Hollis D. Seely

Personal

Gender: Male

Date of Birth: October 6, 1827

Birth Place: Friendship, Allegany County, NY

Hollis D. Seely. Like so many others of his neighbors and co-laborers, he of whom we write came hither from New York State, where he was born and reared to the age of six years. His native place was Friendship, Allegany County, N.Y., and his birthday October 6, 1827. He is a son of Jesse and Phebe (Reed) Seely, both of whom were natives of the Empire State. His mother was born in Saratoga County and his father in the same county. The latter was by occupation a farmer and he of whom we write finds his earliest recollections connected with farm live in his native State.

In 1833 the parents of our subject came to Oakland County and made this their home until their decease, it being the home of our subject until the present time. He was here given a common-school education. their was at first no school but as soon as a place and teacher were found, he was in attendance and was faithful to his studies until eighteen years of age. He began life for himself at the age of twenty-three, adopting farming as his life calling. He purchased a small place in Oakland County and gave his whole attention to it until he was thirty-four years of age, when he went to Lapeer County where he farmed for three years and then came to Tuscola County, his advent hither being made in October, 1860, coming here in time to attend the second township meeting.

When the original of our sketch first settled on the place of which he is still a resident, the country was a wilderness and the fine farm that today presents so attractive an appearance at that time had but thirty acres cleared, and it was a dreary waste of stumps. He first had a log house built which was guileless of doors and windows, neight had it a floor, serving merely as a covering and place of protection against the weather and wild animals that still prowled about. Although he had but little to work with – only a pair of oxen and one cow – he set himself vigorously to work with a prospect before him of securing a comfortable and well-stocked farm. During the years that have passed he has fully realized his anticipations and is now the owner of a large and well-tilled place. It comprises one hundred and eighty-four acres and of this one hundred and fifty-four acres is in a high state of cultivation. These improvements he has made himself.

Mr. Seely took unto himself a life partner, November 12, 1851, the lady of his choice being Mary Ferguson of Pontiac Township, Oakland County. They have three living children: Emma A. Flora B. and Charles H. Emma A. married John Hankins; Flora B. became the wife of Byron Bond; Charles H. resides in this township. Besides these children our subject has lost five. His two sons – Frank J. and George E. were victims of diphtheria, one dying at the age of twenty-one and the other when nineteen.

In connection with his farming interests our subject owns and runs a threshing machine, which has brought him in a comfortable income. He has also spent some of his winters in lumbering. At one time he removed to Detroit and engaged in the grocery business with his brother, but this partnership lasted only one year, when he returned to his farm. Our subject breeds thorough-bred short-horn cattle and has a good grade of horses and hogs. He also raises a variety of crops and has a fine line of Farm machinery and everything necessary to successfully conduct his place. Politically, he affiliates with the Republican party and for one year held the office of Supervisor and was also Treasurer for four years. He has moreover been Highway Commissioner and Constable of the township. He is greatly interested in the progress of educational advantages. He and his wife were united in their membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church but for the last eight years Mr. Seely has not been connected with any church organization. The wife however is still a member of that organization and they are good and conscientious Christian people.

1892 Portrait & Biographical Album of Genesee, Lapeer & Tuscola Counties Edited by Chapman Bros., page 440