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Seth W. Seelye


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: September 28, 1837

Birth Place: Indiana

SETH W. SEELYE who has been busily engaged in general agricultural pursuits throughout his entire business career, now resides on an excellent farm of thirty-three acres at Scholls, eight miles southwest of Beaverton. His birth occurred in Indiana, on the 28th of September, 1837, his parents being Abner and Mary (Craig) Seelye, who were natives of Pennsylvania and Kentucky respectively. They were married in Indiana and there continued to reside for twelve years. On the expiration of that period they removed to Metropolis, Illinois, where they remained but a short time, however. In August, 1852, they came to Multnomah county, Oregon, where Abner Seelye worked in a sawmill for six months. At the end of that time he went to the Lewis river, in the state of Washington (at that time a part of Oregon), where he proved up a claim and carried on farming for a few years. Relinquishing his claim, he removed to Sauvies Island, at the junction of the Columbia and Willamette rivers, where he made his home for several years. Subsequently he took up his abode in Portland and after a brief period came to Washington county, purchasing the farm which is now in possession of our subject. After disposing of his property he returned to Willamette Slough and there resided for a few years, when he sold his place and removed to Tillamook, where his remaining days were spent in honorable retirement. He passed away at the age of sixty-three having survived his wife for several years. Unto them were born nine children, five of whom are yet living, as follows: Seth W., of this review; Ann, the widow of Daniel McCoy; Catherine, who is the wife of E. C. Stanwood and lives on the coast; George, who is a resident of Washington county, Oregon; and Zachariah, of Banks, Oregon.

Seth W. Seelye attended the common schools in the acquirement of an education and on attaining his majority started out as an agriculturist on his own account. He devoted his attention to the cultivation of rented land for many years and subsequently took charge of one-half of the farm, which he owned in association with his father for a number of years. The property, which is located at Scholls, on section 16, has been his place of abode to the present time. At one time his holdings in the vicinity embraced one hundred and forty-three acres, but he has disposed of all except a tract of thirty-three acres, twenty acres of which is under a high state of cultivation. His undertakings as an agriculturist have been attended with success and he has long been numbered among the substantial and representative citizens of the community.

On July 26th, 1876, Mr. Seelye was united in marriage to Miss Hannah Turpin, who was born in Pennsylvania, on the 12th of August, 1837, her parents being Isaac R. and Rebecca (Davis) Turpin, natives of New Jersey. They resided in that state for fifteen years after their marriage and then removed to Pennsylvania, where Isaac R. Turpin passed away at the age of fifty-five years. His wife was more than eighty years of age when called to her final rest. During his earlier manhood Mr. Turpin followed the sea for twenty-four years and for several years owned and was in charge of a vessel. To him and his wife were born fifteen children, all of whom are deceased except Mrs. Seelye. At the time of her demise Mrs. Turpin had two hundred and fifty children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

In politics Mr. Seelye is a stanch republican but his aspirations have not been in the line of office seeking. The period of his residence in the west covers almost six decades and he is therefore largely familiar with the annals of this part of the country. He has now passed the seventy-fifth milestone on this earthly pilgrimage and his life has been such that he can look back over the past without regret and toward the future without fear.

Volume 3 Page 219, Joseph Gaston, “The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811 – 1912”, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.; Chicago; 1912

Transcribed and provided by Diana, Volunteer for the US Biographies Project http://www.usbiographies.org

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