of Lysander Gee
Laurence Gee writes: [I got this copy from Una Jean West Peterson, a descendant of Rozelia. I do not know the publication information and am attempting to find this to complete the documentation.]
LYSANDER GEE, Deceased. For almost half a century one of the strongest and most widely influential men in Tooele County was the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this article; a man versed in the intricacies of the law, widely read, a scholar and a thinker, possessing in a large degree those qualities of mind and heart necessary to the man who would step out and take the initiative in the work of redeeming the arid land of this territory. While his broad intellect and wide knowledge of men and affairs placed him far above the ordinary walks of life; yet he was by nature one of the simplest and kindest of souls and made his friends among all kinds and conditions of people, retaining the confidence and respect of all who knew him through his long and interesting career.
Mr. Gee was born in Austinburg, Ashtabula County. Ohio, September 1, 1818, and was the son of Salmo and Sarah Watson (Crane) Gee, who reared a family of five sons and five daughters, our subject being the third son. The Gee family originally came from England, the first member of the family to come to America being William Gee, who came to this country from London and settled in Connecticut. Some of his descendents participated in the Revolutionary War. The grandfather of our subject, Zopher Gee, was born in Ohio, and died in that State in 1830. [Webmaster correction: Zopher was born in Lyme, New London, Connecticut on 28 Aug 1763 and died in Ohio on 14 Aug 1829.]
Lysander Gee was reared on his father's farm in Ashtabula County, obtaining such education as the schools of those days afforded, and when a young man learned the trades of plastering and carpentering. In 1832, when he was a lad of fourteen years, the family became converts to the Mormon religion, and from then to the time of his death our subject was a most faithful and devoted member of that faith, believing firmly in all the tenets of the Church, and following its teachings closely. For some time before coming to Utah, he worked as ship carpenter on the Mississippi river, and in 1849 was able to bring his family, consisting of his wife and two children, across the plains to Utah. He had participated in many of the trials and hardships endured by the Saints in the early days and at the time of the assassination of the Prophet Joseph Smith and; his brother Hyrum, was absent on a mission in the State of Iowa. He made the trip to Salt Lake City in the company under President George A. Smith, and for the succeeding six years that city became his home. He followed his trade as a carpenter and assisted to build many of the early buildings in Salt Lake. In 1855 he moved his family to Tooele, which was his permanent home up to the time of his death, and became one of the influential men of that place, assisting to colonize the town, and took a leading part in public affairs. At various times during a period of thirty years he acted in the capacity of Prosecuting Attorney, was Justice of the Peace and held other minor positions of honor and trust. During the intervals when not in public office he followed the law as a profession, and became well known throughout the Territory, more especially in his own county, and being an eloquent and forceful speaker, well versed in the history of the Mormon Church, was often called upon to make addresses upon that and kindred subjects, commanding the closest attention of his hearers.
In the Church he held many offices. He was ordained an Elder in Nauvoo on April 6, 1840, by Elders William Smith and John Page, two of the Twelve Apostles, and in 1845, in that same place, was set apart as one of the Presidents of the Thirty-first Quorum of Seventies, by President Joseph Young. He was ordained a High Priest April 2, 1894, and set apart as a member of the High Priests' Quorum of Tooele Stake of Zion and continued in that position up to the time of his death.
Mr. Gee was three times married. His first wife, Amanda M. Sagers, died in Saint Louis, leaving one son, Orlando L. The second wife was Theresa Bowley, daughter of John and Polly Bowley. [The second] Mrs. Gee was born in Carthage, [Franklin] County, Maine, October 7, 1829, and came of a sturdy, patriotic New England family. She was a woman of unusual sweetness and strength of character, and her portrait in this work will be recognized by many who knew and loved her in life. She became the mother of eleven children: Rozelia, wife of Robert McGavin; Eudora, deceased; Audeca, wife of Uriah H. Bower; Electa widow of Erin Bates; Newton, deceased; Austin; George; Louisa; Sarah, wife of Robert Skelton; and Almon, deceased. Mrs.Gee died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Skelton, on May 9, 1902, at the age of seventy-two years, her death being the result of an accident. Our subject married his third wife, Mary Etta [Maryette] Rowe, in Salt Lake City, in 1850. She bore him nine children. Her death occurred in Tooele City in 1866.
The chief aim of Mr. Gee was the making of the world a better place for his having lived in it, and believing firmly that the gospel of Mormonism was the true one, he lost no opportunity to teach and preach its doctrines wherever he might be, even to the end, although he was for some time a great sufferer from cancer of the throat. During the fiercely waged battle against the ravages of the terrible disease he showed a most beautiful spirit, bowing submissively to the inevitable as the will of his Master, and without murmur or complaint awaited the end which came on June 27, 1894. A large concourse of sorrowing relatives and friends followed the remains to the cemetery, and the citizens of this county still fondly cherish the memory of one of the strongest men the Territory ever knew.