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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


CHARLES K. LEE, of Naples, represents the firm of Keener & Pike, one of the largest firms dealing in grain in Scott County. Mr. Lee is a gentleman whom to meet once is not soon forgotten. He is of commanding presence, of fine address, intelligent, well informed, genial and companionable, a man making friends wherever he goes. He has seen much of life and made the most of his opportunities, becoming well informed upon the general topics of the day and possessing more than ordinary intelligence. He was thrown upon his own resources at an early period in his life and thus there were developed in him the best qualities of a self-reliant and vigorous manhood.

Our subject is a native of Scott County, having been born in Naples, June 26, 1848, and is the only child of Dr. Warren and Frances A. (Keener) Lee, both natives of Pennsylvania. Doctor Lee came to Scott County during its pioneer days and prior to his marriage, locating in the embryo town of Naples and in the course of a few years had built up a large and lucrative practice. The paternal grandfather Hon. Charles F. Keener was born in the city of Baltimore, Md., where he was engaged in merchandising, milling and farming prior to his removal to Pennsylvania. He was a well-educated man, a graduate of Dickinson college at Carlisle, Pa. After settling in Adams County, Pa., he served as Justice of the Peace many years and also officiated as Postmaster. He accumulated a large property and owned the Keener Mills where manufactured both lumber and flour.

Grandfather Keener in 1838 disposed of his interest in the Keystone State and coming to Scott County took charge of the Keener Mills, Kilmarnock, Scott Co., Ill., which he operated four years and then established himself at Naples. In the East he had been a captain of militia. In addition to his milling operations in Naples he also conducted a hotel and besides holding many other positions of trust and responsibility, was made a member of the State Legislature in which he served two terms. He also represented the Etna Insurance Company for a number of years. Politically, he was a stanch Democrat and in religious matters a member of the Episcopal Church. He traced his ancestry to Germany. His wife, Frances (Heming) Keener was a native of Shippensburg, Pa., and the daughter of Charles Heming. The latter was a gentleman of English birth and parentage and after coming to America settled in Pennsylvania where he spent the remainder of his life. The mother of our subject died at Naples, Scott County, in 1851; she like her father was a member of the Episcopal Church.

The subject of our sketch being orphaned when little more than a babe was reared by his maternal grandparents and given a common school education. Later he spent six months at the Commercial College at St. Louis, Mo.

When but a youth of sixteen years young Lee enlisted as a Union soldier in Company C, 116th Illinois Infantry which rallied at Camp Butler and after being mustered into service he went South with his comrades and joined Sherman's Army at Atlanta. Thence they made the memorable march to the sea, skirmishing all the way to Savannah. The story of that campaign is too well known to need repetition here. Suffice it to say that private Lee endured bravely the hardships and privations incident to army life. He, fortunately, escaped wounds and capture and went with his regiment up through the Carolinas to the city of Washington and took part in the Grand Review. He was mustered out and received his honorable discharge at Springfield, Ill., in July, 1865.

Our subject now repairing to St. Louis engaged as clerk on different boats plying the Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi rivers, and he followed that occupation until 1870. The year following, Nov. 1, 1871, he was married at Naples, to Miss Fanny E. Critzer. Mrs. Lee was born in Naples, September 1851, and is the daughter of Peter D. Critzer, one of the earlier settlers of Scott County who engaged in general merchandising at Naples and also operated the ferry. In 1879 he removed to Geneva, Ohio, where he now lives retired from active business. The maiden name of his wife was Matilda A. Lodwick.

Mr. Lee in June of 1871 established himself at Winchester where he was made Teller and Assistant Cashier of the People's Bank. He retained this position until 1880 and then accepted that which he now holds and resumed his residence in Naples. His firm ships extensively, both by river and rail, and the responsible position which Mr. Lee is holding is sufficiently indicative of the estimation in which he is held.

Our subject and his estimable wife are the parents of two children, Minnie F. and Carrie F. Mr. Lee votes the straight Democratic ticket, is a Trustee of the city School Board and has served as County commissioner. Mrs. Lee is a member of the Episcopal Church.

1889 Index
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