NEEDHAM  LEE, SR.

This article is from the "Lee Room" in the Shelby County Museum
located at 1854 Old Courthouse, Columbiana, Alabama.
Visit the Shelby County Historical Society, Inc.   for hours of operation.


NEEDHAM LEE WAS ONE OF THE EARLY SETTLERS TO COME INTO SHELBY COUNTY ALABAMA AFTER THE LAND WAS CLAIMED BY THE UNITED STATES.  HE WAS A STRONG VIRILE MAN WHO FOUGHT IN THE INDIAN WARS.  HE HAD EIGHTEEN CHILDREN BY HIS WIFE SUSAN BAILY LEE. THOMAS OWENS IN HIS HISTORY OF ALABAMA SAID THAT NEEDHAM SR. WALKED FROM GUNTER'S LANDING ON THE TENNESSEE RIVER TO HIS PLACE OF SETTLEMENT IN SHELBY COUNTY.  THE LEE'S CATTLE AND POSSESSIONS CAME WITH THEM FROM THEIR FORMER HOME IN HAWKINS COUNTY TENNESSEE. SEVERAL OTHER FAMILIES CAME TO SHELBY COUNTY AND SETTLED IN THE SAME AREA WITH THE LEES, INCLUDING THE BAILYS, CALDWELLS, AND ACTONS.

AFTER SHELBY BECAME A COUNTY ON FEBRUARY 7, 1818 NEEDHAM LEE, SR. SERVED AS A JUSTICE OF THE SHELBY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT BEGINNING WITH THE THIRD COURT TERM (JANUARY 1819).  THE NEXT COURT SESSION IN APRIL 1819 WAS NOT HELD BECAUSE THERE WAS NO QUORUM.  IN THE JULY 1819 COURT HE AGAIN SERVED AS JUSTICE, BUT IN OCTOBER 1819 HIS NAME WAS NOT SIGNED. HE APPEARS AGAIN AS A JUSTICE IN MARCH, JUNE, AND SEPTEMBER TERMS IN 1820.  IN 1821, HE WAS A JUSTICE AT THE JANUARY AND MARCH SESSIONS. AT THE MARCH 1821 SESSIONS HE WAS APPOINTED TO A REVIEW JURY TO STUDY "THE NEAREST AND BEST WAY FOR A ROAD FROM THE SHELBY COUNTY COURTHOUSE (AT THE TOWN OF SHELBYYILLE, NOW PELHAM) TO INTERSECT A ROAD THAT MAY BE LAID OFF BY THE COUNTY OF JEFFERSON LEADING FROM ELYTON TO SHELBY COURTHOUSE."  HOWEVER, HE WAS NOT PRESENT WHEN THE REVIEW JURY MADE ITS REPORT IN OCTOBER 1821.

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