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Andrew Jesse Seelye

Andrew Jesse Seelye came from Charleston, Saratoga Co., N. Y., in the fall of 1835, and passed the following winter with his cousin, Seeley Harger, who then resided in Waterford, Oakland Co., Mich. In May, 1836, he purchased 240 acres, locating the same upon section 33, in this township. His brother Alson and sister Debby arrived in Oakland County a few weeks later, where they continued to reside until the spring of 1837. Previous to this time, however, the brothers-then young, unmarried men-visited the land purchased by Andrew Jesse, and in the fall of 1836 erected a small log house, cleared and sowed to wheat some two or three acres of land. Early in the spring of 1837 the brothers and sister began a permanent residence here, and the first, we believe, in the township. *

In September, 1837, the father, Abel Seelye, accompanied by his wife, Abigail, and children, Abel, Jr., Abner, Arsena, and Aaron J. S., came from Saratoga and settled near those of their family already here. Andrew J. Seelye commenced the erection of the first framed building in the township, a barn, in 1838, and died before its completion, in the spring of 1839, his being the first death of an adult to occur in the settlement. He was buried upon the land purchased by him from the government, and there his remains still repose. Miss Debby Seelye was married to Seth J. Wicker in June, 1842. They resided in Oakland County until 1848, when Mr. Wicker removed to Davison. In 1852 he erected the first hotel, the property now owned by his son, Seth J., and also sold the first goods in the same building. He established an ashery, and received the appointment of postmaster upon the accession of Franklin Pierce to the Presidency. He died at an early age, and his widow again married her cousin, Seelye Harger. She is again a widow, and still resides near the centre of a township which was her home at a time when she had no other female associate. Tile other surviving members of this pioneer family are her brothers, Abel and Aaron S. J. Seelye, all residents of Davison. During the journey of Alson Seelye and his sister, which was accomplished by horse team and wagon via the usual route from Saratoga to Niagara, thence through Canada to Detroit, they met with a fearful experience near Canajoharic, N. Y., where they, with wagon and horses, fell through a canal bridge some fifteen feet in height. Alson was severely injured, but was enabled, after a slight detention, to proceed on his journey. The horses, strange to relate, received no injury whatever by their unceremonious manner of reaching the towing path beneath.

* It is stated that during his life-time Christopher Miller claimed to have been the first settler in the township. We find that he, with his sons, purchased lands situated upon section 35 in September, 1836. If he began a residence here prior to March, 1837, then he was the first settler. But Mrs. Debby Harger (formerly Miss Debby Seelye) still resides here. She is apparently in the possession of all her faculties, and is quite positive in the assurance that at the time of her settlement here in the spring of 1837, Mr. Miller’s family had not yet come in. As the distance between the two families was but little more than one mile, it would seem that they would know of one another’s presence at a period when families living ten miles distant were termed ” neighbors.”

Andrew Jesse Seelye from ” History of Genesee county, Michigan. With illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers” Published Everts & Abbott, Philadelphia, 1879, page 399

[Andrew Jesse SGS # 2102 – Father Abel SGS # 654 – Nathan, Nathan, James, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, Robert; Mother – Abigail SGS # 1973 – Stephen, Hezekiah, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, Robert]

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