Edmund C. Lee was born in 1809 in Vermont.
He was ordained a Presbyterian Minister in 1843 and assigned to all of Florida east of Tallahassee and south of Jacksonville. He was paid $200.00 a year. Lee arrived in Mantee County in 1848 with his first wife, Electa, and daughter.
Lee was a “consumptive” (TB), and his move to Florida was a last-ditch effort to fight the disease that was consuming him.
Edmund and Electa were both school teachers; they opened the “Dame School for Boys” in the village.
Edmund established the First Presbyterian Church in 1854 and also was a town merchant. He was active in local politics, serving as county judge and was the first Clerk of Circuit Court for the newly formed Manatee County.
He was mustered into service on October 9th, 1861 with Captain A. B. Noyes’ Coast Guards.
He was mustered into Confederate service on April 25th, 1862 when he was enlisted as a Private in Captain Smith’s Company (Key West Avengers), 7th Regiment Florida Infantry by Major R. B. Thomas at Tampa, Florida for a period of 3 years or the war. He was present on all rolls until Oct 9th, 1862 when he was discharged under Surgeon’s Certificate due to “increased disability from a long standing pulmonary disease”. His physical description at discharge was given as 5’ 10” tall, dark skin, and gray hair.
He was dropped from the rolls but continued to serve as a preacher until the end of the war, serving primarily at General Hospital No. 1 at Savannah, Georgia.
"... it is not known just when he returned to Manatee, but old citizens remember that when he did come he had been compelled to walk a large portion of the distance." Jesse Knight, an old friend who lived in Hillsborough Co., brought him the remaining sixty miles home.
Apparently, his removal from Vermont improved his “consumption. Reverend Lee survived the war and outlived 3 wives; Electa (Arcotte), Adelaide (Frieson), and Elizabeth (O’Dell).