296. HENRY ALBERT8 SEYMOUR (Lot Norton7, Noah6, William5, John4, John3, John2, Richard1), born at New Hartford, Conn., 22 Jan. 1818, died at Bristol, Conn., 6 Apr. 1897; married at Bristol, 28 July 1844, ELECTA7 CHURCHILL, born at New Hartford, Conn., 5 Apr. 1818, died at Bristol, 10 Dec. 1873, daughter of John6 (Samuel5, Charles4, Samuel3, Joseph2, Josiah1) and Laura (Wells).
Henry Albert Seymour went to such schools as were in the village of New Hartford until he was fourteen when he became an apprentice in the small local factory of the Chapin Brothers engaged in the manufacture of fire-arms. He had a natural aptitude for mechanics and could not have had better schooling than in this small shop in the village. When sixteen years old he went with his Cousins Henry and George Kellogg (the latter the father of Clara Louise Kellogg, the famous American singer) to the academy at Westfield, Massachusetts, of which the principal was Amos Cheeseboro. At that time the Westfield Academy enjoyed a fine reputation. He always looked back on his schooling at Westfield with pleasure and satisfaction. Returning to New Hartford he finished his apprenticeship with the Chapin Brothers, by whom he was taken into the jealously-guarded secret of the delicate shadow process of straightening gun-barrels.
He had no formal schooling after he left Amos Cheeseboro's Academy, but at an early age he became a serious reader, and all his life remained a constant reader of books. The meager village library was a great resource, and he made full use of it. An important influence in developing his mind was the constant discussion of public affairs in his own family circle. His Grandfather Seymour had been an ardent Federalist, but his father, out of deep conviction, had become an apostate,-a Democrat. His father's defection from the political faith of the family gave birth to endless arguments and led him to wider reading. Thus, in his early youth he read the four volumes of Jefferson's “Correspondence and Miscellanies.” The son of one of eleven Jeffersonian Democrats in New Hartford, he was reared in that faith, but later in life became a Republican and so remained until his death.
As a very young man he seems to have displayed some of the military spirit which the late Mary Kingsbury Talcott, an historian of the family, believed to be its characteristic. He was not twenty when he became captain of the local militia company, the New Hartford Grenadiers, and one year when the State Militia held its annual training at Norfolk, Major-General James T. Platt pronounced young Seymour's company to be the best trained of the fifteen companies in the regiment. For three years, under his captaincy, this company had the position of honor at the right of the regiment.
At about twenty-four he developed such a severe cough that his physician advised a trip south. He resigned his captaincy of the New Hartford Grenadiers, sold his accoutrements, and arranged with Brewster & Ingraham of Bristol to go to Mississippi as their clock salesman. He made the trip three times, twice by sailing vessel from New York to New Orleans and once by rail to Cumberland, Virginia, thence over the mountains and by stage and barge the rest of the way.
He was married at Bristol, July 28, 1844, then 26 years old, by the Reverend Mr. Seeley, at the home of the bride's sister, Mrs. Lora Waters, to Electa Churchill. She was also born in New Hartford, and they had grown up together and had the same circle of friends. They began their married life in New Hartford, but in 1846 removed to Bristol where he formed a partnership with his brother- in-law, John Churchill, and Ebenezer Hendrick. They occupied what had previously been the Boardman and Wells Shop in Stafford district, but after a year or so discontinued business, as they were charged with the infringement of a patent held by Noble Jerome. Messrs. Seymour and Churchill then began the manufacture of ivory and boxwood rules. Mr. Churchill retired from that partnership a year or so later, and Mr. Seymour continued the business until the factory was sold. He then built a small shop using water power on what is now Riverside Avenue and continued the business for some time. Ultimately he sold it out to the Stanleys of New Britain. It was the nucleus of the celebrated Stanley Rule and Level Company of today.
In 1850 he bought the house on Main Street which Noble Jerome, brother of Chauncey Jerome, had built in 1820 and resided there until 1886. This purchase included a considerable frontage on Main Street and, on the frontage south of the railroad track, which went diagonally through the land, Mr. Seymour built in 1851 a frame building which he occupied for some years as a jewelry store. He built up a good trade and drew much custom from the neighboring towns. He soon vacated this building, which he rented for the United States Post Office, for another which he built near it. Later on he joined with Mr. Julius Nott in building a brick block, the first brick building for commercial purposes in Bristol. These properties suffered a disastrous fire in 1870, and another in 1873.
With other men of Bristol he had an attack of “oil fever” and went to Pennsylvania and superintended the boring for oil. The venture was not a success, and ultimately he returned to Bristol much poorer in purse.
In the early days of his living in Bristol he served the town as First Selectman, as Treasurer, as Assessor, on School Committees, and on the Board of Relief; but he had no aptitude for politics as such and never sought public office, though throughout his life he took an active interest in public affairs and was particularly interested in the public schools of the town. He took his young son, George Dudley, to town-meeting, regarding that as important a part of a boy's education as schooling, believing that every citizen should know how his town was run.
At one time after he gave up his jewelry store he was employed by one or more of the concerns manufacturing clocks in the invention and perfection of automatic machinery for making certain parts of clocks. He was fitted for that work on account of his apprenticeship as a boy and his natural aptitude for mechanics.
He had secured such an enviable position in Bristol for integrity of character and judgment that when the Bristol Savings Bank was incorporated in 1870 he was one of the founders of the bank and was chosen its first president as the most available man in the community, all things considered, though not a man of means or of familiarity with banking. Under his administration the bank was so successful and enjoyed to such an extent the confidence of the community that he was re-elected to the presidency of the bank for twenty-seven years until his death, April 6, 1897. The bank was founded in the expectation that it would assist in building up the town, and he always regarded his services in connection with the bank as a public service for he had no salary until near the end of his term, and accepted no pay except for the time used in driving about the country as appraiser. From the time of the founding of the bank in 1870 until his death, it was his chief interest and concern. His son-in-law, Mr. Miles Lewis Peck, was the first secretary and treasurer of the bank and ultimately succeeded him in its presidency, which he still (1938) holds.
At the time of Mr. Seymour's death in 1897, no man in the community was held in higher respect for integrity and uprightness of character, and no one more beloved by all classes. Mr. Seymour was above medium height, of spare frame, and had broad shoulders. His portrait, painted in anticipation of marriage in or about 1844 shows a well-shaped head, oval face, dark hair, gray eyes, and dark complexion. In temperament he was reserved, moderate and reticent of speech, combined with a gentle and friendly manner, although at times he was severe and when severe had a sort of Roman handsomeness.
Though never robust, he excelled in sports requiring skill rather than strength, and was an excellent swimmer, diver, and skater. and proficient in the old-time game of wicket, described by his son in “The Old-Time Game of Wicket and Some Old-Time Wicket Players.”
All his life he was devoted to hunting and fishing. Bristol, with its copper mines, is an interesting region for all mineralogists and he spent much time in prospecting. A lover of nature, no one was more thrilled by the first robin of spring or by the “Honk Honk” of the wild geese as they went over in the fall.
As already stated, he was a constant reader. He subscribed to the New York Evening Post, the New York Tribune, and the Hartford Courant. He was an early subscriber to the Atlantic Monthly, and a close reader of the Consular Reports. He was greatly interested in horticulture. He was fond of music and as a young man played the flute. His silver flute in its velvet-lined box is well remembered by his son. It was a household where books and music were much in evidence.
Electa Churchill, in anticipation of her marriage to Mr. Seymour, was painted in 1844. She was of good height, had abundant hair which was brown almost to blackness, blue eyes, and a fresh complexion, and a remarkably melodious voice, both in speaking and laughing. She was as gay and sociable as her husband was reticent, and in consequence was a great favorite in the family circle and in the town. She was very proud of the tradition in her mother's family (the Wellses of “Ten Rod,” Newington) of hospitality which she always practiced and encouraged in her daughters.
The author of this book was surprised a few months ago to receive from a Bristol lady who had known the family all her life a wholly unexpected letter in which she spoke of the family as follows: “I have been thinking lately of your family and the debt that Bristol owes them. Your father and mother must have had unusual strength of character to have bequeathed so much to their children. Bristol has been fortunate to have several families who have contributed much to our city through several generations, in business ability and integrity, public spirit and high moral character, but I think none of them had the culture that your family had. How much your three sisters have contributed to its charm and culture.” (E. J. P.)
|Children, first born at New Hartford, the others at Bristol, Conn.:|
|i.||LAURA ELECTA9, b. 5 Apr. 1846; d. at Bristol, 22 June 1921, unm.|
|ii.||HENRY ALBERT, b. 2 Apr. 1847; d. at Washington, D.C., 1 May 1921; m. at Washington, D.C., 30 Oct. 1872, MARY MARILLA LEGGETT, his second cousin, b. at Warren, Ohio, 2 Apr. 1853, d. at Brookline, Mass., 4 Jan. 1914, only dau. of Gen. Mortimer Dormer and Marilla (Wells).|
|I.||Laura Leggett10, b. 11 Nov. 1873; m. at Washington, D.C., 30 Oct. 1899, Charles Benjamin Doolittle, b. at Bridgeport, Conn., 4 Oct. 1868, d. 12 May 1936, s. of Thomas Benjamin1) and Mary Louise (Bradley).|
|(1)||Mortimer Leggett11, b. at Washington. D. c.. 4 Oct. 1900; B.A. (Yale, 1922); LL.B. (Yale. 1925) l entered the law offices of Cumminp & Lockwood, Stamford. Conn., 1925; m. 26 Dec. 1930, Dorothy Rowley Perkills.|
|II.||Rae Mortimer, b. 24 Aug. 1877; d. 8 Aug. 1933: m. in the Church of the Covenant, Washington, D.C., 6 Jan. 1923, Josiah Dwight, b. at Woodstock, Ill., d. at Atlantic City, N.J., 4 July 1934. So of Josiah and Amanda L. (Griffing).|
|III.||Helen Wells, b. 18 Dec. 1878; d. at Washington, D.C., 27 Oct. 1937.|
|iii.||MARY HARRIET, b. 22 July 1849; d. at Bristol, Conn., 31 Oct. 1926; m. “at Bristol, 18 Oct. 1871, MILES LEWIS PECK, b. at Bristol, 24 July 1849, s. of Josiah Tracy and Ellen (Barnard) Peck.|
|Children, b. at Bristol:|
|I.||Josiah Henry10, b. 5 Mar. 1873: B.A. (Yale, 1895); LL.B. (Harvard, 1898); a lawyer, res. West Hartford, Conn.; m. at Providence, R 1., 12 Nov. 1902, Maude Helen Tower, b. at Alston, Mass., 13 Sept. 1873, dau. of Rev. Francis Emory and Ella (Shepardson). No children.|
|II.||Howard Seymour, b. 17 May 1874; d. 9 Sept. 1928; m. at Bristol, Conn., 16 Oct. 1900, Florence Edna Roe, b. at Tremont, N.Y., 16 Oct. 1877, dau. of Charles and Mary Matilda (Naason) Roe.|
|Children, b. at Bristol:|
|(1)||Seymour11, b. 5 Nov. 1901; B.A. (Yale, 1923); m. at New York, N.Y., 13 May 1933, Margery Earl.|
|A.||Margery12, b. 22 Mar. 1934.|
|(2)||Nancy, b. 30 June 1903; m. 2 Aug. 1928, Edward J. Quinlan, B.A. (Boston Univ., 1924), LL.B. (1927).|
|A.||Mary12, b. 25 Feb. 1929.|
|B.||Edward J., b. 16 Feb. 1931.|
|C.||John, b. 30 July 1932.|
|D.||Nancy, b. 15 Aug. 1938.|
|III.||Hilda Margaret, b. 19 Apr. 1881; B.A. (Vassar, 1903); res. (1938) Bristol, Conn.|
|IV.||Rachel Kezia, b. 6 Jan. 1883; B.A. (Vassar, 1905); m. at Bristol, 28 June 1910, Newell Jennings, B.A.. (Yale, 1904), LL.M. cum laude (Yale, 1907), b. at Bristol, 12 May 1883, son of John Joseph and Elizabeth Naomi (Newell).|
|(1)||Elizabeth Newell11, b. in 1911; B.A. (Vassar, 1932); m. at BristoI, in 1932, Sherwood L Anderson, Jr., of Allentown, Pa.|
|A.||Hilda Peck12, b. 27 Mar. 1933.|
|B.||Sherwood L., b. 17 July 1934.|
|C.||Rachel Jennings, b. 20 Jan. 1936.|
|(2)||Miles Peck, b. in 1912; ed, Deerfield Academy; B.A. (Yale, 1935).|
|(3)||Dorothy Seymour, b. 7 May 1916; B.A. (Vassar, 1937).|
|V.||Mary Miles Lewis, b. 22 Jan. 1895; B.A. (Vassar, 1917).|
|iv.||LILLA WELLS, b. 10 May 1852; d. 7 Nov. 1854.|
|v.||JOHN CHURCHILL, b. 5 June 1853; d. same day.|
|vi.||GRACE ELLA, b. 13 July 1856; d. at Bristol, 23 Apr. 1925; m. at Bristol, 11 Oct. 1881, WILLIAH SHURTLEFF INGRAHAM, b. at Bristol, 25 Apr. 1857, d. there 14 Dec. 1930, s. of Edward and Jane Eliza (Beach). He m. (2) in June 1928, Mrs. Edith (Mather) Tuttle.|
|Children, b. at Bristol|
|I.||Faith Allen10, b. 30 Apr. 1886. She assumed her middle name on learning that a paternal ancestress, Faith Allen, was hanged for witchcraft on Gallows Hill at Salem, Mass., in 1692. She m. at Bristol, Morton Candee Treadway, b. at Bristol, 26 Jan. 1887, s. of Charles Seth and Lucy (Townsend). He was educated at Phillips Andover and Yale College (B.A., 1910). Mrs. Treadway has been active from her girlhood in the church, civic and social affairs of the community; member of the D.A.R. and of the Conn. Society of Colonial Dames. She takes great pride in carrying on her gifted mother's philanthropic and social obligations.|
|Children, b. at Bristol:|
|(1)||Morton Candee11, b. 20 May 1915.|
|(2)||William Ingraham, b. 7 Feb. 1917.|
|(3)||Jean. b. 28 May 1918.|
|(4)||Lucy Townsend, b. 23 May 1919.|
|II.||Edward, b. 20 Dec. 1887; ed. Phillips Andover; B.A. (Yale, 1910), m. at Rutland, Vt., 21 Sept. 1918, Alice Patti Pease, b. at Worcester, Mass., 26 Apr. 1887, dau. of George Francis and Alice (Batchelder), of Rutland, Vt.|
|Children, b. at Bristol:|
|(1)||Edward11, b. 12 Nov. 1919.|
|(2)||William Shurtleff, b. 2 Nov. 1921.|
|(3)||Grace Seymour, b. 27 Dec. 1924.|
|(4)||Ellen Jane. b. 14 Feb. 1927.|
|(5)||Faith Allen, b 4 Mar. 1929.|
|III.||Dudley Seymour, b. 14 Aug. 1890; m. at Ipswich, Mass., 31 July 1920, Marion Edna Morton, b. at Beverly, Mass., 6 Nov. 1888, dau. of Joseph Theodore and Jessie (Johnson).|
|Children, b. at Bristol:|
|(1)||Seymour Morton11, b. 20 Jan. 1922.|
|(2)||Joseph Theodore, b. 5 June 1923.|
|(3)||Dudley Seymour. b. 1 Oct. 1924.|
|(4)||Robert Appleton, b. 18 Aug. 1927.|
|vii.||GEORGE DUDLEY, b. 6 Oct. 1859; ed. graded schools, Bristol, Conn., and Hartford Public High School (1878); LL.B. (Columbian University, now George Washington, Law School, 1880); LL.M. (same, 1881); hon, M.A. (Yale, 1913); L.H.D. (George Washington Univ., 1921).|
|viii.||HELEN WELLS, b. 29 Jan. 1864; d. 12 July 1866.|