J. J. Lee, an Oregon pioneer and an old resident of Pendleton, died at his home on Alta Street Sunday morning [May 25, 1890] at four o’clock, after an illness of five weeks.
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Mr. Lee was born in New York [New Jersey] in 1816. When he was two years old his parents removed to Ohio, and remained in that State until his marriage in 1842 with Miss Mary Armsby [Ormsby], who now survives him. In 1844, Mr. and Mrs. Lee removed to Iowa, and in 1862 crossed the plains in emigrant wagons to the far West, locating in Polk County. They removed to Pendleton in 1869, and here have since remained. Mr. Lee was 74 years, two months and one day old at the time of his death.
The funeral services took place in the Methodist Church Monday morning, at ten o’clock, Rev. W. T. Ford delivering the funeral sermon. The remains were escorted to the [Olney] cemetery by sorrowing relatives and friends and sadly consigned to the earth.
J. J. Lee died at his residence in Pendleton, Oregon on the 25th of May, 1890. He was born in New Jersey on the 24th day of March, A. D. 1816, and was therefore at the time of his death, a little past seventy-four years old.
His parents, Joseph and Amy Lee, removed from their New Jersey home to Pike County, Ohio when he was two years old and here he remained till in 1842 when he was united in marriage to Mary Ormsby, who has been a faithful companion ever since and now remains to mourn his loss. Shortly after their marriage, they both united with the Methodist Episcopal Church and in 1844 they left Ohio and settled in Iowa. Here they remained till the spring of 1862 when they concluded to seek a home in far away Oregon. They accordingly, in company with others, crossed the plains and pitched their tent in Polk County, but six years later moved to Umatilla where they have resided ever since.
While in Iowa, Father Lee was given an exhorter’s license and was early recognized as an earnest advocate and defender of the faith. He did not leave his religion behind him when he came to the coast but served his master with increasing devotion to the close of life. During his last sickness, even when the shadows of the dark valley were closing about him, he was full of the love of God and rejoiced at the prospect of a speedy departure to his heavenly home.
Ten children preceded him to the better land and, no doubt, he was cheered by their happy greeting at the very threshold of the beautiful city. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.”
Contributed by: Shelli Steedman