Former Carson City Mayor Harold Jacobsen.
Former Carson City Mayor Harold Jacobsen died Jan. 29.
He was 102.
He was born in Elko in October 1918 and raised on the family ranch in Diamond Valley. He spent hours in the saddle herding cattle and sheep.
He graduated from the University of Nevada in 1941 with a degree in agriculture. It was during his tenure at the Reno campus that he developed an interest in politics and lobbied the Legislature to save the university farm.
He served as the assemblyman from Humboldt County from 1946-48. He also served 12 years as a member of the University of Nevada Board of Regents from 1962-74. He was board chairman from 1970 to 1974. During his tenure, the Nevada Southern campus was expanded to a four-year college, becoming UNLV, a medical school was established in Reno and plans were made for a law school in Las Vegas. He worked with representatives of Howard Hughes to establish a community college in Elko.
He served as mayor of Carson City for eight years beginning in 1976 and worked to diversify the capital’s economy so it wouldn’t be completely dependent on state government. He helped bring numerous manufacturing jobs to Carson City and worked to create the master plan that limits Carson’s growth rate to 3 percent a year. He also began the planning for the Highway 395 bypass.
Carson remains the only county in the state with a growth cap.
Jacobsen advised folks that people need to know that you care about them and you should listen rather than be listened to.
“Be interested, not interesting, ask questions,” he would say. “You can’t do it sitting there. Get up and get yourself going.”
The university system recognized Jacobsen as a Distinguished Nevadan in 1980.
Jacobsen bought the Willow Creek Ranch in Humboldt County, then bought the 102 Ranch near Reno and the Jack Creek Ranch in Tuscarora before leaving the ranching business in 1955 for a career with New York Life Insurance. He was agent of the year numerous times and an active agent until his death.
He is survived by his wife Alice Casazza and five daughters as well as 20 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.
Mass and celebration of life will be held Feb. 19 at St. Theresa of the Little Flower Catholic Church in Reno.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in his memory to the Regent Harold Jacobsen Scholarship Endowment at the UNR Foundation, Mail Stop 0162, Reno, 89557.