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Absalom Townsend Seely


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: July 6, 1834

Birth Place: Goshen, NY

ABSALOM TOWNSEND SEELY. One of the honored citizens of Kendall County for the past forty-six years, Absalom T. Seely, of Yorkville, is well deserving of a place in the annals of this locality. During his entire maturity and prime he took an active and interested part in the development of this county, and in public positions he proved his devotion to the people and community in which his lot has been cast.

The grandfather of the above-named gentleman, Jonas Seely, was a native of Orange County, N.Y., and in the same locality his son, Peter, father of A.T. Seely, also was born. The latter was engaged in agricultural pursuits in his native county for several years, and later he was numbered among the stock commission merchants of New York City. In 1853 he came to Chicago, where he also was occupied in the same business for some years. Formerly a Whig, he later allied himself with the Republican party and performed his part in all public affairs. He survived his wife six years, his death taking place in the opening year of the Civil war. She bore the maiden name of Caroline Brown, and her father, Daniel Brown, a prominent citizen of Goshen, N.Y., was of Scotch descent. Of the five children of Peter and Caroline Seely, one son, Jonas, of Joliet, Ill., is engaged in the marble and stone-cutting business. Mrs. Helena Carpenter and Mrs. Tempy Ann Jessup, the daughters, are residents of Kendall County.

The birth of Absalom T. Seely took place in the town of Florida, near Goshen, N.Y., July 6, 1834, and when he was ten years old he became a resident of New York City, where he gained a practical education. He was about fifteen years old when he embarked in merchandising in the great metropolis, and it was not until 1854 , he came to the west, and when he later came to Kendall County on a visit to some cousins he decided to make his permanent home here. He returned to his old home in the east in December, 1856, and remained there until the spring of 1858, when he came back, ready to turn his attention to farming.

Mr. Seely had made a good start in his adventure, and had already won the high respect of his fellow-citizens here, when the Civil war broke out, and his patriotic principles led to offering his services to the Union cause. He enlisted May 7, 1861, in Company H., Thirteenth(cutoff) Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was assigned with his regiment to the Fifteenth Army C(Cutoff) He then participated in the severe campaign in the Mississippi Valley, and fought valiantly in the battle of Pea Ridge, the siege of Vicksburg and several Arkansas engagements with the enemy. At Vicksburg he became incapacitated for service by illness, and while he was at home, in December, 1863, he was granted an honorable discharge from the army. While his health was so impaired that it took several years to restore him to anything like his usual vigor or strength, he never applied for a pension, though he was well entitled to one. In the autumn of 1866 (cutoff) engaged in the drug business on the north (cutoff) of Yorkville, and three years later he removed to the center of town, where he since has conducted a well-equipped store. In 1876 he bought the building which he has since occupied, as year by year his patronage had steadily increased.

While he is in no sense a politician, Mr. Seely is deeply interested in the success of the Republican party. He was appointed postmaster at North Yorkville in 1866, and in July 1869 , he was honored with the postmastership of York proper. His business affairs requiring his attention in the Centennial year, he resigned public office and since that time he has refused all positions. Fraternally he is a member of Yorkville Post No. 522, G.A.R. His marriage to Miss Anna Tarbox, a native of Maine, took place January 3, 1877.

Page 152, “Genealogical and Biographical Record of Kendall and Will Counties Illinois”, Published Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago 1901, donated by Bette Lou Nienstedt.

[SGS # 3838 – Absolam Townsend (#3838); Peter Townsend (#1742); (Jonas; Josiah; Ebenezer, Jonas; Obadiah]

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