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Mary Seely (born Jackson)


Gender: Female

Date of Birth: August 13, 1796

Mary Jackson, wife of Dr. Sylvanus Seely was born in Clarksburg, W.Va., August 13, 1796. She was married at her father’s home in 1817, and moved to Zanesville, O. Her family and friends parted with her in sorrow and tears, thinking they would never see her again; for, although the distance to Zanesville was only sixty miles, it was across the Ohio River, and to them beyond the Ohio meant only an unbroken wilderness, peopled with hostile and treacherous Indians.

Her wedding dress was a pink crape, a peach blossom pink. It was very short-waisted, with full sleeves, and the skirt, which was slightly gored, measured just two yards in width around the bottom; a three-cornered lace handkerchief was worn about the neck.

Her father supplied her with ample goods and furniture for housekeeping. A high-posted walnut bedstead, a bureau of four drawers, with drop handles, some chairs and a table, a featherbed, bed clothing, table linen, towels, and dishes. After two years’ residence in Zanesville they came to Howland on horseback with their baby Catharine. Their household goods were sent by wagon. Two years afterwards they came to Warren, living in a four-roomed, weather-boarded, log house on the west side of Park avenue, where Rentfle’s shoe store is. As Mrs. Seely’s father was a slave-holder, she knew very little about housekeeping when she was married. She soon learned and become a good cook and housekeeper. Mrs. Seely had a family of six children, four girls and two boys. She made a wedding for each of her daughters – Catherine, who married Lieutenant Ingersoll in 1838; Jane, who married Cyrus Van Gorder in 1840, and Helen, who married Judge James M. Jackson, of Parkersburg, W. Va. This was an afternoon wedding, so the young couple could take the stage for Pittsburg, and was a brilliant social event, Mrs. Seely taking great interest in it because her daughter’s husband was to be a man from her own native State, Virginia. Mrs. Van Gorder is now the only daughter living, and resides on Pine street, and recalls with pleasure these earlier times.

In 1836 Mrs. Seely’s sister, from Clarksburg, Va., visited her and expressed a desire to see Lake Erie. A party was made up and they rode on horseback to Painesville to view the lake.

In 1841 the family moved into a two-story frame house further down on Park avenue, on the opposite side of the street, which was their home afterwards. Mrs. Seely was fond of reading, particularly the periodicals and newspapers. She enjoyed the society of young people, and the last years of her life were rendered pleasant by the kindly ministrations of her two great-granddaughters, whom she had taken to her home some years before, in their motherless childhood. She passed to her reward in 1875.

Pages 34-35, “Memorial to the Pioneer Women of the Western Reserve'” edited by Mrs. Gertrude Van Rensselaer Wickham, Volume I, July 1896

See biography of her husband as Sylvanus Seeley.

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