1859 - 1933
Son of Adam and Franciska Seelinger
John Seelinger was born March 19, 1859 in Chillicothe, Ohio. He was the son of Adam and Fransiska (Maurer) Seelinger. When he was 11 years old, the family moved to Prairie City, Bates County Missouri.
John married Agnes Magdalene Johannes on June 26, 1881 in Bates County, near Butler, Missouri. She was known as “Lena”. Lena was born March 28, 1865 in Bates County, Missouri (probably Prairie City). She was the daughter of Dr. John George and Babeth (Eideloth) Johannes.
John was a prosperous farmer and stockman. He took over Poplar Heights Farm from his father. The Seelingers were well known for the hospitality to all. John was a trustee of Elizabeth Chapel and Cemetery until the Chapel closed.
John and Lena had five children. Their first, and the only son, Adam1 was born December 4, 1882. Their first daughter, Daisy, was born May 8, 1884. Maude Esse was born June 14, 1886. Bertha Allen, born May 13, 1891 was the next daughter. Ruth Johannes, born 1893, was the last daughter.
Lena, always being a help to all, came down with blood poisoning after helping a neighbor family stricken with scarlet fever. She died on July 2, 1913. John was killed on September 29, 1933 in an automobile accident in the Missouri Ozarks.
His daughter, Maude Esse, in recording her family memories, spoke of Papa going to the World's Fair in Chicago. He returned with handkerchiefs for everyone in the family. What made them so special was the fact they had been embroidered with each person’s initials – and it was done by machine! She recalled the excitement in the family, when her mother received her first sewing machine. They would bring all the lights together so they could stay up late sewing, amazed at how quickly a shirt could be made. Papa was well known for his fine wild cherry wine and when he was killed, Maude went to his home and emptied it all out.
His granddaughter, Helen Bartlett Kling, remembers: Papa had a Cadillac and I remember riding in it around the Butler Square on Saturday nights. The car had the big high rear seat and always drew a crowd when he came into town. My father, Roy Bartlett, arranged for a tobacco allotment for the farm. Roy, along with Jim Perry, then took the tobacco to Kentucky for sale.
Papa always took great pride in planting his cornfields so that the lines were straight in any direction one looked. (This was a difficult task, even with the invention of check wire, but one that made the cultivating easier.)
Bates County Democrat – October 5, 1933
As a young man, Mr. Seelinger came into Bates County, much of which was prairie land at that time and established a home on a large farm which was one of the few in this section of the country that had been landscaped. Here he and his young wife found many congenial, prosperous, happy friends. Early in their life in this community they became affiliated with Elizabeth Chapel, a church that made notable history. Mr. Seelinger was a great sponsor at all times of this community church. He carried the church through during the periods when interest in the church was at low ebb. He sacrificed his own needs and pleasures to keep this going for years on a thriving and up to date basis. Mr. Seelinger became an official and trustee of Elizabeth Chapel church and was very happy in this work.
His children love to read about Charles D. Meigs who also was a member of this church for several years and under whose preaching Mr. and Mrs. Seelinger united with the Christian Church and who later became a foreign missionary and author of some note. The poem of Charles D. Meigs entitled “others” typifies the lives and deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Seelinger.
One of the most pleasant memories of the family is the happiness and hospitality found in this home Poplar Heights and not until the children reached their maturity did they realize that the frequent entertainment of lecturers and ministers was not of accident but part of the planning of these parents in the character building of their children.
Many young men have spoken of the benefits and profits they derived from the experiences of this successful man. At all times, young men sought Mr. Seelinger’s friendship and came to him for advice and counsel. His broad experience in life and business and his very progressive ideas made him an invaluable friend to them. Their welfare was his personal interest. The latter years of his life were spent in Kansas City where he made a host of new friends to whom he greatly endeared himself.
When the school, which his children had formerly attended in the community was destroyed by fire, he gave moral and financial support and organization for the reconstruction of a modern school.
Mr. Seelinger was known for his progressive, alert, enthusiastic spirit and his unflagging interest in events and questions of the day. Despite the fact that he always ran a progressive business and held at heart the personal interest of his community he always found time to engage in sports. Nothing was more pleasurable to him than to engage in sports with younger men, which enabled him to go through life physically fit and mentally alert. He had a constant enthusiasm for life. He got the most out of life by putting the most into it. He did not do things for the hope of reward but his pleasure was in accomplishment. His tremendous activity was the importance that made his life so full and useful to the communities in which he lived.
When this misfortune come to Mr. Seelinger, 300 miles from his home, the first people who came to his rescue and comfort was a couple who were employed by him in their younger life and were baptized and were a part of the church he helped to sponsor. In this community are many people who have grown to middle age or older who have found at all times a place in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Seelinger where they were anxious to come and wanted to be. The Seelinger home was an open house for the social activities of the church and community.
Among those from a distance here to attend the funeral were Mrs. Laura Bryant, N.E. Hodge, Mrs. L.P. Sharp, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Edwards, Mrs. Ona Fleming and Miss Florence Fleming all of Kansas City, Gus Seelinger, St. Joseph, MO Jacob and Adam Seelinger of El Dorado Springs, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Seelinger, Mrs. Maggie Eddy, Janus Eddy, Rockville, Highland Mitchell, Durant, Oklahoma.
Mr. Seelinger was preceded in death by his wife Magdalena Johannes in 1913. He is survived by five children: A.J. Seelinger, Greeley , Colorado; Mrs. Roy Bartlett, Mrs. C.A.A. Sleeth and Miss Bertha Allen Seelinger and Mrs. Ruth J. Rubel of Kansas City; and by five brothers, Jacob Seelinger and Adam Seelinger of El Dorado Springs; William Seelinger, Butler; Gustavus Seelinger, Kansas City and Frank Seelinger, Greeley Colorado and by six grandchildren.
Note - John Seelinger died of injuries received September 27 in an automobile accident near West Plains, Missouri.
Death of Mrs. John Seelinger
Bates County Democrat – July 3, 1913
Mrs. Agnes M. Seelinger, wife of John Seelinger, died at the family home, seven miles northeast of Butler, Saturday afternoon at 4:0’clock, after an illness of about four weeks from blood poisoning.
Mrs. Seelinger cut her hand with a knife several weeks ago and in some manner the wound became infected and blood poison resulted. Specialists and all that skill and learning could do was done to prolong and save her life, but all to no avail. Surrounded by those she loved, her immortal spirit winged its flight into the great beyond.
The deceased was born in Humboldt, Kansas, March 28, 1865 and was 48 years of age at the time of her death. She is survived by the husband and five children, one son and four daughters viz.; Addie Seelinger of Grainfield, Kansas; Mrs. Roy Bartlett, Mrs. C.A. A. Sleeth and Misses Bertha and Ruth Seelinger, of Butler and Bates County.
Funeral services, conducted by Rev. George Prewitt, pastor of the Butler Christian Church were held at the family home Sunday afternoon and interment was made in Oak Hill Cemetery (Butler).
Agnes Magdalene Johannes Seelinger
John Seelinger holding hand of daughter, Daisy at threshing time on Poplar Heights Farm, Summit Township, Bates County, Missouri