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Edward Eugene Seeley


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: February 11, 1860

Birth Place: DeKalb County, IL

Holding prestige for several decades among the progressive farmers of Hardin county where he has spent the major part of his very busy, useful and honorable life, Edward Eugene Seeley, now living in retirement in his pleasant home in Iowa Falls, is entitled to more than passing notice in the biographical history of this section of the great commonwealth of Iowa, whose interests he has ever at heart and sought to foster as occasion demanded. His long continued residence here makes him a familiar figure to a large number of friends and acquaintances and esteem is often expressed and worthily bestowed.

Mr. Seeley hails from DeKalb county, Illinois, where his birth occurred on February 11, 1860, but the major part of his life has been spent in the locality of which this volume treats. He is the son of W. R. and Sarah A. (Robinson) Seeley, both parents having come from Victor village, Cayuga county, New York. Mr. Seeley’s father was a builder of churches and erected many of them in Illinois. The family came to Iowa Falls in 1869. The father built the first frame church in Iowa Falls, having built one here in 1868 before he moved his family to this place, then another house of worship was later erected by him. He built the first church in Hampton and also the first one in Grundy Center. From 1869 to 1880 the family divided their time between Iowa Falls and a farm in Lee township, Franklin county. In the spring of 1880 they moved to Buckeye township, Hardin county, and bought a farm there for thirteen dollars per acre, a farm which Mr. Seeley sold in 1910 for one hundred and ten dollars per acre. Mr. Seeley’s parents moved to Webster City in 1893, where they spent the remainder of their days, both dying suddenly of heart failure in 1900. It is a remarkable fact that a number of Mr. Seeley’s family and relatives have died suddenly when apparently in good health, his parents and a brother all dying in such a manner within nine months, and his mother’s mother and his father’s mother, also three uncles, all died in the same manner.

Edward E. Seeley, of this work, lived on the home farm in Buckeye township for several years after reaching manhood. He spent his early years in assisting with the general work about the farm and attended the common schools in the winter months. In September, 1885, he was united in marriage with Clara Mitterer, daughter of Augustus Mitterer and wife and a sister of A. W. Mitterer, whose sketch appears in another part of this work. This was one of the well known and influential pioneer families here. Mrs. Seeley well remembers when a child in the early days how the Indians, who were then very numerous, held war dances near their home, and she also recalls many other interesting phases of pioneer life here. Even when Mr. Seeley’s folks moved to Hardin county there were many Indians in this country, but most of them were nomadic, merely stopping here awhile in passing through the country. Iowa Falls was then only a small village. The subject and wife have lived to see and take part in the wonderful development of this section since that time. The Illinois Central railroad had builded west of Iowa Falls only a year previous to the arrival of the Seeley family.

The subject and wife remained on the Seeley farm for two or three years after their marriage, then bought a farm adjoining his father’s, which is now owned by A. W. Mitterer. He lived there until 1901, making a pronounced success of general farming and stock raising, then sold out and bought the old home farm which he tilled in a manner that not only brought abundant harvests, but built up the soil to its original standard of fertility, remaining there until 1909. Then he retired from active life and moved to Iowa Falls, where he now resides, having sold his farm and bought a substantial and cozy home here.

Mr. Seeley’s family consists of four children, namely: Mabel married Charles Staley and lives on a farm near Buckeye, the place on which her father lived after he was married; she has two sons, Dale and Glen. Eleanor Seeley married Arthur Harkness and lives on a farm near Buffalo Center, Iowa; William is now engaged in farm work, but makes Iowa Falls his home; Cleve is attending school in Iowa Falls.

Fraternally, Mr. Seeley is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Rebekahs, the encampment and the canton; also the Modern Woodmen and the Maccabees. He and his wife belong to the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Seeley is fond of home and family, is known to all as a man of exceptionally good habits, his life having been above reproach and lived in a manner so as to give offense to no one and he is held in high favor with all classes, he and his wife being well liked by all of their neighbors, wherever they have lived.

Pages 982 – 984, “Past and Present of Hardin County, Iowa” edited by William J. Moir, Published by B.F. Bowen, Indianapolis, 1911.

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