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About Samuel Charles Seely
Samuel C. Seely
One of the early settlers of what is now Milford was Samuel C. Seely. He obtained warrants for and located two tracts of land, one in his own name and the other in that of his wife, Patience Seely. These tracts included both sides of the Sawkill Creek, from the "river flats" up-stream about a mile, covering the sites for water-power on that creek for that distance. Soon after the surveys were made he settled upon the land and erected a grist-mill, which is said to have been on the site of the Klaer mill, that Wells’ mill is said to have occupied. It is probable that one of these parties had the mill for a short time and then sold it to the other. Seely’s residence, was on the old "Wilderness Road," which was opened through to Wyoming by Connecticut colonists in 1762. Old people say that he had a store here, it being the first store in all this region of country. His wife was Miss Patience Morrell, of New York, a woman of refinement and possessing property.
When he brought his wife to the wilderness home, at Minisink, their dwelling was a log cabin, and their oven out of doors, being built upon a level-topped rock of suitable height to form the oven floor. The first time the young wife heated the oven for baking, she was greatly startled, while at her work, by the sight of six or eight large rattlesnakes, that crawled out from under the rock as it had warmed by fire. Samuel C. Seely was one of the four judges commissioned to hold office during good behavior, shortly after the act of 21st March, 1798, erecting Wayne County. Samuel Preston, John Ryerson, Samuel C. Seely and John Biddis, although not lawyers, were commissioned, to hold Courts of Common Pleas. Judge Ryerson was removed March 30, 1803, and Richard Brodhead the next day commissioned as judge in his place. Judge Seely resigned May 13, 1803, and was the same day admitted to the bar as an attorney-at-law. It does not appear that he ever practiced before the courts.
These early judges were of about the same mental calibre as an ordinary justice of the peace, and their decisions were based upon the principles of natural justice, as it appeared to men of good common sense. They held the first courts in Wayne County at Milford, Wilsonville and Bethany, during the long controversy, ending in the permanent location of the seat at the last-named place, and finally in the erection of Pike into a new county, in 1814.
Samuel Seely, son of Rev. Christopher Seely, was born in 1756, probably at Morristown, N. J. Though only a boy at the outbreak of the Revolution, he early bore an active part in the conflict. His name appears for the first time in the list of officers and men of the militia of Elizabeth Town, who entered on board a number of shallops, January 22, 1776, in order to take the British ship "Blue Mountain Valley."
He held commissions in the three successive organizations of Continental troops, known as First, Second and Third Establishments. His final rank was first lieutenant of the First Regiment of the New Jersey Line. In this he served to the end of the war, and was honorably discharged with the brevet rank of captain. He probably obtained the title of general from some militia organization. General Seely had his slaves, in common with the prominent early settlers in the Minisink, and drove with his coach-and-four in much style, but during the latter part of his life lost his property and lived with his son-in-law, Judge Dingman, who had married his daughter, the Widow Burrell, for a second wife. He died September 28, 1819, aged sixty-three, and is buried in Delaware Cemetery, at Dingman’s Ferry. He had a large family of children. Of these children, Samuel and Christopher and Charlotte, wife of John Thompson, lived in New York; William went to sea; Cornelia and Maria were twins (Cornelia was the wife of Paschal Wells, of Brooklyn, and Maria married John Ennis, who lived just across the river from Dingman’s Ferry); Harriet married Isaac Burrell, and resided in Sandyson, N. J.; Sarah H. Burrell, the oldest daughter, was the wife of Abram Decker, who lived in Delaware township; Daniel Burrell is there, also; Rev. William H. Burrell is a Methodist preacher; and Charles S. Burrell resides in Chicago.
"History of Wayne, Pike and Monroe Counties," (Chapter 5, Pike County--Borough of Milford), Alfred Mathews, 1886.
[Samuel Charles is SGS # 450 – Samuel Charles; Christopher; Samuel; Jonas; Obadiah]