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Sellers Biography

Do you remember GeoCities, RootsWeb, mailing lists, and many other ways genealogists shared prior to Facebook? One of those communities that I participated in was a Sellers Family website. This site offered a way for fellow researchers to share their findings.

Unfortunately, that website no longer exists. Fortunately, I have a ‘printout’ of some of the information posted on the site, including the transcription of a book about John Crawford Sellers, 1821-1921. Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate the source information for that little book. The book was shared by SSgt James Sellers from his military email address.

This is a small booklet from the Indiana State Historical Society
Library at Indianapolis, Indiana. It was probably made for a family
reunion that was held that year (1921). *There were a few of errors in the book. The first is the place where the family came from. Most other
sources say the family came from Ireland. **Another error is the mention of John C.’s father who was actually James Sellers. The last error I noticed was John C.’s War of 1812 service. According to his pension deposition, he served in Capt. James Davidson’s Company under Colonel Richard M. Johnson. He stated that he “did not take part in any battle,” but he was in many “long and hard marches.” The following booklet was copied exactly as it was published.

John Crawford Sellers
1821–1921

To whom these presents come, greetings:
It is my intention on this one hundredth anniversary of the
marriage of my grandfather, John Crawford Sellers, to write a brief history for the descendants of so good and reputable man as he, and trust that we may ever follow in the footsteps of our forefathers with the same true Christian spirit and true Americanism.
Hoping you may enjoy the same interest in reading it as I have in compiling it, with love and best wishes,
I remain,
W. M. Sellers


John Crawford Sellers
1821-1921


John Crawford Sellers was a descendant of a race of pioneers while this country was still a colony of Great Britain. His ancestors
came from the home country of *Bobby Burns, Scotland, into the land which was new and wild, following the trails of Daniel Boone and other Indiana warriors from Virginia into Kentucky, when younger generations ventured across the Ohio River and settled in Putnam County, Ind., and younger generations have moved on westward, yet old Putnam is a good place to come.

John C. was a son of **William and Mary Sellers, early settlers of Kentucky, was born March 26th, 1796, as we understand, in Garrard County, Kentucky. His father died when John C. was a boy, which left him as the mainstay for the help and support of his mother and some younger brothers. He followed freighting with a team in the absence of railroads till 1813, enlisted as a soldier under R.B. McAfee, Captain, in Richard M. Johnson’s regiment of Kentucky volunteers mounted infantry, which went to Canada and fought in the battle of the River Thames, October 5th, 1813, where the noted Indian chief, Tecumseh, was killed. John C.’s horse was killed in the battle, but he was not hurt. He was mustered out November 19th, 1813.

Josephine Throop, one of our Putnam County historians, quoted
-“In the battle at the River Thames Tecumseh, their great chief, was
killed and the Indians fled, filled with dismay and grief.”

John C. was married to Fanny Brown near Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky, March 1st, 1821, one hundred years ago last March. They came to Putnam County in 1822, settled on the land the old homestead where J.L. Sellers now lives. Their first log cabin was in the yard near where the third house built on this lot now stands, ninety-nine years after first settlement.

Moving from Kentucky a distance of 200 miles with one small horse, saddle and bridle and such bundles as they could carry, bought a piece of land of John F. Sellers, a cousin, who had preceded his coming and later entered other land. Worked at 28 cents a day and dinner waiting on brick masons, while building a brick house on the Dewees farm but not on the eight-hour system. Children born to them: Lucy, James W., William, Mary, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Nancy, Amanda, Sarah, John L., Fannie, Martha J., Joseph B. John L. is the only one now living. They were hard-working, saving, yet charitable and honest, loved and respected by all who knew them. Were members of the Presbyterian Church at Putnamville, Indiana, with dear old Dr. Layman, Worthington Williams, James Ingram, Wm. Walden, Jacob Hixon, John Beck, Wm. Grigsby, James Hester and others with their families, with the Rev. Ransom Hawley, pastor, for a period of thirty years.

Grandfather had four brothers, Harvey, Nathan, Nelsen and Perry, who lived in this vicinity in an early day. Perry moved to Iowa before the war. Two sisters, Mrs. John F. Sellers and Mrs. Sarah Elder, were early settlers in Putnam County. John F. Sellers was one of the first settlers of Greencastle, father of W. W. Sellers and grandfather of Charles Sellers, who now reside in Greencastle.

Mrs. Sellers, grandmother, had four brothers, early settlers in this county, Samuel, Thomas, Bentley and James Brown. James lived a bachelor with Aunt Polly and Matilda, about a mile from here over the
hill west, two as good old ladies as could be found. The other sister was Mrs. Greenberry Bryant, lived in Hendricks County and was mother of Z. T. Bryant, whose war record is mentioned in the items.

Lucy, the oldest, married Thomas Leech, had one child, Sarah. Mr. and Mrs. Leech died in an early day. Sarah married Wm. Brown, one child, Eva, who years ago after her father’s and mother’s death married and moved to Muncie, Indiana.

William, the second son, cast his lot with the 1849 delegation to the California gold fields and died there. No railroad transportation in those days. Was buried there.

Elizabeth, after a short married life, left a daughter, Mary Etta, who lived after her mother’s death with her good old grand parents, until her marriage to Clinton Oneal.

A few years after her marriage they went west. Mary Etta died several years ago.

Nancy married Nathaniel Talbott in the 50’s as well as we can remember, as the old family Bible is not at hand. Children- Fanny, Mary, Lutisha, John W. and Mrs. Talbott. The three girls deceased, John W. in the west.

Nathaniel was a soldier for a time in the 10th Indiana Volunteers. Was in the Battle of Mill Springs in Kentucky, January 19th, 1862, where General Thomas defeated the Confederates and where General Zollicoffer, the Confederate general, was killed. Mr. Talbott was later discharged on account of failing health and only lived a short time after the war.

Mary, Fannie, Amanda and Sarah, children of grandfather and grandmother died while young.

Rebecca Sellers, was born May 20th, 1830, was married March 22nd, 1857, to Joseph Gilmore. Children: Elizabeth Young of Manhatten, Indiana; John Franklin of Chandler, Oklahoma; Josie Best of Putnam County, wife of Charles Best, living west of Greencastle. Children of a second marriage to Mr. Easter are George and Sallie of Searcy, Arkansas. Samuel Gilmore, who lived with Aunt Rebecca, was a son of Mr. Gilmore by a former marriage. Josie Best has a daughter Grace married to Jesse Sears. Josie Best has a daughter Katie married to Albert Houck. Mattie, deceased daughter, was married to Edwin Torr. All Living in vicinity of Greencastle, Indiana.

Joseph Gilmore gave his life for his country during the Civil war as a member of Co. I, 27th Indiana Volunteers. After surviving the battles of Winchester’s retreat, Cedar Mountains, Antiedam, Fredricksburg, Va., Chancellorsville, May 2nd and 3rd, 1863, he lost his life at the Battle of Gettysburg, July 2nd and 3rd, 1863. A brave soldier and a good man.

Aunt Rebecca died at Copperton, Oklahoma, April 13th, 1906.

Lizzie, the oldest child married to Barzilla Young December 16th, 1875, at the age of 18 years at Reelsville, Indiana. Children: Albert, 45 years of age in 1921, married to Luella Wilson, November, 1894; Nellie, 43 years of age in 1921, married Oscar Brown November 2nd, 1895, later to Willie Brothers; Alice, married to Harry Ingraham, July 22nd, 1903, died January 22nd, 1919, at the age of 39 years; Jimmie, died February 12th, 1919, at the age of 36 years; Clarence, died February 27, 1886, at the age of IO months; Walter, 34 years of age in 1921, married to Cecil Mulinix July 19th, 1910; Florence, 26 years of age in 1921.

Barzila Young served time in the Civil War as a soldier of Co. _________ Regiment, was good trusty man and a hard worker. He died July 13th, 1913, at Manhatten, Indiana, 70 years of age.

Martha J. Sellers, the youngest daughter of J. C. S. and the next to the youngest child, was married to Harrison Ruark March 8th, 1870. Children: John Crawford, died at the age of 11 months; Daniel, age 49 this year, has been a railroad man for twenty-five or thirty years. Is yard master for the M. K. & T. Railroad Co. at Tulsa, Oklahoma, at this time.

Mary R. lives at Greencastle, Indiana, making good on her own resources since being left alone by the death of her parents, having a very responsible position with the firm of the King Morrison Foster Company at Greencastle which she is holding with much credit to her industry and faithfulness.

Mrs. Martha Raurk died at their home, one mile south of the old home, April 19th 1909.

Harrison Raurk was a soldier in the Civil War. Went from near Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky. Was a member of the 2nd Kentucky Cavalry, 45th Regiment. After the war closed came to Putnam County, lived in the community till death, which occurred March 29th, 1918.


James Washington Sellers was born April 24th. 1823, worked on the farm and taught school. Was married to Miss Nancy D. Fenley of near Stilesville, Hendricks County, Indiana, September 21st, 1848. Bought a small farm and settled just south of and adjoining the old homestead. Children were Lucy Ann, William M., Fanny M., Mary A., Sarah A. Mrs. Sellers and three youngest children, John, Aaron and Joseph, all died in August and September, 1863, within seventeen days. Lucy, the oldest, married Wm. W. Hodge March 26th, 1868, or 69. Lucy died about forty-two years ago, leaving three children, Carrie, James and Dora. All live in the West. Mrs. Carrie Pearcy lives at Los Angeles, California. Second marriage ofW. W. Hodge to Miss Emerine Mercer, one child. Mrs. Minnie Lewis of near Putnam ville, age 40 years. W. W. Hodge served three years in the Civil War in the 128th Regiment Indiana Volunteers.


W. M. Sellers was born April 22nd, 1851. His father, James W., died June 11th, 1865, W. M. was 14 years old with one sister older than him and three younger. They stayed at the old home till grown and married. W. M. was married to Miss Josephine Hutcheson December 20th, 1871. Children: James H., Clay C., Joseph M., Nannie A. James is 48 years old, Clay 46, J.M. 43, Nannie died November 9th, 1897. Two babies died in infancy. Josephine Sellers died April 19th, 1903. James married Mrs. Maggie Stevens of Indianapolis. Clay married Lelia Mae Black July 28th, 1912. Joseph married Miss Stella Heady of
Indianapolis. Joseph M. has one son by a former marriage, Roy K., 21 years of age, who lives at Terre Haute, Indiana.

James H., after passing through two train wrecks and being badly crippled, is again working in Pennsylvania yards at Indianapolis.

Clay is stationed at Indianapolis at Illinois Central Yards.


Joseph M. (or Pete) is in the employ of C.I. & L. road running from Chicago to Indianapolis.

Clay C. service in the 159th Regiment, Co. I. Wilbur Starr, captain, in Spanish-American War. The boys all live at Indianapolis at this date – 1921.

Fannie M. Sellers married Wm. M. Turner January 15th, 1872. Children: James W. married Miss Ollie Hutcheson and lives now four miles south of Brazil, Indiana. Ollie married Clifford Sutton and now lives
near Clay City, Indiana.

John R. died at hospital at Brazil after second operation. He had served two years as a soldier in World’s War, April 17th, 1921. He was highly recommended as a soldier, was a noble boy, had many friends, was 29 years old when he died, after every care and comfort money could buy or the love of true hearts could secure by his brother and family and his many friends. Was buried at Boone cemetery near Hamrick, Indiana. Mrs. Turner is living but in very poor health as result of a case of typhoid fever. W. M. Turner died about 1901. Children of James and Ollie Turner, Miss Edna, 24; Walter, 17 years of age and are present today, 1921. James is 48 years old.


Mary A. Sellers married Geo. W. McCray of a family of old Putnam County residents December 15th, 1873. Oran . McCray, the only child, was a prominent physician at Marshall, Missouri. Mrs. McCray living in that locality. She is 67 years of age this year. as at the reunion last year. Hope she comes this year.


Sarah A. married Andrew P. Kiser in 1877. Children: Minnie, Ray and Fred. They are located at and around Boise City, Iowa. Mrs. Kiser was 66 years old July 26th, this year, 1921, and we can’t pass without a compliment to these girls. How willing and ready they were at any time to help their brother with his work while they were passing the period from childhood to womanhood, after being left by the death of their parents. A pleasant memory by the brother for these dear sisters for their help and kindness.


John L. Sellers and a cousin, Z. T. Bryant, enlisted in Civil War September 4th, 1862, 3rd Indiana Cavalry, Col. Robt. 0. Cline, Capt. 0. M. Powers, 1st Lieut. George J. Langsdale. Did patrol duty in Indiana and Illinois, was in Morgan raid, was at the siege of Knoxville and in cavalry service in Tennessee in Battle of Severville Road and Carter Station and helped rid that territory of a band of Confederates that was buswhacking Union citizens in East Tennessee. Was in the raid made from Chattanooga over Lookout Mountain and a long term of cavalry fighting and raiding Confederate territory. Then was placed in the command of General Kilpatrick, which meant hard cavalry service and a sufficient amount of fighting, as General Kilpatrick’s division was busy and took desperate chances, until Sherman’s march to the sea was ordered. Followed General Hood from Atlanta to Rome. Georgia, and other service till they started on Sherman’ march. When that was completed was relieved and started for home in Putnam County, Indiana, the 21st day of July, 1865.


Z. T. Bryant, with the same record, was captured near Fayetteville, North Carolina, the 7th of March, 1865, served time in the notorious Libby Prison till Confederate Gen. R. E. Lee evacuated Richmond, Virginia, where the prison was located. Mr. Bryant was the last prisoner released from that deplorable pen. Mr. Bryant is living in the State of Oregon.

John L. Sellers was married December 11th, 1866, to Miss Mary Matkin, a daughter of Wm. Matkin, an old resident and citizen of Greencastle, Indiana, and a sister of Miss Mattie Matkin of Greencastle
at this time.


Children: Edward J., Katie, Nannie, Jennie (deceased), Sallie
(deceased), Minnie and Ida. Mrs. Sellers died 1878.

A second marriage August 3rd, 1880, to Miss Lizzie Wells, daughter of Levi and Catherine Wells, formerly of Madison Township, Putnam County, and the estimable lady is living and helping to make this reunion a very pleasant occasion. Children: William, Crawford, Mamie and Myrtle. Uncle John is 85 years of age today, August 25th, 1921.


Edward J. Sellers was married to Clara Silvers September 25th, 1891. Children: Arthur, 28 years old, married November 4th, 1920 to Miss Caroline Eubank, after serving time in late war in France; Lawrence, 27 years old, served his country in World War in Russia; Ethel, 24 years old, married to Harrold Jones; Joyce, 23 years old, married to Beatrice Baker; Louise, 18 years old; Harrold, 15 years old; Eddie, 13 years old. Clarence died in infancy in 1910. Edward and family live near Lake City, Michigan, and is 54 years old. His wife is 46 years old.


Katie, oldest daughter lives at Greencastle, is 52 years old, owns her own property and is a dressmaker.

Nannie Elizabeth married January 14, 1892. Children: daughter Hazel, 27 years old; Russ, deceased, address Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Minnie, 45 years of age this year, was married October 3rd, 1897, to Mr. Roy Grogan, who is 46 years old. Children: Grace Mae, 21 years old, was married to Frank Jones, September 17th, 1918. Live at Indianapolis. One daughter, Dorothy Mae, 2 years old.

Dorothy Florence, 17 years old.

Esther Alberta, 12 years old.

Charles, 10 years old.

Mr. Grogan lives at Indianapolis, Indiana, at this date and is a valuable man in the employ of Pennsylvania Railroad Company.

Ida May, 42 year, married to Hays Williams, October 4th, 1903. Children: Esta) Lenard, 17 years old; Hubert Layman, 13 years old.

Mr. Williams is station master at Union depot, Terre Haute. Address, 1719 Sycamore Street, Terre Haute, Indiana.

William Crawford Sellers is 40 years of age. Was married October 16th, 1906, to Miss Grace Edith Haymaker of Putnamville, Indiana. Children: John Riley, 14; Mary Bernice, 10; Charles Haymaker, 8; Edith Lucille, 5; Ethel may, born January 18th, 1921.

William Crawford is living on part of the old homestead and a help and comfort to his father and mother in assisting and looking after farming interests for them and a useful citizen to the community.

Mary Edith was married to Earnest C. Smith October 17th, 1910. Children Madlin Elizabeth, 10 years old; Joice Sellers, 8 years old; Mildred Olive, 6 years old; John Raymond, 3 years old.

Mr. Smith lives on the old Swartz farm, one mile west of Putnamville.


Myrtle Olive, the youngest child, married to Mack Brown of Warren Township, Putnam County, Indiana, May 19th, 1915. Mr. Brown died february 14th, 1917.

A second marriage to Ross Smithson of Harlem, Montana, 1918. P. at Sweetman. Child, Mary Elizabeth, born November 2nd, 1920.

August 25th, 1893, twenty-eight years ago:

Joseph Brown Sellers, the youngest of the family, was born February 8th, 1843. He enlisted in Co. I, 27th Indiana Volunteers, a regiment that went through much hard service and hard fighting during Civil war, was in the battle at Winchester, March 23rd, 1862, Cedar Mountain, August 9th, 1862, was wounded in right leg in Battle of Chancellorsville, May 2nd, 1864, at Resaca (New Hope Church), where he lost his left leg, May 15th, 1864. After being dressed, was loaded in an ambulance with another wounded soldier on a trip of forty miles to get to a railroad town laying side by side in the bottom of the wagon. The other soldier died on the way and a very rough road. Just imagine what
Uncle Joe had to pass through that long night, but his ever patient disposition was surely present on that trip. He arrived home about the 4th of July as we were cutting wheat.


Was married on September 27, 1868, to Miss Viola A. Kiser. Owned a farm and farmed in Warren Township, two miles west of Putnamville, several years, then moved to North Salem, Indiana. Engaged
in milling busines in 1901, located in Greencastle. Was a good faithful member of the Presbyterian Church, honored and esteemed by all that knew him. He died April 12th, 1914, at his home in Greencastle, Indiana, age 71 years.

Miss Cora Belle lives with her devoted mother at Greencastle.


Ulysses Grant, the oldest son, who is 49 years of age, lives near North Salem, Indiana. Was married to Miss Ada Catherine Hunt, December 30th, 1898. Children: Benjamin Franklin, 22 years old this year, married to Miss Lois Hazel Hicks August 20th, 1919. Mr. Sellers is present trustee of Eel River Township, Hendricks County.

Rhoda Katherine, 13 years of age.


Frank Crawford Sellers, 46 years of age, who lives at North Salem, Indiana, was married to Miss Daisy Page, November 15th, 1899. Children: Genieva, 20 years of age; Maxwell, 17 years of age; Dortha B.,
12 years of age; Hellen N., 10 years of age; Joseph Henry, 7 years of age.


Earnest Maywood, 44 years of age, was married August 7th, 1915, to Miss Flossie Brown and lives near Bainbridge.


Estella Grace, a dear little baby, died February 23rd, 1883, at the age of 9 months.


Homer Layman, the youngest child, 36 years old this year, was married January 13th, 1912, to Miss Mellessa Tompkins. Children: Edith Elizabeth, 9 years old; Alice Marie, 3 years old. Now lives at
Indianapolis, Indiana.

Mrs. Viola Alma Sellers, wife of Joseph B. Sellers, was a daughter of Mr. Eli and Mary Stillwagon Kiser, highly respected friends and neighbors of sixty and seventy years ago, living in this
neighborhood, the dear father and mother, sister and brothers have long since passed to their happy homes.

originally found on http://showcase.netins.net/web/sellerfamily/inputnam.htm