Dana Elisha Seeley

Personal

Gender: Male

Date of Birth: September 23, 1868

Date of Death: August 28, 1957

Birth Place: Livingston County, MI

Death Place: Mackinac Island, MI

SEELEY, Dana Elisha, manufacturer, was born in Livingston County, Mich., Sept. 23, 1868, son of Miles Gay and Aseneth (Royce) Seeley and grandson of Elisha and Sarah (Wilson) Seeley. His father was a farmer. Dana E. Seeley attended public schools in Owossa, Mich. In 1900, with his brothers, Halstead H. (Guy) and Roy R. Seeley, he founded the Superior Manufacturing Co. Ann Arbor, Mich., for the manufacture of blow torches and gasoline lamps. Dana E. Seeley became plant manager for the company, which in 1911 began the production of windshields. The early windshields, not yet standard equipment for cars were strapped to the front fenders, and Seeley’s company was the first to alter the design of the windshield so that it could be bolted directly to the cowl. Eventually the entire automobile industry adopted this design. In 1916 the Superior concern was merged with the Rand Diamond Vanguard and Universal Metal windshield manufacturing company. The newly acquired factories were sold, the company retaining its original plant in Ann Arbor and acquiring increased production facilities through the purchase of the Lozier plant in Detroit, Mich. Under the name Motor Products Corp., of which Seeley continued as plant manager, the concern manufactured windshields, steel tubing, stampings, radiators, and other parts and accessories, and acquired additional plants in Chicago, Ill., and Walkerville, Canada. From 1919 to 1937 Seeley was a director of Motor Products Corp. Meanwhile, in 1919, with Horace W. King, the Seeley brothers founded the King-Seeley Corp., Ann Arbor, which in 1922 began the manufacture of automobile dashboard gasoline gauges. Seeley served as treasurer of the company from 1919 to 1936 and as a director from 1919 until his retirement in 1937. King-Seeley purchased the Ann Arbor facilities of the Motor Products Corp., in 1925, and other dashboard instruments were later added to the production of the company. In addition to his business activities Seeley was president of the Ann Arbor Community Fund in 1939. He was a member of the University of Michigan Club and the Barton Hills County Club, Ann Arbor. His religious affiliation was with the Congregational church. Politically he was a Republican. Playing golf was his chief recreation. He was married on Mackinac Island, Mich., Sept 4, 1912, to Bess May, daughter of Samuel Bayard Poole of the place, a hotel owner, and had two children, Dana Poole, and Jean Alicia. Dana E. Seeley died on Mackinac Island, Mich., Aug. 28, 1957.

Page 526, “National Cyclopedia of American Biography” . (NY: J.T. White, 1898-1984), vol. 48.