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E. J. Seely


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: July 3, 1866

Birth Place: Whitehall, Green County, IL

An important factor in the industrial interests of Linn county, and a leading member of the Democratic party, E. J. Seely holds a commanding position among the active and enterprising men of the thriving city of Albany. He takes a prominent part in public matters as chairman of the Democratic Central Committee, and is widely and favorably known as a most successful creamery operator, being the secretary and manager of the Albany Butter and Produce Company. A son of the late William Seely, he was born July 3, 1866, in Whitehall, Greene county, Ill. He is of French-Canadian descent, his paternal great-grandfather, Anthony Seelye, as the name was formerly spelled, having been born of French ancestors, in Canada. He subsequently removed to Missouri, settling in St. Louis, when that now important city was but a hamlet. His son, Stewart Seely, who curtailed the family surname by cutting off the final ” e,” was the grandfather of E. J. Seely. He was born and bred in St. Louis, but as a young man settled in Greene county, Ill., where he became a farmer of some prominence.

Born in Whitehall, Ill., William Seely was reared to farming pursuits, and continued a resident of his native town until 1888. Emigrating then to Benton county, Ore., he purchased land in Alsea, and was there engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, in 1892. He married Jennie Jones, who was born in Greene county, Ill., and died, in 1896, in Alsea, Ore. Her father, Josiah Jones, a native of North Carolina, was a pioneer settler of Greene county, Ill. Of the thirteen children born of their union, eight survive, namely: E. J., the special subject of this sketch; Charles, a resident of Astoria; Curtis, who is engaged in the creamery business at Waldport, Ore.; Mrs. Lana Neal, of Heppner, Ore.; Mrs. Lucy Warfield, Harry, Gusta and Inez. The last four named children live in Alsea valley.

Brought up on the home farm in Greene county, Ill., E. J. Seely obtained his education in the district schools and the Whitehall high school. Leaving home at the age of nineteen years, he went to Bartelsville, I. T., where he was employed in farming and stock-raising until the spring of 1889. Coming then to Oregon, he located at Springfield, Lane county, where he remained for five years in the creamery business, being associated with Douglas & Co., as manager of their creamery, and while there became proficient in the trade of a butter maker. Removing, in 1895, to Albany, Mr. Seely became secretary and manager of the Albany Creamery Association, with which he was connected five years. In 1900 he organized the Albany Butter and Produce Company, of which he has since been the secretary and manager. Buying a corner lot he built the creamery and has been instrumental in the establishment of an extensive and profitable dairy business, making a specialty of manufacturing a choice grade of butter, in the season of 1902 making 155,000 pounds. Remodeling the building in 1902, Mr. Seely erected a cold storage plant, and is in every way successful. He both stores and manufactures ice, in which he carries on a substantial retail trade, having a lucrative patronage in Albany.

Mr. Seely married, in Albany, Miss Stena Freerksen, who was born in Illinois, of German ancestry, and they have one child, Claribel Seely. For several years Mr. Seely has been a member of the Democratic Central Committee, of which he is now the chairman, and for one term represented the third ward in the City Council. Fraternally he was made a Mason at Eugene, Ore., joining Eugene Lodge, No. 11, A. F. & A. M., and is a member of Eugene Chapter, R. A. M., and of Temple Commandery, No. 3, K. T., of Albany, being Past E. C. He united with the Odd Fellows at Springfield, Ore., and now belongs to Albany Lodge No. 4, I.O.O.F., in which he has passed all the chairs and to the Albany Encampment, of which he is Past C.P. Mr. Seely likewise belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, to the Alco Club, and to the State Dairyman’s Association.

Page 396 “Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley, Oregon,” a compilation of work by a number of writers, Chapman Publishing Co.; 1903.

Transcribed and provided by Diana, Volunteer for the US Biographies Project http://www.usbiographies.org

[Grandson of SGS #2328 – Elmer Josiah; William; Anthony Stewart (#2328); Guy (#835); Justus William; Joseph; John; Benjamin; Nathaniel, Robert]

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