Death of An Old Denaby Octogenarian – A Life Spent In The Soil.

January 1908

Mexborough and Swinton Times January 11th, 1908

Death of An Old Denaby Octogenarian.
A Life Spent In The Soil.

He possessed no ambition for high honour in life, but simply to live a purely rural, sober, honest, upright life. Such was the aim of Geergo Lee, and it would be difficult to find one who had carried out his desire in a more perfect manner. George, after a comparatively short illness, succumbed on Tuesday morning at the top house of the Topfold Cottages at Old Denaby, where he has lived for the past 45 years.

It was only quite recently that it was necessary to seek the advice of a doctor—advice that George had never once required since his birth until just of late. Deceased’s plain and quiet life had stood him in good stead, he having celebrated his 83rd birthday last year. His demise came rather more suddenly than expected, for on. Monday morning, the day previous to his death, he was out of doors.

He was a born farm hand, first seeing light at Barnboro’ in. 1824, being the son of old James Lee, who was also a farmer. As soon as ever he reached the working age he took to his father’s occupation, and for several years went as hired farm servant to various farmers in the surrounding district.

He came to Hooton Roberts, and was employed by the late Luke Storey as a horsekeeper. He married Miss Harrop, who came from Balby. He continued in the employ of Mr. Storey for about ten years, and then he ‘migrated to Old Denaby in the year 1854, and with his wife lived at what at that time was known as the Old Hall, but is now known as Rose Cottage.

He then continued an unchecked career at the Manor Farm, and while at that place had the pleasure, of working under four masters. When he went there the late Mr. Spatton occupied the farm, and George worked as the cowman and yard man. In 1873 Mr. Spatton left the farm, and he was followed by Mr. Spooner, who also rented the Low Farm, now known as Ivy House Farm.

Deceased continued to live and work comfortably under his new master and never wished to seek a more lucrative position, for all the time he was employed at the Manor Farm he still held the position of cowman and yard man. Mr. Spooner gave up the farm in 1832, and Mr. F. Elliott, now of Warmsworth, took tlhe farm. It is evident that George was a man useful in his capacity, and one not to be allowed to go, for Mr. Elliott had also the pleasure of superintending his work until he ultimately removed, in 1893.

Of course, George was now getting on in years, being nearly 70 years of age, but he was still able to work and keep himself, and continued to work under the new tenant, Mr. Robinson who left the Manor Farm about ten years ago. Then George left-the Farm, after having served faithfully at one place for 44 years. He must have seen the many and varied changes take place in the surrounding district, for his eldest eon can easily remember Mexboro’ being practically a rural hamlet

Although he did not work continuously after leaving the Farm, he was always willing to do’ what he could, and many times has done odd jobs for the present Mr. Storey, of Hooton Roberts.              In fact, to show his willingness, at the back end of last year, he endeavoured to gather in the produce of his garden. It was the potato season, and deceased successfully unearthed his “pomme de terres,” but, to his great annoyance he was unable to pick them ‘ up and had therefore to return home much dissatisfied.

George was a healthy individual, as has been stated, and many times, when he and his eldest son were together they were often taken to be brothers. He evidently did not believe in railway travelling, for the farthest journey he appears to have gone was Barnsley, there to attend the funeral of his sister. He has sometimes travelled by rail—very seldom—to Doncaster. Rotherham, and once to Sheffield. He believed in “Shanks’ pony” as the safest and cheapest mode of travelling, and many times of late years has he walked to Balby and back.

Of course, from the above it will be apparent through his 83 years of existence he has never seen the sea, and has never had a desire to see it. He never indulged in smoking, but was a temperate consumer of beer.

One of his oldest and closest friends, John Earnshaw, preceded him about two years ago, at the age of 84 years, the two old “rival stages,” having live side-by-side for a number of years. Deceased wife preceded him some 23 years ago.

There were nine children of the marriage, three of whom are dead (two daughters and a son), therefore he leaves four sons and two daughters to mourn their loss.

There are 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

The funeral takes place today (Friday) at the Mexborough cemetery