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Lee Family History and Photographs


John Lee Family

By William Lanigan, Jr.

John Lee was the middle son of William and Massie Lee’s three sons who came to Matagorda County. John was born on May 17, 1828, in Union District, South Carolina.

John, who was living in Maury County, Tennessee, with his family, enlisted as a teamster in Captain Hedsals Company of the Quartermaster’s Department of Scott’s Division in February of 1846. (Waldo Thompson of Matagorda County was also in John’s Company.) After his enlistment at New Orleans for the Mexican War, John traveled through Texas with the army on their way to Mexico. Because of his fondness for the Texas terrain, John decided that he would enjoy making his home in the great state of Texas after the war, as his brother Pertiller had elected to do previously.

After John was discharged from military service, he traveled back to Maury County, Tennessee, where he lived with his brother, Edwin, and his family for three or four years. John left his brother’s residence when he married Nancy Jane Porter of Nashville on December 22, 1851. Nancy Jane was twenty years of age and a native of the Volunteer State.

John and Nancy moved to Arkansas where they lived at Reed’s Creek in Lawrence County for eight years. During this period, their first three children were born: Theodore P. in 1853; Cleophus W. in 1856; and Cleopatra H. in 1859. Early in 1860, John and his family moved to Matagorda County, Texas, to join his brothers, Pertiller and Edwin. He and Nancy Jane had two additional children: Angelene in 1861, and Lola Roxanne in 1863. Nancy Jane became ill and died in 1864 or 1865.

John married Dorothy Adeline McGehee, daughter of Abner McGehee, on April 15, 1867. Their first child, Joseph was born in 1870. In this same year, John and his brother, Pertiller, joined others in the area to form a non-denominational church and adjoining cemetery, located on the east bank of the Colorado River, north of the present day Highway 35 bridge. The First Methodist Church in Bay City later evolved from this brush arbor church.

In the following years, John and Dorothy Adeline had seven other children: John Benjamin in 1873; Mary Massie in January of 1876; Patilla Edward in December of 1976; Edwin Edgar in 1872?; Martha Irene in 1880; August in 1882; and Ira David “Sanke” in 1884.

Once again, John became a widower when Dorothy Adeline became ill and died in the year of 1885. Of John’s thirteen children, five had died prior to 1900.

During his early years in Matagorda County, John made his living as a teamster, but in his later years, he raised a few cattle and farmed cotton. At one time, he had been issued a permit to operate a ferry across the Colorado River, but whether he actually did is unknown.

John lived in Bay City during 1900 with his sons, Ben and “Sank.” At the time of his death on September 9, 1907, John was living with his son, “Till,” where Cottonwood Creek crosses 13th Street in Bay City. John was survived by three daughters, four sons, and twenty-one grandchildren. He was buried in Cedarvale Cemetery. His grave is one of the oldest there, and was marked by one of the few metal monuments.

Several of John’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren still lived in Matagorda County in 1984.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 312-313

John Lee Born May 17, 1828 Died Sept. 9, 1907
Asleep in Jesus! Far from thee     Thy kindred and their graves may be;     But there is still a blessed sleep,     From which none ever wakes to weep
Cedarvale Cemetery               Asleep in Jesus

Lee Family photos below courtesy of Willa Thompson

Pertilla Edward Lee
Beulah Ticia Short Lee

This picture of John W. Lee and some of his children was taken a year after his wife Adeline McGeehee died, in 1887.

Back row: Pertilla Lee, Mary Lee, Ben Lee
Front row: Sanke Lee, John W. Lee, Martha Irene Lee

Rev. John Benjamin Lee &
wife, Lillie Fisher Lee


Lee & Elliott
Family Photographs

Pictures courtesy of
Paige S. Fontaine

C. W. Lee

William Daniel "Happy" Lee, Jr.

Willie Eidlebach Butcher Shop

C. W. Lee Family and Home


Isabella Elliott
(Mrs. C. W.) Lee

Florence Lee and Children

Isabella Elliott (Mrs. C. W.) Lee

Florence Lee

Children of Emmie Lee Eidlebach
baby Emmie Eidlebach



Isabella Elliott Lee

and children



Genevive and

Clarice Bond


Clarice Bond

Kate Bond

Gertrude Eidlebach

Bertha Lee

?? Eidlebach

Tom Eidlebach

Emmie Elizabeth Eidlebach
2 years
August 12, 1918

Bertha Blanch Lee

Emmie Lee's Children

Dollie May and Ruby Belle Lee
Daughters of Amos Abner Lee

Kate Bond

Florence Lee

Everett Ernest "Buddy" Bond



Copyright 2008 - Present by Lee Family Descendants
All rights reserved

Jan. 17, 2008
Jan. 18, 2008