History and images have been compiled from various sources including, among others, the 1987 National Register of Historic Places, Stack & Beasley's 1902 Sketches of Monroe and Union County, Union County Public Library (Patricia Poland, Genealogy & Local History Librarian), the Heritage Room Photo Collection, North Carolina Map Collection, Rootsweb - An Ancestry.com Community and Ancestry.com family histories.

James H. Lee House circa 1912

James Henry Lee House - 501 S. Church Street -1912-1914

"Located in the center of a corner lot dotted with large oak trees, the J. H. Lee House is the most accomplished Monroe example of the Classical Revival style. Lee moved to Monroe from Marshville in 1892, opening a drug store on Lafayette Street (now Main). In 1902 he and his brother George S. Lee erected a large brick store at the corner of Main and Franklin Streets where they operated a dry goods store known as Lee and Lee. J.H. Lee was also president of both the First National Bank of Monroe and the Bank of Marshville, director of the Monroe Telephone Company, and one of the organizers of the Icemorlee Cotton Mills.

"Following his second marriage, to Annie Williams, in 1908, Lee had the former Methodist Parsonage on this corner moved to an adjoining lot (later demolished) and a new residence designed by Wheeler & Stern of Charlotte. The house was constructed in 1912-1914 under the supervision of master carpenter William Ervin Wallace.

"The central mass of the house is a two-story frame cube, three bays on a side, with a hipped slate roof. Dominating the front elevation is a full-height portico with pairs of colossal fluted Ionic columns. The ceiling of this portico has deep coffering, while the tympanum is sheathed in German siding and has a large lunette. Both the portico and the main cornice of the building have deep eaves filled with mutules. The soffits behind these mutules, however, are slotted for attic ventilation. Midway down the north and south elevations are two-story, three-sided bays with pedimented gables detailed like that of the front portico. A one-story porch with widely-spaced Ionic columns runs from one side bay to the other across the front of the house behind the main portico columns.

"On the north elevation this porch terminates in a one-story portico, while on the south side it extends into a porte cochere. Underneath the front portico, a balustraded deck is located on the roof of this porch. On both levels, the front entrances have large central doors flanked by sidelights and transoms with leaded stained glass panes. There are also stained glass transoms on the flanking front windows and on the side bays. The wall under the portico is flushboarded. The roof is pierced by prominent pressed brick chimneys with corbelled caps. In the interior, the house has a central hall plan, and the major rooms have sophisticated Classical Revival, Colonial Revival and craftsman-influenced mantels and woodwork." NR 1988

Architect Oliver Duke Wheeler; Wheeler was also architect for the Joffre Hotel and the Belk store in Charlotte.
Lee-McLarty Cemetery - Photo by Patricia Poland

James Henry “Jim” Lee (1859-1929) was born in Chesterfield, SC to Thomas Newton Lee (1831-1900) and Rebecca Susanna Collins 1837-1902).

Jim’s first marriage, 9 Jan 1891, was to Nora Caroline Allen (1862-1905), daughter of George A. Allen and Mary E. Allen. Children born to Nora: James Allen Lee (1892-1967), Annie Lee (1894-1978), Thomas Newton Lee (1898-1931), Clarence H. (1901-1975) and Nora Lee (1903-1980).

Lee’s second marriage was to Annie Williams (1873-1942) 29 Dec 1908. Annie was the daughter of John T. Coplan Williams and Jennett Miriam Jerome of Monroe. Children born to Annie: John Harrison “Harry” Lee (1909-1977), Richard J. “Dick” Lee (1913-1928) died from a broken neck after being struck by a train, and Francis Brown Lee (1918-2002). Many were buried in Lee-McLarty Cemetery, located near Lake Lee off Hwy 601 South in Monroe.

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