Frederick W. Leadbetter was a leading Clark County figure in the wood and paper industry who founded what is now the Boise Cascade Corp. plant on west Sixth Street.
Leadbetter, born in Iowa and educated in San Jose, Calif., was married in 1894 to Caroline Pittock, daughter of Henry L. Pittock, publisher of the Portland Oregonian.
He was involved in irrigation promotion in the Yakima Valley in the 1890s, and also worked for a short time for The Oregonian.
Pittock had been a founder of the paper mill at Camas, and Leadbetter was active in that business. The Columbia River Paper Co., operating the Camas mill, merged with Crown Paper Co. to form Crown-Columbia Paper Co. in the early 1900s, and Leadbetter was a leading owner of the new organization.
Later, after another merger, the company became known as the Crown Willamette Paper Co.
Leadbetter was also an official in Vancouver’s largest mill in the early 1900s, the Pittock and Leadbetter mill, operating in what had been the Michigan mill, on the waterfront.
In 1924, Leadbetter established and was president of the Columbia River Paper Mills, predecessor of Boise Cascade at Vancouver. At the time, Leadbetter had considerable holdings in CLark County, much of the property in the Camas area.
Leadbetter continued as Columbia River Mills president for many years before his death in 1948.
A Leadbetter residence on Lacamas Lake is a long-time landmark. The family also maintained a house in Portland.