area.
Albertson noted that his parents, Henry and Sadie Albertson, settled the area in June 1913. They had met through a most uniquely unorthodox fashion, he said, noting his mother had moved to Chicago, Ill., from Ireland.
“My dad needed a pair of shoes, so he put in an order to Sears Roebuck,” he said. “My uncle put a note in, unbeknownst to him, that he was looking for a good-looking girl… and she took him up on it.”
The couple met in Dorris, Calif., where she arrived by train, were soon married in Klamath Falls and proceeded to settle in the Yocum Valley, about 10 miles west of Dog Lake.
Leo is the sole survivor of the couple’s five sons — his siblings included Fred, Jack, Charlie and Lynn — and left Lakeview High School after his sophomore year to help his father on the family ranching operation, which at that time centered around sheep.
In 1944, he joined the U.S. Navy, where he was trained in amphibious transportation in Coronado, Calif. He was discharged on Dec. 6, 1945.
Leo was on leave when he met his wife of 67 years, Anna Mae. The couple met in November 1945 during a Thanksgiving dinner. Leo and Anna Mae were married in February 1946.
The couple spent four years homesteading 97 acres in Jerome, Idaho, making their living as farmers and converting GI barracks previously used as a Japanese American internment camp into living quarters.