Convention Member Elijah Sells

Convention Member
Born in Franklin County, Ohio, February 14, 1814. His father served under General Harrison in the War of 1812. The son came to Iowa in 1841, locating at Muscatine, where he engaged in business. He took a deep interest in the free soil movement and at one of the early Whig conventions secured the adoption of resolutions declaring it to be the duty of Congress to prohibit slavery in the Territories. This was the first convention in the State to make the declaration which afterwards became the cardinal doctrine of the Republican party. In 1844 he was a member of the First Constitutional Convention. He was elected a member of the First General Assembly of the State and again in 1852 served in the House. Mr. Sells was a delegate to the convention which organized the Republican party, was nominated for Secretary of State and elected. He was twice reelected, serving six years. In 1863 he was appointed paymaster in the army and afterwards held a position in the navy. He also served as Third Auditor of the Treasury. In 1865 he was appointed superintendent of Indian Affairs in one of the southern districts and removed to Kansas. He served three terms in the Kansas Legislature and in 1878 removed to Utah. In 1889 he was appointed Secretary of Utah Territory, serving four years. Mr. Sells died at Salt Lake City, March 13, 1897.