Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918
HENRY SEYMOUR SEWELL. For a man of forty years Henry S. Sewell has had more than an ordinary record of success in business affairs. He is one of the well known merchants of Independence, owns extensive properties in that city and in other sections of Southern Kansas, and all his prosperity is a result of continued concentrated effort through the years since he left home and started out to carve his own career.
Born in Montgomery County, Kansas, October 4, 1876, Henry Seymour Sewell is a son of J. B. and Mary M. (James) Sewell, and a grandson of J. G. and Catherine (Maybury) Sewell. His grandparents were among the early pioneers of Montgomery County, having arrived here in 1871 and taking up a homestead about twelve miles from Independence. They were Tennessee people, steady, industrious, people of high principles, and in the past forty-five years the family has left its mark on affairs in Montgomery County in many ways. Mr. J. B. Sewell, father of the Independence merchant, is now in the mercantile business and is postmaster at Bolton, and his career is sketched on other pages of this publication.
While a boy Henry S. Sewell attended the public schools of Montgomery County. As he was one of a family of nine children, he saw the necessity of self-support at an early age, and therefore contributed all his labors that he could to helping out his father, who was then in the mercantile business. He learned the trade of butcher and at the age of twenty-one started out for himself. In the meantime he had given all his wages as a contribution to the support of the household.
Beginning at Independence as a meat cutter and clerk, he worked there steadily until 1902, and then for a year was a meat cutter at Tyro, Kansas. The following eighteen months were spent in the oil fields of Montgomery County, and he then resumed his trade in the meat business at Independence for two years.
Hard and persistent work and thrift and saving eventually gave him a little capital which, in 1907, he employed by opening a stock of groceries and meats on his own account. His first store was on West Sycamore Street in Independence, and later he built up a large store on East Main Street, but he has since traded it for a farm of 160 acres in Chautauqua County. His principal store now is at 1001 West Myrtle Street. Besides his farm in Chautauqua County, he has an excellent place of eighty acres ten miles southeast of Burlington in Coffey County, owns a house and four lots in Bolton, and his residence at 1001 West Myrtle Street.
Mr. Sewell is independent in politics, and is affiliated with Camp No. 649, Modern Woodmen of America, at Independence. On September 22, 1907, at Troy, Ohio, he married Miss Stella Bowers, daughter of W. M. and Mary Bowers, who still live at Troy, Ohio, where her father is a finisher in painting automobiles. Mr. and Mrs. Sewell have two children, William Seymour, born September 2, 1908, and now in the public schools at Independence; and Irene, born April 26, 1913.
Transcribed from volume 4, page 1985 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.
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