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Milam County, Texas

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Capt. Lovard L. Lee

SOURCE: History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties. (Chicago, IL: Lewis, 1893), p. 338 & 339.

Capt. Lovard L. Lee, a farmer of Milam county, is a native of Barbour county, Alabama, where he was born July 13, 1842. His parents were Needham Lee, born in Jefferson county, Georgia, in 1815, and Emaline, nee Lewis, born in North Carolina in 1819. His people on both sides were among the early settlers of Alabama, moving there in early Indian times and settling on what was then the frontier. His paternal grandfather, Needham Lee, was a Virginia planter connected with the great Lee family of that State. He served in the war of 1812, and about the same date took up residence in Alabama, where he lived until his death, about 1850, a prosperous planter and slave owner. Needham Lee, the father of the subject of this notice, married about the age of twenty, in 1835, and settled on a farm in Barbour county, where he lived until his death, which occurred in February, 1887. While he was always interested in farming, he was also at different times in life interested in mercantile pursuits and was quite successful. He lost heavily by the war, but his energy and good management enabled him to repair his wasted fortunes in a considerable measure and his declining years were free from care. Although a slave-owner he opposed secession, believing that a more rational solution of the problem could be found than an appeal to arms. In this belief he was probably influenced somewhat by his previous political training and association. He was a great admirer of Henry Clay and a stanch supporter of Whig measures and principles. For nearly fifty years he was a Steward and Class-leader in the Methodist Church, always taking great interest in all kinds of religious work and particularly that of his own church. He was also a Mason and was buried with Masonic honors.

The mother of the subject of this article, Emaline Lewis, was daughter of Elvey and Nancy Lewis, who moved to what is now Barbour county, Alabama, early in this century, being North Carolinians by birth and of English origin. They were also large planters and people of some means and good standing where they lived. Mrs. Lee died in 1871. Their thirteen children were: May, the deceased wife Ben F. Petty; Jefferson L.; Nancy, unmarried; Lovard L.; Sarah E., the deceased wife of Carey Lilly; Robert E.; George W.; Virginia, the wife of William O. Drewrey; Needham; Martin Luther, who died young; Joseph G., who died at the age of fifteen; Benjamin F., and Alpheus J. Of those that are living all except three live at Louisville, Alabama: two of these three, Jefferson L. and Lovard L., being residents of Milam county; and Benjamin F., the other, a practicing physician of Temple, Bell county, this State.

Lovard L. Lee was reared in his native county in Alabama, growing up on his fatherís farm. He received the benefit of a good English education. At the opening of the late war he entered the Confederate army, enlisting April, 1861, in Company E, Seventh Alabama Infantry, with which he served until just before the battle of Shiloh, when his regiment having been disbanded, he returned home and shortly afterward enlisted in Company A, Forty-fifth Alabama Infantry, with which he served till the close of the war. He was elected Lieutenant of his company and was later promoted to the Captaincy of it and commanded it during the last days of its service. He was three times wounded, first at Peach Tree creek, again on July 22, 1864, before Atlanta, and last at the battle of Franklin, Tennessee. He was shot through the body at Atlanta and through the foot at Franklin, both serious wounds at the time, but neither of which kept him for any considerable length of time from active service. He was captured at Macon, Georgia just at the close of the war, but immediately paroled and thus escaped the horrors of prison life. He returned to Alabama after the surrender and took up farming on his fatherís place, which he followed there for ten years. He came to Texas in January, 1875, and November 2, 1875, he married Mrs. Mary S. Grubbs, the widow of Samuel J. Grubbs, of Barbour county. He settled in Grimes county, where he lived about ten months. He then moved to Milam county, locating where he now lives, near Thorndale, which has since been his home. He owns a farm of 137 acres, 100 acres of which is in cultivation, besides other real estate in Thorndale, this representing his earnings since coming to the State.

Captain Leeís wife, like himself, is a native of Alabama, having been born in Jackson county, that State, March 22, 1847. She is a daughter of William T. and Malinda (Vault) Gunter, who were born and reared in Alabama, the father in Jackson county and the mother in Madison county. Captain Lee and wife have had one child, Lovard L., born August 26, 1877, in Milam county, Texas, and Mrs. Lee had one by her former marriage, Ammie J. Grubbs, born August 22, 1874, in Grimes county, Texas. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Church, of which he was Steward in Alabama and has been Superintendent of Sunday-schools in this State. Captain Lee has been a Mason since he was twenty years old.

We must say a special thank you to Kaleen Reed of Houston, Texas for typing this biographical sketch for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.

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