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Below is a family biography included in History of Lee County, Iowa published by Western Historical Company in 1879.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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ATLEE, JOHN C., native of Maryland, was born on the 22d day of March, 1816, the son of Samuel J. and Martha Atlee; several years prior to his birth, his parents had removed from Lancaster Co., Penn.; upon the death of his mother, which occurred when he was only a few weeks old, he was left to the care of his grandmother, who lived at the old home of his parents in Pennsylvania; there he remained until he attained his 12th year; and after the death of his grandmother, he lived first with his uncle, Henry Stickler, and afterward with an older brother, William A. Atlee; at the age of 16, he was apprenticed to his brother, Jacob C. Atlee, to learn the carpenter’s trade; he continued thus employed during the next two years, and at the expiration of that time, his brother retiring from business, he went to Philadelphia to finish his trade; soon afterward, in 1835, he went to New York, and there worked one year at his trade; in 1836, he went by sea to Mobile, Alabama, and thence by Lake Pontchartrain to New Orleans; he did not like the South, however as he had anticipated, and leaving New Orleans, he went up the Mississippi to St. Louis, and finally settled for a short time at Quincy, Ill.; in 1837, he spent a few months at Fort Madison, and was so thoroughly pleased with the place that he determined to make it his future home. Going to Quincy, he was there married to Miss Emeline S. Brooks, and immediately returning to Fort Madison, established himself at his trade, and continued it with good success for six years; having accumulated from his hard-earned savings a sufficient capital, he purchased a farm within a few miles of town, and for several years employed himself in agricultural pursuits; returning to Fort Madison in 1852, he formed a co-partnership with his brother, Isaac R. Atlee, and during the next two years carried on a successful lumber trade; extending his operations in 1854, he, in company with Nathaniel Bennet, built the first steam saw-mill that was erected at Fort Madison, and was doing a very prosperous business until 1856 and 1857, when they became somewhat involved and embarrassed in the financial crisis that swept over the country during those years; however, by close attention to business, and a course of economy and strict integrity, they avoided the serious consequences which befell many business men; Mr. Atlee afterward purchased the interest of his partner, and associated with himself, his son Samuel, and from that time until the present, the business has been conducted under the firm name of S. & J. C. Atlee; the business tact, cool judgment and clear foresight of Mr. Atlee are best attested by the growth of his business; the mill, in all its appointments, is inferior to none on the Mississippi River; at the time when the son became associated in the business, it was producing about 15,000 feet of lumber per day; at the present time the mill has a capacity of 55,000 feet of lumber per day, and of 20,000,000 of shingles and 4,000,000 of lath per year, and employs 150 men. In local enterprise, Mr. Atlee has been somewhat active, and heartily co-operates in all matters pertaining to the growth and prosperity of his city; personally and socially, he is a man of excellent qualities, and throughout his life has maintained an adherence to those principles of honor and fair dealing that have secured to him the confidence and esteem of all with whom he has had to do; he has accumulated a handsome fortune, and lives in the enjoyment of a happy home; he has four children — Samuel J., (mentioned above), William H., (who is book-keeper for the firm), Martha and Maggie.

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This family biography is one of 668 biographies included in The History of Lee County, Iowa published in 1879.  For the complete description, click here: Lee County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Lee County, Iowa family biographies: Lee County, Iowa Biographies

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