Fred Rebo Begins His Lifelong Love of Automobiles

Fred Henry Rebo

Fred Henry Rebo was born on June 10, 1908, in Spring Brook, Washburn County, Wisconsin to Dorothy (Dora) Sophia Elise Hanna Handorf, age 41 (1867-1927), and Erdmann Rudolph Herrmann Riebow (later Rebo), age 44 (1864-1930).

Fred was  baptized on February 24, 1919 by Pastor Rev J. Schneller, Sponsored by George Israel "Witness the congregation in Israels House". This is the only reference found that includes the name "Edmund" in Fred's name.

Fred was the youngest child of 10 children, 9 of whom were living at the time of his birth.  His siblings were:

George Fredrick Rebo was born on May 01, 1888 in Prairie Farm, Barron, Wisconsin, died on May 30, 1965, in Silverton, Oregon when Fred Henry was 56 years old.

• Frank Rebo August 15, 1890 - ?? 

Ida Melwine Bertha Rebo, born on September 8, 1892 in Barron, Wisconsin, died on February 23, 1982, in Detroit, Michigan when Fred Henry was 73 years old.

Anna Maria Elizabeth "Annie" Rebo  July 9,1894- born in Dallas, Barron, Wisconsin, died ???

John William Rebo (later changed to Rebou) born on June 10, 1896 (or 1895)  in Dallas, Barron, Wisconsin and died on April 20, 1977, in Virginia, Saint Louis, Minnesota when Fred Henry was 69 years old.

Lavina Alvina Mary C Rebo born on November 17, 1898 in Barron, Wisconsin, died on September 30, 1996, in Marion, Oregon when Fred Henry was 88 years old.

Dorothy (Dora) Louise Rebo born on October 6, 1901 in Barron, Wisconsin, died ???

Alice Rebo (Roberts) born on August 4, 1904, died on August 17, 1991, in Belle Fourche, Meade, South Dakota when Fred Henry was 83 years old.

Harry H. Rebo born on October 8, 1906 in Washburn, Wisconsin, died on May 23, 1989, in Lincoln, Montana when Fred Henry was 80 years old.

Fred lived in Stone Lake, Wisconsin most of his young life.  He spoke of striking out on his own at the age of 14.

Fred Henry's mother Dorothy (Dora) Sophia Elise Hanna passed away on October 28, 1927, in Springbrook, Wisconsin, at the age of 60 when Fred was 19 years old.

In the 1930 US Census, in Cooper Township, Kalamazoo County, Michigan Fredrich Rebo, 21, was listed as Brother-in-Law to Head of Household, John G,. Smith, married to Hazel B. Smith.  Who were John & Hazel?  They had three children living with them, Donald W LaRoy, 13, Allan D LaRoy, also 13 and Alberta L. LaRoy, 9 (possibly LeRoy).  The children are stepchildren to HOH so they must be Hazel's kids from a previous marriage.  The census shows that Fred's sister, Ida and her husband Richard Wilson were neighbors.  Richard lived in Kalamazoo when he and Ida married, and they continued to live in Kalamazoo until Richard"s death.  Richard and Ida do not list any children or others living in their household.  Both Richard and neighbor John, where Fred was living, were farmers.

Later that same year, 1930, Fred's father Erdmann Rudolph Herrmann passed away on November 30, 1930, in Springbrook, Wisconsin, at the age of 67.  Fred was 22 years old.

Fred Henry Rebo married Margaret Lucille Barnier on March 23, 1935, in Glasgow, Montana, when he was 26 years old. They had a son, Lawrence Fred Rebo, and also reared foster daughter, Jackie Darlene Udin (or Uden).

Fred worked hard all of his life.  He picked up jobs anywhere he could as a young man, working on farms from the earliest years, then went on to work on the Fort Peck Dam in Fork Peck Montana, where Fred and Lucille began their lives together as husband and wife.  When the dam was completed Fred and Lucille migrated west in search of work. 

In 1939 they found themselves in the Wallace/Kellogg Idaho area, where Fred worked as a miner.  He was initiated into the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers on August 23, 1941. Lucille taked about them going dancing on Friday nights in Kellogg.  Friday night dances were a popular form of entertainment at that time.

Following that they continued their trek west, living in Oregon for a short period of time before choosing Washington State as the place to put down deep roots.  They started in Marysville, Washington.  During this period Fred often traveled to Alaska for work while Lucille and their young son, Larry, keep the home fires burning in Marysville.  They eventually moved from Marysville, Washington to Lake Stevens, Washington where they lived for approximately 40 years on a 15+- acre farm. 

Fred made a living as a welder, a hard job which required working in extremely difficult, challenging and dangerous conditions.  There are pictures of Fred working on a water tower construction project, standing on top of the huge tower in his welding gear with absolutely no sign of any type of safety harness.  He was a brave man.

On October 12, 1942 Fred was issued a United States Coast Guard Identification Card, as a welder, while working for the Everett Pacific Company, a large employer at that time who, in conjunction with Everett Pacific Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, built a $3 million dry dock on the Everett waterfront.  The following excerpt is taken from an article about Mid-Century Everett:

Everett’s character as an industrial city was well established in the early 20th century by its lumber and shingle mills.  While the city experienced the decline of these traditional lumber industries, it weathered the economic impacts of the Depression better than many places in Washington State, in part because William Butler, a prominent local banker, made sure that none of the Everett or Snohomish County banks failed (O’Donnell, p. 55).  Economic improvement was apparent already in the late 1930s as the run-up to World War II brought new investment and employment opportunities, both in the construction of Paine Field (originally Snohomish County Airport) in 1936 and its lease by the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1940, and the establishment of a shipyard on the city’s waterfront. The latter facility, sited on a 62-acre parcel and established in 1942, was operated by the Piggott Family under a contract with the U.S. Navy, and soon employed more than 6,000 people.  

Other industries were established soon after Pearl Harbor and the county’s declaration of war, including the Everett Pacific Company/Everett Pacific Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, which built a $3 million dry dock on the waterfront in 1942.  This plant, reportedly the county’s largest, employed an estimated 400 (O’Donnell, p. 265). 

On February 10, 1944 Fred was awarded a Certificate of Achievement by Everett Pacific Company for passing the Navy Qualification Test No. One (Galvanized to Black) for Welder.  He carried the pocket size certificate in his wallet for the rest of his life.

In 1954 Fred began working for Chicago Bridge and Iron Company in Everett, Washington. It's fun to look back on a qualification test taken in 1960.  Of course, he passed with flying colors.

When he could find the time, Fred loved being in the outdoors, fishing, hunting, gardening, working on the farm.  He found himself in the local papers several times, displaying his day's accomplishments as they pertained to the challenge he enjoyed so much; Fred vs. wildlife. He was an excellent fisherman, and recognized many times for his great fishing prowess. 

So many wonderful memories were created for many while Fred and Lucille lived on the farm in Lake Stevens, Washington.  After living there for 40+- years, eventually it became to much too keep up with. Fred and Lucille sold the farm in 1981 and moved back to Marysville for about 10 years.  In 1991, when that became too much to keep up (Fred had created another gorgeous yard, which required continual care), they moved to Stanwood, Washington.  For some reason that never felt like home to Fred so they stayed there for only a short period, selling in 1994, before moving back to Everett, Washington.

We lost our beloved Fred Henry Rebo on January 28, 2001, at the age of 92 years old.

Click here to see more photos of Fred.

Click here to see photos of Fred and Lucille.