This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Celia Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Squire Lee

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887


. The first settler of Pesotum township, is a son of Charles LEE, a pioneer of Kentucky. He was born June 3d, 1820, in Pulaski county, Ky., where he spent his early life on a farm, walking about three miles to school during the winter months. Soon after reaching his majority he was married to Miss Elizabeth A. JAMES, daughter of Rev. J. M. JAMES, and a sister of Rev. John JAMES, D.D., a celebrated Baptist minister of Keutucky. The marriage took place on the 14th of October, 1841. Mr. Lee engaged in farming in Pulaski county for four or five years, and then removed, March 1, 1847, to Lincoln county, and shortly afterwards to Mercer county in the same state.

In 1850, Mr. Lee became a citizen of Illinois; stopping for a couple of years in Coles county, he came to Sadorus Grove, this county, but in 1853 moved near where he still resides. He erected the first house in Pesotum township, of split hickory logs, with puncheon door and floor, and a roof made of clap-boards, held down by heavy poles. Until this time no one thought of settling out on the open prairie, and his former neighbors told him he would soon freeze out. Mr. Lee paid little heed to their warning, and began the work of turning over the rich black soil, and in a few years demonstrated the fact that it is the prairie and not the timber, that claims the wealth of this state.

Beginning with nothing more than a team, he has, by his unflinching perseverance, added acre to acre until he has become the possessor of one of the finest farms in the township, consisting of several hundred acres of choice land, which he has brought to a high state of cultivation. He has exercised considerable taste in the improvement of his home, and has erected an excellent house and barn. He also has a large and well-cultivated orchard, consisting of 650 trees of many choice varieties of fruit, grown in Central Illinois. The care with which he has cultivated his orchard is a mark of industry in its owner. This was the first orchard in Pesotum township. Mr. Lee has on his farm over four miles of hedge fence, which he keeps in an excellent condition. If, when they first entered their land, all had planted orchards, and at least a small amount of hedge, instead of striving to grasp all the land within their reach, they would be in better circumstances to-day. Mrs. Lee is the mother of seven children---four boys and three girls---all of whom are married except one boy and one girl. Mr. and Mrs. Lee, though nearly sixty years of age, are still hale and hearty.

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