ALBEE FAMILY NARRATIVE
The Gualala Cemetery contains a single headstone for the Albee family which marks the grave of Infant Albee, the daughter of F.D. and E.A. Albee, who died on 12 May 1883. This date precedes the Mendocino County requirement for the filing of death certificates, and the gravestone provides the only indication of her birthdate. Since the baby was unnamed, it is likely that she was stillborn or died shortly after birth.
Information is available in the historic records, however, on Infant Albee’s family. Her parents, Fred Albee and Elinor Ainslie, were members of two pioneer families on the coast. Fred D. Albee was born in Washington County, Maine, on 29 March 1855, and moved with his parents, Luther Albee and Nancy Marean, to Leroy, Illinois when he was a young child. He spent his early years working on the family farm and in a grocery store. Beckoned to California by his older sister, and soon followed by his parents, in 1875, he took a job working in the Gualala Mill. His future wife, Elinor Ainslie, was born in Gualala, where her father Joseph Ainslie also worked in the Gualala Mill.
The 1880 Census indicated that “Fred D. Albee” was living alone at that time in Point Arena working in a sawmill. “Elinor Ainsely” is recorded as then living in Point Arena with her parents, Joseph and Helen Ainslie and siblings. The couple was married in 1882. They subsequently had a second daughter, Clara, born in 1886.
According to local reports, Fred, against his wife’s wishes and his better judgement, invested a dollar in a $10 Louisiana Lottery ticket in a shared purchase with his co-workers, and won $15,000. This unexpected gamble paved the way for Fred Albee to become one of the most prominent men on the coast. He invested wisely and was able to sustain a comfortable lifestyle. His first purchase was the Hiram Gilmore ranch, totaling two hundred and seventy-six acres, where he raised Jersey Cows. He moved off the ranch and into Point Arena in 1901. There Elinor’s sister, Mary Ann, married Edwin C. Albee, Fred’s brother. Fred went into business with a partner operating a large steam thresher, was a partner with Messrs. Haskell, Sheppard, & Iverson in the blacksmith’s shop in Point Arena, and a stockholder in the Point Arena Creamery.
By 1910, Fred and Elinor had moved to Palo Alto, with their daughter Clara and her husband Leroy Taylor. Elinor died in 1916, and Fred died in 1936.
Research compiled by Kelly S. Richardson, APR, AG. Anchored Genealogy