The Jesse Josephus Lee family from 1920

Published 3:56 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Right:The Jesse Josephus Lee and Ellen Louise Mitchell Lee family. Ellen Louise is holding the baby, Forest Marvin, and the picture is dated from the age of Forest. It is estimated to have been taken in 1920. Forest Marvin, the little baby, was born on Nov. 9, 1920, and died on June 6, 1998, in Slidell, La.  The home behind them is made of longleaf virgin yellow pine lumber and note the cypress shingles on top of the roof. It rested on a 183-acre farm which the Lees cultivated and about a mile behind the Bienville Baptist Church in the Bienville Community in Northern Hancock Co. To the far right is Çurtis Daniel Lee. Curtis had 11 children when he later married Ina Smith: They were Jeff (Randall Lee’s father; Randall furnished this picture), James (the home building contractor), Jesse Boyd, Norman, Thurman, Ostez and Dale, and four daughters, Clara Lee Craft, Evelyn Smith, Ruby Wise and Brenda Jo Lee. All 11 of Curtis’s children are still alive. Jesse Josephus Lee died in a tragic accident when he was hit in August, 1941, by a log truck while walking along a road, coming home from visiting a neighbor. It was said that Jesse Josephus Lee was “extremely hard of hearing.” Mr. Lee was found by family members along the road and died later that afternoon. The family pictured from left are Arthur Jesse, Rufus Newton (with hat), Robert Leslie, Dolphus William, Henry Clark (the smallest standing), baby Forest Marvin, the three girls Prudent Odessa, Izette Elizabeth and Louisa Mary, and Curtis Daniel. Of course, in the middle with the baby is Mr. and Mrs. Lee. Shown in the picture are 10 children. The Lees had 12. The two not shown are Andrew, who died when he was 17 from a fever, and Lilly who had already left home, marrying Artis Bilbo. Families back then were always large. Children worked on the farm as soon as they could follow instructions to carry out chores. Curtis died on Sept. 19, 1990, in Picayune. He was born on April 3, 1900, in Hancock Co., probably in the house pictured in the background. The Bienville Community is sandwiched between what is called Flat Top and Catahoula communities. Bienville is south of Hwy. 43 where Seal’s Supermarket now is located. Leetown Community is sort of northeast of Seal’s, north of Hwy. 43. A lot of these old-time communities were absorbed by the test site. If you have an old-time photo bring it to David A. Farrell at the Item and the Item will publish it. Randall Lee lives in Salem Community.

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