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GEORGE T. LEE. It is a pleasure and a privilege to record the character and enterprise of men of business who, on account of their long tenure and extensive operations, comprise almost a history of the business in which they are engaged. Of such men it is unnecessary to speak in words of colored praise. By their acts ye shall know them.” Their very existence is emphatic evi-dence of the honorable position they occupy and the long course of just dealing that they have pursued. A gentleman in mind is George T. Lee, who was born in Jefferson County, Missouri, February 22, 1844, a son of Giles and Ary (Graham) Lee. Giles Lee was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on March 10, 1796, and he was a son of John Lee, who came to this country from England in early times. The Great-grandfather Lee was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Giles Lee was reared in Virginia and came to Missouri in 1819, settling on the Mississippi River. There he passed the remainder of his days engaged in farming and tanning, his death occurring in 1880. His wife was a native of Jefferson County, Missouri, born on Big River in 1827, and she was a daughter of one of the early pioneers who came from Kentucky. Three children were given them: James W., George T. and Margaret V. William died in Wayne County, and Margaret married and in Wayne County.
On the old home farm in Jefferson County our subject passed his youthful days, assisting on the same and attending the common schools. Later he entered the Western College at Arcadia, Iron County, and after finishing there began teaching school. From that he became a traveling salesman for a St. Louis dry goods house, continued this for two years, and then engaged in business in 1869. Two years later, or in 1871, he moved to Mill Springs and opened a store which he carried on until 1873. From there he went West and engaged in prospecting and gold mining for five years, and was one of the party that discovered gold in Deadwood Gulch, Cal. Lee Street in Deadwood is named after him, as he had his tent on the stream where the town was laid out. Mr. Lee was successful in gold mining and remained there until 1878, when he returned to Mill Springs. From there he came to Van Buren in 1887 and opened up a store, and has followed merchandising since. He is a very successful business man, of sound principles, to be relied upon at all times. He represented Wayne County twice and Carter County once in the Legislature, and had to do with many important measures. In politics he is a Democrat, and has been active in all public enterprises. Socially he is a Mason, also an Odd Fellow, a member of the A. 0. U. W., and is chairman of the Democratic Central Committee. Mr. Lee is a stockholder in the Current River Bridge Company, is a live business man, and also owns a granite quarry in Wayne County. He was married in Wayne County to Ann, a daughter of Capt. Leaper, and they have two living children: June and Pearl. They lost two children: May, who died when twenty-one years of age, and George, who died in infancy. Mr. Lee and wife are earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he is steward.