Yesterday's Memories

Benjamin B. Sells M. D


Dr. Benjamin B. Sells, engaged in the active practice of medicine in Independence, was born in Winthrop, Buchanan county, in 1870. His parents, Leonard and Melissa (Knight) Sells, were both natives of Ohio, the former born in 1841 and the latter in 1850. The father came with his parents to Iowa when but seven years of age, the family home being established near Webster City when that section of the state was still a wild and undeveloped region. He there remained until after the Spirit Lake massacre, when he enlisted in what was known as the Northern Iowa Brigade. He afterward settled near Winthrop, where he had purchased lands, and there he began farming, bringing his fields under a high state of cultivation. He carried on general agricultural pursuits and stock-raising and while successfully managing his business affairs he also held a number of local offices, giving his political support throughout the entire period to the democratic party. He is now living retired with his wife upon a small farm near Independence.

Dr. B. B. Sells, the younger of their two children, attended school at Winthrop, and afterward entered Lenox College at Hopkinton, Iowa. Still later he attended the State University, in which he pursued his professional course, being graduated from the medical department with the class of 1905. He remained upon the home farm until it was necessary to go away to school, and following his graduation he made his way direct to Buchanan county, settling in Independence. Here he opened an office and has since devoted his entire attention to his practice, the duties of which he discharges with a sense of conscientious obligation. He is most careful in the diagnosis of his cases and at all times keeps in touch with the advanced thought that is brought to light through scientific investigation and research. He has held no political office save that of pension examiner. The only business interest outside of his profession is in connection with the fair association, of which he is a stockholder.

In 1909 Dr. Sells was united in marriage to Miss Jessie Little, who was born in Buchanan county, a daughter of Ebenezer and Louisa (Smith) Little, both of whom were natives of Illinois, born in the year 1842. The mother passed away in 1910. Ebenezer Little came to Buchanan county when only a small boy and with his father settled near what is now Littleton, the town being so named in honor of the family, who owned considerable land in Buchanan county, which they had taken up as claims from the government. Ebenezer Little was a brother of Captain Little, who commanded Company C of the Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry during the Civil war and for whom the Grand Army post of Independence is named. During his early life he was very prominent in public affairs of the county and his aid and influence were an element in substantial growth and improvement. He is still the owner of land here, but at the present time is living retired and makes his home with his daughter, Mrs. Sells. Dr. and Mrs. Sells have become the parents of two children: Dorothy Theresa, who was born in 1910; and Leonard Little, born in 1912.

Dr. Sells holds membership with the Masonic fraternity and along more strictly professional lines is connected with the Buchanan County, the Iowa State and the American Medical Associations. He keeps in touch with the advanced thought of the profession and recognizes fully the heavy obligations and responsibilities which devolve upon the medical practitioner. He and his wife have many friends in Independence and the hospitality of the best homes of the city is freely accorded them.

Article submitted by Melody (Beier) Nelson


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