Biography of Adrian Lee
Oneida County, NY Biographies





Adrian Lee, whose demise occurred in Utica on the 25th of June, 1901, was long and successfully engaged in business here as a wholesale meat merchant. His birth occurred in Utica in September, 1843, his parents being Erastus and Eliza (Simpson) Lee. The father, who came to this city from Connecticut, first followed farming, but later became a horse dealer. He was also the first proprietor of the old Fifth Ward House. In young manhood he had wedded Miss Eliza Simpson, a member of one of the early families of Frankford Hill.

When Adrian Lee was yet a small boy his parents removed to a farm on Frankford Hill, where he spent his early life. Returning to Utica, he learned the butcher's trade and later conducted a market at John and Bleecker streets. Subsequently he disposed of his retail establishment and embarked in the wholesale trade exclusively. This was at a time when most dealers did their own slaughtering and our subject's business soon assumed extensive proportions. During the last fifteen years of his connection with the meat business he handled western beef almost exclusively. For ten years he was the Utica representative of Nelson Morris & Company, and later represented the Cudahy Packing Company. One year prior to his death he made another change, his establishment on Main street becoming known as the Omaha Packing Company, while that on Genesee street was known as the Mohawk Valley Packing Company. His sons, Louis, Alfred, Ambrose and Edward, were associated with him in the conduct of the business. Ambrose is now interested in the horse business.

Mr. Lee also had a creditable military record. In August, 1862, he enlisted as a private of the One Hundredth and Fifty second New York Volunteer Infantry and was mustered in on the 13th of the following month for three years' service, joining Company K. After participating in a number of hotly contested engagements and winning the stripes of second lieutenant, he was taken prisoner while in action near Petersburg, on the 22d of June, 1864, and was coufined in the following rebel prisons: Libby, June 24 to June 29; prisoners' stockade at Macon, Georgia, July 9 to August 1; prisoners' stockade at Savannah, Georgia, August 2 to September 13; Charleston jail yard, September 13 to October 6; asylum prison yard at Columbia, South Carolina, October 6, 1864, to February 10, 1865; Charlotte, North Carolina, February 11 to February 21; prisoners' stockade at Raleigh, North Carolina, February 22 to Febrary 27. He was then paroled, passing through the lines near Wilmington, North Carolina, on the 1st of March. On the 26th of April he was exchanged and on the 7th of May, 1865, reported for duty at regimental headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. After the cessation of hostilities he was mustered out with the rank of first lieutenant on the 13th of July, 1865, at Munson's Hill.

On the 24th of December, 1867, Mr. Lee was united in marriage to Miss Cornelia Brace, a daughter of Benjamin and Helen (Miller) Brace, both of whom were representatives of early families of Oneida county. Benjamin Brace resided on what was known as Sleighton's bush road and followed both farming and carpentering.

In politics Mr. Lee was a stalwart democrat. He served as a member of the board of supervisors for three terms and acted as one of the charity commissioners of Utica for two terms. in 1894 he was the candidate of his party for sheriff against Van R. Weaver, making a very commendable showing at the polls. He was a valued member of Bacon Post, No. 53, G. A. R., thñs maintaining pleasant relations with his old army comrades. He was a gentleman of genial, jovial disposition and drove about the city with horse and carriage in the discharge of his business duties. As the circle of his friends was almost coextensive with the circle of his acquaintances, his death was the occasion of deep and sincere regret throughout Utica.

From:
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1912


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