HENRY H. LEE. Prominent among the early pioneers of Christian County, Missouri, stands the name of Henry H. Lee, whose thrift, enterprise and go-ahead ativeness have placed him among the representative men of the county. He was born in Jackson County, Tennessee, February 15, 1837, and his parents, James H. and Polly (Stafford) Lee, were natives of Tennessee also.
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Grandfather Lee was an early pioneer of that State, and James H. grew to manhood and married there. In 1851 he emigrated to Missouri, but previous to that he had visited the State and located in Greene County, where he remained one year. He then returned to Tennessee, but in 1851, as before mentioned, he came back to Missouri, making the journey by wagon, and located in Christian County. He took up a farm of 160 acres, began improving, and remained on the same until 1875, when he sold out and bought a farm on Finley River, about eight miles from Sparta. On this he passed the remainder of his days, dying in 1887. He was a strong Union man, and during the war was in the Home Guards. Almost all his life he had been a member of the Christian Church, and was well respected wherever he made his home. He became quite well to do as a farmer, which occupation he had followed all his life, but met with the usual hardships and privations of pioneer settlers. In politics he was a strong Democrat. In educational and religious matters he took a deep interest, and gave liberally of his means to further all worthy enterprises. The Lee family, ancestors of James H., resided in North Carolina, where they were early settlers, and the grandfather of our subject was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The mother of our subject died about 1870, when about sixty years of age, and was a lifelong member of the Christian Church. Her father was one of the early settlers of Tennessee. The following children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Lee: Melvina, deceased, was the wife of John C. Stillings, a farmer of this county; Richard, a farmer, resides about six miles north of Sparta (he was in the Civil War); Henry H., subject; George W., a farmer, resides about six miles north of Sparta (was also a soldier in the Rebellion); Dicey, deceased, was the husband of Eliza Stafford of this county; Thomas, who was also a soldier, resides in the Indian Territory and is a farmer; John resides six miles north of Sparta where he has a farm; James, a farmer of this county, and Franklin, a farmer four miles west of Sparta.
The original of this notice was about thirteen years of age when his parents settled in the Ozark Region, and although he had limited advantages he secured a fair education for that day. From an early age he was taught habits of industry and perseverance which have remained with him through life, and which have brought him substantial returns. In the year 1862 he enlisted in Company B, Twenty-fourth Missouri Infantry, served in the State service, and was a soldier during much of the war. He was in many prominent engagements and numerous skirmishes, and was discharged in 1864. Previous to this, in 1863, he married Miss Mary M. Hyde, daughter of Houston Hyde, who was killed in the Marmaduke fight at Springfield. Mr. Hyde was one of the early settlers of this county and resided on Steward’s Creek. His widow is still living, resides seven miles northeast of Sparta, and enjoys excellent health. They were the parents of four sons and two daughters as follows: William; Mary M., now Mrs. Lee; Jackson, Rachel, Joseph and Siegel. The Hyde family resided in Wright County for some time, but were well known in this county. Mrs. Lee was born in Wright County, but was reared in Christian County. After his marriage our subject bought a part of the Hyde farm as well as a portion of his father’s estate, and tilled the soil there for a number of years. In 1875 he sold out and moved on the Finley, about three miles from Sparta, where he tilled the soil until 1887. At that date he came to Sparta and bought eighty acres adjoining the town. At present in connection with farming he is engaged in milling and is part owner of the Sparta Roller Mills. In past years Mr. Lee has been one of the most extensive stock traders and raisers in the county. All his property is the result of hard work and perseverance on his part, and no man is more highly respected in the county. In politics he is with the Democratic party, but generally votes for the best man. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. lodge at Sparta. He and Mrs. Lee are members of the Christian Church, and he is a deacon in the same. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Lee, as follows: William, a farmer residing three miles north of Sparta, married Miss Nancy A. Bloomer, and they have four children; James, who is living on the same farm, married Miss Douglas; Rachel, wife of James Milton, has one child, and resides on the Finley; Samuel M., single and at home, assists in the mill; and two died in infancy. Mr. Lee is the owner of 650 acres of fine land in this county, and has given some land to his children. He ranks among the largest property owners in the county, but what is better still he has the respect and esteem of all who know him.