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Category Archives: LEE

Not My Frank Lee – Take 2

In the midst of potty training & the holidays, I finally got a little piece of exciting mail. I received a letter from the Mayes County (OK) Genealogy Society yesterday. A copy of the following obit & a sticky note saying they “finally got the obit”. So here reads the blurry obit…
“Frank Lee, School Land Donor, Die; Funeral Thursday
(there is no date… nice of them huh? but math says it in 1976’ish)
Frank Lee, 81, pioneer resident of Lee Square community, eleven miles
southeast of Nowata ,died Monday at 4:00 p.m. after an extended illness.
Mr. Lee came from Indian Territory in 1895 from Springfield, MO.
He was well known throughout this area, and donated the acre of land
for the building of Lee Square school, which also served as a community center
for many year. He was active in and enjoyed the local singing conventions,
many of which were held at Lee Square.
Funeral services will be conducted Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Benjamin Funeral Home,
with Rev. Harvey Hardin, pastor of First Christian Church in Chelsea, officiating.
Interment will be in the Ball Cemetery.
Survivors include the wife, Mrs. Ella Lee, of the home, three sons,
Tony Lee, Springfield, MO, Florance Lee, Beneca, MO, and Frank Lee, Bartlesville;
five daughters, Mrs. Jim McMatin, Cody’s Bluff, Mrs. Paul Milam, Bartlesville,
Mrs. F. C. Myers, MIdland, TX, Mrs. T.O. Mason, Manhattan, KS, and Mrs. Edna Grant, Wollard, MO;
one sister, Mrs. J.C. Weaver, San Gabriel, CA, and one half-brother, Guy Murray.
Casket bearers include Louis Nitters [?], Lonnie Allison, Mayden Marney,
Georger Frauenberger, Bob Cox, and Lon Myers.”
Well, I can say this is NOT our Frank Lee. Good news is that this little piece of paper saves me a lot of endless unproductive research. The above Frank Lee, buried at Ball Cemetery with his first wife Maude P[auline] Lee. The above Frank has a son Frank of Bartlesville, OK in 1976’ish who was born 1922,… our Frank Lee was born 1900 & was definitely not living in Bartlesville, OK in 1976’ish. Our times lines don’t match up at all!
The 1895 date out of “Indian Territory” jumped out at me, but they came from Springfield, MO. That isn’t what we have known to this date.
The truth is that our Neuhaus family connection moved from Milwaukee, WI to Chicago, IL, at the same time that their mysterious “daughter” would have been pregnant with our Frank Lee b. 1900. They would have had to have met in Milwaukee or Chicago before any move to OK.
My research now turns to the old-fashioned way of requesting death records from the Cook County Clerk. Both daughters & the wife of Emil Neuhaus died before him. There has to be a record of something somewhere… and a lot of Chicago papers to search. I also need to track down the correct marriage for our Herman Neuhaus & see if there is any living cousins that can give us a helpful hint :)
I am going to work this Lee year to the very end :D

3rd Neuhaus Child Review

I’ve been back & forth on whether or not there’s indeed a third Neuhaus child & if indeed it was a female. So here’s my process:

(As noted by a fellow genealogist over at “Are My Roots Showing?” … I might be less in need of this blog if I kept research notes… LOL!)


On the 1895 Wisconsin State Census, for Milwaukee, Emil Neuhaus is clearly listed as having a total of 5 family members: 3 white females & 2 white males…all native born in the US.

We clearly know their nativity is false due to further censuses stating immigration in 1885, all listed as German born on each consecutive one… And we’ve located his naturalization record also stating he was an immigrant on “1-20-1885″…

Knowing he’s a household of 5, not 4… Look at this immigration manifest again:

Who is the eldest daughter? Who!?

If you look super closely, the numbers are listed consecutively 1…2…3…4…. Clara, Henricks, Marie, & Herman.

Also the manifest is September 1884. That wasn’t a red flag for me since the boat arrived at New York, & then they made their way to Wisconsin, which probably took months…add holidays & winter weather,… & they probably didn’t think they were truly here, as “arrived” until they reached their final destination.

However, I wasted some quality hours trying to locate another possible manifest match, wondering if I jumped too quickly (I hate second questing myself)…which nothing added up like this one. (Again, yet another point clearly made if I’d only kept research notes!)

But only 4 vs. 5 caught my eye… Possibilities?

1- Clara immigrated pregnant… Had child in US… Maybe also aiding in the months it took to travel to Wisconsin… (which would make this child a very young match for our Frank Lee)…about 15-16 yoa.

2 – The extra child was a “grandchild”, a “niece”, or a “sister”….

Well, I went back to the 1900 census to see what I might have forgotten or overlooked… Apparently Clara is listed as having 3 children in which 3 are living. However, as you can see below, only the son is living at home. Where are both the girls then in 1900?

A German Printer in Chicago, IL

So we can clearly & reasonably deduct that there is indeed a third Neuhaus child & SHE is female. We can make a safe assumption she’s roughly 15-16 years of age at time of Frank Herbert Lee’s birth in 1900. We will refer to her as “Gladys” Neuhaus as listed on Frank Herbert’s marriage record in 1920.

Now to locate Gladys Neuhaus…& her untold short story…

Frank Elwin Elner Lee – Special Spotlight

Frank Elwin Elner Lee is ABSOLUTELY no relation to my Lee line, … Before everyone gets upset…

I found this Frank E. Lee amidst a rather large broad search while of course looking for our mysterious long lost Frank Lee. When I read his 1930 census, I thought it was a great story to highlight & share, though I still have little to no details of his life.

When I found a 1930 census where he was a “partner” to an Italian dude, Domenico Zavaglia, in Alaska … Well naturally I had to take a few extra looks. Instantly in my head, “A registered gay?! They actually had it put on the census?! No… I’ve got to be looking at this wrong.. Can you imagine gay in 1930?!.” And a million other questions took over…

Clearly they weren’t business partners of any obvious note. Domenico was a Blacksmith who owned his own shop, and Frank was a Ferryman who owned his own ferry. Older in age, neither married at this current time… But this above 1930 census lists Frank as “D” for divorced. So I had to look deeper… So I did…

WWII draft registration tells us he was born 11 September 1877 in Merrill, Wisconsin. He has a relative named John P. Lee who is close enough to always know where he is, who lives in Arlington, Washington. He is 5’9.5″ and 162 lbs, blue eyes, gray hair, with a dark complexion for a white man. He has no disabilities & no reason not to serve in 1942.

Found a very sparse not well sourced family tree online at (thanks costellotrisha), that states his parents were Edward Lee & Alameda Bartlett.

In 1920 he is listed as single, as in never married at age 42. So with the above information this implies that if he did indeed marry and divorce it was between 1920-1930, before the 1930 census, and before his WWII Draft registration card was created. in 1920, he was living in Cook Inlet, (later known as Talkeetna), Alaska. He is a lodger at the home of another Italian, Antonia Cascutti, along with various other lodgers. The census makes it appear to be a camp town… an area that was erected in tents, shanties, and maybe a few good buildings with many foreign lodgers… right before it becomes an “official” town.

1918 WWI Draft Registration Card clearly states his is a tall, slender, blue eyed, brown hair individual. However, this time his middle name is “Elner” and his nearest relative is “Edwin” P. Lee, not “John”… but he’s in the right place with the right job…ferryman!

WWI Draft Registration Card

After this point, it becomes pure speculation as to his life between his parents & the time he lands in Alaska. After much research I can’t place him any where solid… except a possible listing in 1910 in the Seattle area, King Co., Washington… listed with John & Edward Lee all born in the US, with parents born in the US. They were laborers at the logging camp. However, John & Edward aren’t listed on the 1880 Census with the family since they were both younger, and without the immediate 1890 census we can only speculate who they are. the 1900 census implies that the 1910 Frank Lee in Seattle area is not the same as Frank Edwin Elner Lee, since the 1900 Frank E Lee was born Dec. 1876 in WI, both parents born in WI, and a locomotive foreman. He is however, still single at the age of 23 in 1900.

With the help of google & wikipedia I learned of my own ignorance on the LGBT (lesbian gay bisexual transgender) movement, and I learned that in the early 1900’s there was the first defense for gays in the US. By the 1920’s-1930’s openly gay was acceptable in the culture with “Pansy Clubs”, magazines, films, and other forms of entertainments. However this only lasted until 1935. This kind of acceptance wasn’t revitalized until the 1960’s-1970’s.

I can only imagine how hard it was for a man living in these times…. Can you imagine losing more of your freedoms after spending most of your life in a semi-free to be gay America? I have no idea if it was a “gay” marriage that Frank Elwin Elner Lee might have taken part in between 1920-1930, but I can say it was being tried & tested as much as interracial marriage was during that time.. something today’s gay issues never seem to recall.

(Disclaimer: I am not a gay marriage supporter, but as a Christian, a historian, a genealogist, a mother, a sister, a friend… I still respect & love my fellow neighbors & family no matter their choices in life as Christ does. Gay doesn’t make a man/woman an alien, an “object”, or remove them from humanity.)

USS Lansdale & The Lee Brothers

Clarence Herbert (C.H.) & Frank Lee, sons of Frank Herbert & Mardell (Beamer) Lee, both joined the Navy just in time for World War II.

After finding many references to their military careers in the Mansfield News (Ohio), I was curious what ship they served on together….

I discovered that it was the USS Lansdale. C.H. had been a crew member of the Lansdale since the date of commissioning, as according to many muster roll lists on I found a later muster list showing them both aboard the USS Lansdale on 31 December 1941:

Clarence H. & Frank R. Lee crewmen of the USS Lansdale 31 Dec 1941

Later I found a reference to them both still aboard the USS Lansdale, by the nature of their muster rolls found at, in a clipping from the Mansfield News Journal for the marriage of C.H. Lee, 7 August 1942 :)

USS Lansdale, DD-426 (as pictured below) :

USS Lansdale (DD-426) off the New York Navy Yard, 22 October 1943. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo #: NH 107272.

Photo of USS Lansdale found in C.H.'s stuff

As according the many cited sources & papers, the USS Lansdale was indeed in yard for a period of time between escorts in 1943 in which Mr. Burkett went to New York to visit her son, C.H. Lee who remained still aboard the USS Lansdale…

(NOTE: the informant wasn’t correct on “his” assumption of last names due to Mrs. Burkett’s second marriage… but other clippings clarify it is indeed the correct connection based on her residence location.) 

There was a brief time when they were both enlisted in which they could still serve together, before the loss of the Sullivan brothers… 5 brothers aboard the same vessel that was sunk in 1942. The loss of all five brothers on one ship moved the Navy from allowing brothers to serve on the same vessel again. Due to these new rules, Frank & C.H. were split up. Since C.H. was a “plank owner”, he remained with the USS Lansdale while Frank was reassigned.

Which explains why “Mrs. Carl Burkett” only went to see one son in 1943 & not both when the USS Lansdale was pulled into New York’s port.

C.H. remained aboard the USS Lansdale until late 1943, just before it was sank in 1944 by German planes. One family story holds a drunk night in a bar where he swears he was on it when it sank,… who knows. His muster rolls found on show him reassigned to the USS Anteaus in August 1943, & then the USS DeLong in late 1943 and 1944, and the USS Kline in 1944-1946.

The Lee Brickwall Update

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So after months of research & return of many “checks”, it boils down to this:

1. I still know nothing of the Herbert Frank Lee said to be born about 1875 in Milwaukee, WI; the father of Frank Herbert Lee born 22 September 1900 in Pryor Creek, OK.

2. I was able to locate the Neuhaus family & verify the spelling of their name. However, one daughter remains “unknown” & still the very possible mysterious “wife of Herbert Frank Lee”.

3. However, after much research on dates & exact location at the exact dates, I do believe that if indeed the family story is true (& so far has been able to prove most of it) then Herbert Frank Lee & “Mysterious” Neuhaus did indeed meet in Milwaukee, WI, before 1900! There are many Lees in the area  & I can locate the Neuhaus family in Milwaukee from their immigration until their move to Chicago in 1899.

But the question that remains, besides who is Herbert Frank Lee & “mysterious” Neuhaus wife, but why did they go to Pryor Creek, OK, prior to statehood in 1907 & not with the Neuhaus family into Chicago if she was pregnant? Was it the land rush? Was he Cherokee, as the family story holds?

I did however, get this great little letter that said that though she found nothing in Pryor, OK, for the Frank Lee I requested, she found these individuals:

“There is a Frank Lee buried in Nowata Co., OK, at the Ball Cemetery. His dates are 1868-1950. This is probably not your Frank. He is buried next to Maud Pauline Lee 1874-1937. There are three other Lee’s in that same cemetery, Bert S. Lee 1891-?, Bonnie Lee 1898-1970, and Larry Allen Lee (stillborn in 1942). I found several references to the Neuhaus family in Chicago.”

Very interesting! There is no Lees that we are aware of in our family that go by the names aforementioned. However, the references to the Neuhaus family in Chicago has peaked my interests.  What do you think?

1950 Lee “Homecoming”

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I found this of the Mansfield, OH Newspaper this evening. It’s a great clipping putting together a whole circle of the Lee family: Clarence (C.H.), his daughter Diane,  his mother “Mrs. Carl Burkett”, his brother Frank (Raymond) & his father Frank (Herbert) Lee.

Article reads (including the bad grammatical errors & wrong middle initial): 

“Homecoming –

  There’s been a lot of reminiscing done in several Mansfield homes recently with the return of one member of family and his daughter for a visit here. Clarence Lee and his daughter, Diana, of Somerville, Mass, are visiting at the home of Lee’s mother, Mrs. Carl Burkett, 321 East First St, and his brother, Frank Lee, and family of 971 Burger Ave. Lee’s visit here marked the first time he and his brother Frank, had seen each other in five and a half years, since both men spend six years, in the Navy. The family circle was completed when Frank E Lee, of Toledo them men’s father, visited both of them here. Lee and his daughter also have been visiting relative and friends in Willard.” 

That’s Not My Frank Lee

After much rereading of the cover letter & reading between the lines of the information I received the other day, I opted to search out the Frank Lee that was a clerk in the Milwaukee City Directory.

It turns out this Frank Lee was born about 1877 in Connecticut. He also claims his parents were born in the same state. In the Wisconsin State Census in 1905, Frank Lee is single as well. Not widowed or divorced, but single. So this Frank Lee is not my Frank Lee.

1900 Federal Census in Mount Pleasant Racine, WI, I also found a Herbert Lee, also single, born September 1874 in WI, his parents were both listed as born in England. No occupation listed, nor any other clues. This isn’t my Frank Lee either!

I find a Frank & Clara A Lee in Portage, Columbia, Wisconsin in the 1900 Federal Census. He as born in WI, father born in Germany, & mother born in England. Clara was born in WI, both parents were born in Germany. Things seem to be adding up… they have two children, daughters, Mrytle & Ethel. Things were looking promising until the 1910 & 1920 Federal Censuses where they never moved from Columbia County & there is never a son born to them :( So this is not my Frank Lee either!

How & why would my Frank Lee manage to slip off the grid of any paper trail unless he was “native american” as the family history claims? (Open to any suggestions!) 

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