Richard David “Dick” Lee, Sr. was born November 23, 1877 in Brownwood, Brown County, Texas to Brooks William Lee and Nancy Lenora “Jennie” Millican Lee. He married Sarah Viola Forrester in Scurry County, Texas on January 24, 1900.
Dick came to the New Mexico Territory with his parents in 1886 from Texas when he was not quite ten years old. He recounted living in a dugout near Seminole when he was younger and helping out as the family ranched on the open range. In New Mexico, he started working as a cowboy on the Hat Ranch near Monument when he was about 21. Soon afterward, he and Viola were married. For a while he and Viola lived in Indian Territory working on a cattle ranch for the Connell family before moving back to Texas, near Midland where he worked for the C Ranch. Dick later went to work for Clarence Scharbauer around 1920 still in Texas. When the Scharbauer Cattle Company expanded their operations round 1925 to the recently formed Lea County, he came back to New Mexico. He worked for Scharbauer for a number of years as ranch manager and partner, before he began ranching on his own, settling near the current location of Buckeye, New Mexico.
Dick was always known as a most capable rancher and developed a Hereford operation there. He also served in the management of Lea County. Dick and Viola had four children, all of whom stayed and lived in the county: Brookie Wanda Lee Anderson, Roy Lester Lee, Richard David Lee, Jr. and Giles Milton Lee. Dick passed away on May 12, 1940 and Viola survived him about another 34 years, passing away in 1974. Both are buried in Lovington Cemetery.