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William B. Seley


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: 1833

Birth Place: Crawford County, PA

WILLIAM B. SELEY This gentleman was born in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, in 1833, son of Joseph and Levina (Loper) Seley. His father was born in Pennsylvania, on the Susquehanna river, and was of Scotch ancestry, while his mother was of English extraction and a native of New Jersey. Both died and are buried in Crawford county, Pennsylvania. The father passed away at the age of seventy-five years. He was a farmer all his life; in politics a Democrat; and in religion, a Baptist. Their family was composed of eleven children, of whom William B. was the seventh son. Mr. Seley grew up on a farm in his native State, receiving an ordinary education in the common schools, which was afterward supplemented by study and reading at home. This reading he has continued all through life, has gained a general store of useful knowledge, and is well posted on the topics of the day. Mr. Seley remained in Pennsylvania, engaged in agricultural pursuits, until 1860, when he moved to Henry county, Illinois, spending four years there.

At the end of that time he returned to Pennsylvania, and a year later came west again, this time to Union county, Iowa, where he was one of the early settlers of the county and an important factor in its growth and development. In 1877 he disposed of his interests there and came to Adams county. He came to his present farm, 160 acres in section 12, Carl township, in 1883. From its wild state he has brought it up to a high development. His cottage home is erected on a natural building site and near by are his orchard and grove. Here he is engaged in general farming and stock-raising, assisted by his sons. In Crawford county, Pennsylvania, at the age of twenty-three years, he wedded Miss Lucretia Finlay, who was born, reared and educated in the Keystone State. Her father, William Finlay, was born in Ireland and was only six months old when he arrived in Pennsylvania, where he was reared. Her mother, Rebecca Finlay, nee Taylor, was a native of Crawford county, that State. Mr. and Mrs. Seley have had born to them sixteen children, eight sons and eight daughters, eleven of whom are now living, namely: Thomas B., of Creston, Iowa; Jennie, a successful teacher of Carl township, this county; Willie E., of Adair county, Iowa; Ed. F., of Creston, engaged in business with his brother Thomas B.; Minnie, wife of Joseph Fisher; Mary, who is attending the Creston high school; and Joseph F., Samuel L., Della W., Gifford W. and Gracie Mabel, at home. Ed. F. is a graduate of the Creston high school and was the recipient of a gold medal. Politically Mr. Seley is a People’s man, believing in the best measures and best laws for the greatest number of people. He and his wife and daughter Mary are members of the Congregational church.

“Biographical History of Montgomery and Adams Counties, Iowa,” The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1892

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