from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
James C. Sellers, engaged in the insurance business, is truly a self-made man and his present enviable position in the business world and financial circles is due to his efforts and his fidelity to purpose which everywhere command respect and confidence. He is a native of Garrard county, Kentucky, born January 14, 1828. His parents, Nathan and Mary (Yowell) Sellers, were also natives of Kentucky and in 1830 removed to Indiana, where they resided until 1854, Mr. Sellers becoming well known there as a farmer and business man. His capability and worth led to his selection for various positions of honor and trust. He served as treasurer and assessor of the county, was also deputy sheriff and filled other local positions. In 1836 he traveled through the country on horseback to collect taxes and to make assessments. Leaving Indiana in 1854 he went with his family to Monroe county, Iowa, and later moved to Appanoose county, where he lived for twenty years, his death occurring in Moulton in 1874, at the age of seventy-four years. His wife reached the advanced age of eighty years, passing away at Albia, Iowa, in 1876. The Sellers family were of Scott-Irish lineage, while the Yowells were of the same extraction. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Sellers were born eight children, of whom five are living, namely; Burnettie, the wife of William Mercer, of Albia, Iowa: George D., a clergyman of the Christian church now located in Kansas; Moses Y., a physician of Moulton, Iowa; and Sue, the wife of A. J. Byrelee, proprietor of a hotel at Albia, Iowa. Those deceased are: Ann Eliza, the wife of James Reed; William C.; and Margaret J., the wife of William E. Neville. James C. Sellers acquired only a limited education in his youth, attending the country schools and also continued his studies to some extent in Greencastle, Indiana. He spent the first twenty years of his life on a farm and in 1851 came to Iowa, making his way to Albia, Monroe county, where he taught school, following that profession in Albia and in Chariton, Lucas county. He afterward engaged in Merchandising in 1852 and 1853. In 1854 he went to Albia, where he turned his attention to general agricultural pursuits and being joined that year by his father they together bought a farm of three hundred and twenty acres which they operated from 1855 until 1861. In 1857 the country became involved in a financial panic and Mr. Sellers lost heavily. He then began anew and taught school for several years, after which he once more turned his attention to farming and in 1866 engaged in the insurance business in which he has continued to the present time. He has continuously represented the Iowa State Insurance Company, of Keokuk, since 1867, writing his first policy for that company on the 8th of April of that year. He also represents the Westchester Insurance Company of New York, the Citizens of St. Louis and the Farmers Insurance Company of Cedar Rapids. He came to Oskaloosa in October, 1873, where he has since maintained his office and at one time he was trustee and secretary of the board of Oskaloosa College. His business has grown under his careful direction and close application and he is now one of the well known representatives of insurance in this part of the state. On the 29th of December, 1853, Mr. Sellers was married to Miss Aby Ann Read, a daughter of Vincent K. and Eveline O. (Tennant) Read. Their children are: Eva, the wife of Dr. Lee H. Dowling, of Los Angeles, California; Alice, the wife of Dr. S. A. Spillman, of Ottumwa, Iowa; Dell, the wife of E. A. Brown, editor of the Daily Press of Nebraska City. Nebraska; Carrie, the deceased wife of H. W. Comstock; and James C.. who is engaged in imparting in London, England. In 1842, when fourteen years of age, James C. Sellers became a member of the Christian church, which he joined at Greencastle, Indiana. He is now an elder in the Stone Chapel church of Oskaloosa and at one time was a deacon. He has ever been earnest and zealous in his advocacy of the church and in all reformatory measures that tend to uplift man and advance the moral progress of the race.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy