Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 585-86.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Robert Edward Lee

Robert Edward Lee, a young man of energy and enterprise, follows farming in Lincoln township, Buena Vista county, where he has made his home since March 7, 1908.  He was born in Coles county, Illinois, April 5, 1887, the second in a family of seven children, born of the marriage of Joseph Reed and Mary Louisa (Bowman) Lee.  The father was born in Harrison county, Kentucky, March 4, 1858, while the mother's birth occurred in Perry county, Ohio, September 9, 1875.  They were united in marriage on the 19th of March, 1884, and their union was blessed with seven children, of whom our subject is the second, the others being:  John William, who was born June 12, 1885; Elsie Emma, born August 28, 1889; Clarence, who was born January 29, 1897 and died in infancy; Julia Armenta, born November 11, 1899; Henry Joseph, born March 3, 1902; and Samuel Reed, June 29. 1904.  The father served for three years as a member of Company A, Fourth Regiment Illinois National Guards.  He followed farming as a life work and removed from Illinois to Buena Vista county in March, 1903, but was not long permitted to enjoy his new home, for his death occurred at his home near Rembrandt, January l3, 1906, at the comparatively early age of forty-eight years.  His remains were interred in Storm Lake Cemetery.


Robert Edward Lee, whose name introduces this record, acquired his education in the district schools of his native county, completing the work of the eighth grade in 1902.  The following year, then a youth of sixteen years, he accompanied his parents on their removal to Iowa and assisted his father in the operation of the farm until March 7, 1906, when desiring to secure a more advanced education, he entered the academic department of Buena Vista College but had attended only seven days when the death of his father occurred.  This necessitated a change in his plan and he was obliged to abandon his books and assume the management of the farm for his mother, since which period his time has been fully occupied.  He possesses a spirit of enterprise and determination and displays the ability of many a man of larger experience in carrying on his farm work and managing his business affairs.


Mr. Lee became identified with the Modern Woodmen of America February 26, 1906, and was nominated to the office of chief forester in 1908.  He also belongs to the Brotherhood of American Yeoman, joining the order July 11, 1908.  His religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church.  He is popular among his many friends, for he possesses many excellent traits of character.