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Mr. Sels was born in 1837, in Merschede, Westphalia, Germany, which place he left while yet a youth and came to America. December 31, 1854, he arrived in California, and July 1, 1862, reached Canyon City, where he still lives and enjoys the fruits of a life of honorable business activity. In the summer of 1802 he mined at Prairie diggings, about four miles northeast of Canyon City, and in the spring of 1803 opened a general merchandise store in Canyon City in partnership with Mr. E. J. Stemme, under the name of Sels & Stemme. In the fall of 1866 he sold his interest to his brother, Henry R. Sels, July 28, 1870, he purchased the Canyon City brewery from John H. Stahl, which was two weeks later destroyed by the great fire of August 12th. He at once rebuilt, erecting fireproof buildings cellars and warehouse He is very heavily interested in Grant County, and intends ranking its home there for an indefinite time, perhaps to the end of his days. Mr. Sels has been prominent in the political councils of the Republican party of Grant County, and has held many important and honorable positions.
From 1864 to 1866 he acted as justice of the peace, when he was appointed postmaster. This position he soon resigned to accept the office of County Treasurer, to which he was chosen at the June election, 1886, being the only Republican elected. In 1808 he was chosen State Senator leading John Dribblesby, the Democratic nominee by five votes, and again being the only successful Republican candidate in Grant County. Mr. Dribblesby contested the seat, and as he had also an undecided contest on hand with L. O. Sterns from the election of 1806, the Senate seated him under the first contest, Mr. Sels thus losing his seat. In 1870 he was elected County Judge, and served till July 1874. Since then he has never been a candidate for office, but is still looked upon as n staunch and influential Republican.