James L, farmer, and an old pioneer of Clay Township, was born in Harrison County, Va., February 24, 1806, and came to Indiana in 1826, locating first in Shelby County, where he resided twelve years, removing thence into Owen County, staying one year, and on to Monroe County, where he stopped eight years. His next move was back into Owen, where he has since made his home. He was reared upon a farm, and at a time and under such circumstances as made schooling impossible. December 18, 1824, he married, in Warren County, Ohio, Jane Laymon, by whom he had born to him twelve children, five of whom were still-born. The others are William, John, Joseph, Eliza Ann, Henry, Allen and James Marion. Mr. and Mrs. Lee are members of the Separate Baptist Church, and have been for the past sixty years. In life's battles, James Lee has depended upon his own resources. The only gifts he ever received, were his wedding presents, which were so novel in their character, and so entirely different from those paraded at the fashionable wedding of to-day, as to merit a place in this biography. His were the joint gifts of his father and father-in-law, and consisted of one crock of corn meal, one crock of buck-wheat flour, one-half a side of bacon, a broken skillet with a worse broken lid, and a pair of Dominick chickens. But strong of limb and heart, the pioneer met obstacles to overcome them, and that his life has not been a failure is attested by his surroundings. No one man has done more to redeem a new country from the wilderness than he, and now, though nearly eighty years of age, he is in possession of all faculties, enjoys good health and promises to live many years, in a community where ho is universally known and respected.
Counties of Clay and Owen, Indiana: Historical and biographical, Charles Blanchard, Editor. Chicago, F. A. Battey & Co., Publishers, 1884, page 938.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming
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