Memorable Manitobans: Samuel Carson Lee (1872-1926)
Born in Simcoe County, Ontario on 31 January 1872, the sixth of ten children of Charles Lee and Sarah Reaney, brother of Charles Henry Lee, he attended Orangeville High School and, after graduation, taught school for some time. He then entered Trinity University and graduated at the head of his class in 1894, earning the gold medal for science. He attended the School of Pedagogy at Toronto, then taught for four years in the Orangeville High School, coming to Portage la Prairie in 1903, serving first as assistant for six years then being appointed Principal of the Portage Collegiate Institute.
In 1913, he left Portage Collegiate to take a job teaching physics at the Manitoba Agricultural College (later the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba), and was presented with a gold watch by his admiring Portage students. During his tenure at the college, Lee assisted with the work of the Agricultural Trains to bring the most recent research and advances of the time to families throughout Manitoba. He worked up to the time of his death.
In July 1911 he married Alice McLean (1880-1967, recipient of the Order of the Crocus) of Portage la Prairie, daughter of William Farquhar McLean. They had two children: Margaret Lee (1913-?) and Edward Carson “Teddy” Lee (1915-?). Starting in 1907, Lee served for 15 years as Secretary of the Manitoba Educational Association. He served on the council for the University of Manitoba and was a member of the Masons and IOOF.
He died at his Winnipeg home, 311 Bartlet Avenue, on 21 December 1926, following a brief illness, and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery. His pallbearers included Robert Fletcher, Dr. L. A. H. Warren (University of Manitoba), Dr. Charles H. Weagant (Portage la Prairie), Rev. W. A. Hendry (Portage la Prairie), George Albert Sproule, and Prof. F. D. Broderick (Manitoba Agricultural College).
A collection of his papers and photographs are held at the PCI Archive.
The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.
Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1916 Canada census, Ancestry.
“Prof. S. C. Lee dies after brief illness,” Manitoba Free Press, 22 December 1926, page 1.
“Deaths and funerals,” Manitoba Free Press, 23 December 1926, page 10.
The History of the Manitoba Educational Association by Ernest Butterworth, MEd thesis, Faculty of Graduate Study and Research, University of Manitoba, 1965.
Ante Nos Scientia: Portage Collegiate Institute 1882-2005 by Lisa Pao with Barry Bills, Portage Collegiate Institute Reunion Committee, 2005.
We thank James Kostuchuk for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 20 July 2020