Jerry Retzloff and The Progress would like to thank Rita Lane for providing information on the Lee family history.
Claud and Uzetta Lee lived in the Cheapside community near Gonzales. They had nine children including Aubrey, Horace, and Ray Lee.
Aubrey came to Three Rivers in 1927 to play baseball for the Farm Leagues; first the Three Rivers Glass Factory and then for an oil company in Whitsett. This was a paid job at the time.
In 1933, Aubrey began delivering groceries in Three Rivers and married Lillian Shipman.
She came to Three Rivers with her parents when her dad began working in the oil boom in Calliham in the 1920s.
In 1934, Aubrey and Lillian purchased the grocery store, known as the Red and White Store.
In the 1940s, Lillian opened the Three Rivers Dress Shop and Aubrey opened the Three Rivers Locker Plant and Slaughter House.
In 1961, the Lees opened A. Lee Department Store.
In 1979, Lillian opened her last business, Lillian Lee Gifts; where she also worked as a receptionist at Patty Reagan’s beauty salon.
Lillian attended barber college at age 70 to become a barber technician. She retired in 2009 at age 95 with the distinction of having owned and worked in Three Rivers for 75 years.
Aubrey and Lillian had two children, Margaret Ruth, and Bobby. Margaret Ruth lives in Arlington and has three children. Bobby married Chester Gail Heirholzer (who has three children) and they live in Campbellton.
Aubrey died in 1988.
Lillian is 98 years old and resides in the Three Rivers Nursing Home.
Horace married Inez Arnold, also of Cheapside. They resided in that area for many years and Inez taught school in Hillside, near Cuero. In 1944, they moved to Three Rivers where Horace worked for Aubrey in his store and on his farm.
Horace also operated the Magnolia Service Station, a grocery store in Calliham, the Gulf Station at Live Oak Motors, and finally a Texaco service station.
Inez taught school in Three Rivers for 33 years and continued to substitute for many years. Inez also taught adult education courses, GED classes, for 25 years. Her career in education spanned 67 years.
Horace and Inez had two children, Ronnie and Rita. Ronnie lives near Dallas. Rita married Steve Lane and they lived near Oakville. Steve is deceased and Rita still lives there.
They have one daughter, Sherrie, who lives in George West. She married Dean Smith, who is deceased, and has one son, Stephen. Horace died in 1992 and Inez in 2010 at the age of 98.
Ray Lee moved to Three Rivers in 1945 following his service in World War II. He married Franis Tyree Wall, who moved to Three Rivers in the early 1930s when her father was transferred there as a section foreman of the Missouri Pacific Railroad.
Ray operated a gas station in Three Rivers, delivered mail on the Simmons route, worked for Aubrey and worked for Live Oak Gas Company until retirement. He later worked for the Live Oak Appraisal Board until retirement in the late 1980s.
Ray and Francis had three children, Bucky Wall, Nancy Lee, and Terry Lee. Bucky lives in San Antonio. Nancy married Bob McKinney and they live in George West and have one daughter, Melaine, who married Jeff Martin and lives on the Martin Ranch west of George West.
Terry married Francis Younts of Oakville, they live near George West and have three sons. Francis died in 1999 and Ray died in 2001.
Horace, Ray and Aubrey’s brother Merlin, also lived in Three Rivers for a time and died in the Three Rivers Nursing Home.
So, we salute a family who has been in Three Rivers for 85 years and who have contributed to the growth and prosperity of Three Rivers.