Moses Lee ~ Exemplary Farmer

Moses C. Lee (1853-1926) was an outstanding farmer of Berrien County, GA.

He was a son of John Levy Lee and nephew of Moses Corby Lee (1808-1884), both pioneer settlers and prominent land owners of  old Berrien.  His father and uncle were veterans of the Indian Wars of 1838 and fought with Levi J. Knight’s Militia Company in the last Indian fight in Berrien County, GA.  His mother was Elender Wetherington (1813-1889).  He was the father-in-law of Lint Miller and one of the investors in the Miller Hardware & Furniture Company.

Born July 12, 1853,  Moses C. Lee (1853-1926) was sometimes referred to as M.C. Lee, Jr. to distinguish him from his uncle. Moses C. Lee, the subject, first appears at age six in Census records in the  1860 enumeration of his father’s household in Berrien County, GA.  His father’s real estate was valued at 3500 and personal estate at $3800.

On November 1879, Moses C. Lee married Amanda Clements in Berrien County, GA.   Born Sarah Amanda Clements, she was a daughter of  John F. Clements and Nancy Patten, and a sister of John Miles Clements.

The newlyweds made their home in a house on the farm of Moses’ father, John Levy (or Levi) Lee, where they were enumerated in the Census of 1880.

After the death of his father, John Levy Lee, in 1884, Moses Lee carried on working his Berrien County farm.  Moses Lee’s residence was known as “Stoney Hill,” according to William Green Avera.  The Lee place was situated on the road “from Milltown to Tyson Ferry on the Alapaha River just east of the present site of Alapaha.” This road passed the residences of John Studstill, first Sheriff of Berrien County; Judge J. H. Rowan; and Keefe and Bullocks Turpentine Still.

By 1896 Moses Lee was recognized as one of the leading farmers in this section.

Tifton Gazette, March 7, 1896 praises the work of Berrien County, GA farmer Moses Lee.

Tifton Gazette, March 7, 1896 praises the work of Berrien County, GA farmer Moses Lee.

Well, I have the results of what Mr. Mose Lee, has stored away, for another specimen of what can be obtained in the wiregrass region.  Will take corn first.  On his farm he housed between 1500 and 2,000 bushels of “little cob” corn, and some where near 11,000 pounds of well cured fodder.  He dug and housed 12,000 bushels of sweet potatoes, and left enough in the patch to fatten 100 head of hogs. Cotton! cotton! He raised nineteen bales of cotton, averaging four hundred pounds each, which amounts to 7,600 pounds, and has jugged and barreled 750 gallons of syrup, of the finest that can be made.  He killed enough porkers to amount to 12,000 pounds and from them he obtained about 1,650 pounds of lard.  Hay he housed enough to winter 50 or 60 head of cows, beside old “Buck”.  As it was a bad year for oats and rice he only housed about 5,000 bundles of oats and 80 or 100 bushels of rice.
    He has enlarged his farm this year, by adding 40 acres of new land.  He is only going to use ten tons of guano this year.
    We hear some folks crying hard times, but all they have to do is to work with energy and vote for Hammond.  If anyone thinks that I have exaggerated in stating the above facts, I can only refer them to Mr. Lee, Milltown, Ga.

In 1917, M. C. Lee was employing Randolph Graham, John Thomas Brantley and Fletcher Turner to farm his land.

Children of Moses C. Lee and Amanda Clements Lee:

  1. William David Lee (1880 – 1967) married Mollie Clements
  2. Jennie L Lee (1882 – 1974)  married Sam I Watson, 1900
  3. Ellen D Lee (1883 – 1907) married William R. Smith; died of measles April 30, 1907
  4. John Vinson Lee (1885 – 1947) married Camilla Spence
  5. L. Chester Lee (1887 –1908) died of typhoid fever December 14, 1908
  6. Winnie Lee (1888-1891)
  7. Lena A Lee (1891 – 1971) married Willis Linton “Lint” Miller, 1913
  8. Remer E Lee (1893 – 1901) died of blood poisoning
  9. Mary Emma Lee (1895 –1986) married 1) Virgil Shingler; 2) J.Crawford Dasher
  10. Infant Lee – born and died July 22, 1897

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Watson Grade News Feb 12, 1904

“Trixie”  continued the reports on Watson Grade in the February 12, 1904 edition of the Tifton Gazette.  Watson Grade  was a small community near Empire Church just northeast of Ray’s Mill, GA.  It was the location of the Watson family farm and the home of Sam I. Watson, among others. Like the January Watson Grade News   this February update included several bits on the family of William and Betsy Patten, as well as reports of marriages and social news.

Tifton Gazette
February 12, 1904

Watson Grade News

The farmers are making big preparations for another crop-buying mules and clearing new grounds.
    Mr. Editor, your solution of the fertilizer question in last week’s issue is the only one that the farmer of today is actually in touch with. The farmers, not being systematically organized, are dependent in selling their products and buying their general supplies, and the only way to surpass this stupid state is for each and every farmer to work to the end of not having “everything to buy.”  Raise it at home; we have all the necessities if we will only use a little energy.
    Mr. M. C. Lee killed a porker last week that weighed 486, net.
    Mrs W. C. Patten has been quite sick with pneumonia, but is improving.
    Mr. J. P. Patten and Miss Fannie Patten were united in marriage Sunday afternoon at the home of the bride’s parents. Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Patten, near Milltown.  The bride is a sweet and lovable girl, and member of one of Berrien’s best families. The groom is an industrious young farmer of near this place.
    Inspector Tyler was in Milltown last week, looking after some rural routes from that place.  Of the three routes proposed, only two have the required number of families, the one passing through this place and the one through the Ray’s mill vicinity.
   Mr. Will Rouse and Miss Elsie Spell were united in marriage Wednesday afternoon, January 27th, at 3 o’clock, at the home of the bride’s parents, Judge J.  H. Rowan officiating. Both have many friends, who wish for them a long and prosperous journey through life.
    Mr. Jonah Register is quite sick with grippe at this writing.
    Mr. June Patten left last week to take charge of a school near Alapaha.
    Mr. Jos. Watson, who has been suffering with cancer for some time, is improving.
    Prof. W. G. Avera expects to move his family to Atlanta in a few days, his object being to educate his children.  Mr. Avera is one of Berrien’s oldest and best educators, and one of our best neighbors, and we see him go with much regret.

TRIXIE.

1904-feb-12-watson-grade-news

Additional Notes:

Moses C. Lee, a son of Elender Wetherington (1813-1889) and John Levy Lee, was one of the leading farmers of Berrien County.  His daughter, Jennie Lee, was the wife of Sam I. Watson. About 1917 his son, William David “Bill” Lee,  ordered a mail-0rder house from the Sears catalog, which he assembled just east of Ray’s Mill.

Mrs. William C. Patten in the article is Sarah E. Lee, a cousin of M.C. Lee mentioned above.  She was a daughter of Moses Corby Lee (1808-1884)   and  Jincy Register.

John P. Patten  was a son of James Patten (1832-1907) and Phoebe Mathis (1832-1898).  His bride was Fannie Patten, daughter of Matthew Elihu Patten  and Martha F. Williams (1847 – 1897). The Mrs. M. E. Patten mentioned in the article was Fannie’s  step-mother Minnie Archibald Patten.  John P. Patten died in 1911 and is buried at Union Church Cemetery, Lakeland, GA.

Will Rouse, of Rays Mill, and Elsie (or Elda?) Spells, of the 1300 Georgia Militia District, were married on January 27, 1904. The couple later made their home at Ray City for many years. The marriage ceremony was performed by Judge J. H. Rowan.  According to William Green Avera, the Judge’s place was on the road “from Milltown to Tyson Ferry on the Alapaha River just east of the present site of Alapaha.”  This road passed the residences of John Studstill, first Sheriff of Berrien County; Stony Hill, residence of Moses C. Lee; and, Keefe and Bullocks Turpentine Still.

Jonah Register, son of John Register, was a young farmer of Berrien County, GA. He was suffering from grippe, a historical reference to the flu.  He later married Jane Cook, sister of Laura Cook and daughter of William Jackson Cook.  In the 1920s Jonah and Jane Register made their home in Ray City, GA.

Mr. June Patten was a son of Leanna and Irwin Patten.

Joseph Watson was the father of Samuel I Watson.

Professor William Green Avera was one of the most distinguished educators in Berrien County.

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WWI Registration Certificate of James Isaac Lee

James Isaac Lee (1876 – 1953)

James Isaac Lee was born in Berrien, Georgia, USA on 4 Feb 1876,  a son of Mary Eleanor Parrish (1849-1909) and John Lee (1842-1902).

His father, John Lee, was a Confederate veteran, having served with Company K, 5th Georgia Regiment and with Company E, 54th Georgia Regiment. His mother, Mary Eleanor Parrish, was a daughter of Molcy Knight and the Primitive Baptist minister, Elder Ansel Parrish.

James grew up on his father’s farm, located ” in the forks of Five Mile Creek and  Ten Mile Creek in what was then Berrien Co, GA (since 1920 in Lanier),”  about six or seven miles northeast of present day Ray City, GA.

James I Lee married Valeria Sirmans on November 19, 1902.  She was a daughter of Hardeman Sirmans and Elizabeth Knight, and a granddaughter of General Levi J. Knight.  In fact, James I Lee and Valorie Sirmans were cousins, both being great-grandchildren of William Anderson Knight. In 1910, James and Valeria were working the farm they owned in the 1144th Georgia Militia District, the Rays Mill district. In 1920 Valeria Sirmans and James I Lee were living at Ray City, GA. They owned a farm next to Martha Sirmans. 

At the time of the 1918 draft registration for WWI, James I Lee gave the address of their farm as located on the RFD #2 mail route out of Milltown, GA.  (this was prior to the formation of Lanier County). James was 42 years old at the time of registration.  While he had been too old for the earlier registrations which sought men between the ages of 21 and 31, the third registration, conducted on September 12, 1918, required men up to age 45 to appear before the draft board.  James’ draft card shows that he was a self-employed farmer of medium height and build, with grey eyes and dark hair. He was physically disqualified for the draft as a result of “heart failure.”  However, James was issued a registration certificate. All men who registered were given bluish green certificates to prove they had registered. The certificate was embossed with an eagle at the top and merely stated the name of the registrant, date, and location of draft board. The Thomasville Daily Times-Enterprise admonished, “If you have reached the age of 18 years and not yet 46, you must register on September 12…you will be given a Registration Certificate to show you have complied with the law.  This certificate should always be carried.”

1918 Registration Certificate of James Isaac Lee. Image courtesy of Edith Mayo.

1918 Registration Certificate of James Isaac Lee. Image courtesy of Edith Mayo.

 Draft Registration

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Cassie Lee Hall ~ Woman of Faith

Cassie Lee, a daughter of James Lee and Levina Smith Lee, was born May 1857.  She appears in the Census of 1860 with her parents, living in Berrien County, GA where her father owned a farm near Empire Primitive Baptist Church. Her grandfather, John Levi Lee (1804-1884), owned the farm next door.

During the Civil War, Cassie’s father, James Lee, and her uncles, Jesse Lee and John Lee, all  enlisted for Confederate service.  The three brothers all served in Company  “E”, 54th Georgia Infantry Regiment.  James Lee served throughout the war until surrender,   was paroled at Thomasville, May 25, 1865, and returned to his Berrien County, GA farm.

About 1869, Cassie Lee joined the Primitive Baptist Church  to which she remained faithful all of her life.

In 1870,  13-year-old Cassie Lee was enumerated in her parents’  household in the 1144th Georgia Militia District, the Ray’s Mill district.  Her father continued to farm, and Cassie’s little brother, John H. Lee, assisted with farm labor.  Both Cassie and John H. attended school that year.

On Christmas Eve 1873,  at the age of 16 Cassie Lee married John Lewis Hall  in Berrien County, Ga. He was 15 years old,  a son of Edmund Patrick Hall and Rebecca  Hall. The newlyweds became parents some eight months after taking their vows, with the birth of their first son, Henry Hall,  in  August 1874. The couple had land given by the groom’s father, Edmond P. Hall.  John L. Hall received land in the 10th district lot 448, Lowndes County, Ga..  John worked as a farmer and a blacksmith.

That year, 1874, Cassie’s parents,  James and  Lavina Lee, relocated to the south and were among the first families to settle in Lake County, FL homesteading on what is now Monte Vista Road in Clermont, FL.

Over the next 15 years, the family of John and Cassie Hall continued to grow. In August, 1876 Cassie gave birth to a daughter, Vina Hall.  A son, Robert, was born in November 1880. In 1882, Cassie delivered another girl, Amanda. Two sons followed: Lawrence Cauley Hall on February 20, 1884 and Allen Hall in June 1885.

The following years must have been hard times for the Halls for on March 7, 1889 John L. Hall borrowed against the land he had received from his father in district 10 lot-448, taking out a mortgage on 40 acres with Strickland & Roberts. Still, John Hall’s family grew. In May 1890, Cassie gave birth to their third daughter, Molcie. The Halls also adopted a son, Pasco Olandro Hall, born June 30, 1890 in Rays Mill, Ga.

In the 1890’s, Cassie Hall’s name began appearing in the membership rolls of Old Union Baptist Church (Lanier County), although there is no record of her reception into that church.

On June 19, 1891 John L. Hall again borrowed from Strickland & Roberts against 200 acres he held in District 6 Lot 503.  At some point he also mortgaged 20 acres in District 10 lot 473.

Two daughters rounded out the family, Phoebia, born September 1895, and Georgia, born September 1896.

Children of John Lewis Hall and Cassie Lee

  1. Henry Hall born AUG 1874 in GA, Berrien Co.
  2. Vinie Ellen Hall born ABT 1876 in GA, Berrien County, married William Thomas Gaskins
  3. Robert Hall born NOV 1880 in GA, Berrien Co.
  4. Amanda H. Hall born MAY 1882 in GA, Berrien Co., near Ray City
  5. Lawrence Cauley Hall b: 20 FEB 1884 in GA, Berrien Co., Ray City
  6. Allen L. Hall born JUN 1885 in GA, Berrien Co., Ray City
  7. Molcie Hall born MAY 1890 in GA, Berrien Co., area
  8. Pasco Olandro Hall born 30 JUN 1893 in GA, Berrien Co., near Ray City
  9. Phoebe Hall born SEP 1892
  10. Georgia Hall born 16 SEP 1894 in GA, Berrien co

July 12, 1913  Cassie Hall was dismissed by letter from Old Union Primitive Baptist Church of Lanier County, Georgia. It is known that she  attended New Ramah Church at Ray City after that time.

After 45 years of marriage, Cassie’s husband John Lewis Hall died Aug 7 1918 at the age of 60 in Berrien County, GA.    The 1920 census shows Cassie Lee Hall a 69 year old widow living alone. She owned a home, mortgage free, on North Street in Ray City, Ga. While at her age and with her family all gone away Cassie Lee Hall had no occupation, the early 1920’s were a boom time in Ray City with plenty of employment provided by the Clements sawmill. Her next door neighbor, George B. Norton, was a planing mill superintendent, and most of her other neighbors on North Street were also employed by the sawmill in one capacity or another.

Cassie Lee Hall lived on to be 94 years of age, having lived all of her life in Berrien County.  She died in Ray City on Sunday December 10, 1944. Her obituary, published in the Nashville Herald read as follows:

1944 – GA, Berrien Co., Dec 14,

Mrs. Cassie Lee Hall Passes, At Ray City.

Mrs. Cassie Lee Hall, 94, died at the home of her daughter Mrs. B. R. Tomlinson of Ray City, on Sunday morning at 9: o’clock after three months illness due to old age. Mrs Hall was born and reared in this county having lived here all her life.

Sixty years ago she was married to John L. Hall who preceded her in death several years ago. For seventy five years she has been a faithful and devout member of the Primitive Baptist church. Through her long life she had endeared herself to many friends. A mixed choir sang “Old Rugged Cross,” Unclouded Day,” and other selections from the Primitive hymn book. Six grandsons served as pall-bearers. The Giddens Funeral Home of Nashville, had charge of arrangements.

Survivors include ten children, H. Hall of Valdosta, Mrs. W.D. Gaskins, Mrs. J.G. Gaskin, Mrs. B.R. Tomlinson, L.C. Hall of Ray City, Robert Hall of Perry FL. and Mrs D.M. Hutchinson of Tampa FL. 25 Gandchildren, 27 Great Grandchildren, and 1 GG Grandchild.

Cassie Lee Hall

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