Mrs. Nellie Seals, who is the owner of a fine farm comprising fifty-two acres on section 22, Keene township, was born September 26, 1865, in Lincoln county, Missouri. She is a daughter of Joseph L. and Julina (Pollard) Woodson. Her father was born in Virginia, June 11, 1818, and her mother’s birth occurred in the Old Dominion, June 14, 1823. Mr. Woodson was a farmer by occupation and removed to Missouri at an early period in the development of the state, spending his remaining days there. He died December 24, 1900, while his wife’s death occurred August 13, 1898.
Mrs. Seals spent her girlhood days under the parental roof and obtained her education in the public schools of Lincoln county, Missouri. On the 19th of February, 1885, she gave her hand in marriage to James N. Seals and with him came to Adams county, Illinois, where she has since lived. Mr. Seals was born April 1, 1856, and was a son of Joseph and Catherine (Cecil) Seals, the former born March 27, 1819, and the latter March 4, 1830. Both were natives of Ohio. They came to Adams county, however, at an early day, settling in Keene township among the pioneer residents of this portion of the state and the father bore an active and useful part in the early development of what was then a frontier region. In 1849, attracted by the discovery of gold in California, he made the overland trip to the Pacific coast, where he spent some time. He was very successful while in the far west and with a goodly sum of money he returned to Illinois. He afterward worked in Quincy at the stonemason’s trade, which he had learned in his early manhood and he erected several of the stone houses that are still standing in Quincy. Later, however, he returned to Keene township, purchasing a large tract of land and continued to engage in farming throughout his remaining days. He died September 5, 1902, but his widow is yet living and makes her home with her daughter in Quincy.
James N. Seals was indebted to the public schools of Adams county for the educational privileges he enjoyed in his youth and when he had put aside his text books he turned his attention to the tilling of the soil, gaining practical knowledge of the best methods of carrying on a farm so that when he began business on his own account he was well qualified for the work which he undertook. He was the owner of a farm in section 22, and made it a valuable property, placing the fields under a very high state of cultivation and added all modern equipment to his farm. He was also prominent in local political circles and he served for several years as collector, while for a long period he filled the office of school director, the cause of education finding in him a warm friend, who was the champion of all progressive measures for intellectual development. His fellow townsmen were endeavoring to get his consent to nominate him for supervisor at the time when he was thrown from his horse and killed. His death occurred April 7, 1892, and the community mourned the loss of a valued citizen, his neighbors, a faithful friend, and his family, a devoted and loving husband and father.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Seals were born four children: Joseph C., the eldest, born March 27, 1881, was the first grandchild of the Seals family in Adams county and was born on the anniversary of the birth of his paternal grandfather. He is now engaged in teaching school. Glenn W., born November 21, 1883, is at home and assists in the operation of the farm. Lillian D., born May 23, 1884, died April 11, 1904. Julina M., born January 29, 1891, is at home.
Mrs. Seals resides in Loraine and is the owner of a good farm of fifty-two acres on section 22, Keene township, in addition to her residence property. She is a member of the Christian church and is held in high regard by a large circle of friends.
Source: Past and present of the city of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois, p. 415-416; by William H. Collins, Cicero F. Perry, joint author; John Tillson. History of the city of Quincy, Illinois. [from old catalog]. Chicago, S. J. Clarke Pub. Co. 1905.