JOSEPH GENTRY SEWELL               GRAVESTONE PHOTO                     

From History of Montgomery County, Kansas, By Its Own People, Published by L. Wallace Duncan, Iola, Kansas, 1903, Pg. 330-332:


Sewell, Joseph Gentry Bio


            One of the pioneers of Montgomery county whose brief career was filled with good deeds, and whose character was dominated by the elements of an upright life, was the subject of this personal memoir.  His history with the west began in 1871, when he settled on section 30, township 33, range 15, Montgomery county, Kansas, and continued and was confined to that locality ‘till December 29th, 1882, when he died.  The eleven years he spent here were years of incessant labor in the improvement and development of a home where his family might be sheltered in comfort and sustained liberally with the fruits of honest toil.

            Mr. Sewell purchased the claim-right of Mr. Chambers, the original settler of his farm, and himself patented the land in section 30, as well as a part of section 31.  His career in early life had been that of a farmer and blacksmith, and to each of these callings he devoted himself in his new location.  He erected a shop on his homestead and did the plow-sharpening, horse-shoeing and other blacksmith work over a wide scope of the surrounding country, thereby extending his acquaintance and establishing himself in the confidence and good will of his fellow settlers.  He transacted the business of the ordinary affairs of life, as they came along, with a plain, unassuming and dignified air and comported himself, always, in a manner becoming the sincere and God-fearing man that he was.  His life was a conspicuous one in the community and when it was suddenly terminated in death the shock of it and the accompanying grief extended far beyond the limits of his immediate household.

            Joseph G. Sewell was a native of Overton county, Tennessee, and was born December 6th, 1829.  His father was W. D. Sewell, a farmer and a Baptist minister, of Virginia birth.  He was born in 1800, went down into Tennessee, a young man and married there, Susan Brown, who died at the age of seventy-six years.  Rev. Sewell lived ‘till 1880, and passed away in Tennessee, where he had done his life work.  His children were:  Elizabeth, who married Hardy Hopkins, and died in Missouri; Jonathan Calvin, who died in Texas; Joseph Gentry, our subject; Mary, wife of Jerre Taylor, of Tennessee; Washington, Isaac, Jesse and Stephen, of Tennessee; Lovania, who married Elijah Pritchard, deceased, and Celia, now Mrs. Baalam Roberts, of Overton county, Tennessee.

            In his youth Joseph G. Sewell acquired a country school education.  He took up his trade at the proper age and acquired proficiency in it by the time he reached his majority.  November 20th, 1851, he married Catherine Maberry, a daughter of John and Mary (Spicer) Maberry, formerly of North Carolina, in which state Mrs. Sewell was born, June 22nd, 1834.  The Maberry children were William Madison, Catherine, Calvin, of California, Serena, deceased, married James Jordan; Sarah, of Menephee county, Kentucky, is the wife of John Williams.  In 1861, Mr. Sewell enlisted in Capt. McKinney’s company—Tennessee troops—for service in the Confederate army, and was out two years.  He participated in battle at Murfreesboro, Chicamauga and other engagements of importance and was wounded in the chin in the Chickamauga fight.  On becoming a civilian again he resumed his trade in his native state and continued it in the main until his removal to Kansas.

            Mr. And Mrs. Sewell’s children are:  Martha J., deceased, was a young girl of fifteen years; William and John, twins, both of Montgomery county; the former a farmer of Fawn Creek township and the latter, John B., is a resident of Bolton, and was married in 1873, his wife being Miss Maggie James, who has borne him two sons and seven daughters; and Andrew Calvin, of Elk City, Kansas.

            In public matters, Joseph G. Sewell took only a citizen’s interest.  He voted with the Democratic party, but had no interest in the outcome of any election, other than the good of the public service.  He was intensely moral and upright in his intercourse with his fellow men and, in his church relations, he was a Baptist and a deacon of the congregation.  He was also a Mason.


The South Kansas Tribune, January 10, 1883, Pg. 3:


            Died on December 29th, Mr. J. G. Sewell, of Harrisonville, aged 53 years.  Mr. Sewell was one of the early settlers of this county, a native of Tennessee.  He was an upright man and a good neighbor.


Note: Burial at Harrisonville.

Contributed by Mrs. Maryann Johnson a Civil war researcher and a volunteer in the Kansas Room of the Independence Public Library, Independence, Kansas.