The Town of Lee was formed from the Town of Western in 1811.
The population of Lee in 1920 was 1,143.
About 1910, the Rome & Osceola Railroad was organized and the rails laid as far as Lee Center, with grading completed along much of the route, intended to carry timber from Tug Hill to a tie plant on the site of the Rite Aid warehouse on Rt 69 in Rome.
George W. Kingsbury, for whom (with his brother), the county of Kingsbury, South Dakota, is named, was born in Lee on Dec 16, 1837.
West Lee was home to a large canning factory.