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Josiah Woolsey Seely


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: December 10, 1819

Birth Place: Bainbridge, NY

JONAS SEELY, from whom a large branch of the Seely family in this country sprung, came from England in 1690, and settled in Stanford, Connecticut. Other branches of the family spell their names differently. The parents of Josiah W. Seely, the subject of this brief biography, were Henry and Clarissa (Lyon) Seely, residents of Bainbridge, Chenango county, New York, at the time of his birth, December 10, 1819. His grandfather, Eli Seely, was a soldier in the revolutionary war.

Josiah was kept at school during the first eighteen years of his life, finishing his literary education at the high school in his native village. In 1837 he commenced studying law in the office of Henry A. Clark, of Bainbridge, and finished with Love and Freer, of Ithaca; teaching school, meanwhile, three winters. He was admitted to the bar in 1844, at the January term of the supreme court, held at Albany, and practiced three years at Ithaca. He was at Bainbridge from 1847 to 1858, practicing law and attending to a farm which his father, who died in 1848, left him. He then spent a year in Nebraska, and in 1859 settled at Marquette, Green Lake county, Wisconsin. There he was in legal practice and land speculation until 1863, when he removed to Waupun, his present home. He practices in all the courts of the State, but for years has given his attention largely to collecting and real estate operations. At one time his collections were second to those of scarcely any lawyer in the State. They became so large and so burdensome, that a few years ago he was obliged to throw a part of them off. He now ‘has a partner in the law and collecting business, N. W. Frost, who attends to the collections, which are rapidly growing on their hands.

Mr. Seely has two excellent farms, one in, the other near, Waupun, with an aggregate of four hundred acres, lying in Dodge and Fond du Lac counties. The one in town is one of the best in the State. He also owns a block in the village of Waupun, and other property; and has large tracts of land in Nebraska, Minnesota and Missouri. As a business man he has been eminently successful, and is known for his skill and tact. On his farms, to which he gives all his leisure time, he has full-blooded stock of various kinds, cattle, sheep and horses. He has three or four spans of carriage horses, all for his own use, some of them difficult to match in the State. They are of his own raising. Mr. Seely has ample means for his comfort, ample facilities for his pleasure, and is living at his ease, as any sensible man, in similar circumstances, can afford to do and will do.

In politics, he was formerly a whig, and is now a republican, but has never accepted an office of any kind.

He attends the Episcopal church, of which his wife, who was Miss Susan Maria Humphrey, of Hartford county, Connecticut, is a member. They were joined in wedlock March 10, 1856, and have had four children, three of whom, Henry A., Clara M. and Amelia H. are living, and receiving the advantages of a first-class education.

Page 639-640 of “The United States Biographical Dictionary, Portrait Gallery Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume”, published in 1877 by the American Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, Cincinnati and New York

[Son of SGS # 3301 – Josiah Woolsey; Harry/Henry (#3301); Eli (#1480); Eli; Jonathan; Joseph; Cornelius; Obadiah]

* this is another biography from a different source

J.W. SEELY, capitalist and attorney at law; born in Bainbridge, Chenango Co., N.Y., Dec. 10, 1819; son of Henry SEELY, who was from Bedford, Westchester Co., N.Y.; the family came from England as early as 1690 and settled near Stamford, Conn.; a grandfather, Eli SEELY, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and his brother Thaddeus was taken prisoner and wounded and was never after heard of; Henry SEELY died in Bainbridge in 1848, at the age of 61; Josiah W. SEELY taught school in New York State when 16 years old, and, in 1835, commenced reading law and finished his course at Ithaca, N.Y.; was admitted to practice at the Supreme Court in Albany, N.Y., and has practiced law successfully to the present time; in 1858, he came to Marquette Co., Wis.; was there five years, and then came to Waupun, Dodge Co. Married Miss M.S. HUMPHREY, daughter of Col. Austin N. HUMPHREY, of Connecticut, who was a descendant of Lea HUMPREY, of Revolutionary fame; the children are Henry A., who has attended school at Ripon College and Madison University; Clara M., who has attended Ripon College, and Minnie H. Mr. SEELY owns 140 acres of land, mostly within the city limits; also owns a fine brick block on Main street, and one of the finest residences in the city; also owns a farm of 240 acres in the town of Alto; he is a man of wealth, which he has accumulated through his shrewd management and good business tact; he is quite extensively engaged in handling cattle, sheep and hogs, and is an active, sterling business man. Himself and family are members of the Episcopal Church.

Page 633 of The History of Dodge County, Wisconsin published in 1880 by the Western Historical Company, Chicago, IL:

[Son of SGS # 3301 – Josiah Woolsey; Harry/Henry (#3301); Eli (#1480); Eli; Jonathan; Joseph; Cornelius; Obadiah]

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