1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Albert Lea
ALBERT LEA, a city and the county-seat of Freeborn county, Minnesota, U.S.A., about 97 m. S. of St Paul. Pop. (1890) 3305; (1900) 4500; (1905, state census) 5657, 1206 being foreign-born (461 Norwegians, 411 Danes, 98 Swedes); (1910, U.S. census) 6192. It is served by two branches of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul, by the main line and one branch of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, by the Illinois Central, by the Iowa Central, and by the Minneapolis & St Louis railways. It is attractively situated between Fountain Lake and Albert Lea Lake, and is a summer resort. It has a public library and the Freeborn County Court House, and is the seat of Albert Lea College (Presbyterian, for women), founded in 1884, and of Luther Academy (Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran), founded in 1888. Albert Lea is a railway and manufacturing centre of considerable importance, has grain elevators and foundries and machine shops, and manufactures bricks, tiles, carriages, wagons, flour, corsets, refrigerators and woollen goods. The city is also the centre of large dairy interests, and there are many creameries in the county. Numerous artesian wells furnish the city with an ample supply of water of unusual excellence. Albert Lea was settled in 1855 and received a city charter in 1878. The city and the lake were named in honour of Lieutenant Albert Miller Lea (1808–1801), a West Point graduate (1831) who, on behalf of the United States government, first surveyed the region and described it in a report published in 1836. He was a lieutenant-colonel of engineers in the Confederate army during the Civil War.