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Biography of Alva Lee. Three hundred and ninety-six acres of fertile land in Coos County, well drained and scientifically cultivated, are the result of the agricultural activities of Alva LEE in Coos County. He is a native son of Oregon, his birth having occurred in Douglas County, January 19, 1859. His parents were J. D. B. and Marilla (Huntley) Lee, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Missouri. Both came to California in the late 40’s when she was only five years of age and grew up in that section of the country. J. D. B. Lee also left his native state at an early date and settled on the Pacific coast. He came to Oregon before 1860 and farmed in Douglas County until his death on December 24, 1903. He was the father of four children: one, who died in infancy; Sylvia C., who passed away at the age of twenty; Milton R., who resides with his wife and seven children at Myrtle Point, OR; and Alva, the subject of this sketch.
Alva Lee remained with his parents until he was nineteen years of age. He spent his early boyhood working upon his father’s farm and gained a detailed knowledge of modern agricultural methods. He because thoroughly acquainted with the various duties incident to the cultivation of a farm. When he was nineteen years of age he went into the logging camps of northern Oregon and worked in the timber lands in the employ of others for six years. He spent seven years in ranching and later took up steamboat freighting on the Coquille River. He followed this line of occupation for a number of years and gained a gratifying degree of success. When his father died Mr. Lee returned to the old homestead and took active charge of the management and cultivation of the three hundred and ninety-six acres. He does general farming and his early experience is a valuable asset to him. He specializes in dairying and keeps twenty-five cows of the highest grade for this purpose. He as one hundred and forty acres under cultivation and is constantly extending the field of his activities. His farm is situated two and one half miles up the south side of the North fork and is one of the model properties of Coos County.
On April 15, 1896 Mr. [Alva Edward] Lee was united in marriage to Miss Lillie May Hoyte, a daughter of W. L. Hoyte. Mrs. Lee is one of fifteen children as follows: Theodosia E., who resides in California; Richard, who is a resident of the same state; Melvin, who maintains his home in Preston, Oregon; James, of San Diego, California; William, who is in business in Alaska; Annie, who married R. S. Knowlton of Coquille, Oregon; Cora, the wife of John Lindebeck of California; Ellen, the widow of John Long of [Coos?] Bay City, Oregon; Edith, who married D. B. Beal, a resident of California; Robert, who resides on the Coos river; Lillie May, the wife of our subject; Wilber, who resides in California; Charles, deceased; O. J., a resident of Brewster Valley [Fairview, outside Coquille], Oregon; and Sarah, who is deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Lee have been born five children; Harold, who is deceased; Clarice May, born June 28, 1901, who is a student in the Coos County public schools; Richard T., born April 18, 1903, who is also pursuing his studies; Verna A., whose birth occurred September 10, 1906; and Joseph M., born November 28, 1907.
Politically Mr. Lee votes the Republican ticket, believing in the progressive policy of that party. He keeps himself well informed upon public affairs but has never sought office. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, his only fraternal affiliation. Agriculture is one of the most honorable occupations open to men; it is the base of not only the wealth of Coos County but in a great degree of national prosperity. Mr. Lee has contributed his share to the resources of his district by making the farm which he is developing and operating a modern and progressive enterprise.
Alva Lee was born at Looking Glass, Douglas County, Oregon, Jan 19, 1859, and came to Coos County in September, 1874, and settled on the North Fork of the Coquille River and moved to Bandon, Oct. 15, 1896. He has been master of several steamers, and he is a successful navigator.
The Centennial History of Oregon, Pages 739 – 740.
Contributed by: Shelli Steedman