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Uri Seeley


Gender: Male

Date of Death: August 10, 1877

Uri Seeley was one of the most widely known of the old settlers of Lake County. He came to Painesville township about the year 1817, and soon purchased the large farm which he owned throughout his life. He was the embodiment of all that we are accustomed to look upon as the pioneer spirit, – a man whose most prominent characteristics were energy, intense activity, fearlessness, and integrity. He was practical, brusque, rugged, and, above all, a man of strong convictions and unflinching devotion to duty. With these qualities as his most prominent ones, it was not strange that he led a career which left its mark and influence upon the community, and in some measure upon the whole country. He was sheriff of the old county of Geauga from 1824 to 1828, and during his occupation of the office exhibited the same rigid adherence to principle, and the same unbiased, uncompromising sense of justice, that made him a mighty force in the long and severe campaign against slavery. He was perhaps the most prominent man of this neighborhood in the anti-slavery movement, and worked side by side with Wade and Giddings. He had a most fierce hatred of slavery, and his whole strength was exerted in the battle for its overthrow. He was a member of the first National Anti-Slavery convention, later a delegate to the Free-Soil convention, and was the first representative of the abolition element in the State legislature, his constituency being embraced in the counties of Lake and Ashtabula. Mr. Seeley was one of the oldest members of the Presbyterian (now the Congregational) church, and through his long connection with the society was one of its leading men. Uri Seeley died August 10, 1877, aged eighty-six years.

“History of Geauga and Lake counties”; Williams Brothers, 1878.

[SGS # 1921 – Uriah/Uri (#1921); Ebenezer (# 606); (Nathaniel; Nathaniel; Nathaniel; Nathaniel; Nathaniel; Robert]

Uri Seeley house plaque in Ohio
Marker #25-43 : Uri Seeley House

“Uri Seeley House”
Built in 1819, this classic Greek Revival style colonial is attributed to the works of master builder and architect Jonathon Goldsmith. Goldsmith is known for his simple, yet elegant craftsmanship and architectural designs, especially the unique front doorways that are signatures of his creations. The house reveals original detailed woodwork and a functional floor plan. It was constructed for Uri Seeley, one of the earliest settlers of Lake County. Seeley and his family were dedicated to the anti-slavery movement and used this residence as a stop for travelers on the Underground Railroad. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

969 Riverside Drive
Painesville, OH 44077
Lake County

The home of Uri Seeley around 1791

The home of Uri Seeley (1791?-1877) at Painesville, Lake County, Ohio, was used as a fugitive slave retreat. The image was collected by Ohio State University professor Wilbur H. Siebert (1866-1961). Siebert began researching the Underground Railroad in the 1890s as a way to interest his students in history.

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