History of Robert Edmond Lee


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History of Robert Edmond Lee, A Native Pioneer

Robert Edmond Lee was the eight child of Sarah Caroline Williams and John Doyle Lee. He was born January 2, 1866, at New Harmony, Washington County Utah. John D. Lee and his families had settled at Fort Harmony on the bench east of where the present town of New Harmony is today. In the winter of 1861-1862 the storms were bad all over the western states. The old fort at Harmony started to cave in. John D. Lee had begun building some homes on a new townsite about five miles west of the old fort. The homes were not ready for them to occupy, but they felt they had to evacuate the fort. Before all had been taken out of the fort one wall collapsed killing two of Caroline's children in their beds. The family moved into the partially built home in New Harmony. There, just four years later, Robert Edmond was born. In his early childhood the family moved to Panguitch, Utah, where they lived until 1878. When they left Panguitch they moved to Tuba City, Arizona, where they lived about a year, then moved to Central, Arizona. Here he met and married Alpharetta Rebecca Cluff, daughter of Joseph Edward and Phoebe Elizabeth Bunnell Cluff. She was born September 1866, at Provo, Utah. After their marriage they moved to Torrey, Utah. From Torrey, Robert Edmond Lee, together with his sister, Sadie Young, and her husband, John Young, moved to Mancus, Colorado where they went into the lumber business. Both John Young and Robert Lee were blacksmiths. They did not do very well in the lumber business, so they sold out and went into cattle ranching. They continued in the cattle ranching business until 1896 when Robert E. Lee moved back to Central, Arizona.

While the family lived in Colorado a faith promoting incident happened in the family. The second son, Joe, was lost for three days in the mountains. All the neighbors were out hunting for him. Mr. Lee was with a group when a man who was not known to any of them approached the group and called Mr. Lee aside. The man said he could show Mr. Lee where his son was if he would come quietly with him. When r. Lee went to call to some of the others the man said, "No, come alone." The man led him some distance where he pointed out a high ledge where the little boy lay asleep. cautioning the father to go carefully so as not to startle the boy the father went on. After the boy was awakened and safe the father turned to thank the man, but could not find him. None of the group of men who had been hunting the boy had seen a strange man. The family felt this man was sent in answer to the prayers of the family, and especially the mother, who was a very faithful woman.

In Arizona, Robert E. Lee went into the freighting business, driving between Wilcox and Globe, Arizona. When the railroad was built in that area in 1902 it stopped the freighting business. The Lee family then moved to Clifton, Arizona where he did blacksmithing for Jad Webster until 1905. e then purchased a goat ranch. One time a man wanted to buy Me. Lee's goats but he did not want to sell, Soon he found about 1000 goats dead of Cyanide poisoning. The herder sent for Mr. Lee, who found the man dying from same poisoning. The ma admitted that the man who wanted to buy M. Lee out had paid him to poison the goats, but in doing so he had also been poisoned. After this incident he sold the goats and went back to blacksmithing.

Robert E. Lee developed a fine fruit orchard on a ranch near Globe, Arizona. Here on July 8, 1913 his wife died, she was buried July 12, 1913 at Central, Arizona. They were the parents of seven children.

Robert E. Lee had been baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1874. He received his endowments on June 2, 1931. His wife was endowed May 7, 1931 and sealed to her husband Feb. 26, 1932.

In 1917 Robert F. Lee traded his ranch near Globe, Arizona for some cattle and a small ranch. He sold this ranch in 1922 and moved to Ashurst, Arizona where he and his son, Arthur, bought a farm. He then went to work for the U.S. Forest Service, building roads in the forests near his home. He worked for the Forest Service until his death.

Robert E. Lee died at Payson, Arizona, April 24, 1928 and was buried beside his wife at Central, Arizona.




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