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Query Number: 1202-3 February 2012

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Requested Information:

Victoria is researching an image from a postcard of an oil tank fire. One of the postcards says the picture was taken in Olean, NY and it states: Copyright 1901 Don Seeley. Although not related to the Seeley family herself she would love any information anyone might have on a Don Seeley living and working in the NY/PA oil region around the turn of the century. You can see the postcard at http://www.victoriamanning.com/ (look under Work) and read an interesting article written by Victoria about the postcard (look under Statements).

Requester: Victoria Manning | vmanning@lycos.com

Initial Response Information:

1880 census Wellsboro, Tioga, PA
Seeley, Don, age 26 b. PA, PA, PA, compositor
Seeley, Julia age 18 b. PA, PA, PA
Seeley, Harry T age 10 mos. b. Jul 1879 PA, PA, PA

1880 census Bradford, McKean, PA
Seeley, Daniel T age 46 b. NY, NY, NY, gunsmith
Seeley, Anna age 37 b. NY, IRE, IRE
Seeley, Don A age 8, Nellie May age 6, both b. NY, NY, NY

I found Don Seele b. 1872 NY in the 1910 and 1920 censuses in Pittsburgh, PA and in 1930 in Olean, Cattaraugus, NY working as a commercial photographer.

There is also a Donald H Seeley b. Feb 1892, residing in Alma, Allegany, NY in 1900. His step-father is an oil driller. This Don lives in Olean when he registers for the WWI Draft and later lives in OK where he works in the oil industry but he would have only been 9 yrs old when the postcard photo was copyrighted….

We have several members who come from that part of the US – perhaps someone will know which Don/Donald Seeley is the oil fire photographer. Contact me with any info you have.

Responder: SGS Query Editor