By Barbara Emery Moseley
Click here for the full series on the vanished Polly Lee Cemetery and the Peeler and Lee families.
In the annual accounting of the Polly Lee Cemetery Fund in a Town Report of the 1920s, the words read “Perpetual care for Eli Lee and Marshall Lee.”
Eli Lee built his house on the hill at the end of West Road, about where the Merritt Farm is today. He remarked that only three letters were needed to spell his full name. He married Rebecca Stebbins, and their son Marshall was one of a large, talented family.
Eli lived through the administrations of all the presidents from George Washington to Chester Arthur, and first voted at the presidential election of 1808, when Madison was elected. He voted at every following election, the last being in 1880, when he was the first to deposit his vote in the ballot box.
Although never seeking office, he was often chosen to fill the town positions of lister, selectman, and justice of the peace. From 1830 to 1848, he was sent to the Legislature, until he declined the nomination, saying others were more worthy to fill it.
It would seem that the Polly Lee cemetery would have been filled with the large families of the Peelers and Lees. It appears that the “overflow” of Lees became buried in the Tyler Cemetery on Pond Road, at some point.
You will hear more about one member of the talented family; you have met him before.