Lee Washington Sanders was born 17 March 1897 in Colonia Díaz, Chihuahua, Mexico to Moses Martin Sanders (1853-1926) and Elizabeth Ellen Cheney (1857-1940) and died 17 March 1989 Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona, United States of unspecified causes. He married Zetta Fern Mortensen (1899-1975) 14 July 1918 in El Paso, El Paso County, Texas, United States.


Lee Washington Sanders was born and raised in the Colonia Diaz of the Mormon Mexican Colonies.

He survived Poncho Villa's forced expulsion of all Gringo's in 1912. Having just turned 15 with he held a gun and stood guard with men of the village while the women and children led the exodus back to the states.

Shortly after this he joined in the Army Cavalry (c 1914) and helped to break in horses. Soon his unit went with Gen. Pershing to fight Poncho Villa's forces which were now raiding American towns along US/Mexican border. His unit patrolled the border between Hachita and Douglas, AZ. There he helped rescued people trapped in a car wreck. Then he was ambushed by bandits who shot him in the leg. This led to his discharge from the Army.

After the army he married and had various jobs in ranching and dairying and worked on several inventions. He also worked on the Hoover Dam in 1933-1935 before moving to California. During World War II he got a job at The American Aircraft factory as a carpenter and that would lead to a major vocation for him and his son Frank and others. He and his wife eventually settled in Yucaipa, California to run an income tax business and old folks nursing home.


Offspring of Lee Sanders and Zetta Fern Mortensen (1899-1975)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Ames Mortensen Sanders (1922-1922)
Val A. Sanders (1935-1970)


Research Notes


Footnotes (including sources)

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