Milburn Gin and Machine Co. 1890

A recent find from old family papers given to me by Buzzy Barnett who along with his wife looked after the daughter of G Peters Lee, Rowena (Ena) Lee until her passing. Milburn Gin and Machine Co. is listed in the Dow 1890 Memphis City Directory. Thank you Buzzy. I look forward to adding more Lee Line history from this massive collection of family papers.

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Bohlen-Huse Machine and Lake Ice Co. June 30, 1891 invoice

235 pounds of ice for Mrs. Kerns icebox cost $2.35. Lake Ice referred to a time before the then modern steam powered equipment was installed and northern lake ice was shipped by barge to Memphis. Later the name was changed to Bohlen-Huse Ice and Coal Company with coal shipped by barge from northern coal mines. In addition to selling artificial ice and coal, the company sold lithia water which was described as having a calming effect on the consumer. Some time in the later 1890’s, my great grandfather, James Lee Jr., started an ice war when he lowered the price of 100 pounds of ice from $.10 to $.05.

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Spoons from steamers W Cummins (re-stamped steamer Shiloh, Kate Adams, Lee Line and the Eagle Packet Company Bald Eagle

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Memphis Queen Line relic from friend Ed Provine’s collection. Definitely a man cave collectible since wives are not fond of men spitting in their company. Pictures of several Lee Line boats show spittoons’ on the passenger decks for proper gentlemen to dispose of chewing tobacco or snuff in the correct places.

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A member of the mosquito fleet. The Lee Line owned several small sternwheel boats that were able to navigate shallow water tributaries of the Mississippi River. These very small boats served as feeder boats bringing lumber and cotton as well as deliver supplies and people inland. This picture is another from my friend Ed Provine.

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KATE ADAMS friendly competitor of the Lee Line

These pictures are from the collection of my friend and fellow steamboat collector Ed Provine.

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Lee Line silver sugar dish

Thank you Lola Culler for sharing these pictures of your Lee Line sugar dish.

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Stylish Ladies on Lee Line steamer Princess day excursion 1918 or 1919


This picture is of my grandmother on the right and the child is my grandfather. The Princess originally named the HW BURTOFF and the the JOHN LEE before being turned into the PRINCESS which was an excursion boat once packet boats business was taken over by rail roads.

My grandmother is second from the right.two of the young women were cousins of my grandmother. This picture was taken in 1919.
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Lee Line Serving Dishes

Justin B., thank you for sending these pictures of Lee Line serving dishes. These silver plated dishes were made by Reed and Barton. Last year I was able to purchase an identical creamer pitcher that had lost just about all its silver plating. When my grandfather was asked how many boats the Lee Line operated, he would reply “We have more boats under the water than on the water.” I am always excited to see new\old Lee Line items turn up as most of the items such as these reside under the water.

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SADIE LEE sunk at Dennis Landing Mississippi Nov. 15, 1912

Way’s Packet Directory recorded the SADIE hit a snag at Dennis Landing. Of interest is the stern sign SADIE LEE of NEW YORK. Sometime after the death of Capt. James Lee Jr., (Feb 1905) the Lee Line reincorporated in New Jersey. I suspect a tax dispute over the value of the assets of the company between the executors of his estate and the state of Tennessee led to the Lee Line reincorporating as a New Jersey corporation. Additionally, my great aunt Rowena Teagle’s husband Walter who was the chairman of Standard Oil of New Jersey became the President of the Lee Line. Walter Evans Edge the wife of Lady Lee Philips Edge became the Vice President. Lady Lee Philips Edge was the daughter of my great aunt Sara Lee who married Capt. Sam Philips in 1905. Walter Edge was a newspaper publisher, governor of New Jersey and an ambassador to France. Way’s Packet Directory records Sadie Lee as the daughter of Capt. James Lee Jr. Actually Sadie Ardinger Lee was the daughter of James Lee Jr.’s son James Lee III and Capt. James Lee Jr.’s law partner Hiram Warinner and Bodien Warinner. Capt. Tippits History of the Lee Line seems to be missing pages for 1912.

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