|Other People | Frank J. Bradley | Olive Rambo Cook | Jerry Litton ||
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
Richard J. Lee, prominently connected with business interests of Ludlow as the founder and president of the R. Lee Lumber Company and with agricultural interests as the owner of one of the finest farms in Livingston county, is a native of Ohio, born in Lake county, January 11, 1859. His parents were Richard and Mary (Robinson) Lee, both of whom have passed away. The father spent the early years of his life engaged in farming in Ohio and came to Livingston county with his family in 1865. Here, also, he bought land and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, becoming also interested in financial matters of Ludlow as president of the Farmers National Bank. He was also the first president of the R. Lee Lumber Company. He died in 1904, at the age of seventy-seven, having survived his wife since 1884. Both are buried in the Monroe cemetery, Monroe township. The family is of English origin and representatives came from Great Britain to Ohio in 1852.
Richard J. Lee supplemented his public-school education by a course in Avalon College, an institution from which he was graduated at the age of twenty-two. He spent three years thereafter upon his father's farm and when he was twenty-five began his independent career on a tract of three hundred and twenty acres in Carroll county. Upon this he built a good residence, substantial barns and outbuildings and installed all of the conveniences and accessories of a model agricultural enterprise. He still owns this property and in addition two hundred and forty acres near Ludlow. The latter farm one of the finest in the county is equipped with good buildings, the house being a beautiful one, strictly modern and up-to-date.
In 1893 Mr. Lee became connected with business interests of Ludlow in an important way, for in that year he helped to organize the R. Lee Lumber Company, of which he is now president. This concern, capitalized at fifty thousand dollars, has made a healthy growth during the past years and is now one of the most important business enterprises in this section of the state. Besides the main office at Ludlow the company conducts branches at Mooresville, Dawn and Chillicothe, and its patronage is drawn from all sections of Missouri and extends even beyond the state limits. Mitch of its prosperity is due to the excellent management and business enterprise of Mr. Lee, who is a man of marked executive and organizing ability and who by the wise use of his talents and of the opportunities which have come to him has built up a large industrial institution and gained for himself a commanding place in commercial circles of Livingston county. He is identified with various other business concerns in Ludlow, among the most important of which is the Farmers Bank, of which he is president.
On the 27th Of June, 1888, Mr. Lee was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Rockhold, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Rockhold, the former for many years a prominent farmer of Utica. Missouri. Both have passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Lee have two children: Byron B., who is now a student in the Chillicothe Normal School and also took a three years' Normal course at Kirksville, Missouri; and Lucile, who attends high school.
Since casting his first vote Mr. Lee has been a stanch supporter of the men and measures of the republican party and has made his public spirit effective through many years of political service. He represented his district in the state legislature and was for some time an associate member of the county court and trustee of Monroe township. He has always been interested in the cause of education and has done most able and effective work in promoting school interests of Livingston county through his service as a director of the school board. He belongs to the blue lodge in Masonry, but beyond this has no fraternal affiliations, preferring to devote all of his time and attention to his other interests. Honored and respected by all, no man occupies a more enviable position in financial or commercial circles or in the political life of the community, and this is due not alone to the success which he has attained but is also owing to the honorable and straightforward business policy which he has ever followed.