For many years James Lee was a well known resident of Delaware
county and witnessed much of its growth and development, taking an
active part in the work of improvement especially along agricultural
lines. He was born in Ireland on the 10th of April, 1834, and the
following year was brought by his parents to the United States, the
family home being established in Illinois, where he was reared and
educated. The Black Hawk war had occurred only three years before
their arrival in that state and there was every evidence of pioneer
life with its attendant hardships, privations and difficulties. Amid
such surroundings James Lee was reared and in meeting such conditions
he developed strength of character and purpose as well as the traits
of industry, economy and diligence.
While a resident of Illinois James Lee was united in marriage to Miss Mary
Rowe, who was born in Apple River, that state, January 22, 1842. Not long
after their marriage they removed to Iowa, settling in Delaware county, and in
November, 1874, took up their abode upon a farm near Masonville, where they resided until 1909, or for a period of thirty-five
years. Mr. Lee bent his energies to the development of the place and succeeded
in bringing his fields under a high state of cultivation. Year after year he
carefully tilled the soil, and the abundant harvests which rewarded his labors
brought to him a substantial competence, enabling him at length to live retired.
Accordingly, in the year 1909, he left the farm and removed to a comfortable
home in Manchester, where his remaining days were passed.
Mrs. Lee became the parents of thirteen children, as follows: Henry, who lives
in Minnesota; Edward, who passed away in Portland, Oregon, June 28, 1914;
Thomas, who is engaged in farming in Delaware county; Elmer J., residing at
Harris, this state: Eliza, the wife of Robert J. Robinson, of Nebraska; Emma,
the wife of Charles Morris, residing near Dundee, this state; Etta, who was a
twin to Emma and died in infancy; Alfred, who was drowned June 4, 1887; Lorena,
the wife of Alfred Tripp, residing near Dundee; George E., a sketch of whom
appears elsewhere in this work; Mattie, who married Jesse
Rigney, of Wyoming; Clara, the wife of Verne Livesay,
of Oregon; and Nevada Pearl, who lives in Portland Oregon.
made every effort to provide a comfortable living for his family and equip them
for life's practical and responsible duties. He deserves much credit for what he
accomplished in a business way, for he started out in life without any special
advantages and worked his way upward through persistency of purpose
intelligently directed. His many sterling traits of character gained for him the
high regard of a large circle of friends. He died at his home in Manchester,
June 30, 1910, and was survived by his wife until June 28, 1911.