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Justus Wellington Seely II


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: June 25, 1850

Birth Place: Salt Lake City, UT

Justus W. Seely, 2nd, president of the town board of Castle Dale and one of the pioneer settlers of Emery county, was born in Salt Lake City, June 25, 1850. His father, Justus W. Seely, was one of the first converts to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, joining that religious body in 1837. He went to Caldwell county, Missouri, in 1838 and in 1847 crossed the plains with oxen to Utah. On the 13th of March, 1851, he removed to San Bernardino, California, but in December, 1857, came from that state to Utah and settled in Pleasant Grove, March 14, 1858. The following year he removed to Mount Pleasant, becoming one of the pioneers there. He assisted in building the fort, also in the erection of the first sawmill and took to Mount Pleasant the first farm machinery used in that district. He was closely associated with the development and progress of the community along material and moral lines, filling the office of bishop’s counselor for seventeen years. For a period of twenty years he served as justice of the peace and for a similar length of time was a member of the city council. He practiced surgery and dentistry for many years, extracting teeth and setting fractures quite successfully in the absence of a physician. It was in 1842, in Iowa, that he wedded Clarissa J. Wilcox and his wife and three of their children were awarded pioneer medals at the jubilee in Salt Lake City in 1897. Justus W. Seely was among those who defended the interests of the settlers in the Black Hawk war and with every phase of frontier life and pioneer experiences he and his family were familiar.

Justus W. Seely, 2nd, obtained a common school education at Mount Pleasant, where he located with his father in 1859. He was reared to the occupation of farming and following his marriage, in 1872, he began stock raising on his own account. In 1877 he took seventy-five head of cattle of his own and three hundred that he was herding into the Castle valley and in 1879 he removed his family to Castle Dale. While they were en route to their new home their daughter Clarissa was born on the mountain top. Mr. Seely has continued to handle cattle and sheep extensively and is now one of the prominent farmers of his section of the state, owning a comfortable home, a large amount of live stock and other interests.

At Mount Pleasant, on the 26th of February, 1872, Mr. Seely was married to Anna E. Reynolds, who was born at Pleasant Grove, November 18, 1854, a daughter of William F. and Anna (Hawley) Reynolds. She was thrown from a carriage on the 18th of November, 1895, and died the same day. By that marriage there were born eleven children: Justus W., William J., Clarissa E., James W., Hyrum, Joseph, Anna, Stella, Karl A., Elnora and Orange M. On the 16th of September, 1896, Mr. Seely wedded Mary Jorgensen, who was born November 28, 1863, a daughter of James and Chasty Jorgensen. The children of this marriage are Jennie, Dora, Etta and Frank.

The religious faith of the family is that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints and in political belief Mr. Seely is a republican. His military record covers service in the Black Hawk war as a member of Fred Nielson’s company in 1866 and as a member of Captain Joseph Smith Day’s company in 1867. He has done important work along other lines, having in 1880 been elected county commissioner for a four years’ term. He has been a delegate to several state conventions of his party and has always taken an active interest in educational affairs. He is and has been for a number of years a member of the stake board of education and a liberal subscriber to the Stake Academy. He is a worthy representative of a well known pioneer family and his activities have supplemented the pioneer work of his father, contributing to the continued development of the state.

Noble Warrum, ed. Utah Since Statehood, 4 volumes. Chicago, IL; Salt Lake City, UT: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1919.

[Son of Justus Wellington SGS# 2337 – Justus Wellington II; Justus Wellington(#2337); Justus Azel; Justus William; Joseph; John; Benjamin; Nathaniel, Robert]

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