Extensive corporations, like railroad companies, demand the utmost fidelity and trustworthiness on the part of their employees and long continuance in their service is an indication of fidelity and ability on the part of one thus connected with any large business concern. Mr. Lee is a popular and reliable engineer on the Rock Island Railroad and since October, 1887, has been a resident of Horton, Kansas. He was born in Durham, England, February 11, 1832, and is a son of William Lee. His father was superintendent of the coal mines there. He married Miss Mary Anne Thompson and in 1848, with his wife and children, crossed the Atlantic to America, taking up his abode in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. His wife died in Henderson, Kentucky, at the age of forty-two years, leaving a family of five children, namely: Luke; Robert, who is superintendent of coal mines in Illinois; William, who for a number of years was a bookkeeper in the employ of the Coal Valley Mining Company, died in 1888; Mrs. Hannah Haddick, of Sherrard, Illinois, and John, who served as a soldier in the civil war and now resides in Illinois. The father died in that state, at the advanced age of eighty-four years. He was a member of the Methodist church and a man of highest respectability.
Mr. Lee, of this review, obtained a common-school education, but after the age of ten years, pursued his studies in night schools, for in the daytime he worked in the coal mines. His first railroad experience was in running an engine on the Sawmill Run Railroad in 1863, in Allegheny county. In 1879 he went to Peoria, Illinois, where he resided until 1887, when he came to Brown county, Kansas.
On the 24th of August, 1854, in Cannelton, Indiana, Mr. Lee was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Irwin, who proved to her husband a faithful helpmeet. She was a native of Durham, England, and a daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Wilson) Irwin, both of whom died in America. Mr. and Mrs. Lee became the parents of four children: Mary Ann, Elizabeth, John and Katherine. The son has for more than three years occupied a position as machinist in the Rock Island Railroad shops at Horton. The mother of this family died at Rock Island, Illinois, in 1877, at the age of forty-two years. She was a faithful wife and a devoted mother and her loss has been greatly mourned by her family as well as by all who know her. Both Mr. Lee and his son are Republicans in their political preferences and are members of Horton Lodge, No. 326, F. & A. M. Mr. Lee has a very pleasant residence on Florence street, nicely furnished and presided over by his daughters. He exercises the greatest care and persistence in his work and has become one of the most trusted employees on the Rock Island Railroad. In manner he is courteous and obliging and has a large circle of warm friends.