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Edwin Ruthvin Seely


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: May 13, 1862

Birth Place: Clackamas County, OR

Among the prominent pioneer families established in Oregon in 1850, the one of which Edwin R. Seely is a worthy representative takes foremost rank. Mr. Seely was born on his father’s farm near Boone’s Ferry, Clackamas county, Ore., May 13, 1862, a son of Lucius Alexander and Sophia H. (Buckman) Seely, natives of Potsdam, N. Y., and born respectively August 10, 1821, and February 16, 1825.

L. A. Seely was the son of a blacksmith, and when a young man removed with his people to Sangamon county, Ill., where he married and continued to live until 1850. His neighborhood was agitated by reports of land and mining opportunities on the coast, and the young man and his wife were among the most eager listeners to these tales of returned travelers. On account of ill health he took this opportunity to seek a more congenial climate. Accordingly they outfitted with ox-teams and wagons, taking with them considerable blooded stock, including some very fine horses. At a certain stage of the journey the stock was transferred to Mormons, much to the grief and consternation of the rightful owners, who bitterly resented the thieving propensities of the so-called religious enthusiasts. The train was a large one and represented many beliefs and occupations, a curious fact in connection with their migration being that, after taking a vote as to whether they should travel on the Sabbath day, those holding to the negative reached their destination a month earlier than those who failed to heed the biblical injunction. Needless to say, Mr. Seely, throughout his entire life a stanch Presbyterian, was among those who believed in rest for man and beast on the sacred day, and he was therefore among the first to arrive at his destination in Oregon. The first winter he stopped at Canemah, and in the spring bought a farm on Baker’s Prairie, where they lived only a year. Again they settled in Canemah, and later bought the farm near Boone’s Ferry, where they reared nine children of their own and one adopted daughter, and where the father died at the age of seventy-five, in 1879, while his wife survived him until seventy-six years of age, dying in 1901. The children were as follows : Jira J. is deceased, leaving a family of wife and seven children; George B. is a farmer of Clackamas county; Joseph B. also lives in Clackamas county; Harriet B., deceased, was married to James Whitmore, and left four children; Franklin F.; Stephen B.; Judson L.; Robert I., all of Clackamas county; Edwin R.; and Emma, the adopted daughter, deceased. Mr. Seely was a stanch supporter of the schools of his neighborhood, and he was very active in the church, contributing liberally towards its maintenance, and attending the services whenever his health permitted.

Until his marriage with Julia E. Turner, June 24, 1883, Edwin R. Seely remained on the home farm. His wife was born in Pike county, Mo.., November 24, 1863, and crossed the plains with her people in 1865, making the journey with the time-honored ox-teams, and bought a farm near Oregon City, in Clackamas county. The young people went to housekeeping for a couple of years near Boone’s Ferry, and then purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty acres on Butte Creek, three miles east of Woodburn. At the time of purchase there were thirty-five acres under cultivation, and at present there are about ninety acres devoted to the raising of the general products of this section. To a considerable extent Mr. Seely is interested in hop culture, and has thirty-five acres devoted to its cultivation. He also has two and a half acres in onions, and is carrying on general farming and stock-raising. Everything about this farm indicates the careful and practical manager and agriculturist, and it is doubtful if any man in the neighborhood is deserving of greater credit for the part he has taken in the improvement of his district. So industriously has he applied himself to making an ideal home for himself and family that he has foresworn political aspirations, and all else that would interfere with the discharge of his primary obligations. He is a Prohibitionist in politics, and is a supporter of the same church to which his father devoted so many years of his life. Nine children have been born into his family, the order of their birth being as follows : Harry B.; Perry W.; Lucius R.; Thomas L.; Ruth E.; Chauncey C., deceased; Percy H.; Julia E.; and Ethel A.

Page 819 “Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley, Oregon,” a compilation of work by a number of writers, Chapman Publishing Co.; 1903, page 819

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

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