William C. Sewell

WILLIAM C. SEWELL. While Montgomery County has contributed many millions to the wealth of the world through its oil and gas fields, it is primarily and essentially an agricultural county, and many of its more substantial citizens laid the basis of their prosperity as farmers. One of these is William C. Sewell, who is now living at Independence, and since retiring from the farm has busied himself with the management of a number of property interests.

In his period of residence in Montgomery County practically every development of importance has occurred since the Indians left this section of Kansas. Mr. Sewell was born in Overton County, Tennessee, June 11, 1854, a son of J. G. and Catherine Maybury Sewell. His grandfather came from North Carolina to Tennessee, and the family record is one of praise-worthy participation in pioneer life and in all the relationships which come to upright and honorable men.

When William C. Sewell was seventeen years of age he was one of the family group which crossed the country in a prairie schooner and arrived at Independence, Kansas, on the 14th of July, 1871. In the meantime he had attended the public schools of Overton County, Tennessee, and was equipped to take up real life when he arrived in this pioneer section of Kansas. A few days after reaching Independence his father moved to a homestead about twelve miles from Independence, and during the next five years William C. Sewell worked at home and completed his education in the local schools.

Since he was twenty-two he has been an independent farmer and business man. Starting with a small property he developed it by good management and when he sold out a few years ago he had 400 acres, situated fifteen miles southwest of Independence. Since the fall of 1910 he has lived in Independence, and has ample employment for his energies in looking after his investments in that city. Besides his residence at 700 West Laurel Street, Mr. Sewell owns a residence property at the corner of Chestnut and Thirteenth streets, another at 409 North Thirteenth, one at Eleventh and Chestnut, a bakery and dwelling on West Chestnut, a residence building at 305 North Thirteenth, and two residence properties and store buildings in Tyro.

While living in the country Mr. Sewell served as treasurer of his home township and was also a member of the school board. He is independent in politics. His church is the Christian. On May 18, 1876, in Montgomery County, Mr. Sewell married Miss Aurora E. James, a daughter of J. L. and Martha Ann James. Her mother is now deceased and her father afterward lived near Wayside with his daughter, Mrs. Dora Hudson. He died July 25, 1916. Mr. and Mrs. Sewell have eight children: G. L. is a farmer in Montana; Walter is now a junior in Drake University at Des Moines, Iowa; Estella is the wife of Carl Creps of Montana; Annie is the wife of D. P. Douglas, a farmer at Webb, Colorado; Harry L. lives at home and is building up some good connections in the insurance business; Paul is attending the Montgomery County High School, as is also the next younger child, James, while Ernest is in the grade schools at Independence.

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; transcribed 1997.
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Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS


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