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Nelson Seely


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: February 29, 1816

Birth Place: Bainbridge, NY

NELSON SEELY, one of the prominent and enterprising merchants of Marquette, Wis., and the senior member of the firm of N. Seely & Co., has been a resident of Green Lake County since 1857, during which time he has been connected with the commercial interests of the community. He was born in Bainbridge, Chenango Co., N.Y., Feb. 29, 1816, and is a son of Isaac and Permelia (Banks) Seely, both of whom were natives of Westchester, N.Y., born of English ancestry. The father was a farmer by occupation and engaged in that business throughout his entire life. By his marriage with Miss Banks four children were born, three of whom are yet living – Banks, a resident of Hammonton, N.J.; Zipporah, wife of Horatio N. Andrews, of Hammonton, N.J.; and Nelson of this sketch. Polly, the other member of the family, became the wife of Uriah Yale, but both are now deceased. The parents have also passed away.

Our subject acquired his education in the schools of his native city, and under the parental roof passed the days of his boyhood. He was in the tin business one season, but when twenty-two years of age he left home and went to Queens County, N.Y. Afterward Mr. Seely was employed as a traveling salesman for six years by a tobacco house, and during that time was also captain of a sloop. He returned to his home in 1843 and went to work upon the old farm, continuing to assist in its cultivation until 1846, when he became proprietor of a hotel in Bainbridge. Following that pursuit until 1850, he then engaged in a patent-right business for a year, when he returned to the hotel of which he had charge until 1853, when he sold out. His next venture was as a manufacturer of sash, doors and cabinet ware, in which line he carried on operations for four years. At the end of that time he had determined to try his fortune in the West, and acting upon his resolve located in Marquette, where he has resided continuously since. Soon after his arrival, he erected a building for the purpose of engaging in the same business which he had quitted prior to his emigration. That was the first manufacturing establishment in Marquette and until 1874, Mr. Seely did a flourishing business. From the beginning his trade constantly increased until he netted a handsome income, but at length he sold out and embarked in the mercantile business. Some years previous to that time, in 1863, he was appointed Postmaster of Marquette, which position he held until 1887. For about two years the office was then occupied by another, but in July, 1889, he was again appointed to the position, and is the present incumbent. For about a quarter of a century he has now served as Postmaster of Marquette, and it is needless to speak of the prompt and able manner in which he has discharged his duties as his long continued service plainly indicates that fact. A more popular officer could not have been chosen, and his fidelity to duty is rewarded by the high regard and confidence in which he is held.

Mr. Seely was united in marriage with Miss Harriet A. Fairchild, who was also a native of Bainbridge, N. Y., and a daughter of Winthrop and Margaret (Allison) Fairchild, who were also born in the Empire. State. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Seely have been born two children, daughters: Helen M., who is still living with her parents; and Emma, wife of J. A. Inglis, junior member of the firm of Seely & Co.

When Mr. Seely disposed of his manufactory, he embarked in the mercantile business as a grocer, at the same time having charge of the postoflice. The same success with which he had met in other lines of business now crowned his efforts, owing to his earnest desire to please his customers, prompt attention to their wants, his fair and honest dealing and unfailing courtesy. In August, 1889, he admitted to partnership .J. A. Inglis, his son-in-law, they doing business under the firm name of N. Seely & Co. With the experience and excellent judgment of the senior partner is now combined the activity and energy of youth, and we feel no hesitancy in saying the new firm will receive a liberal share of the public patronage which it so well deserves. Politically, Mr. Seely is a Republican. He has held various township offices, and is every where recognized as one of the leading and influential citizens of Marquette, in whose advancement and upbuilding he has borne so prominent a part. As citizens, none stand higher than he and his estimable family. Their rank in the social world is also of the highest, and it is with pleasure that we thus represent them in the history of the county which has so long been their home.

Page 357 – 358, “Portrait and Biographical Album of Green Lake, Marquette and Waushara Counties, Wisconsin,” Acme Publishing Co., Chicago, 1890.

[Nelson is the son of Isaac SGS # 3302 – Nelson; Isaac (#3302); Eli; Eli; Jonathan; Joseph; Cornelius; Obadiah]

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