Biography - Archibald Lee

ARCHIBALD LEE was born December 31st, 1804, in South West (sometimes called Kingston), Rome county, Tennessee. Wm. Lee, the father of Archibald, was born near Knoxville, Tennessee, but had resided in Rome county for many years. He was a blacksmith by trade, and was familiarly called "Billy Lee" by the citizens. When Archibald was quite young, his parents removed to Kentucky, settling near Hopkinsville, where he first attended school; and he well remembers going to sleep on the benches, and being permitted by the teacher to go home whenever he pleased. His parents remained here two or three years, and then removed to Alabama, settling on the Flint river, near Huntsville, where his father still followed blacksmithing, working early and late, until attacked with rheumatism, of which, after a lingering and severe illness, he died, about the year 1815, at the age of forty-five years, leaving four children to the care of his widow. At the earnest solicitation of her relatives, Mrs. Lee removed with her children to Henderson county, Kentucky, where she occupied a house whish her father had built for her, on his land. Here Archibald had quite good facilities for attending school, which was maintained by subscription.

Upon the removal of her father to Illinois, Mrs. Lee and her children accompanied. They first located in White county, where they remained about one year, and then removed to Hamilton county, where they made a new settlement. While residing in the latter county, Archibald attended school for about six months, which was the last education he received in school.

In 1822, Archibald and an uncle came to Greene county, for the purpose of selecting land, and returned to Hamilton county in the fall of the same year. In the spring of the following year, on the 19th of March, 1823, Mr. Lee was married to Miss Jane Upton, daughter of David Upton, an old settler of Hamilton county. He then removed to Greene county, and his grandfather soon followed, arriving here in the fall of 1823, and locating about three miles south-west of Greenfield.

Mr. Lee first occupied land on Cook's Prairie, in section 24; but in the fall of 1823 the land sales began, and some party, after he had occupied the land for some time, entered it, and he was obliged to vacate. He then removed to Taylor's Prairie, and again commenced to improve another claim, which was also entered by another party. Mr. Lee again removed, selecting some land in another portion of Taylor's Prairie, and, to make sure of his claim, he entered the land. After remaining on this place about one year, he sold his claim, and then entered some land in section 28, upon which he built a cabin, and commenced other improvements. He remained on this place about six years, and then sold his property and located in Greenfield, where he engaged in the general merchandise business. He continued in business until 1867, when he sold out, and for the next two years resided in Litchfield, Montgomery county. In the fall of 1869 he returned to Greene county, locating in Fayette, where he engaged in the drug and grocery business, which he still follows.

Mr. Lee was engaged in two Indian wars. First, in 1831 he enlisted to fight the Indians, who were gathering in large numbers in the northern part of the state, and went as far as Rock river, when the Indians made peace; and, in 1832, he again marched against Blackhawk, going as far as the Wisconsin river, where the Indians were overtaken, and a battle fought, in which a large number of the savages were slain. It was about sundown when the fight commenced, and under cover of darkness the surviving Indians crossed the river in safety. Only one white man was killed in the fight. A part of the army followed in pursuit of the Indians, but Mr. Lee's regiment returned home. This campaign lasted about sixty days. Mr. Lee was constable under James Connally, the first justice of the peace in the township, and served in that capacity over eleven years. During a portion of the time he was very busy following thieves and other desperadoes. Owing to sickness, which deprived him of the use of one eye, and injured the sight of the other, he was forced to resign his position, after which he removed to Greenfield, as stated above.

Mr. Lee's grandfather was a revolutionary soldier, and was a pensioner at the time of his death, which occurred in 1862, at the advanced age of one hundred and one years. After his death, his widow received the pension until she died, in 1862, having lived to the remarkable age of one hundred and three years. Mr. Lee's mother died April 7, 1871, over eighty-seven years of age.

Mr. Lee and wife have had fourteen children, five sons and nine daughters, only one of whom is dead. Mrs. L. is still living, well and hearty, though over sixty-five years of age. Mr. L. is now in his sixty-ninth year, and attends to mercantile duties the same as ever.

Extracted 07 Sep 2018 by Norma Hass from Atlas Map of Greene County Illinois, 1873, page 46.

Templates in Time