BLODGETT, Selvey K.

1st Biography of Selvey K. BLODGETT
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 272-273

Selvey K. BLODGETT, Treasurer and stockholder of the Coon Creek Cheese Factory, is at present residing in Rockton Township, Winnebago County [IL], where he has a large dairy farm.  He had his birth in Beloit [Rock County], WI, 10 Jun 1838, and was the first white male child born there.  His father, S. K. BLODGETT, Sr., was bon in NY in 1812, where he was reared to farming pursuits.

The grandfather of our subject, Caleb BLODGETT, was a native of NY State, and came West to Beloit, WI, in 1835, from OH, where he resided for some time.  His death occurred in Beloit in 1842, at the age of 55 years.  He had been twice married and was the father of ten children by his [p 273] first union.  The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Mahala NORRIS, a native of PA; she met and married Mr. BLODGETT in OH, and removed with him to Beloit in 1840, where her husband was engaged in farming and stock raising for five years.  Later he came to Winnebago County, and in Rockton Township bought a tract of land on section 22 for which he traded stock.  He resided here for about eight years and was extensively engaged in stock raising, having at one time as many as 300 head.  In 1848 however, he returned to Beloit and was engaged in the butchering business, which, like all his previous ventures, proved very successful.   He continued in that line until 1853, when he crossed the plains with a team in company with others, his partner on the journey being Abram RIVERS.  He was absent from home about a year, and returning by the Panama route, again engaged in the grain and stock business in Beloit.  Five or six years later, he establsihed as miller and at the end of eight years was enabled to retire with a handsome competence.  His life was quite eventful as he was a pioneer of three States, to say nothing of CA, but his energy and indomitable will carried him through many hardships, and resulted in his attaining a high place among his fellow men.  He left at his death an estate of 1,300 acres and much personal property, dying in the spring of 1881 when 69 years of age.

Our subject was the second of his father's family, and had a brother and two sisters.   Eleanor died when nine years of age, and those livng are William, who is engaged in the milling business in Beloit; Selvey K., our subject, and Sabra H., now Mrs. F. S. FENTON, also residing in Beloit, whose husband is a retired druggist.  The mother of our subject died in the fall of 1885 in her 73rd year.

He of whom we write passed the years from 8 to 18 attending school in Beloit, at the end of which time he engaged in the milling business with his father.  He continued to be thus employed for seven years, when on account of impaired health he crossed the plains to CA, where he worked in the mines, and was engaged in the stock business for two years.   Returning home at the expiraton of that time, he came with his father to Winnebago County, and located upon the tract which is his present abiding place, and which was then owned by his father.

Mr. BLODGETT of this sketch was married in the winter of 1870 to Miss Helen M. BULLIS, of Avon [Rock County], WI, and to them were born two daughters:  Ella and Delia.   Mrs. Helen BLODGETT departed this life in Apr 1874, when only 24 years of age, and our subject later married Miss Adeline MILLER, of Rockton, IL.  To them have been granted a family of five children:  Harry, Elmer, May, Emma, and Selvey, the eldest 13 and the youngest 6 years of age.  Mrs. BLODGETT passed to the land beyond in Aug 1887, in her 32nd year.

The original of this sketch is not interested in politics other than to cast his vote for the Democratic candidates.  His second wife was a devoted member of the Congregational Church, but he rather leans toward Methodist principles.  Mr. BLODGETT is a stock raiser, and has made a specialty of raising mules for the past 20 years, and has made a reputation throughout this part of the State.  He also has on his place fine Durham cattle, and though he has experimented with other breeds, they are his favorites.  As before stated, he is a stockholder in the Coon Creek Cheese Factory, and keeps on his place about 50 milch [milk] cows.  At one time he built a creamery on his own farm which was later abandoned.  With his house, which is a most comfortable dwelling, large and ample barns, sheds, and other outbuildings, he has quite a village of his own, which is beautifully located a short distance from the public highway.   His influence is felt for good in the community, where he is respected for his sterling character and true neighborly kindness.

2nd Biography of Selvey K. BLODGETT
Past and Present of the City of Rockford & Winnebago County, IL, C. A. Church.   Chicago: Clarke, 1905, pp 507-508

Selvey K. BLODGETT follows farming and stock raising on section 19, Shirland Township, where he owns and operates 120 acres of well improved land.  In addition to this he has a farm in Rockton Township which he leases but his personal supervision is given to the home place.  His entire life has been passed in this section of the country, his birth having occurred in Beloit [Rock County], WI, 10 Jun 1838.  His parents were S. K. and Mahala (NORRIS) BLODGETT, who removed from OH to Beloit shortly before 1838.   Not long afterward they took up their abode in Rockton Township, Winnebago County, IL, where the father purchased at tract of land lying along the Pecatonica River, the farm now being owned by the subject of this review.  There the father turned his attention to general agricultural pursuits and stock raising, which he followed for ten years, when he once more took up his abode in Beloit, where he engaged in the stock and grain business and also conducted a flour mill.  He was thus closely associated with the commerical and industrial life of the city for many years and was a very successful man, possessed of a good fund of common sense, keen business sagacity and strong purpose.  He commanded the respect of all by reason of his genuine worth and sterling integrity, and when he passed away in 1881, at the age of 69 years, his death was deeply regretted by many who knew him.  He was a native of NY and had become a resident of OH when a young man.   His political allegiance was given to the democracy but he had little aspiration for public office.  His wife was a native of VA, and they were married in OH.   Her death occurred in Beloit [Rock County, WI] about 1884, when she was 73 years of age.  In their family were four children:  (1)  William, now deceased; (2)   Selvey K., of this review; (3)  Mrs. Sabra H. SMITH, living in Beloit; and (4)   Elanor, who died at the age of nine years.

Selvey K. BLODGETT was reared in Winnebago County until 10 or 11 years of age and began his education at Rockton, then known as Macktown.  He was acquainted with Stephen MACK and his squaw wife, Hononeqah, and attended school with their half-breed children.   His education however was completed in the schools of Beloit, and after putting aside his textbooks he engaged in business with his father and brother at Beloit [Rock County, WI] for several years.  In 1864 he went west to the Pacific coast and spent about two years in CA, gaining much experience and practical knowledge there if not wealth.  On the expiration of that period he returned to IL and settled on the homestead farm in Rockton Township, where he resided until 1900, when he removed to his present place of residence on section 19, Shirland Township.  He now owns altogether 564 acres of land in his two farms and he rents his Rockton Township property, while giving his personal attention to the cultivation and improvement of his farm in Shirland Township.

Mr. BLODGETT has been married three times.  He first wedded Helen M. BULLIS of this county, who died leaving two children:  (1)  Ella E., now the widow of Samuel AUSTIN and a resident of WI; and (2)  Delia H., who is the wife of Samuel WALLACE, of Durand.  For his second wife Mr. BLODGETT chose Miss Adda MILLER, also of Winnebago and at her death she left five children:  (1)  Harry, who died at the age of 24 years; (2)  Elmer, a farmer now residing in Rockton Township; (3)  May; (4)   Emma, deceased; and (5)  S. K., at home.  For his present wife Mr. BLODGETT chose Mary E. AUSTIN, whose people were early residents of the county, coming from NY state to IL.  Her parents resided in Laona Township but are now deceased.   Politically Mr. BLODGETT has always been a democrat, unfaltering in his advocacy of the party, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist church of Shirland, in which their genuine worth and fidelity are recognized, while in business circles he is known as a reliable man, placing his dependence upon the substantial qualities of earnest labor and perseverance.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.