Harold T. Lebo: the man behind the East Bremerton boulevard

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Q: Who is Lebo Boulevard in East Bremerton named after? 

A: Harold T. Lebo (1892-1990), a Tacoma native who owned and operated furniture stores around Puget Sound, including in Bremerton.

Bloggers note: In November 2015, the city was awarded nearly $5 million to reconstruct Lebo Boulevard between Lower Wheaton Way and the northern city limits past Lions Park. This entry is a historical post about the man the road is named after.

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Joan Derry, Lebo’s granddaughter, has been seeking information about him and has come across some wonderful Bremerton history. Lebo, a World War II veteran, and his wife, Wilda “Billie” Sarah Mildred Smith, had seven acres off Tracyton Beach Boulevard, Derry says. They came to Bremerton in 1936.

The Bremerton store he owned, called Kaufman Lebo Furniture, moved from the 200 block of Fourth Street out to Wheaton Way. I’ve attached the Bremerton Sun article showing the move, below.

But there’s still a bit of a mystery: why was the boulevard named for Lebo? Derry says he’d made some substantial donations to charity, including to Harrison. And Lions Park was at one time named Lebo Field, too, which appears tied to him as well.

Derry is also seeking additional information about her grandfather. If you have some you’d like to share, email her at reflex8@comcast.net. Email me too at jfarley@kitsapsun.com and I will post an update.

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5 thoughts on “Harold T. Lebo: the man behind the East Bremerton boulevard

  1. One of my husband’s deceased relatives worked at Kaufman-Lebo Furniture on 4th Street up until sometime in the mid-1960’s. His name was Hugo Dettmann.

  2. I am loving all the memories you are bringing back to me. Beverly, I so remember Hugo. The store could not have run well without him.
    Yes, John Beck was buying the store from my Dad, Stan Clark, but after about three years he decided to sell; sold to a CA company that was here for a year; they sold to another national chain and that lasted a year; and then the store closed and has had many owner/tenents since then.
    Ron, you are right about Charles Furniture which my Dad opened in Port Orchard. I am not remembering just how long it was open, about two years?
    The move from downtown to the Wheaton Way location was a big step, but Dad had had enough of Bremer as a landlord. And he always said that Silverdale would be the “hub” but he couldn’t afford to go out there and wait for the area to catch up, and that took nearly ten years.
    I am still looking for information on my Grandfather, Harold Lebo. As a young child you don’t pay a lot of attention to “history”.
    Thanks everyone for any and all input.yellow

  3. I wish I could tell you something, I feel like I should know all this info because of my grandfather. I did spend a lot of my teenage years in that area, but I’m afraid that wasn’t until the late 80s/early 90s. My grandfather, Moses Smith, was an amateur historian and volunteer for the Kitsap Historical Society for many years. Grandpa and I were responsible for cataloguing most of their old photos, but I was only about 12 at the time and don’t remember much. He could probably recite the entire Lebo family history (at least as it pertains to Kitsap County), without even a thought. Sadly though, he passed away 6 years ago this month. The Kitsap Historical Museum would be the place to start, but don’t worry about the displays, ask to see the catologued photos. I would assume that everything has been computer catalogued by now. Anything that has your grandfather’s shops or Lebo Blvd. pictured should have “Lebo” in it’s reference categories, so run your initial search using that as your search word. I really wish I could be of more help.

  4. Harold Lebo was my Uncle. Wilda Lebo his wife was my Grandmothers sister (Wavie Kaufman). Hence Kaufman Lebo. Lebo Way and Lebo field were named after him. I may have some history tucked away on that issue.

  5. I had the pleasure of working at Kaufman-Lebo between 1952 and 1957. I also worked with your Dad, Stan Clark. I remember Alpha Munn who was the bookkeeper for many years. Hugo Dettmann was a great guy who took care of all the shipping and receiving. I still have a perfume bottle that was given to me by the Lebo’s, for Christmas, at their annual party held at their home on Tracyton Beach Blvd. I still live in Bremerton and have many stories I could tell.

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