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Minnie Mary Lee Collier
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Birth: Jul. 28, 1881
Jolon
Monterey County
California, USA
Death: Oct. 11, 1955
Downey
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Biographical Sketch of John Crockett and Minnie Mary Lee Collier

John Crockett Collier, the fourth son of James Ervin and Mary Alice Mills Collier, was born March 29, 1876, at Beaverhead, Jefferson County, Montana, where the family lived on the Missouri River. Sometime after the birth of Polly Ann, the only daughter of the family, they moved south into Idaho, settling at Medicine Lodge, Fremont County, Idaho, where John's two youngest brothers, Daniel and Willie were born. The family bought property in the area, which became known as the "Old Collier Ranch." Here John and his brothers spent their time with their father working on the land, raising cattle and horses. John married Minnie Mary Lee, of Beaver Canyon, on March 6, 1898, at Medicine Lodge (P.O. Box, Small, Idaho).

Minnie was the daughter of Samuel Wolcott Lee and Minnie Maude Matheny, and the granddaughter of Jasper Newton Matheny and Mary Ring. Samuel Lee and Minnie Matheny were married in 1880 . Their first child, Minnie Mary, was born July 28, 1881, at Johlon, California. A second child, Jasper Matheny Lee, was born July 22, 1883, in Cayucas, California. A third child, Cora, died in infancy, on September 18, 1886, in Beaver Canyon, Idaho, and three days later the mother, Minnie Maude, died. Sam and Minnie had returned to Idaho with their two small children to seek their fortune and be near his mother, Harriet Wolcott Lee. Samuel was left with his two remaining children to mourn the deaths of Minnie and Cora. Fortunately, Harriet, his mother was there to care for her grandchildren.

Sam moved to Nicola, Idaho, then a booming mining town, where he met Minnie Bircher. She and Sam were married November 15, 1888, when she was 18, and she instantly became the mother of seven-year-old Minnie Mary, and five-year-old Jasper. They initially moved to Beaver Canyon, but also lived in Spenser and Ashton, Idaho. Minnie Mary undoubtedly spent these years helping her stepmother with household duties and with the care of the children who were born to Sam and Minnie Bircher Lee.

After Minnie Mary and John Crockett Collier married, they lived in the Medicine Lodge/ Beaver Canyon/ Small area. Over the next 18 years they had eight children: Samuel Ervin, Johnny Lee, Minnie Eva, Cora Madge, Dora Alice, Leroy Jasper, Harold Everett, and Melvin Matheny.

In about 1922, John and Minnie moved to Los Angeles, where their sons, Samuel and Johnny, were apprenticed as plasterers and bricklayers. During the next twenty years, John faced the transition problems of having lived in rural Idaho and then having moved to a large city. John was an expert with horses; but the first time he drove a car, he approached a gate, pulled back on the steering wheel, and said, " whoa." The car went on through the gate, and after that event, Minnie became the driver in the family. John was a farmer, rancher, and cattleman, who enjoyed the freedom of wide-open country. He now lived in a large, booming city with crowds of people, street cars, homes packed together on small lots, and different life styles all around him. Every spring, as soon as Idaho weather permitted working the land, John returned to Idaho and worked with relatives and neighbors, staying until late fall when the harvesting, threshing, and work with livestock was completed. He would then return to California for the winter. Minnie also went to Idaho as often as it was possible for her to leave her work as a cook at the Los Angeles County Farm. During their years in Los Angeles, their children went to school, married, made homes of their own, had children, and worked at various types of jobs. They were a close knit family. Almost every week the children and grandchildren went to John and Minnie's home for Sunday dinner. Although John Crockett had a quiet disposition, his wife and most of the children were outgoing and assertive; and at these family dinners they would converse for hours on every subject imaginable.

Their daughter, Madge, died, leaving a baby boy, Marvin Blair, to be reared by John and Minnie, which dramatically changed their lives. Eventually they moved to the home of Amos Blair, where Marvin could be with his father and have a room of his own and a fenced yard to play in. They lived there until Marvin was in his teens and started going to Idaho in the summers to find work with his relatives.

As John and Minnie grew older, their health declined. Minnie, while visiting her children, Sam and Eva, and their families, became ill and spent a great deal of time in the hospital. She finally was able to return to Los Angeles, where she died on October 11, 1955. After her death, John lost all interest in doing anything,. Minnie had watched over him and had been the focal point of his life for 57 years of marriage. His health failed and about five months later he died, on March 16, 1956. They were both buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Los Angeles.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Samuel Wolcott Lee (1859 - 1928)
  Minnie Maude Matheny Lee (1864 - 1886)
 
 Spouse:
  John Crockett Collier (1876 - 1956)*
 
 Children:
  Samuel Ervin Collier (1899 - 1970)*
  Johnnie Lee Collier (1900 - 1927)*
  Dora Collier DeMaria (1907 - 1988)*
  Jasper Leroy Collier (1910 - 1974)*
 
 Siblings:
  Minnie Mary Lee Collier (1881 - 1955)
  Jasper M. Lee (1883 - 1952)*
  Cora Lee (1886 - 1886)*
  Hazel Muriel Lee Harris (1898 - 1988)**
  Claude Lester Lee (1908 - 1992)**
 
*Calculated relationship
**Half-sibling
 
Burial:
Rose Hills Memorial Park
Whittier
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Burial Section: 6 Burial Lot: 6344 Grave/Niche: 4
 
Created by: Sharon Anderson
Record added: Jan 09, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 63968163
Minnie Mary <i>Lee</i> Collier
Added by: Sharon Anderson
 
Minnie Mary <i>Lee</i> Collier
Added by: Louis Mata
 
Minnie Mary <i>Lee</i> Collier
Added by: Louis Mata
 
 
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- Dalene Worthington
 Added: Dec. 13, 2013
You are part of a great legacy!
- Amber Crooks
 Added: Feb. 2, 2013

- Louis Mata
 Added: Oct. 4, 2011
 
 
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