Albert Frederick Ross, Jr. born November 1, 1894 in Redding was a second generation native of Shasta County. His grandfather, Herman Frederick Ross, pioneered a wagon trail from Trinidad to Old Shasta which later became Highway 299 and part of Highway 101.

His father, Albert F. Ross, Sr. who married Lizzie Greer, was elected to two terms as County Clerk and three terms as Sheriff. He was meeting his father in Anderson when Herman Ross, 77, was killed in a run-a-way horse and buggy accident. Worse was to follow when Sheriff Albert F. Ross, was killed by a berserk prisoner in the County jail, in 1919.

Albert F. Ross Jr. (Fred to his friends) graduated from Shasta High School in 1912 and the University of California at Berkeley in 1916 and went on to Boalt Hall for law, but he passed the bar examination and started the practice of law before he graduated. He was in Europe in WWI when his father was killed. Fred returned home and resumed his Legal career.

Nelda Larkin, born December 22, 1897, was the ninth of ten children born to John and Melissa Jane Smith Larkin in Centerville. The family moved to Redding when her father was elected to the first of five terms as Coroner. She graduated from Shasta High School in 1916, and worked in the County Recorder's Office.

Fred and Nelda were married July 18, 1921 and set up housekeeping in the Del Monte Apartments on the site of the present County Jail. The couple had two daughters:

Beatrice - m. Charles T. Hutchison
Katherine - m. Lloyd R Henderson

Albert F. Ross served in the Redding Justice Court 1923 to 1927 and was District Attorney from 1927 to 1933. Elected in November even year; assume office next year. He was elected California State Assemblyman in 1920 and again in 1932. During his first year of this term, Governor James Rolph, Jr. appointed him Superior Court Judge. Judge Ross delighted in telling the story of his appointment. Upon being questioned about his qualifications, Governor Rolph replied, "I don't know whether Ross can read or write, but I like him."

Judge Ross never took himself seriously, but he had a deep respect for the law and his office and a strong sense of right and wrong. Once he threatened to go to jail rather than submit to pressure from four other superior court judges in connection with a complex 1957 water suit. He collected and hung in the Courthouse photographs of the Superior Court Judges who preceded him.

Possibly, he did so well in politics because he liked people; he belonged to the American Bar Association, the Elks, and the Moose. He was the first Commander of Shasta Post 197, American Legion, a charter member of Redding Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and belonged to the Veterans of WWI. He belonged to Reading Masonic Lodge and other Masonic orders; Grand Master of California in the Royal and Select Masters. Both Fred and Nelda belonged to Eastern Star and the Episcopal Church choir.

Nelda accompanied her husband when he served in other courts. She did some church and community work, cared for home and family, and played bridge for recreation.

Nelda passed away August 23, 1967 and Fred, Judge Albert Frederick Ross followed her October 20, 1971.

Source: Shasta Historical Society - November, 1996

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