George Colee (1805 - 1885)
from Spanish Lands Grants

Riz, James,et,at.
James and Tryphena Riz, co-heirs surviving there late father, William Riz, claim through James Riz, their attorney-in-fact,
640 acres at
Picolata on St. Johns River, bounded on the west by said river, and north and south by lands of Edward M
Wanton; a donation grant to their father who was in actual possession of it at the time of the cession of this territory to
the United states. Their father, their mother, Sister, Mr. George Colee and several Negroes occupied and cultivated this
land from April 1821 to Dec. 1821, When upon the death of their father and mother, and because of illness in the family,
they were obliged to retire to the city.

George Colee deposes, 9/9/1824, before E.B. Gould, J.P., in St. Johns county, That he worked for William Riz, father of
the claimant, from December 1820 until his death, October 1821; That William Riz and his wife, on account of sickness,
were forced to retire to the city.

Horatio S. Dexter, having seen Colee's deposition, deposes confirming it, adding that he was in the habit of visiting Riz
at
Picolata where he saw him clearing and improving the land and planting fruit trees with his slaves. The Riz, family
consisted of 6 white and 10 to 12 Negroes.

James Hall deposes, 6/14/1825, that he was acquainted with Lewis Quibent previous to 1818, who purchases 400 acres
at Cedar Head near
Picolata [sic]: that around Christmas 1821, he and Colonel Smith of New York visited at the
Plantation of William Riz where they saw George Colee and Tryphena Riz who were ill and it was understood would have
to be removed from the place; that due to this state of affairs the deponent and said Smith left the house and encamped
about 200 yards from the Riz home from which place they could see the small log house at Quibert [Quibent?] on Mr.
Wanton's old field. Besides his house at the landing, Quibert was building a house at Cedar Head, where it still remains.

George  lost his left eye in the war of 1835, in the Second Seminole Wars. He received 80 acres of bounty lands "to
soldiers who had been engaged in the military service of the United States by an act of President Franklin Pierce."

George Colee and James Riz had a Ferry business. George started a Stage Coach business going into St. Augustine.
George had many interests. He was a Post Master, Election Inspector -April 15, 1835 - along with James Riz, and a  
school teacher.  Married Tryphena Riz in 1825. Died in Picolata.

Tryphena Riz :
Tryphena Riz  came to St. Augustine , Florida with her father William James Riz, mother Tryphena, brother William
James Riz Jr. and sister Louisa Elizabeth and George Colee. They arrive in St. Augustine, Florida, December of 1820
from England. George Colee lived with the Riz  family and went to  home school with Tryphena. James taught School.
Tryphena Parents died Oct. 22,1821 with Yellow fever. Her sister died  Nov. 02, 1821 also with the fever. Tryphena
married George Colee on the 7 September  1828 in a Civil Ceremony, St. Augustine, St. Johns Co., Fl.

After their marriage Kathryn Colee states that they built their home and they entertained extensively, however George
was inclined to make these parties more of an informal affair. A room in his home dedicated as a library would indicate
that George was well read and his guest readily accepted the advice he was prone to give according to the same source.

Children of this marriage: James Lewis Colee, William Pious Colee, George A. Colee, Charles Henry Colee, Tryphena
Colee.

                                                Children of George and Tryphena Riz
1. James Louis Colee
(February 25, 1833 - January 8, 1912)
His father came to this country from France, and James L. Colee and his brothers were born in Florida, just outside of
Saint Augustine.  He married at Saint Augustine,
Mary Irwin, (February 12, 1835 - January 13, 1895.  Second wife was
Georgia V. Colee (January 28, 1871 - January 19, 1955). They had four daughters and seven sons born to them.
Children:
Louis Albert, Elizabeth (Lizzie), Tryphena, Mamie J, James Rafeal, Joseph Beauregard, Francis
(Fannie), George Barnabas, Raymond J, Arthur Phillip and Otis M
(May 8, 1899 - September 17, 1958).

James L. Colee was a civil engineer by profession, and followed it for a number of years at Saint Augustine.  His
professional duties brought him into contact with the Seminole Indians, and because of his uprightness and honorable
methods, he gained their friendship and was called by them the “Good White Man”.  

For a number of years he was connected with the
Florida Coast Canal and Transportation Company (In May of
1881 he joined with Dr. John D. Westcott, Henry Gaillard and James M. Hallowes to incorporate the Florida Coast Line
Canal and Transportation Company. This would be the first company to successfully dredge the intercoastal railway. In
1891 Colee would buy land in Fort Lauderdale and when the town was platted a street would be named Colee Avenue in
his honor. A hammock at Tarpon Bend was named Colee Hammock overlooking the New River.

He also owned a large amount of property in
Saint Johns County, and prior to the war between the states owned several
slaves, who after they were freed pleaded for permission to remain with him because of his humane treatment and
general consideration of them.  James L. Colee was also a stockholder in the
First National Bank, and for several
terms served as county commissioner of
Saint Johns County.  Few men bore a more important part in the public affairs
of his day and locality, and he held the confidence of all who knew him, both white and colored. James L. Colee, died at
Saint Augustine, January 12, 1912. He was buried in San Lorenzo Cemetery

2. William Pious Colee (1834? or 1840? - 1923)
Married June 23, 1867 to
Leonora Rosalia Pacetti. (1849-1895) Children: William Jr. (1868 - ?) , Helen (1869 - ?),
and
Walter (1875 - ?) He was a blacksmith and had his livery stable just south of the home on Hypolita Street. He took
care of most of downtown St. Augustine's horses. Private, Company B 3rd Florida Infantry Regiment (CSA).

3. George A. Colee (1836 - October 13, 1911)
Married
Virginia I. Register February 4, 1859. Children: Mirian and Oliver. The settlement of Colee in St. Johns
County is named after him. Buried in San Lorenzo Cemetery

4. Charles Henry Colee (July 8, 1845 - May 10, 1895)
Lived in
Picolata. Buried in Bakersville (Sanksville) Cemetery. Married Margaret M. Lightborn Bell Children: Maggie
Tryphena
(January 4, 1873 - Sept 19, 1873), Charles Henry Jr. (Dec 21, 1874 - May 28 1963), Robert Bell
(November 11, 1877 - July 22, 1953),
Edward Clifford (May 10, 1880 - October 16, 1948) Ernest Becks (October 30,
1882 - ?),
Norman S. (October 27, 1885 - Nov 1974), Samuel Julian (April 26, 1888 - January 7, 1969), Jessie
Florence
(October 4, 1890 - ?), and Genevieve P (Dec. 1893 - February 24, 1961)

5. Tryphena Colee (?)
Died at 6 months.
* * *
                                                                  Child of James L Colee
George Barnabus. Colee
(June 10, 1868 - December 3, 1907) (Son of James Louis Colee)
George B. Colee was born at Saint Augustine in 1868 and died in this city in 1907. George Barnabus and
Maria Louise
(King) Colee
(January 5, 1865-May 28, 1929). His wife was born at Boston, Massachusetts, in January, 1865.  They
were married in Saint Augustine
Cathedral September 16, 1889.  Their  family consisted of four daughters and one son,
of whom one died in infancy, but the others are still living, and of them all Harold Wilfred was the second in order of birth.

Growing to manhood in St. Augustine, George B. Colee attended its parochial schools, and was engaged in the livery
business at Saint Augustine with his father, and was so engaged at the time of his death, when he was but
thirty-eight years of age.  He was a devout member of the Roman Catholic Church.  In politics he was a democrat.

Harold Wilfred Colee (October 11, 1894 - December 17, 1968)
Harold Wilfred Colee was a claims adjuster of the
Florida East Coast Railway Company, Flagler System, with
headquarters at Saint Augustine, He was connected during his entire business career, which commenced at the early
age of fifteen years.  Mr. Colee was born in this city, October 11, 1894, a son of George Barnabus and Maria Louise
(King) Colee. The maternal grandparents were
John and Mary King, who were born in Ireland.  He died at the age of
sixty-seven years, and she when she was sixty-five.

Losing his father at a tender age, Harold W. Colee tried to add to the family income while attending school, and when he
was fifteen years old, terminated his schooldays and obtained a clerical position in the offices of the Florida East Coast
Railway Company.  Later he was transferred to the passenger traffic department as junior clerk.  Still later he was made
ticket clerk in the same office.  An ambitious young man, he studied stenography, and when capable of holding the
position was made stenographer in the same department.  Still later he became private secretary to the general
passenger agent, ticket agent, at Saint Augustine and Key West.  Further promotion came to him, for he was
successively made stenographer in the accounting department, of the engineering department, and of the freight traffic
department; private secretary of the general freight agent; loss and damage investigator in the same office; assistant
chief clerk to the vice president,
James P. Beckwith, and finally was given his present position of claims adjuster.

Mr. Colee has always been active in different movements at Saint Augustine, and is a member and ex-president of the
Saint Augustine Baseball Association, and is now serving it as secretary.  He is a past deputy grand knight and past
lecturer of Saint Augustine Council No. 611, K. of C., is a dictator of Saint Augustine Lodge No. 498, L.O.O.M., and for
several years esquire of the B.P.O.E., No. 829.  The Saint Augustine Board of Trade has in him one of its most effective
members, and he is equally zealous in behalf of the Saint Augustine Country Club, of which he is also a member and an
enthusiastic golfer.  He is also secretary of the Historic Society of which organization the Hon. Chauncey M Depew is
president in.  Reared a Roman Catholic, he held to that faith.  He was a Democrat. He would be President of the Florida
Chamber of Commerce.

On September 26, 1917, Mr. Colee married  
Alice Sheldon Gillespie (July 16, 1896 - March 29, 1971), a native of
Roanoke, Virginia, and a graduate nurse from the
hospital of the Florida East Coast Railway Company, under Dr. M. W.
Seagears.  Mr. and Mrs. Colee have two children:  Harold W., Junior, and Elizabeth Hazel.  
Flagler Construction 1885 to 1890
Flagler Era 1890 to 1900
Progressive Era
W. H. Chambers
Henry Flagler
James Ingraham
Andrew Anderson
St. Augustine Railway Station
Florida East Coast Railway
Florida East Coast Railway Hospital
John Breckwith
Joseph Parrott
Harold Wilfred Colee
 
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Colee Family
St. Augustine Florida
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http://floridamemory.com/items/show/69949
1950
Howard Winfried Colee
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
http://floridamemory.com/items/show/80268
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