Transcribed by Deb Thormahlen
7 Jun 2008
Martin V. Seely, “mine host” of the “Seely House” is a son of Col. Ebenezer and Dolly (Maynard) Seely (see sketch of Col. Ebenezer Seely in another part of this work), and was born in Cattaraugus Co., N.Y., Jan. 30, 1834. The father of Mr. Seely was a native of Genesee Co., N.Y., and now resides in Portland Township, this county, at the advanced age of 82 years; his portrait appears in this work, and in connection therewith a biographical sketch of his life. The mother of Mr. Seely died on the old homestead, aged 72 years.
When two years of age, 1836, Mr. Seely accompanied his parents to this country, where they located on a farm. He was reared on the farm, assisting in the labors of the same and alternating his work thereon by attendance at the common schools until he attained the age of majority.
Mr. Seely united in marriage in Portland Township, this county, March 20, 1855, to Miss Armina Maynard, a daughter of William and Emily Maynard. She was born in Erie Co., N.Y., Jan. 30, 1834, the same day and year which witnessed the birth of her husband. The issue of their union was two children, both of whom are deceased, Sadie and Willie.
Mrs. Seely died in Portland Township, March 7, 1859, and Mr. Seely was again married in the same township, Dec. 19, 1861, to Miss Amelia Keeler, daughter of Ralph O. and Orlantha J. Keeler. She was born in Wood Co., Ohio, Aug 15, 1835. They had one son, Ralph M., born July19, 1867, and at present attending the Business College at Sterling, Ill. Mrs. Seely died in Prophetstown, Dec. 15, 1884. In 1861, Mr. Seely bought the old homestead, which comprised 260 acres. He subsequently sold 160 acres of the same and at the present time is the proprietor of 100 acres of the old homestead, also 160 acres on sections 1 and 35 of Portland Township. He made a speciality of stock-raising, buying and feeding his stock and shipping annually about $50,000 worth. Mr. Seely was President of the Whiteside Agricultural Society of Sterling, for two years. Socially, he is a member of the I.O.O.F.
In 1873 Mr. Seely went to Prophetstown and built the Seely House, which he rented for six years, and during that time was interested in the stock business. When the First National Bank was organized, he was a stock-holder and director of the same. In 1879, he took charge of his hotel in Prophetstown, has 28 rooms for the accommodation of guests, and is conducted in a manner every way suited to the wants of the traveling public. Mr. Seely is strictly temperate, never having tasted a drop of ardent spirits in hi slife; nor does he use tobacco in any way.