Albert Lake, deceased, was for many years a prominent representative of the commercial and industrial interests of San Jose. He was born in Chautauqua, New York, in 1843, nd his early educational privileges were received in the public schools of Westfield, that state. When eighteen years of age he accompanied his parents on their removal of California, the family taking up their abode in Centerville, Alameda county, and there the parents spent the remainder of their lives. The son Albert worked on his father's ranch in Centerville until 1864, and in that year went to San Francisco and entered the employ of Hobbs, Wall & Company, proprietors of a box factory. He entered the factory as an ordinary mill hand, but his ability soon won him promotion, and in 1874, when the company instituted an office in San Jose, he was made the manager of their interests here. In 1872 their buildings were ruined by flood, but were immediately rebuilt and considerably enlarged. In 1873 Mr. Lake resigned his position as manager and became the proprietor of a box factory on North Fourth street, in connection with Hunt & Bettenger's coffee nd spice house, but in the following year, 1874, he sold this establishment and bought the factory of his former employers, Hobbs, Gilmore & Company. On the 31st of october, 1887, his entire plant was destroyed by fire, on which he had but small insurance, but with characteristic energy he immediately rebuilt the plant and was conducting a profitable business when he was again visited by the fire fiend, May 15, 1892, and his property was totally destroyed. Again Mr. Lake rebuilt his mill, and this is now one of the most modern and best equipped in this section, with a capacity of two million feet of lumber per annum, the material used being white pine and spruce. Fruite boxes of all descriptions and sizes are here manufactured from northern California material, and in addition to the large local trade its product is shipped to all parts of the state. Since its inception the business has steadily increased from year to year, and this is now one of the leading institutions of this section of the state. In 1876, while working a saw in his factory, Mr. Lake suffered the loss of his right hand, and for a year and a half following he was unable to attend to his business. During the last five years of his life he was a constant sufferer, but such was his industry that he was always found at his office whenever able to leave his bed, and so continued until his life's labors were ended in death, on January 11, 1899. he was a man of good judgment and sound fanancial ability, and enjoyed the unlimited confidence of his fellow men.
The marriage of Mr. Lake was celebrated in 1874, when Emily Morey became his wife, she being a native of Illinois, but came to California in 1868. Six childten were born of that union: Sidney S., Albert, David (now deceased), Frank, Clarence and Harry. In political matters Mr. Lake gave a stanch support to Republican principles, and for one term served as a city councilman. His fraternal relations were with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. After Mr. Lake's death his widow became the manager of the business, assisted by her sons Sidney and Albert, and they have since practically rebuilt the plant, and its present success is due largely to their efforts.
Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II
The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine
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