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Rev. Denzil Clarke Lees. In the Episcopal ministry of Oklahoma, a name which is becoming well and widely known is that of Rev. Denzil Clarke Lees, rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church at Enid. Still a young man, he has gained a distinguished position, not alone as a minister of the gospel, but as an author of articles on Palestine and Syria, and as a lecturer whose services are constantly in demand on the platform.
Doctor Lees was born October 22, 1884, at Clayton West, Yorkshire, England, and is a son of the Rev. G. Robinson Lees, M. A., F. R. G. S., now vicar of St. Saviour’s Church at Brixton Hill, London, England.
The latter was born October 19, 1858, in Yorkshire, England, where his father, Ezra Lees, was a manufacturer of cloth, and was given good educational advantages, graduating from the University of Durham, England, and at the age of twenty-three years adopting the profession of teaching. After two years thus spent at London, he was appointed to the principalship of a college in Jerusalem, where he was stationed for six years, and at the same time carried on explorations for the Royal Geographical Society of England. He is the discoverer of a Roman road across Southern Bashan, as shown now on the maps of Palestine and Syria. On leaving Jerusalem, Reverend Lees returned to England, where he took up theological work, entering the ministry of the Church of England, and progressing until he became vicar of St. Saviour’s Parish. In 1914 he toured the United States, lecturing on the Chautauqua platform, in this way becoming personally acquainted to those who had known him before as the author of six different works on Palestine and Syria. Reverend Lees was married in 1882 to Miss Edith Ann Clarke, who was born in 1863, in Yorkshire, England, and died in Jerusalem in 1888. She was a woman of deep religious convictions and while she lived was of the greatest assistance to her husband. Two children were born to this union: Denzil Clarke and Victor Robinson, who was born May 29, 1887, in London, England, and died in Jerusalem, July 8, 1888.
Denzil Clarke Lees was educated at Christ’s College, London, and next entered Cambridge University, where he applied himself to the study of theology. In 1910 he came to America, locating first in Canada, where for two years he was engaged in missionary work in the Protestant Episcopal Church, and in 1912 came to the United States, having been called to the Oklahoma Diocese to work as a missionary under Bishop Brooke. Stationed at Alva, in charge of the missions at that place, Woodward and Carmen, he continued in this capacity until July 1, 1915, when he was appointed rector of St. Matthew’s Protestant Episcopal Church at Enid. Doctor Lees, who has endeared himself to every man, woman and child in the large district under his control, is a man of varied gifts. He is an eloquent preacher, and as a speaker for national and other gatherings is in request to an extent that it is not possible for him to gratify, and his lectures on the life and customs in Palestine and Syria, where he lived five years, have been heard and enjoyed by thousands. A thirty-second degree Mason, he is widely known as a speaker upon Masonic topics.
On December 25, 1912, Reverend Lees was united in marriage with Miss Monica Daisy Lloyd, Reverend and Mrs. Lees are the parents of one daughter, Jane Marie Monica, who was born November 23, 1913.