Remembering 'Jake' recalls a better time

It's not so long ago in Douglas County that it was pretty easy to get to know who was running for office, because the person was usually your neighbor, or shopkeeper, or in the case of Sen. Lawrence Jacobsen, the oil man.

Jake was one of two Valley children born on July 1, 1921, as reported on the front page of The Record-Courier. L.P. Jacobsen had a son, Herman Springmeyer had a daughter.

At that time, Minden had been the county seat for five years, the Virginia & Truckee made regular runs to the Valley and there were about 1,725 people living in the Valley, according to the U.S. Census.

He grew up during Depression-era Carson Valley, learning his famed conservatism the hard way. Jake graduated from Douglas County High School in 1939, one of 38, the largest class the high school had ever seen at the time.

Upon graduation, Jake joined the U.S. Navy and was at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked.

Jacobsen served his country honorably and didn't stop serving until the day he died.

When he returned home from the war, he volunteered once more, this time for the Minden Volunteer Fire Department.

He started out distributing ice for a living and then ice and oil and in 1954 became the delivery man for Union Oil.

That's how many folks who were new to the Valley came to know him and when he asked them to send him to the Nevada Legislature in 1962, they did 1,037-737.

Jake served in the Assembly from 1963-1978. He ran for the State Senate and served in that office until redistricting eliminated his position in 2003.

They say in the world of term limits, there could never be another Jake, and that's a shame. We look back to a better world where people knew a person's character, because they'd known that person all their life.

Jake said it best in a 1988 interview with Record-Courier staff writer Linda Hiller.

"There's nobody better to judge you than your peers," Jake said. "I am fortunate in that I have been around for so long that I can pick up the phone and call most anyone I need to talk to and use their first name."


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