Home Up


Leigh Rex Larson

Leigh Rex Larson was born March 12, 1941, at St. Mary's Hospital, Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI. He is the son of Wilbur Almo Larson of Farmington Twp., Waupaca Co., WI and Ruth Gertrude Bickett of the Village of Yellow Springs, Greene Co., OH.


Leigh Rex Larson was born March 12, 1941, at St. Mary's Hospital, Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI.

Leigh Larson's infant photo collection can be found here: Click on this sentence.

The Appleton Post-Crescent, Appleton, Winnebago Co., WI, Friday, September 26, 1941

Waupaca Youth Takes Examination for Army

Waupaca - Wilbur Larson, Milwaukee, son of Mr. and Mrs. Almo Larson, is in Chicago this week for final physical examinations for the army, and expects to report Oct. 2 at Camp Livingston for service. Wilbur, who is in the employ of the General Motors Acceptance Corporation, was a first lieutenant in the R. O. T. C. while a student at the University of Wisconsin.

The Appleton Post-Crescent, Appleton, Winnebago Co., WI, Wednesday, December 3, 1941

Waupaca - Mr. and Mrs. Almo Larson left Tuesday evening for Watertown where Mrs. Larson will join her daughter-in-law and small grandson and go to Atlanta Ga., to visit at the home of Major and Mrs. R. A. Lewis. Mrs. Lewis was the former Frieda Larson of this city. From they will motor to Fort Benning at Columbus, Ga., where Lieutenant Wilbur Larson is stationed. Mrs. Larson and infant son will remain with Lieutenant Larson while his mother will return by plane after a short visit. Lieutenant Larson has been, until recently, under Major Loren Gmeinder at Camp Livingston, La., Major Gmeinder also being a former Waupaca man.

Reed Allan Larson was born September 25, 1942, at St. Mary's Hospital, Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI.

Leigh and Reed and dog, standing in Dark outfits, Bickett residence, 700 Clyman Street, Watertown, WI, about 1945.

Leigh Larson standing in driveway, Bickett residence, 700 Clyman Street, Watertown, WI, about 1945.

Leigh Larson, Kirt Fiegel and Reed Larson, Pine Lake, Waushara Co., WI, about 1945.


Leigh and Reed Larson, about 1945

Leigh's first fish, Pine Lake, Waushara Co., WI, ca 1946.


Leigh Larson, Sherry Indestad and Reed Larson, Larson farm, Farmington Twp., Waupaca Co., WI, 1946.


Reed Larson driving Almo Larson's tractor, about 1947

Leigh and Reed Larson, about 1947

Bruce Dean Larson was born September 29, 1949, at St. Mary's Hospital, Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI.

Wilbur Larson and family, about 1950.

Leigh and his brother, Reed, attended the Camp Ajawah Boy Scout Camp for two weeks in the summer of 1951, at Linwood Lake, near Wyoming, Chisago Co., MN. It is located approximately 35 miles north of the Twin Cities near I35. http://www.ajawah.org/boys.html  

    JPG_Abbey_Anderson.jpg (89467 bytes)

Abbey Picnic at the Anderson's Lake Cottage, Eau Claire, WI, about 1951

Reed, Leigh and Bruce Larson, about 1951.

The Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., WI, Sunday, August 17, 1952

Egrets Flock to Wisconsin Wild Life Haven


Watertown, Wis. - Submarginal farming lands, diked to hold the waters of 15 springs on the mile square holdings of LeRoy M. Bickett, have been converted into a wild life oasis which in a period of several years has come to be the evening camp of more than a thousand American egrets. They come when the night comes and stand silently tall like white unlighted candles in the treetops. Lying along the great marsh which stretches north to Beaver Dam and Fox lakes, Bickett's wild life oasis was a barren land for the most part when he took it over in 1945. A roile of dike was laid and tamped and the pools soon grew to reeds, sedges and all the rest of the blooming marsh plants. Then the birds came: Marsh wrens, black capped night herons, members of the rail family, ducks and geese and finally, three years ago, the egrets. Only 200 came that first year, but since then they have come in greater flocks until now, along with their lesser cousins, the snowy egret and the little blue heron, they fill the evenings with calls of contentment as they settle out of the sky to roost.

More than 60 years ago the government came this way. A pipe was driven many feet into the ground to test the subsoil, and it spurted a white plume water until an unthinking teamster hitched his horses to the pipe and broke it off. Even before that day the Indians used the marsh. Still standing is a tree bent away over to the ground to mark the trail's end and to signal that at this point the trail was no longer passable.

Bickett calls his farm the Lee-Ki-Ree ranch, a combination of the first initials of his three grandsons. "It is for them," Bickett says stretching a hand out toward the land, "for their enjoyment and for their education." The youngsters call him Pal. He built a tree house big enough for the three to sleep in. They idolize the Watertown industrialist and roam the farm with him..

The news pools harbor trout and Bickett says he will allow anglers to fish them. Trees have been left standing on the hummocks of land to break the skyline, and the handiwork of man is no longer discernable under the lush growth of greenery. That is the Lee-Ki-Ree ranch, a new monument to practical land use under a new order of reclamation which provides room for the wild as well as the domestic animals and birds of the earth.

Three grandsons for whom Le Roy Bickett, Watertown, Wis., named his square mile farm and wild life oasis are shown on the edge of the marsh with their grandfather. The boys (left to right) are Leigh and Reed Larson and Kirt Fiegel. The Bickett holdings, roosting grounds of hundreds of white egrets, are named from the first initials of the boys: Lee-Ki-Ree ranch. Ducks and geese also visit the marsh.


Larson brothers, Christmas, December 25, 1952, N. Monroe St., Watertown, Dodge Co., WI.

Wilbur, Reed, and Bruce Larson, and Susie, the family dog, Pine Lake, Waushara Co., WI, 1953.

Leigh's University of Wisconsin, Madison, Dane Co., WI, 1963 Graduation Picture, age 22.

Leigh's Second Paycheck, Uniroyal, Stoughton, WI, July 15, 1963.

Polysar Progress, a publication of synthetic rubber polymer manufacturer Polysar, Ltd., Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, featured Hi-Life Runner Inc. in their March-April, 1975, edition.

Wilbur Larson family at Ruth Larson's 70th birthday, Larson home, 406 S. Washington St., Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI, December 23, 1983. By this time Ruth had been diagnosed with lung cancer, and was undergoing chemotherapy at her home.

Hi-Life Rubber Inc. received a Wisconsin Governor's New Product Award in 1990.

The Watertown Daily Times, Watertown, Jefferson Co., WI, Tuesday, March 27, 1990

Hi-Life Rubber bounces forward in Johnson Creek

 Hi-Life Rubber Inc. article about rubber manufacturing.

JPG Larson Group 2.jpg (129236 bytes)

August 10, 1992


"The Larson Boys," Watertown, WI, August 13, 2005 (Will, Bruce, Leigh, Reed).

"The Extended Family Group" Watertown, WI, August 13, 2005 (Will, Jean, Bruce, Leigh, Nancy, Reed). Missing from the picture: Joyce, Rob, Julie, Hope, Mal.



Leigh was in London, England, on March 9, 1991, and climbed atop the largest bronze lion statue in Trafalgar Square.

2007-2008 Watertown CC Winter Tour, Leigh Larson, Watertown, WI, December 22, 2007


The new owner's cabin at John's Lake, Waushara Co., WI, 2016.