Sandford Sellers

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Sandford Sellers (1854-1938) was the Principal, Superintendent and President of Wentworth Military Academy from 1880 to 1935.

Sandford Sellers was born in Kentucky in 1854, and was raised on a ranch in eastern Texas. As a young boy, he worked in cotton and sugar cane fields. As a young adult, he was a cowboy. In 1872, he returned to Kentucky. He attended Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1877 and a Master of Arts degree in 1879. After a year as a Professor of English at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, he was convinced by classmate Benjamin L. Hobson to go to Lexington, Missouri in 1880, to help start Wentworth Male Academy. When Hobson left to pursue a career in the ministry at the end of the 1880-81 school year, Sellers took sole charge of the academy. For the next 42 years, he led Wentworth toward its national reputation. He died in 1938.

Since Sellers stepped down from active leadership of Wentworth in 1923, the position has been held by four of his descendants: son Sandford Sellers, Jr. (1923-1933), son James M. Sellers (1933-1960), grandson James M. Sellers, Jr. (1973-1990) and great-grandson William W. Sellers (2008-2013).


  • The Story of Wentworth, by Raymond W. Settle, 1950, Spencer Printing Co., Kansas City.
  • History of Wentworth Military Academy, by James M. Sellers, Jr., 1984.
  • Wentworth Trumpeter, 1893-2007.
  • Wentworth Military Academy, 125th Anniversary. Lil Touch Publishing. 2005.