Reminiscences of Christenberry Lee
The following article introduces a series that ran in The Forest City Courier in 1938-39, of writings done near the end of the 19th century by a man named Christenberry Lee. He was born and spent much of his life in the High Shoals area. His description of the iron works around what was to become Henrietta is valuable, as are his short biographies of R.R. Haynes, Nancy Hollifield and others. You can read the full text of the reminiscences in PDF format.
From The Forest City Courier
Thursday, September 29, 1938
Courier To Print Reminiscences of Late Rev. Chris Lee
Much autobiographical, Historical and Genealogical Data in Manuscript by Methodist Minister
Beginning next week, The Courier will, over a period of about three months, publish the reminiscences of the late Christenberry Lee, beloved Methodist Minister of Rutherford County. This manuscript covers roughly the period from the year of the minister’s birth in 1823 to the date of writing in 1895.
Mr. Lee crowded much material of a historical, genealogical and autobiographical nature into the sketch. The Harrill, Bedford, Durham, Haynes, Suttle and Hollifield families are particularly well treated, much space being given to their genealogies.
Rev. Christenberry Lee was born in Rutherford County on March 31, 1823, and died on July 2, 1896, at the age of 73 years. He is buried at Providence Methodist Church, near Henrietta.
This series of reminiscences were commenced in January, 1895, while he was visiting his niece, Mrs. Mildred Biggerstaff, at Sunshine. Part of the manuscript was given to The Forest City Ledger shortly afterwards, and the articles met with such enthusiastic response he was urged to write more. The Ledger then printed a series of articles from Mr. Lee’s pen in many of its issues throughout 1895.
The original manuscript of this valuable series of reminiscences is owned by Mr. William Allhands, of Cliffside. Through the courtesy of Mr. George C. Shuford, of Cliffside, a copy of the manuscript has been furnished us for printing.
In the forward to the sketches, Mr. Lee said:
Some persons, doubtless, will say that I have written some things that I had better not, while others will say that I should have written some things that I have not. But I beg those who may be disposed to criticise to be as lenient as possible, remembering that in a work of this kind, where so many persons are mentioned and written about, that it could hardly be expected that we should say exactly what everybody would have us say, or that we should have expressed it in just the way that would suit the taste and please the fancy of everyone. I have not pleased myself, for I have written some things that I would much rather not have written. I have a two-fold object in view: first, to edify, second, to benefit. Knowledge that is not beneficial is not worth giving nor receiving. Therefore, whilst I have written history by narrating past events, I have also tried to make these narrations in such a way that they would have a good moral influence upon the reader. Now I send this forth, not with the belief, nor even the hope that everybody will be pleased, but with a conscience void of offense toward all men, for certainly I have not intended to offend anyone.
Read the entire text of the reminiscences in PDF format.
According to Clarence Griffin’s The History of Old Tryon and Rutherford County, The Forest City Ledger was established by J. C. Green on December 11, 1889. About December of 1894 Green sold the Ledger to Mr. Z. M. McKinney, who published the paper for about a year before suspending it. Mr. McKinney, apparently the original publisher of the Lee writings, died in 1902.
Don Bailey ran across the Lee material on microfilm and transcribed all 36 pages. JoAnn Huskey discovered the article above.