Dear family of James Horald Lee and Jennie May Woodbury. As I sat here at my computer, I realized that this day, 14 July 2010, was dad's birthday, 108 years ago, and so I decided to take his genealogy book out and write just a few of the things which he recorded while here on earth. This is by no means complete. Just a glimpse of his life of which we were all a part. So in memory of my dad, James Horald Lee, I submit to you the following, including one of my heart thoughts which I have written for this occasion. Please feel free to share these things with your children and grandchildren as well.
History of James Horald Lee Sr. copied from his book of remembrance.
I was born in Sunnyside, NV, July 14th, 1902. My father was John Raymond Lee, born August 28th 1877 at Minersville, Beaver County, Utah, and my mother was Annie Eliza Keele, born 14 March, 1881, in Panaca, Lincoln County, Nevada.
Dad's father, John Nelson Lee, was born November 11, 1841, at Payson, Adams County, Ill. Dad's mother, Melisa Keziah Rollins, was born July 13, 1851, in Cajon Pass, California.
Mother's father, David Keele, was born 10 June 1854, in Farmington, Davis County, Utah. Her mother, Eliza Jane Geary, was born 6 April 1859, at Toquerville, Washington County, Utah.
My grandfather and grandmother came across the plains and had many trying times. They settled in Panaca, Lincoln County, Nevada. I remember at the north side of their house, that joined the kitchen, was a log room, covered over with dirt, and had vines covering it. Grandma called it the pantry and she used it for milk, that she used to have in large milk pans. She would let them stand, till the cream would raise then she would skim it off and make butter in an old churn. We kids took turns at the churn. Many times I have taken a slice of home made bread, and covered it with thick cream, and then sprinkled it with sugar.
An old wood cook stove sat by the east wall in the kitchen with a big wood box at the end of the stove. Grandma raised an Indian girl who had been left by the Indians to die. She learned to talk our language. One day, as Grandma was cooking dinner on the old stove, a big buck Indian came to the door and walked right in and mumbled in Indian, that he was going to kill Grandma. The little girl knew the language and shouted to Grandma that he was going to kill her, and as he came toward her with his tomahawk raised, Grandma reached down in the wood-box and got a heavy piece of wood. The Indian raised his axe to strike Grandma and she let fly the stick of wood and broke the forearm of the Indian. The tomahawk fell to the floor, and the Indian ran yelling from the house.
Granddad had a hand to hand battle with a big Indian in which he received a blow over one eye with the tomahawk and looking through blood from the gash over his eye, he struck the Indian with his old cap and ball pistol which knocked him out, and he took the axe away and hid it. When the Indian came to, he told him to git for home. The Indian lived on a reservation three miles from Panacea. The grandparents on both sides were devoted members of the Church, and had many trying times in their lives.
Dad was a #1 farmer. His was always a show place. We lived on farms until I was married. We never had much chance for higher education. Completing the eighth grade was about as high as we went.
I was one of a large family of 14, 9 girls and 5 boys. I was reared in a family where love for each other was a part of us. Mother was always the sweetheart of the family. She was short and stocky, with large brown eyes, and almost red hair.
My earliest recollection is at Preston, Nevada. We then moved to McGill, Nevada, which was a mining town. From there to Panacea, then to Miners-ville, Utah, where my father was born.
Our family was a singing family and we enjoyed singing around the organ. Mother or one of my older sisters would play. We moved to Parowan, Utah where dad rented a farm. He was always a good provider and a good father. Then we moved to Delta, Utah where we rented a farm and raised sugar beets for the Utah Idaho Sugar Co.
I took two horses and 2 wagons and went to work hauling gravel on highway 9. While I was there my father moved to Hinckley, and rented a place there. When I came home he needed to go to the store and he asked me to go along and meet my future companion. It sounded like strange talk to me for I had never seen her. She was a clerk in her father's store, and was to my thinking a most neat and attractive person. After we went home I told dad he must be on the wrong track for it didn't seem to me that there was much chance of her being my wife. But later it turned out to be so, for my father had a dream in which he saw us as husband and wife. We were married in the Salt Lake Temple on November 16, 1922. The most wonderful thing that ever happened to me. Our lives have been blessed with 11 children. Six girls and five boys. All good children, thanks to a wonderful mother. We have 8 married, five in the temple. As of this date being 14 February 1959, we have 30 grandchildren.
From second Personal Record sheet - Attended several schools - Last school at Parowan, Utah. 6th grade.
No opportunity to go to High School. Met Jennie when we moved to Hinckley. We moved to California for 17 years. Followed bridge construction. Was Scout Master for several years, also Second Councilor in the Bishopric at North Hollywood. We bought a home at Baldwin Park and was in Scouting there also. Then we moved to Utah and bought a ranch at Highland. Was in Scouting there, too. We moved to Idaho, bought a ranch, where we lost our oldest boy, Blaine. We were both changing a tire on a truck when a pickup struck us. We were both put in the hospital. Blaine never recovered. I knew when my mother came for him. She came in my room at the hospital. I knew she had come for Blaine. I wasn't able to see her but her presence was so impressive. I knew she was there. When Bishop Dewey came the next morning, and told me it was over, I told him I knew when Blaine died. My mother had come for him. He had a greater work on the other side.
We have had some wonderful experiences in the temple. I lost a brother in the war and I had the privilege of doing his work. And I knew he was pleased with it for he went through with me. I was changing my clothes after I had been washed and anointment, and I had a locker at the far end of the isle. No other person was around when I stepped out, and I had been thinking about him, and as I stepped out, I said, "Well, here we go Lester." As I reached to lock the door I bumped into someone.. I looked around to see who it was, but no one was there. I knew then it was Lester, and three times as we proceeded, I felt him at my side.
Then we had that experience with Uncle Marion when they were sealed in the temple. We had been living in Bend, Oregon, and when we came to Salt Lake after the job was over there, we wanted to go to the temple a few times. So we took our trailer house and left it at Myrtle's in Tooele, with our six children, and came in to the temple. We didn't know that mother's brother, Marion, was also going through to be sealed and have their children sealed to them. They were married out of the Church. She was converted through genealogy. When we came to the veil room, they called for Brother Keele's family, and I recognized them right away. I got Jennie and said, "That's for us, too." Marion, having been blind from the first world war, recognized my voice as one of the Lees and Effie told him, "It's Horald," He clasped my hand and said, "This is just perfect.
Now we need two witnesses. We are here to have our family sealed to us. It's the crowning blessing of our lives." I told Marion we would be pleased. After going through the veil and then going to our assigned sealing room, the officiator, having arranged the family around the alter, took the papers with names of all the children.
After starting with the names of Marion and Effie, the brother stopped, and asked Brother Keele, "Is this all your children?" Uncle Marion said, "yes." He started again but stopped and asked the same question. "Brother Keele, are these all of your children?" And then turned to Aunt Effie so puzzled, then Effie said, "We had twin girls who were born dead. I didn't think they were to be included." The brother then said, "I thought so. They are standing by your side. They don't want to be left out." So Marion got two women as proxies and they continued. There was indeed great rejoicing that day, not only here on earth, but in heaven also.
I heard my grandmother tell about being baptized for the dead and she could see them all around the font and each time she was baptized for one she would leave the group and walk away with a smile on her face.
14 July 1902 - 14 July 2010
One hundred and eight years ago
Our dad was born on earth,
To John Raymond Lee, and Annie Eliza Keele,
Our grandparents of humble birth.
He grew up in a large family
Of fourteen children here,
Where love for one another,
Was taught by mother dear.
And they all worked together
To help each other be
"Mother and daddy's" helpers,
As one great family.
Although times were often hard,
And they moved here and there,
They shared both good and bad times,
In rainy days and fair.
And things their parents taught them,
Were shared with us each day,
Not only during good times,
But also when skies were gray.
Our dad worked in construction,
And we moved here and there,
So he could earn a living,
And love was mother's share.
She mothered 11 children,
And did the best she could,
To teach us truths eternal,
And help us to be good.
Now they're both gone to heaven,
To join their parents there,
And so are Blaine and Jennie,
And Rex with long red hair.
And we are still here doing
The best that we can do,
To follow in their footsteps,
While being kind and true.
And since it was dad's birthday,
108 years ago, today,
I wanted to be able to share
These memories in my own way.
And hope that you will share with me
The things you remember about dad,
So we may each remember
The life with him we had.
And maybe, just maybe,
Our dad and grandpa will be
Proud that we remembered him,
And all he did for we,
His loving sons and daughters,
And his grandchildren, too,
Who now number in the hundreds,
And that' including YOU.
Happy birthday dad.
Your loving son
James Horald Lee Jr.