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W. W. Seeley


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: March 23, 1865

Birth Place: Tazewell County, IL

W.W. Seeley is proprietor of the “Larchwood Farm,” comprising three hundred and forty acres of land on section 22, Lincoln township, which he has operated continuously during the past twenty-three years and which is generally conceded to be one of the finest farms in Adair county. He is, moreover a stock breeder of national reputation and is said to have the largest herd of registered Polled Durham cattle in the state of Iowa. His birth occurred in Tazewell county, Illinois, on the 23rd of March, 1865, his parents being Thomas W. and Mary Z. (Brown) Seeley, who were born, reared and married in Medina county, Ohio. Their wedding took place in Wadsworth, that county, on the 24th of October, 1861, and in the following November they established their home in Tazewell county, Illinois, where Thomas W. Seeley continued to reside until he passed away on the 11th of October, 1884. His widow remained on the home farm until 1892, when she came to Iowa with our subject, in whose home she has lived to the present time.

W. W. Seeley was reared under the parental roof and in the acquirement of an education attended the public schools and the Ohio Northern University at Ada, in which institution he pursued his studies for two years or until the death of this father. He then returned to the home farm and assumed its management. Even at this early period in his life stock breeding held a fascination for him and he began the raising of thoroughbred Chester White hogs. This was the beginning of his later successful career as a breeder. In 1892 he came to Iowa and bought his present place of three hundred and forty acres, comprising one of the most valuable farms in Adair county. Shortly after taking up his abode here he began the breeding of registered Polled Durham cattle, in which line of activity he has been signally successful during the past twenty years. He has been a regular exhibitor at the Iowa and the Nebraska state fairs for years past and has been awarded many first premium ribbons on both his cattle and hogs. In fact it is doubtful if any other exhibitor has captured half as many premiums on stock shown during the years Mr. Seeley has exhibited. His reputation has extended from coast to coast and he makes shipments of his stock to breeders from Virginia to the state of Washington. Not content to rest with the laurels won in the breeding of hogs and cattle, he eventually gained an enviable position among the Percheron horse breeders of the world. He bred the Percheron stallion, “French Premier 55995,” which took three gold medals and one silver medal during the three years he was exhibited at the Iowa state fair. He died in 1914, while being prepared for entry into the grand champion class, three weeks before the opening of the show. Mr. Seeley belongs to the Polled Durham Association and the Percheron Society of America and is one of the well known breeders of the United States.

On the 14th of February, 1889, Mr. Seeley was united in marriage to Miss Junie Belle Latham, of Tazewell county, Illinois, and to them was born a daughter, Jessie May, who gave her hand in marriage to Frank Eversull, a farmer of Lincoln township. The wife and mother passed away in January, 1890, shortly after the birth of her daughter. In his political views Mr. Seeley is a republican, loyally supporting the men and measures of that party, and he is a man always to be relied upon to give his influence and help toward the advancement of any meritorious cause affecting the interests of the people in his state and county.

History of Adair county, Iowa, and Its People Lucian M. Kilburn, supervising editor, Chicago: The Pioneer Publishing Company, 1915, page 363.

Thank you to Norma Nielson for her transcription of this biography.

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