HON. PERMILLAS ARTEN LEE
Since his arrival at Dunn in 1912 Mon. Permillas Arten Lee has been closely identified with the business life of the community as a member of the prominent drug firm of Wilson & Lee, one of the old-established and reliable commercial enterprises of the city. Likewise, he has been intimately associated with public affairs, having at various times been elected to offices of responsibility and trust, and since 1924 has occupied the office of mayor, in which he has given his adopted city a progressive and businesslike administration. His career is one well worthy of emulation, having been characterized by the recognition and acceptance of everyday opportunities and the industrious application of natural and developed abilities.
Mayor Lee was born on a farm in Johnston County, North Carolina, in 1880, and belongs to an old and respected .North Carolina family, his boyhood was passed in the midst of agricultural surroundings and his primary education was acquired in the rural schools, following which he pursued a course at the high school at Poplar Grove. Later he furthered his education by attendance at Turlington Institute at Smithfield, from which he was duly graduated in 1899, in which year, having no desire for an agricultural career, he began teaching school. He was thus employed until 1901, and in 1902, having determined upon his life work, enrolled as a student in the School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Mr. Lee completed his course at that institution in 1903, in which year he secured a position as prescription clerk in the drug store of Hood & Grantham at Dunn, which is still in existence, and from that establishment went to Raleigh, where for a time he was employed by Crowell, McLarty & Company. In 1912 Mr. Lee resigned his place at Raleigh and returned to Dunn, where he accepted a post as prescription clerk with C. L. Wilson. Mr. Wilson was not long in recognizing the abilities of his assistant, and in the same year admitted him to partnership, thus forming the firm of Wilson & Lee, which has existed to the present during the years that have passed the business has developed and expanded and is now one of the largest and most prosperous in the state. The firm has just completed a large, modern store and office building at 129 Broad Street, partly occupied by themselves and partly by professional and business men, all of the offices now being occupied. The firm carries a complete line of drugs, stationery and toilet articles, and its patronage extends over a broad territory, including some of the leading families of Dunn. Mr. Lee has become known for his energy and business integrity and has a firmly established place in the confidence of his associates. He has always been interested in civic affairs, and in 1921 became by election a member of the Board of Aldermen. After serving for three years in that position, in 1924 he was elected mayor, and in the chief executive’s office has advocate and put under way measures which .have contributed materially to the benefit of his adopted community. He is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, or the Consistory of Wilmington, and belongs also to the Knights of. Pythias and the Loyal Order of Moose. His political convictions make him a supporter of the principles and candidates of the Democratic Party. With his family he belongs to the Methodist Church, of which he is chairman of the Board of Stewards.
In 1909 Mr. Lee was united in marriage with Miss Hautence Thornton, or Dunn, and to this union there have been born three children: Edna Earle, William David, and Permillas Arten, Jr. The family residence is located at No. 303 South Wilson Avenue.