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 Leonidas Johnson “Lee J.” Rountree

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Leonidas Johnson “Lee J.” Rountree

Birth
Dripping Springs, Hays County, Texas, USA
Death 2 May 1923 (aged 54)
Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
Burial Bryan, Brazos County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 89272095 View Source
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Leonidas Johnson "Lee J." Rountree was born in Hays county, Texas near where the town of Kyle is now located on July 15, 1868. His grandfather [Rev. Samuel Johnson], a state Senator and Methodist preacher of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, settled in Washington county in 1839.
[A Biographical Sketch, Prepared by Lee J. Rountree; The Bryan Daily Eagle, May 3, 1923]
NOTE: In reality, Samuel Johnson moved from Alabama in 1839 to Pulaski County, Arkansas and resided there for almost 10 years before arriving in Texas in 1848.

At the age of 11, Lee J. Rountree began working in the offices of the Star Vindicator operated by his step-father Capt. Granville McPherson. After Capt. McPherson became too ill, young Lee had to take over operation of the paper along with his mother. Lee Roundtree was a member of the State Press Association, and was Secretary of the Southwest Press Association. He was also President of the Hose, Hook and Ladder Company of Kyle, Texas, the pioneer company of the city. Being active in political affairs, he represented his county in every convention (Democratic?) from 1890-1894. In 1890, at the age of 21 he was appointed Assessor and Collector of Taxes of the town of Kyle, and in 1891 was elected without opposition but resigned before his term ended for business relations.
[History of Southwest Texas; Goodspeed, 1894]

The "Georgetown Commercial" absorbed the "Williamson County Signal" when Lee J. Rountree purchased the "Signal" in 1900, immediately changing its name to the "Commercial". Rountree was well known as a newspaperman when he went to Georgetown; there he produced a successful paper for many years. The week of Nov 25, 1918, the "Williamson County Sun" purchased the "Georgetown Commercial" from Lee J. Rountree and combined the two plants.
[Land of Good Water - A Williamson County, Texas, History by Clara Stearns Scarbrough; Williamson County Sun Publishers, Georgetown, Texas]

He made a brilliant success of his chosen profession and was at one time president of the National Editorial Association. After 20 years in the newspaper business at Georgetown, he disposed of his newspaper and moved to Sulpher Springs and for two years was connected with a newspaper of that city.

He came to Bryan Jan. 1, 1920 and purchased controlling interest in the Bryan Eagle and has been its managing editor since. He was elected to the Legislature from this county in 1920 without opposition and was re-elected in 1922, again without opposition.
[Dallas Morning News; Thursday May 3, 1923]

Lee J. Rountree served in the 37th & 38th Legislature (1/11/1921 to 8/25/1921 & 1/9/1923 to 6/14/1923). Lee died on the floor of the House of Representatives at Austin in May 1923, and was buried in Bryan, Tx May 4, 1923. Mrs. Lee J. Rountree was appointed to serve out his term. Later, she was elected the first woman to represent Brazos County in the State Legislature; serving in 42nd Legislature (1/13/1931 to 11/12/1932). She took over ownership of the Bryan Daily Eagle upon his death.
[Texas Sesquicentennial Edition Brazos County History, Family History Foundation, Bryan, TX; 1986; pg 334]


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