Historical Details

Lee, George O. and Family

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 01/14/2021


by Mrs. Chas. V. Lee Sr.

George Osborn Lee was born at Fairbault, Minn. Sept. 3, 1866.     George Lee came to the Lance Creek community on Little Lightning Creek in about 1912.  He had in 1909 moved his family from Tyndall, S.D. to Van Tassell, Wyo.  He had operated a butcher shop in Van Tassell for a year or two and had come to the Lance Creek community to look for land.

In 1913 he moved the family, his wife, son, Charles, and daughter, Valucia to his homestead west of Lance Creek.    A son Fred had homesteaded near Van Tassell and had married a Van Tassell girl, Edna Deuel.

The Lees hauled logs from the timbered hills west of their land to build a house. The house consisted of a square two room log house. Later they added a long log kitchen and dining area.  During those years, herds of long-horned Texas cattle roamed the unfenced land.  It was the children's, duty Charles and Valucia, to separate the milk cows from the wild Texas cattle at milking time.

In 1914 Mr. Lee located several other families on homesteads. His brother Fred located over in the north country. Some Iowa folks came out--Mr. John J. Lamb located to the south of the Lees and the A.A. Ongs located to the southeast of the Lee place, as did the Frank Thompsons of Kansas. Later he located Miss Elizabeth Donner and the Putman family east between Lance Creek and Little Lightning.

Mrs. Lee was always on hand to care for the sick and was present at the birth of several homestead children.

George Lee and his brother Fred had a waterwell digging machine and tested and 
drilled for water over much of that country.

The Lees found a vein of coal on the west side of their homestead land. They used coal along with the wood for fuel.

When the first discovery oil well was drilled, they hauled coal to the well to heat the steam boilers.

The Lee children, Charles and Valucia, went to school at the 77 ranch during their first years at Lance Creek. Later there was a school nearer home and their teacher was a Miss Maude Reeter.  She and her mother had a homestead south of the Lees. When Charles and Valucia were ready for their first year of high school, they went to Tyndall, S.D. and stayed with their aunt, Mrs. Mame Pike. Out-of-state tuition was paid by the school district #12.

When the Lees older daughter, Mrs. Sadie Chapman, died leaving a little two­ year old girl, Evelyn, the Lees brought her into their home where she lived until her marriage in later years to Raymond Grammar.

Charles and Valucia finished their high school years at Manville, Wyo.

When the Union Oil Company of Calif. established an oil camp at what was called Camp Six, Mrs. Lee, Nellie was cook at that camp for several years.

By this time it was quite clear to George Lee that all the folks he had located on homesteads in the Lance Creek area had oil wells on their places but him. He had picked the place with a nice spring, a creek running through the place that had water in it sometimes and a big cottonwood tree on the bank of the creek.  A very pretty spot, but no oil!

George had brought some pretty fine horses with him when he came to Lance Creek. He owned a carriage with the fringe around the top. He said it was bird's eye maple.

ln 1922, Charles was married to Miss Elizabeth Lamb, niece of Mr. John Lamb and Mrs. A.A. Ong. In 1924, Valucia was marr­ied to Leonard Ong, son, of  Mr. and Mrs.A.A. Ong.

In 1924 Mr. and Mrs. George Lee moved to Fort Collins, Colo. Mrs. Lee cooked at the Union Oil Camp north of Fort Collins and Mr. Lee pumped for the Company.

Charles and his wife, Bess, stayed at the homestead that year, milked cows, made butter and every Saturday hitched up the carriage with the fringe on top and drove to camp four to trade their produce for groceries.  The store was then owned by Ralph Maguire and his wife, Irene.                 They were newlyweds.

Valucia went to the University of Wyoming and received her teaching degree. She taught at the Pipeline Station School on Big Lightning Creek and later taught at the Bill Creek School. Leonard and Valucia had no children.

The George Lees came back to Wyoming in 1929. They lived in Manville where he was mayor of the town for several years.

The Charles Lee family returned to Wyoming in 1936 from Colorado.

Daughter Valucia, (Mrs. Leonard Ong) died in 1939. During that year George and his wife, Nellie, moved to Oregon and made their home there for a few years.   Mrs. Lee was badly burned in a gas stove accident while in Oregon and died as a result of the burns in August 1946.

Charles and Bess and family moved back to the homestead to live. Charles worked for the Continental Oil Company. Dad Lee came home from Oregon after the death of his wife and made his home with his son, Charles and family at the old home.  Later he moved to Lusk and lived at the Woodson Graham home. He died Sept. 1950 at the Reckling Hospital in Lusk.

There were five children in the Charles Lee Family. They all attended the Lance Creek Elementary School and were all graduated from the Manville High School, as were their father and mother.

Charles Jr. is a geologist for the Continental Oil Company and lives in Denver, Colo. He married Miss Mary Lee Held of Lusk. They have three daughters, Mrs.Melanie Sikes of Ventura, Calif., Jennifer and Charlotte of the family home.

Margaret is education instructor and dean of women at Eastern Wyoming College.

JoAnn, Mrs. Thomas Rasmusson lives in Glenrock, Wyo. and has three children; Niels, Tom, and Kary Ann.  Her husband is an opera­ tor at the PP&L plant at Glenrock.

George works for the SEDCO oil company and lives in Aberdeen, Scotland. He is married to Sheila Hubbard.  He has two children, Leah and Christopher and two step­ sons, John and Jason.

Vernon (Babe) works for the SEDCO oil company and lives in Bruni on the island of Borneo. He married Patricia Johnson. They have two daughters, Becky and Monica.

Charles V. Lee Sr. passed away January 22, 1974. His wife Bess now lives in Torrington with her daughter, Margaret.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Lee, George (09/03/1866 - 09/27/1952) View Record
Obituary Lee, Nellie (07/24/1866 - 08/12/1946) View Record