KATHY: One of the truly great stories of my lifetime. lee
Mt. Pleasant – Memorial services were conducted here Sunday afternoon in the Mt. Pleasant North ward L D S chapel under the direction of Bishop O. M. Aldrich for Duskee Seely, who was brought to this city by Mr. and Mrs. J. Leo Seely when he was a small child. Duskee found a home with the Seely family.
Published in The Salt Lake Tribune, Wednesday February 23, 1944 page 17
This is a tribute to a white father and a loyal Indian boy. Although both are now dead, they left a story of kindness, love and loyalty that is worth knowing.
In 1930 the late J. Leo Seeley of Mt. Pleasant was on a business trip to Arizona to buy sheep for his ranch. His attention was attracted to a small Indian boy, herding sheep all alone. The little fellow seemed so forlorn and forgotten: the look in his eyes penetrated to Mr. Seeley’s heart.
He talked to the boy and found that his mother had recently died, that his name was Duskee and that his father had given him away. Further inquiry confirmed that the boy had been traded for a sack of flour. This was too much for a man with as big a heart as Mr. Seeley had. He loaded the youth in his car and drove to the Indian Agency to see what could be done.
The father was located but didn’t want the boy – couldn’t take care of him alone. That did it! The little boy had to have a decent home. With help at the agency he was wiped and partially cleaned and some new clothes put on him and the car started back home with the two passengers.
There was little conversation along the way. The doubts and fears were registered n the face of the child. Mr. Seeley made repeated attempts to assure him all would be well, but there was little or no response.
Then the doubts began building up in Mr. Seeley’s own mind. What reaction would he receive from his wife and family? They had accepted stray animals, tramps, old and young people that he brought home for a meal and some help. There had been the welfare boy they had given a home for many months, but somehow in Mr. Seeley’s mind he knew this was a game had to be for keeps. Could he swing it?
Left in Car
It was very late in the night when the two reached the Seeley home in Mt. Pleasant, and the family had retired. A dozen plans had crossed his mind during the trip, about what he would say or how he would present the boy to the family, but none of them seem logical in the middle of the night so he left him to sleep in the car until morning.
It was early morning when Mrs. Seeley raised the blind of the bedroom window to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine of a new day. She couldn’t believe her eyes – what on earth could that terrible looking sight be, standing at the side of the car? From the distance of the yard to her window the matted hair and wrinkled clothing were noticeable – also the worried look on the little child’s face.
Her husband unfolded the story. As usual his wife agreed. The child had to have a home. At the breakfast table, the children were told about the situation and know they should accept the strange sight as part of the household.
The first order of the day was a hot scrubbing bath and hair cut and clean clothing and then he was showed around the yard, the farm and assigned the chores that he would he responsible for. In a few short hours, Duskee had found a home, a family and a job.
For the next 14 years, Duskee was a devoted loyal son and brother. He enjoyed his new family, his home, the farm work, the sheep and cattle. His days were happy as he rode his own pony and attended school. He studied hard! He wanted his family to be proud of him!
He enjoyed athletics and excelled in track events; played the trombone in the marching band and was a member of the varsity football team. He made many friends and enjoyed dancing with the girls at the school dances.
It was a happy day for all concerned when Duskee, in his new suit and shoes, proudly received his diploma from the North Sanpete High School, and was recognized as one of the honor students. He was happy with the surname Seeley on his diploma. He had been legally adopted some time before this.
It wasn’t long after graduation when Duskee had an accident while working on his uncle’s farm. It didn’t seem too severe and the doctors found no complication but still he didn’t seem to gain his strength back but gradually kept going down hill.
At last the family doctor (Dr. Madsen at Mr. Pleasant) his wife and the Seeley took him to the hospital at Tuba City, Ariz., where much work and research has been done with Indian children. His illness proved to be leukemia; it was only a short time until he died.
Proud of Heritage
Although he had been “Duskee Seeley” for a long time, he was always proud of his heritage as an Indian. The family honored him by laying him to rest in Arizona, among his people. It was his rightful birthright.
His death occurred in 1944. There had been 14 years of happiness and love and loyalty among the family.
In his “Happy Hunting Ground” I am sure his real mother was waiting. I am sure they were both there to greet Leo Seeley when he died a year ago.
In these troubled days it is important to remember we are all God’s children. Our duty in life is simply to remember that: “In as Much as Ye do It Unto One Of The Least of These, Ye Do It Unto Me,” and we need to turn again to Matt. 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”
Published in the Provo Daily Herald, Sunday May 21, 1972 page 2
For more information on Seeley or Seely Family History check out the link below: