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Weeden Richard Seely


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: June 25, 1853

Date of Death: February 1897

Birth Place: Pottstown, Montgomery County, PA

WEEDEN RICHARD SEELY—One of the well known citizens of Hammonton, New Jersey, is Weeden Richard Seely, who has served as town clerk for many years and as a member of the Board of Education for three decades. It is in connection with his musical activities, however, that most people know Mr. Seely best. For years he was foremost in the promotion of concerts, recitals, and other entertainments given in and around Hammonton, and he has been instrumental in brightening the leisure hours of a host of friends and associates. Obadiah Seely, grandfather of Mr. Seely, was born near Great Barrington, Massachusetts, but later removed to Pottstown, Pennsylvania. He was a master mechanic, but later was engaged in business for himself as a wood carver and turner in Pottstown, and in Otsego County, New York, where he resided and was active to the time of his death. He married Mrs. Mary (Lessig) Bechtel, of Pottstown, and they were the parents of six children: 1. Paul. 2. Horatio Stockton, of whom further. 3. Silas Stone. 4. Mary Ann, who married Jared Todd. 5. Isaac Davis Lockwood. 6. John Quincy Adams, all of whom learned the wood-carving and turning trade with their father, except John Quincy Adams Seely, who became a salesman.

Horatio Stockton Seely, son of Obadiah and Mary (Lessig-Bechtel) Seely, was born in Pottstown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, in 1813, and died in February, 1897. He /earned the art of woodcarving with his father and later engaged in business for himself in Columbia, Pennsylvania. In 1839 he removed to Philadelphia, then to New York State, and finally to Hammonton, New Jersey, where he resided during the remainder of his life. He married Charlotte Weeden, who was born in Otsego County, New York, in April, 1821, and died in October, 1904, and they were the parents of six children: t. Adah Maria, who was born July 6, 1846, and died in June, 1882 and was engaged in teaching in Atlantic City. 2. Lorenzo Dow, born in October, 1848, died in 1886. 3. Helen Charlotte, born January t, 185x, died in November, 1914, taught in Atlantic City, and later married James Harvey Ransom, of Hammonton. 4. Weeden Richard, of further mention. 5. Jared Todd, born October 13, 1856, who is engaged in business as a real estate broker in Paterson. New Jersey. 6. Henry Stockton, who was born in 1861, and died in 1870.

Weeden Richard (W. Richard) Seely, son of Horatio Stockton and Charlotte (Weeden) Seely, was born in Morris, Otsego County, New York, June 25, 1853, and received his education in the public schools of Morris and Hammonton, to which place his parents removed in 1866. During his school days he had assisted his father on the farm, and when his school training was completed he continued in agricultural pursuits for a time, but from his earliest years he had been deeply interested in music and had been studying under competent teachers. He studied under the direction of H. E. Barton, of Vineland, New Jersey, then with J. H. Chandler. of Vineland, and finally with Professor D. H. Morrison. of Philadelphia. He taught in Hammonton and vicinity for many years. and was a leader in most of the musical affairs of the community. arranging recitals, concerts and musical entertainments of all sorts, including cantatas which were very beautifully rendered. His well trained baritone voice was one which gave pleasure to many, and for some twenty-five years there were few important musical affairs in Hammonton in which Mr. Seely did not have some share.

Mr. Seely was school trustee of the school district in which he lived, and when the town was consolidated as one district in 1883, he was made a member of the board. During all this time he had been engaged in farming, and he continued in that occupation until 1904, when he was made clerk of the Board of Education, a position which he still holds. He has been actively associated with school affairs for over thirty years and has contributed largely to’ the development of the schools of the community. In xoo8 he was elected town clerk and that position also he has continued to efficiently fill to the present time (1924). He has served as Commissioner of Deeds, and in 1879 he was elected a member of the Town Council, serving two years: served one year as assessor; and fully, for twenty years, served on the Board of Registry and Election, 1888-19o8. Politically he gives his support to the Republican party. He is a charter member of the Hammonton Kiwanis Club. His religious affiliations have been largely with the Episcopal Church, in which he was brought up in his early boyhood home, and later, when the church was established in Hammonton, while yet in his ‘teens, began singing in the church choir and continued singing (excepting at short intervals) for nearly thirty years, as soloist, and having charge of the music a large portion of the time. At this time (1g24) he is not engaged in any musical work, having relinquished that pleasure for the more arduous and responsible duties of public service. Mr. Seely is known and loved for his sterling qualities of character and for his pleasing personality, as well as for his musical ability, and he has a legion of friends in South Jersey.

On July 1, 1882, Weeden Richard Seely married (first) Mary E. Pressy, daughter of George Washington and Harriett (Blackwell) Pressy, the former of whom was the inventor of a stump puller and rock lifter, and also of the American Star Bicycle. Mrs. Seely died February 18, 1883, and he married (second) Clara P. Weston. the daughter of Rev. Costello and Julia (Andrews) Weston, the former of whom was a Universalist minister of Maine. Mrs. Seely taught in the Hammonton schools for twenty consecutive years. She is a graduate of Delhousie College, Halifax. Nova Scotia, taught in Minnesota for two years. in Vermont for one year, and then came to Hammonton as a special teacher of mathematics.

Page 93 – 94, “South Jersey : A History, 1664-1924,” Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Alfred M. Heston, Editor-in-chief, 1924

[Weeden Richard is son of Horatio Stockton SGS # 3082 – Weeden Richard; Horatio Stockton (#3082); Obadiah; John; John S; Obadiah; Obadiah; Obadiah]

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