Source: History of Whiteside County, Illinois
Edited by Charles Bent
Morrison, Illinois 1877
Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society
Norman B. Seely was born in Genesee county, New York, in 1899. He married Miss Lydia Crook, and came to the Rock River country in June 1834, with Asa Crook, locating where the village of Portland now is. He remained until 1839, when he went to Jones county, Iowa, where he laid out the town of Rome, built a saw mill, and engaged in farming for many years. He went twice to California, where he built another mill, and losing his health, returned to Portand. He died in October, 1874, aged 65 years. He was a good type of the pioneer, and made many friends wherever his enterprising spirit took him. He built the first house in Portland, merely a hole in the ground, in which he wintered in 1834, working meanwhile in Rock Island, on the Government works. He waked home from that place, a distance of 40 miles, every Saturday night, bringing supplies for his family, and returned each Monday morning. His children are as follows: Mary, George, Sarah, Norman, Ellen, Mack, and Josephine. Mary and Norman are dead; George and Mack are in California; Sarah married J. B. Hagan, and resided in Henry county, Illinois; Ellen married James Stewart, and Josephine married H. Jones; they reside in California. Mrs. Norman B. Seely is still living,and is also a resident of California.