Monday, March 14, 2011

Life Story of James Horald Lee Sr

Life Story of James Horald Lee Sr.

(This history from a folder in my mother’s large picture book in my Dad’s own handwriting.) (daughter, Jennie Lee Adam)

I was born July 14, 1902 in Sunnyside, Nevada, Nye County. My father and a neighbor lady was the only ones to greet me as I came to this new life. My father’s name John Raymond Lee, born August 28, 1877 at Minersville, Beaver County, Utah. My mother Annie Eliza Keele born March 14, 1881, Panaca, Lincoln County, Nevada. Dad’s father John Nelson Lee, born November 11, 1841 at Payson, Adams County, Illinois. Dad’s mother, Melissa Kaziah Rollins born July 13, 1851 at Cajon Pass California. Mother’s father David Keele, born 10 June 1854 Farmington, Davis County, Utah. Her mother, Eliza Jane Geary born 6 April 1859, at Toquerville, Washington County, Utah. I was one of 14 children, 9 girls and 5 boys.

My grandfather and grandmother came across the plains and had many trying times. They settled in Panaca, Lincoln Co., Nevada. I remember at the north end 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 have I 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, 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 ax 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 ax away and hid it. When the Indian came to, Granddad told him to git for home. He lived on a reservation 3 miles from Panaca. The grand parents 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 8th grade was about as high as we went. 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, large brown eyes and almost red hair.

My earliest recollection is at Preston, Nevada. We then moved to McGill, which was a mining town, from there to Panaca then to Minersville, 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. I attended several schools. Last school at Parowan, Utah, 6th grade. No opportunity to go to High School. He was always a good provider and a good father. We moved to Sugarville near Delta and rented a farm and raised sugar beets for the Utah Idaho sugar Company. I took 4 horses and 2 wagons and went to work hauling gravel on Highway 9.

While I was gone, 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 to meet my future companion. It sounded like strange talk to me as 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 turned out to be so for my father had a dream in which he saw us as husband and wife. Dad’s dream came true for after going with Jennie for about 2 months, I knew she was the one for me. She accepted my very important question with the answer Yes. 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 which we are very proud of. All good children, thanks to a wonderful mother. We have six married, 5 married in the temple. We have at this date February 14, 1959, 30 grand-children.

I have followed Bridge construction most of our married life. In 1946 we decided that the best place to have our children was on a farm so we bought a farm in Emmett, Idaho, and stayed for 11 years. Then most of our family being married we decided that we wanted to be nearer to the temple so we sold our farm in Emmett and moved to Salt Lake and bought a home in Kearns at which place we moved on August 1948 and we still live at this place.

In my earlier life, in California, I served in the Bishopric in the North Hollywood ward. We lived in California for 18 years. We were always glad to work in the church and have taught our children the importance of being members of the church. Out of 8 children married, 7 were married in the Temple. We have learned to enjoy working in the Temple for we have had many wonderful things happen to us in the house of the Lord. One I would like to mention. We had been to California to see some of our married children there and had planned to go through the Salt Lake Temple on our way back so accordingly, we went through the Temple. Not knowing that mother’s brother, Frank Marion Keele was also going through to have his family sealed to him and Effie, his wife. They were married out of the church. She was converted through Genealogy.

When we came to the veil room, the one in charge called for Brother Keele’s company. 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. Effie told him “It’s Horald” He clasped my hand and said “This is just perfect. Now we have 2 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 room, the officiator arranged the family around the altar, Jennie and I at one end of the room as witnesses, the officiator took the papers with names of all the children after starting with the names of Marion and Effie, suddenly stopped and asked “Brother Keele. Is this all of your family?” Marion nodded and said “Yes”. Then he started again. The second time, then stopping again, laid the papers down and with a puzzled look on his face said: “Are you sure this is all of your family?” Again Marion nodded, “Yes”. Then Effie said “We had twin girls stillborn, at least we didn’t know that they breathed life’s breath.“ The officiator clasped his hands and said “I thought so. They are standing right by your side. They don’t want to be left out.” Then, after arranging for two women to kneel as proxies and having things in order, was able to go on and complete the sealing. The closeness of the Lord and those little girls brought tears of joy to all the eyes in the room. An experience I’ll never forget as long as I live.

We moved to California for 17 years. Followed bridge construction, was scout master for several years, also second counselor in the Bishopric in North Hollywood. We bought a home at Baldwin Park was in scout work there also. We moved to Utah. bought a ranch at Highland, was in scouting there. Moved to Idaho, bought a ranch at Emmett-- where we lost our oldest boy Blaine. We were both changing a tire on a truck when a pick up truck struck us. We were both put into the hospital. Blaine never recovered. I knew when my mother came for him. She came into 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 Ray 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 anointed. I had a locker at the far end of the aisle. 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 by my side.

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. We have had other like experiences. I bear witness that God is close to those who work in the temple and that the work we do in the temple is not in vain.

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