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Morell E. Seely


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: May 22, 1842

Birth Place: Brighton Township, OH

Morell E. Seely, a prominent and well-to-do farmer of Brighton township, is a son of Humphrey S. Seely, who was born November 22, 1817, in Oneida county, N.Y., and whose father, Cornelius, was born in the same county September 3, 1796, a son of Daniel. During the Revolutionary war the last named, while fishing with some other boys, was kidnapped by the “Tories,” and induced to enter the British service, which he did, acting in the capacity of officer’s servant.

Cornelius Seely, grandfather of subject, in 1817 married Rachel Smith, who was born October 1, 1800, in New York, only daughter of Thomas Smith, a farmer and cooper. The children by this union were the following: Humphrey S.; Joseph W., who died in Kansas; Thomas, an M. E. minister of Ann Arbor, Mich.; Esther A., widow of John Cockrel, deceased; Almira H., widow of ‘William Hubbard, a tailor, who died in the service during the Civil war; Phebe, who married Hart Smith, and died in New York State; Daniel F., a farmer of Waukesha, Wis. (he was formerly in the lumber business); Phineas, also a farmer of Waukesha, Wis.; Renette, who died of scarlet fever when six years old; Amanda, deceased in infancy; James W., a farmer of Ridgeville township; Florentine, who married Asa Frary, and died in Canaan, Wayne Co., Ohio; Rachel N., who died in childhood; Ursula, wife of William Vandervere, of Kalamazoo, Mich.; Elroy Mc., who served in the same regiment with the subject of this sketch, and died in the hospital at Nashville, Tenn. Cornelius Seely, who was a lifelong farmer, came in 1821 to Lorain county, Ohio, with his family, consisting then of a wife and three children, the journey being made with a covered two-horse wagon, which conveyed two families, for his brother, Daniel, wife and child accompanied them. (This child, by name William, became a Methodist Episcopal divine, was residing elder, and was superannuated). The party camped out by the roadside at such times as taverns could not be reached by night, and they were kindly treated wherever they went. Their route was by way of Cleveland, where they forded the Cuyahoga river, then traveled along the beach of Lake Erie to Avon township, where the brothers secured a tract of and of 300 acres, north of the ridge, by trading his farm in New York State for it. The -land was all covered with timber and underbrush, but by dint of hard work and incessant toil they succeeded in making a clearing for their farm, and on it built a log house to shelter both families, but afterward each had a cabin. Money was a scarce commodity, and the brothers would make a journey on foot to Cleveland, a distance of twenty miles, and the same day after arrival each cut an average of four cords of wood. About the year 1846 Cornelius Seely moved to Wisconsin, locating for some time near Waukesha, and then returned to Avon township. Here he died March 4, 1866, and his remains lie buried in Avon cemetery. He was a pillar of the M. E. Church, serving as class-leader and in various offices. Mr. Seely had been twice married; his first wife, Rachel, died October 18, 1843, and for his second spouse he wedded Mrs. Mary Cadwell, née House, widow of Capt. Cadwell (her first husband was a Mr. Kinney), whom she married in New York. She died in her ninety-third year at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Leavitt Taylor, in Elyria, Ohio. Mr. Seely had no children by this union.

Humphrey S. Seely, father of subject, received his primary education at the subscription schools of his native place, and after reaching maturity attended select school, later the seminary at Norwalk, the principal thereof being Bishop Thompson, who died while on a trip around the world. Mr. Seely was a man of considerable ability, and advanced rapidly in his studies. He remained on his father’s farm till after his marriage, when he located on that of his father-in-law for two or three years. He then bought wild land in Brighton township, same county, and here cleared a farm, remaining on same until 1889, when he removed to Wellington village, in the township of that name, where he is now living a retired life. On March 25, 1841, he married Miss Cordelia Loveland, who was born November 12, 1823, in Brighton township, a daughter of Leonard H. and Margaret V. (Whitlock) Loveland, and two children were born to them, viz.: Morell E., subject of this memoir; and Amina R., born November 6, 1843, now Mrs. John Eddy, of Wellington; her first husband was Oliver Rulison, who during the Civil war served in the Second Ohio Cavalry, and died from ‘injuries received in the war. The mother of these died March 23, 1852, and was buried in Loveland cemetery, which was situated on the home farm. For his second wife Mr. Seely married, in 1852, Miss Julia Crosby, born December 23, 1825, in Brighton township, Lorain county, a daughter of John Crosby, a pioneer of same. Two children came to this union, viz.: DeForest C., born October 12, 1858, died April 26, 1878; and Dwight F., born July 9, 1860, a farmer of Brighton township. This wife was called from earth August 13, 1876, and was buried in Brighton cemetery. Mr. Seely’s present wife, whom he married February 14, 1877, was Mrs. Julia E. Andrus (née Smith), widow of John Andrus. In politics Mr. Seely is a Prohibition Republican, and he and his wife are devout members of the M. E. Church, respected and honored by the entire community.

Morell E. Seely, the subject proper of this sketch, was born May 22, 1842, in Brighton township, Lorain Co., Ohio, on the farm he now owns and lives on. He received a liberal education at the schools of his district, his first teacher being Sarah Boardman, and under his father’s careful tuition he was thoroughly posted in the business of general farming. On August 5, 1862, he enlisted, in Brighton township, in Company F, One Hundred and Third O. V. I., and was sent to Camp Cleveland for purposes of drill, joining the command at Covington, Ky. At Knoxville, Tenn., November 25, 1863, he was wounded so severely as to necessitate being sent to hospital. After convalescence he was furloughed, and April 18, 1865, was honorably discharged from the service, and returned to Brighton township, where he worked one year for his father. He then came to his present farm, where his grandfather, Leonard H. Loveland, was then living, and with him made his home until the death of the latter, when the farm was transferred by inheritance to our subject. He has now 214 acres of prime land, on which he carries on general farming, including dairying on an extensive scale, and he is conceded to be one of the best managers and financiers among the agriculturists of his township. As a steady, progressive farmer, he has no superior, and in many ways is a leader in the community.

On September 30, 1868, Mr. Seely was married to Miss Rachel Rulison, who was born February 5, 1852, daughter of James Rulison. She died without issue March 28, 1873, and was buried in Brighton cemetery, and Mr. Seely married, May 18,1874, her sister, Cordelia, born March 18, 1849. The children by this union are Herbert E., born March 2, 1875, clerk in a bank at Oberlin, Ohio; and Leonard E., born March 22, 1877, residing at home, who takes an active interest in the mechanics, especially in electricity, and who is somewhat of a genius in that direction. In his political references our subject is a stanch Republican, and has frequently been elected to office, but invariably declined to serve.

Pages 753 – 755, Commemorative Biographical Record of the Counties of Huron and Lorain, Ohio: Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and of Many of the Early Settled Families,” published Chicago 1894 by J.H. Beers & Co.

[Grandson of SGS # 3439 – Morell Elroy; Humphrey Smith; Cornelius (# 3439); Daniel (# 1554); David; Charles; Samuel; Jonas; Obadiah]

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