GEORGE R. LEE, proprietor, editor and publisher of the Belle Plaine Union, was born in Verplanck, N. Y., Feb. 25, 1842, and is a son of Francis and Mary Ann (Read) Lee. His parents were natives of the State of New York.
George R. came to Iowa with his parents in 1855, and in 1858 began learning the printer's trade in the office of the Oskaloosa Times. On the breaking out of the late war he enlisted at the first call for troops as a member of the first company raised at Oskaloosa. The company was not accepted and was temporarily disbanded. In December, 1861, he was mustered in as private of Co. E, 1st Ill. Lt. Art, or, as it was called, "Waterhouse's Battery." This battery fired the first shot at the battle of Shiloh. It was assigned to the Western Army. Our subject participated in the battles of Shiloh, Vicksburg, Jackson, Miss., and in numerous minor engagements, and was mustered out in December, 1864, having served three years. On his return home from the war he engaged in farming on Muscatine Island, Iowa.
Mr. Lee was married at Oskaloosa, Iowa, April 7, 1868, to Miss Mary E. Dumont, a native of the State of New York, and daughter of Richard and Sarah Dumont. Five children were born to this union — three girls and two boys. Three only are living — Edith, born Feb. 5, 1869, on Muscatine Island; Florence F., born Dec. 12, 1871, and Ralph R., born March 7, 1873, at Oskaloosa.
Mr. Lee was engaged in farming until 1869, when he removed to Oskaloosa and engaged as foreman of the Herald office. He continued in that office as employe (sic) until 1877, when he bought an interest in the office, which connection continued till 1881. From February, 1878, to January, 1881, the entire editorial management of the paper devolved upon him. He also held the office of City Clerk of Oskaloosa through the years 1874-77. He sold out his interest in the Herald in 1881, and moved to Montezuma, Iowa, where he bought a half interest in the Republican of that place. That connection was continued till July, 1884, when he sold out and moved to Belle Plaine. On coming to this city he bought the Union office and re-established that paper. The Union is a nine-column folio, Republican in politics, published weekly, and has a circulation of 650 copies.Mr. Lee is a member of Hope Lodge, No. 175, A. F. & A. M., and is a demitted Royal Archmason. He is a member, and the present Secretary, of the Legion of Honor, and present Commander of Jno. B. Hancox Post, G. A. R.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 237-238.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on January 28th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.