Kit Carson County, Colorado

John C. Lee, Dewitt C. Lee  , 7S 43W

John cash-claimed a quarter in 22, 7S 43W in 1890, and another in section 34 in 1891.

Minerva McDaniel claimed a quarter in 22, 7S 43W in 1891.
Minerva, age 28, married John C. Lee, age 32, on October 2, 1889, recorded in Kit Carson County.

She might be the Minnie McDaniels in 1880 Salina, Kansas, 15, born in Kansas, whose father Thomas McDaniels 67 has a livery stable, wtih Casini 51, Robert 18, and Eli 11.

Minerva E. Lee and Robert A. Browne, both of Mildred, Colorado, married in Yuma County on December 14, 1921.

DeWitt C. Lee cash-claimed a quarter in 4, 8S 43W in 1890 - about a mile south of John.

ONE POSSIBLE DEWITT - and adopted son John Ross.
In 1860 New Madrid County, Missouri, Dewitt C. Lee is 10, with widowed mother Elizabeth 52, - Nancy E. is 27, Louisa 22, Albert 19, Richard 12, Lewis 4, Mary M. 3 and Fontaine 1.

In 1870 New Madrid, Elizabeth is 42, Louis 14, Fountain 13, and Dewitt 20. Mary Simpson, 14 is a servant.

April 2, 1884 Topeka, Kansas " United States to Dewitt C. Lee, nw qr 14, United Suites to Dewitt C. Lee, sw qr 24, 10, 15 east"

DeWitt C. Lee cash-claimed a quarter in 4, 8S 43W in 1890 - about a mile south of John. So they almost certainly were relatives.

In 1880 New Madrid County, Dewitt is 30, married to Matilda 29. Son John Ross is 10. John is with a Ross family in 1900. BUT HE COULD HAVE CLAIMED LAND, financed by adoped father Dewitt Lee.

In 1900 New Madid County, D.C. Lee born Feb 1850 in Missouri, married 26 years to Matilda A. April 1851 Missouri. Matilda has had three kids, none living. They adopted daughter Margaret was born May 1880 in Tennessee. D.C.'s sister Bettie born OIct 1832 in Missouri, is with them. They have a servant Jeff Edwards born July 1887 in Missouri.
Dewitt is a junk dealer in 1920 Hot Springs, Arkansas, 69 born in Missouri, living with widowed Catherine Barker 71 born in Minnesota. He said he was married, but no spouse.
1929 Sikeston, Missouri "Mrs. DeWitt C. Lee of Los Angeles, Calif., was the guest of Mrs. Clarissa Toney. Thursday and Friday."

Matilda A. Lee, 79, is in Los Angeles in 1930, widowed, living with adopted daughter Margaret Mark 49, also widowed.

Matilda A. Lee born about 1851 in Missouri, died September 18, 1934 in Memphis, Tennessee, widowed.
She was to be buried at Portageville, Missouri.
Matilda A. Lee, deceased, was in probate court in New Madrid County, with Margarete M. Marsh, adopted daughter who had been residing at 141 N. Mansfield St. in Los Angeles as the administrator.

Dewitt's brother Louis Lee 1855-1925 is buried in New Madrid, with Malinda Francis (Shy) Lee 1856-1931.

August 15, 1948
Now the cotton and the corn have been laid by in Southeast Missouri and the field hands and share croppers - on the big plantations are waiting for the time of harvest. But there, is no waiting on the Cavanaugh-Marsh Farms because two town-reared women have found a way to bring year-round production to a region where cotton and corn have been the seasonal crops. Mrs. Margaret Marsh and her daughter, Mrs. Matilda Cavanaugh, when they found themselves with 1200 acres on their hands, set about doing things that had never been done in the cotton and corn country. They went into truck farming in a big way, unto the half of their lands and, in the face of predictions of disaster, have made a success of it, solving at the same time one of the South's oldest problems, idle labor except at planting, tending and harvesting times. Mrs. Marsh, orphaned at an early age, was brought up at New Madrid by her uncle, Dewitt C. Lee, who became her foster father, and lived in the town while swampy east Missouri was being reclaimed by drainage and while Lee was expanding the ancestral estate on the border between New Madrid and Pemiscot counties by buying raw and swamp land and clearing it up. At last he was the landlord of 1200 acres, on which tenants toiled according to the system of the period, taking from the land and giving nothing back because the richness of the soil seemed inexhaustible. So it came to pass that when Dewitt Lee died in 1920 and his widow in 1934, Mrs. Marsh, as their heir, then living in Los Angeles, found herself in possession of the land that had given its best to the raising of cotton and corn, and tenant houses that had, from neglect, fallen into despair. For a while, because she could not do better, Mrs. Marsh continued under the old system, with five tenants on the farms, but it didn't work any too well. For one thing, the tenants didn't like to take orders from a woman at a distance who, they were convinced, knew nothing about farming. Perhaps if she was on the ground it would be better. So in 1939, Mrs. Marsh and her daughter came and moved into a house that a tenant had occupied. While it was being remodeled to meet their needs, they entered upon their farming adventure by taking over a small acreage, retaining the tenants and permitting them to continue the old routine of cotton and corn. It wouldn't be for long because the two women had plans which, for the time being, they were keeping to .themselves. They had, they knew, to learn a good deal before they would be ready to do battle with the cotton and the corn. After all, they were only a couple of town women and when anybody asked what they knew about farming they had to admit they didn't know much, but maybe they could learn. Soybeans were beginning to come into Southeast Missouri and the Government farm plan was being developed. The Department of Agriculture at Washington was turning out tons of literature and the county farm agents were generous with advice. Mrs. Marsh, a professional musician, and Mrs. Cavanaugh, who had done some writing, would go in for soybeans as the first step in displacing the old cotton and corn economy. Soybeans, though, didn't appeal to the tenants. In the first place - fore the shipment was refused. After that, as long as the war lasted, shipments from Cavanaugh-Marsh farms were accepted without inspection. Farmers of the area, watching with skepticism the doings on the Cavanaugh - Marsh farms, said maybe it was all right to raise all that stuff when the Army needed it, but wait until the war was over and then those women would find out that they couldn't raise garden sass on cotton and corn land. To the surprise and consternation of the wise boys, when the war was over, those women went right on raising garden sass and more of it.
During the war, when prices were high, the women had turned the profits into putting completely is the year iiiiea tnai tenants and their families usually take a vacation of only a week or 10 days just before the cotton-picking season. It is not strange that there is no moving day in the spring on the Cavanaugh-Marsh farms like there is throughout the cotton country. The tenants stay. Some of them have been there up to seven years. Ernest Ray, the foreman, has been there four years and, although he was brought up on cotton and corn, he takes a deep interest n the new crops.
Mrs. Marsh and Mrs. Cavanaugh, remembering the skepticism of their neighbors at the beginning, observe with satisfaction that those neighbors are beginning to take notice. One of them is going in for strawberries and asparagus. The cannery at Blytheville, Ark., which takes all of the asparagus crop, has been getting inquiries and has asked Mrs. Marsh to grow five. acres of asparagus roots which the cannery will supply to farmers to enable them to get a start. It is a matter of satisfaction and pride to the two women who came from town that they have never had a crop failure. Partly, Mrs. Marsh believes, this is because she restores to the soil the richness that she takes from it and partly because she knows, by a sort of intuition, when to plant. There are times when her foreman and the tenants, believing the conditions favorable for planting, chafe and complain over the delay, but not a hand is turned until Mrs. Marsh says go. Neighbors, noting the results have taken to planting when she plants. In the beautiful home that Mrs. Marsh and her daughter have created, a place of honor is occupied by the Government's certificate of meritorious service in supplying perishable foods to the forces, the only one awarded to a farm operator in Southeast Missouri. No creature is raised on the Cavanaugh-Marsh farms to be killed because the two women love everything that lives....and turnip greens. Mrs. Marsh said all right, they could count on her. She and her daughter were in the war from then on, pouring food products into the training camps, and later the prisoners-of-war camps that were established in the area, from 10 acres of watermelons. 20 acres of sweet corn, planted every two weeks for succession crops, 20 acres of sweet and Irish potatoes, five acres of mustard and turnip greens, and so on. All through the war, trucks rolled from the Cavanaugh-Marsh farms, loaded and packed with precision under the direction of the two women, on orders from the quartermasters that were specific and admitted of no variation. Mrs. Marsh found that out in the case of the sweet corn. Orders were that it was to be delivered five dozen to the bag. Mrs. Marsh, supervising the packing one day, noticed that some of the ears were not quite up to her standard of quality and to make it right she had the packers put an extra dozen in some of the bags. When a truckload was delivered at the Millington (Tenn.) camp an alert Inspector discovered that there were six dozens in some of the bags and rejected the load, which had to be taken to St. Louis and sold at a loss. AS the inspector saw it, Mrs. Marsh was trying to up the order by putting in extra dozens, presumably for the purpose of collecting extra pay. From the quartermaster's office at Memphis came a roar. Where in hell was that sweetcorn that was to be delivered at Millington that day? Mrs. Marsh told him, not too sweetly, that it had been refused. Refused for what? Because she had put an extra dozen in some of the bags to make up for defective ears. An invoice checkup showed that Mrs. Marsh had billed the Government for only five dozen to the bag and Millington had a hard time explaining why the invoice hadn't been examined before
Then along came a friend who told them about strawberries. There was a crop that would bring quick and big returns. The two women became interested. The tenants nearly passed out when they heard about it but the women went ahead. Fifteen acres were planted with the big Blakemores which, with resetting every three years, if the plants were chopped and fertilized and kept clean and mulched with straw, would bear bounteously on and on. Mrs. Marsh and Mrs. Cavanaugh read in the books that instead of the soil of a farm being of equal quality, as cotton and corn farmers took for granted, different fields might better be put to different uses, as indicated by soil analyses. That seemed reasonable enough, so samples of the soil from different fields were sent away to be analyzed. It turned out that there was a field of 200 acres that was right for peanuts. So, to the horror of the tenants and the neighbors, the two women went in for peanuts. When the war started Mrs. Marsh wanted to do something to help. She called the quartermasters at Memphis and St. Louis. This was Mrs. Margaret Marsh of Portageville, Mo., speaking. She didn't have any sons to send to war but she had a lot of land that she was sure would grow anything that was needed. What would the quartermasters like for her to grow in aid of the war effort? They mentioned watermelons, sweet corn, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, mustard greens, turnips
.....the farm in good shape and changing the system of production. The shacks that had served the tenants were torn down and in their place neat cottages of three to eight rooms were erected, 26 of them, for from then on those women were going to run those farms and they would need a lot of help. There was no difficulty getting top level tenants and laborers for the Cavanaugh-Marsh farms, for the cottages had electricity, pumps, sinks and kitchen cabinets. With each went a patch of pasture for 'a cow and hogs, a garden and a chicken lot and five acres for share-crop growing of corn to feed the stock. And, best of all, in addition to the share-cropping of about half of the acreage of each tenant, there would be day labor for him and his family in the truck fields between seasons. That is possible because the farms, as now operated, produce crops that mature in succession. First in the spring, In April, comes the asparagus crop off of 110 acres, with an additional 40 acres set out this year. Then the strawberries from 15 acres, with 100 to 200 pickers in the patch for three to four weeks, picking 150 to 350 crates a day, 24 quarts to the crate. Closely following is the har
The University of Missouri's Delta History The Delta Center was authorized by the Missouri legislature in 1957. Its location was fixed by the will of Mrs. Margaret Marsh and Mrs. Matilda Cavanaugh, mother and daughter, who willed three farms near Portageville to the Uni- versity of Missouri-Columbia for agricultural re- search. Field crop research began in 1957. Offices, greenhouses, laboratories, and shop buildings were constructed in 1959 and in the early 1960's."


John Ross of New Madrid Twp. and Jane Witherspoon of same, by James Wesley M.G. , April 10, 1893

Possibly the John Ross that # 141428748 has buied in Parma Cemetery, New Madrid County 1860-1911.

# 162254979 says "Louis was born to James Lee and Elizabeth Young and was a lifetime farmer of New Madrid County. Louis married Malinda Francis Shy in 1875 and from this marriage had 5 children, Maggie R., Albert, Louis Luther, Clarence and Allie."

Back to Family History Index.

This page is maintained and copyrighted by M.D. Monk.