Biography of Chauncey Cleveland Lee

Chauncey Cleveland Lee, of Foxcroft, a retired schoolmaster and a Civil War veteran, was born June 26, 1843, upon the farm he now owns and occupies, son of Lyman and Elizabeth M. (Miner) Lee. His paternal great-grandfather served in the Continental army during the Revolutionary War. The grandfather, Nehemiah Lee, moved from Wethersfield, Connecticut, his native town, to Peacham, Vermont, when he was twenty-one years old, and cultivated a farm during his active years. His last days were spent in Foxcroft, where he died in March, 1862, aged eighty-seven years. his wife, whose maiden name was Lavinia Carpenter, died here in 1869. She was a half-sister of the Hon. Chauncey F. Cleveland, who was Governor of the State of Connecticut and a member of Congress several terms.

Lyman Lee, born in Peacham, March 2, 1812, settled in Foxcroft in 1834, and became a successful farmer and a prominent citizen. For many years he took an active part in local affairs, serving as a member of the School Committee for several years, also as Selectman, Trial Justice, and Register of Probate for Piscataquis County. The record of his official life is an honorable one. In politics he was originally a Democrat. Later he acted with the Republican party. In his religious belief he was a Congregationalist. He died August 19, 1881. His wife, born November 11, 1814, who was also a native of Peacham, died December 23, 1887. She was the mother of eight children, five of whom are living; namely, Lyman U. Lee, Mrs. Josephine L. Craft, Mrs. Katherine L. Jackson, Chauncey. C. Lee, and Mrs. Martha E. Freese. The others were: Lovinia M., who died at the early age of thirteen years; Leonard W., who served in the Civil War with Company H, First Maine Heavy Artillery, which was later the Eighteenth Maine Infantry, and was killed in battle June 18, 1864, before Petersburg, aged eighteen years; and Willie Frank, who died June 9, 1885, aged twenty-seven years.

Chauncey Cleveland Lee pursued his elementary studies in the common schools, and afterward attended Foxcroft Academy. He was preparing for college when the Civil War broke out, and he enlisted in 1861 in Company A, Sixth Regiment, Maine Volunteers, with which he served until his discharge on account of physical disability. He took part under General B. F. Butler in the campaign in the Gulf, which resulted in the capture of New Orleans. Re-enlisting the same year in Company E, Fourteenth Maine Regiment, he served until 1862, when he was compelled by poor health to leave the army. Upon his return home he adopted educational pursuits, and for thirty-three years was engaged in teaching schools in Maine and Massachusetts, where he attained a high rank in his chosen profession. In 1895 he retired in order to give his attention to the homestead farm, which he inherited. He is now cultivating his property energetically and with success. Politically, he is a Republican. He was formerly a member of the School Board and superintendent of schools. At present he is a Justice of the Peace; and he has served as chairman of the Republican Town Committee for a number of years. He is Past Grand of Kineo Lodge, I.O.O.F., and the Commander of Chandler Post, No 154, G. A. R. The family attend the Congregational church, of which they are all active members.

On September 6, 1866, Mr. Lee was united at Sangerville in marriage with Eva A. Drake, who was born in Sangerville, Maine, July 21, 1846, daughter of Deacon Kingman and Louisa (Parsons) Drake. Her father was born in Sherborn, Massachusetts, April 30, 1789; and her mother in Eddington, Maine., November 10, 1804. Kingman Drake passed the greater part of his life upon a farm in Sangerville, where he died May 14, 1871. Mrs. Drake died November to, 1870. Mr. and Mrs. Lee have three children, namely: Lyman Kingman Lee, born April 25, 1867; Chauncey Cleveland, Jr., born March 2, 1868; and Hattie F., born January 29, 1872. Lyman K. Lee, a graduate of Bowdoin College and now the principal of Foxcroft Academy, in 1895 married Sarah A. French, of Foxcroft, who is a teacher of physical science in the same institution. Chauncey C. Lee, Jr., resides in Boston, where he is connected with the Hotel Warren as superintendent. Hattie F., who was educated in Foxcroft Academy and at Kent’s Hill Female Seminary, has followed teaching, and is now at home.

Source: Biographical review: containing life sketches of leading citizens of Somerset, Piscataquis, Hancock, Washington, and Aroostook counties, Maine. Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1898.

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