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Thaddeus DeWitt Seeley


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: August 26, 1867

Birth Place: Pontiac Township

Thaddeus Dewitt Seeley, a native son of Oakland county, is one of the most enterprising and successful exponents of the real estate and investment business, being the executive head of the firm of Seeley & Linton, the offices of which are at 514 Pontiac Commercial and Saving Bank building. The civic loyalty of Mr. Seeley has been shown in his progressive administration while he was serving as mayor of Pontiac, and his constructive activities while representative of his native county in the state legislature. On a farm that is now a part of the farm estate of the Michigan State Hospital for the Insane in Pontiac township, Mr. Seeley was born August 26, 1867. He was four years of age at the time the family moved to Waterford township, and in this county his parents, George H. and Sarah (Prall) Seeley passed the remainder of their lives, the father having a long been one of the substantial farmers of this county. Thaddeus D. Seeley received his education in the district schools and the Pontiac high school, and about the time of attaining his legal majority he married and with his young wife he moved to Bay county, where he turned his attention to the operation of a large dairy farm and to the raising of pure bred Holstein cattle. Continuing here for five years he returned to Oakland county and after one year spent in Groveland township he moved to a fine farm on the east branch of Long lake, in Bloomfield township, three miles south of Pontiac. There he remained for fourteen years and made a record of successful achievement as a representative of agriculture and live-stock industry. In 1908 Mr. Seeley sold this property and moved to Pontiac where for the ensuing two years he associated himself with Ralph D. Tobin in the hardware business. He then disposed of his interest in this and since that time has given most of his attention to the real estate and insurance business in Oakland county. In 1920 Mr. Seely formed a partnership with Lloyd S. Linton, and firm of Seeley & Linton has assumed a foremost place in connection with diversified and carefully conducted real estate operations in this county. This firm gives special attention to the platting and exploiting of city subdivisions and to the handling of property on the attractive resort lakes of the county. Mr. Seeley has been unsparing of his time and energy in recent service in obtaining the right of way between the city limits of Detroit and the Pontiac city limits for the extension of a “wider Woodward” and making the same one of the finest intra-state highways of Michigan. Mr. Seeley has had no minor leadership in the councils of the Republican party in Michigan, as shown when elected to represent Oakland county in the lower house of the state legislature in 1900. The estimate place upon his services in the house of representative is shown in his re-reelection in 1902, and in 1904 still further honors came to him when he was elected to the senate from the Twelfth district. In 1906 he was re-elected to the senate so that his legislative career covered a period of eight consecutives – a record that has not been equaled by any other citizen of Oakland county. In both branches of the legislature Mr. Seeley was one of the most vigorous of advocates and supporters of wise and progressive legislation, and his was large influence in the deliberation of both the house and senate. In 1907 he was chairman of the railroad committee of the senate, and it will be recalled that it was this committee that formulated much of the important legislation pertaining to railroads, including the railroad commission act and the law providing for two cents fares in the state. In 1910 Mr. Seeley was a member of the charter-revision committee that drafted the three commission charter of Pontiac and gained to the city the commission form of municipal government. Under the present charter he had the distinction of serving as mayor of Pontiac during the period of 1920 to 1923, and his administration has passed on to record as one of the most progressive and sane in the history of the city. Mr. Seeley was a delegate to the Republican national convention of 1920, and in 1922 was a candidate of his party for representative of the Sixth district of Michigan in the United States congress. Mr. Seeley was vitally concerned in the various patriotic movements during the World war period, and he was chairman of the committees in the various drives in support of government war loans except the first. For thirteen years he has been a director of the Pontiac Commercial and Savings Bank and his is also a director of the Pontiac Trust Company and the Pontiac Finance Corporation, and is president of the Pontiac Mortgage and Investment Company. Mr. Seeley is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in the latter of which he was district deputy for eastern Michigan in 1911, and the following year a representative of Michigan to the meeting of the supreme grand lodge of the order at Portland, Oregon. In 1888 Mr. Seeley was united in marriage to Miss Eva M. Palmer, a daughter of Samuel A. and Mary (Kimball) Palmer, of Pontiac. The three children of this union are: Florence L., the wife of Arthur W. Seldon; Mabel J., who is the wife of Maurice G. Reeves; and George Palmer. The mother of the children died in 1914 and in 1917 Mr. Seeley married Miss Lillian Webb Healy and the home of the family is at Elizabeth Lake. Mr. Seeley is a member of the Congregational church as have been five generations of the family.

Page 381-383, “Historic Michigan, Land of the Great Lakes,” Edited by Lillian Drake Avery, Volume III, Published by National Historical Association, Inc.

[Great-grandson of William Pease Seeley SGS # 1963 –Thaddeus D.; George H., Ira C., William Pease (SGS # 1963), John, Hezekiah; Nathaniel; Nathaniel; Nathaniel; Nathaniel; Robert]

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