A remarkable man, qualified, through native ability, special training and exceptionally fortunate business and social connections, to handle enterprises and responsibilities of the first magnitude, is Albert T. De Forest, who resides at 950 University Avenue, Palo Alto. He was born in Cleveland, on June 4, 1863, and in that city grew up and was active in business circles until 1903. Owing to his father's early death, he passed through a boyhood and youth darkened through many hardships, and received at best only a partial high school training. There were three children in the family, but he was the only one that lived to maturity. His father was Lewis Germain De Forest, and he was also a native of. Cleveland. The grandfather, Tracy Robinson De Forest, was a native of New York State, and came to Cleveland in 1832, where he was a United States steamboat inspector for several years. Lewis G. De Forest was a dealer in jewelry at Cleveland. He married Teressa Suydam, who was born and married in Cleveland, and she lived to be seventy-six years old, and passed peacefully away in May, 1919, at the home of her son in Palo Alto, beloved and respected by all who knew her.

At the early age of fifteen, Albert De Forest went to work to earn a living in the steel and wire mills in Cleveland, and in time became secretary of the H. P. Nail Company, makers of wire nails, which concern later became part of the American Steel and Wire Company of Cleveland, when Mr. De Forest was district manager for the Cleveland district. At Cleveland, in 1888, Mr. De Forest was married to Miss Lettie West, a daughter of Henry B. West, well known hotel man of Cleveland and Put-in-Bay Island, and in 1903, with his wife and daughter, and his mother, he came out to San Francisco to take charge of the sales of the subsidiary companies of the U. S. Steel Corporation. The next year, 1904, he came to Palo Alto and became interested in the building of the Peninsular Railway from Palo Alto to Alum Rock Park, an electric line, now a part of the Southern Pacific Railroad System. John F. Parkinson was the main projector of this road, but Mr. De Forest acquired an active interest. Now he has an office in the Rialto Building in San Francisco, and being associated with the U. S. Steel Products Company, he has charge of their sales for the states of Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, California, Washington and Northern Idaho. In 1907, he built for himself an elegant residence, and he owns a valuable ranch property south of Mayfield, which he manages as a dairy and fruit farm, taking a live interest, as a true country gentleman, in the details of its operation. Mr. De Forest is a member of the Blue Lodge Masons, the Chapter in Palo Alto, and the Cornmandery, and to the Council and the Scottish Rites bodies at San Francisco. He was chairman of the Salvage Bureau of the Red Cross during the late war, and his jurisdiction included the entire state.

From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1191


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight