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Clinton Henry Seymour

Note: This information was supplied by Paul Carleton Seymour.

HENRY Clinton (Clinton)10 SEYMOUR (Gilbert9, Willet8, William Jr.7, William6, Samuel5, Samuel4, Matthew3, Thomas2, Richard1), born 1872 in Thompkins, Delaware, NY, died 1946 in Cannonsville, Delaware, NY. Married Carrie M. Cuyle, b. 1872 in Trout Creek, Delaware, NY, Daughter of Isaac Alvin.

Children (born in Cannonsville, Delaware, NY):
Neita C. b. 1894
Helena R. b. 1897
Leila Clara b. 1900
Kenneth Clinton b. 1903
Erford Keith b. 1905
Westley Carleton b. 1911
Clayton Lynwood b. 1915; killed in a car accident 1939

History of Cannonsville, Delaware, New York, and Henry Clinton and Carrie Cuyle Seymour

Here's the town that my GGGG Grandpa William helped found around 1800, and where 4 later generations of our line of Seymours; Willet, Gilbert, Clinton, and Westley were all born and raised as well.

Cannonsville, New York was acquired and destroyed by the State of New York in the early 1960's in order to construct a dam and create a reservoir which provides drinking water for New York City. Luckily by this time Great Grandpa Clinton had already died, and Grandpa Wes had left town anyway for more economic opportunity since he was one of the youngest in his family. I don't have any information on how the State compensated those who were living there at the time. I think that my Great Uncle Erford had taken over Clinton's store, but I don't know what he did when the town was destroyed. He would have been in his 60's at the time.

Headline read:
“Cannonsville, Once a Village:
Then Came Bulldozers, Water and Silence”


A map of Cannonsville in 1856 showing Willet's property location.

A later map in 1956 just a few years before its destruction:

It looks like by this time the Seymours had mostly moved on, although I do see one building marked as Seymour on Main Street. We know that in 1956 Clinton's store was no longer in the family, so I'm not sure who this is.

Following are some stories written by Cannonsville residents just prior to its destruction.

“Miss Antoinette Owens remembers the store owned by her father, Milton W. Owens and uncle, Edgar B. Owens, which stood on the river bank near the bridge, later becoming the Frank Mapes undertaking establishment. Milton W. Owens built a new store (now the B & V store) in 1880 and sold general merchandise for many years. In 1902 Tunis C. Judd purchased the store of Mr Owens and conducted business there until 1916 when he sold to H. C. Seymour. At present the store is owned and operated by Donald Bonker and Harry Vanderlip. We recall the old Winters store which stood opposite Jester's hardware, and the two stores, Teed's and Keeler's up on “back” street.

Picture of Clinton Seymour's store. Not sure of date, but the car down the street looks like it's from the 1920's which would be about right:

Picture of Westley Carleton Seymour in front of the store by the gas pumps, I guess in the snow. This was taken about 1928 when he was around 17 years old:

Back to the stories from the historical website–“We have fond memories of Fred (Bubbie) Cuyle (related to Clinton's wife and my G Grandmother Carrie Cuyle), the congenial barber and shoe repair man whose business was in Abe Constables store - our present Post Office and Card's store.”

Photo in newspaper of Bubby Cuyle:

He looks like a rugged old character, doesn't he? Below is an article explaining the above:


The Baptist Church

About the year 1830 there was organized at Cannonsville a branch of the Deposit Baptist Church with fifteen members: Thomas Durfee, Alice Durfee, John Randall, Ann Randall, Zebina Hancock, Dorothy Seymour (William jr.'s wife, gggg Grandma), Jeannette Lowry, Affia Crawford, Electa Darrow, Mahala Hathaway, Benjamin Hathaway, Lebbeus Teed, Electa Teed and Betsy Day. The membership increased to fifty and on September 28, 1831, they were recognized as an independent church, and thus the Cannonsville Baptist Church came into existence.

The first deacons were Thomas Durfee and J. L. Babcock, and the first regular pastor was the Reverend Mr Baldwin, commencing his ministry in January 1832 and remaining about six months. In August of that year Deacon Thomas Durfee was licensed and preached as the main supply for six years. Then Stephen Stiles, E. L. Benedict and Elder Richmond were pastors until 1850, and again Thomas Durfee in 1851.

The meetings were held in schoolhouses in Cannonsville, Trout Creek, the Huyck neighborhood, Johnny Brook, at the stone schoolhouse four miles up the river, and in the “den” ten miles above Cannonsville on the river.

Miss Antoinette Cannon writes:

“Although I never lived the whole year around in this village, I think of it as my home, and whenever I have been homesick the images that have come to my mind have been in large part scenes of Cannonsville. There are several reasons, but chiefly two: the gifts of nature which I began for the first time to enjoy there, and the story of the early settlement of the valley in which my fathers grandfather, Benjamin Cannon Sr., played a part.

“I was ten years old and we had come to Deposit to live when Chestnut Point came into my father, Robert Cannon's possession, and he brought his family to his old home. We must have spent five successive summers at Chestnut Point and always afterward returned when we could with a sense of belonging to Cannonsville.

“Our grandfather, Benjamin Cannon, Jr., who built the house and set out the trees at Chestnut Point had died before we children were born, and he was only a legend to us. He must have taken great pains to plan the “Queen Anne's Cottage,” as it was called, in every detail of architecture and ornament. Some of his drawings for it still exist. A large chestnut tree stood on the point of ground where Trout Creek comes into the Delaware River and this was the origin of the name Chestnut Point. The story of the grounds around the house was that when my grandfather was building the house a traveling nurseryman came by with a varied stock of trees and my grandfather bought the entire stock and set them out. The place when we lived there had reverted almost to Natural woods, but with many trees unusual in the region. Among them, and surrounded by old but still vigorous chestnut trees one came upon an open flat oval which was a croquet ground designed and made by my father when he was a boy. A huge swing with ropes perhaps twenty feet long was suspended from the limb of one of these big trees to add to the fun of the Sunday School picnics that were sometimes held there.

“Part of the family history went back to my great grandfather and the farmhouse he had built on the left bank of the river. It stood, and still stands, on the flat directly opposite Chestnut Point, and belongs now to the Leland Boyd family. In our time it was the home of the Samuel Hathaways. That big family of able farmers soon became an important part of our life, as they were of the life of the community. I remember having dinner in the old house with Bessie Hathaway and her parents and what seemed to me an army of great strong brothers who came in hungry and jolly from the fields.

“My grandmother Cannon lived to be well over eighty. Many of her later years were spent with or nearby my family and she was with us at Chestnut Point, happy to be in her old home. As long as I can remember I see her as a white- haired old lady dressed in black and wearing a lace cap. I cannot remember ever seeing her without the cap. She was sparely built and straight, always somewhat formal in speech and manner, and usually had a book in her hand. I remember her interest in the “Merry Delvers” of which group she had been a member, but I do not know just what they did in those early times.

“Going to church and Sunday School and to weekday hymn-singing practice was a major social activity in our lives. We would walk to the church and back, across the creek bridge, often with the minister and his wife, grandmother discussing the sermon with them. The Presbyterian parsonage was just across the road from our house. My sisters and I went there to be taught the “Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Assembly.” I still have the small blue book, then new, “standard edition 1891” from which I studied. The minister, Mr Kirwan, was a strict man, but he said that it was perhaps not required of the young to learn the questions in order, as well as the answers. However, I decided to try it the hard way and did memorize a good part, but I am sure not all of the 107 questions. Today I cannot get beyond the first one but the experience made an impression.

Besides the Hathaways I remember other families of the village and farms where there were children of our age. Among them were the Durfees, the Seymours, the Finches, the MacGibbons, the Owenses, the Spickermans, the Hulberts. The Adams children were little then and as cunning children as could be found anywhere. They were usually playing on the broad steps of their father's store where we would stop to admire their curly hair.

One exciting day during our childhood in Cannonsville stands out in my memory: the day the old covered bridge across the Delaware collapsed and went into the river. There had been a downpour of rain the day before and the river was in flood. Rain was still coming down and we hurried into raincoats and rubbers and ran to the river when news came that the bridge was giving way. We were not in time to see the final crash and the tragedy which occurred when a fine team of horses, Clinton Seymour, and his loaded lumber wagon went down with the bridge. Mr. Seymour was unharmed but the horses went down stream and were drowned.

This happened in 1900 when G Grandpa Clinton was about 25. Good thing he was a decent swimmer. I'm sure that a fine team of horses and a wagon (loaded with something) must have been a big financial loss. I'm no expert on insurance practices in rural America in 1900, but I doubt that Clinton was able to contact his local insurance agent and make a claim. It might have taken a while for him to recover this loss.

“The house at Chestnut Point was modern for its time, with every convenience and many odd features which would appeal to children, such as the porch with carriage landing, and the other little side porch off my bedroom, the small fireplaces, the French windows in the parlour, the delightful woodshed, the dwarf stairway and door to the attic, the pantry where we made bread and cake, and the big stream of cold water running constantly through the kitchen sink. My aunt Elizabeth Archibald and my Uncle Charles Cannon had a persistent feeling for the place where their childhood had been spent and came there to visit us, so that we children came to share some of their sense of its being the old home. Aunt Elizabeth used to tell us of driving to Deposit every day with her father to get the mail before Cannonsville had a post office. When the roads were good they made the trip in forty-seven minutes driving the pair of fast white ponies my grandfather took great pride in. My father however remembered with less pleasure his daily task of keeping the white ponies curried and washed.

“In our childhood the mail was brought from Deposit by stage and we were often among the passengers on that long, slow, eight-mile drive with Mr. Harvey Cogshell as stage driver. My uncle, for some years after his retirement from business, lived in Cannonsville in the home of Mrs Owens and her sister Miss Ellen Seymour. Ellen lived with us for some years and was a valued member of our household.

“My parents first met in Cannonsville. My mother's home was in Deposit. She taught music and had some pupils in Cannonsville and so spent part of a year there, boarding in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Ogden when my father's family lived at Chestnut Point. A severe winter followed that year and my father (to be) would skate down the river to Deposit to see her, a round trip of about sixteen miles. They were married in the home of my maternal grandfather, George Wheeler, where my sisters and I now live.

This is my personal favorite story. I can only imagine what it would have been like skating 8 miles down the river back in those days. Even today, it's a rural area. Back then I'm guessing that he didn't see another person on the way, and certainly wouldn't have had to worry about tripping over an empty Bud can, or discarded pieces of plastic. It must have been really peaceful.

“I think all who have lived here have a feeling of belonging to the valley of the Delaware, and I for one find it hard to accept the change which is about to be made. To me personally it can make but little difference, but now the whole enterprise is to me as to all the people of our country, a question of the best use to be made of natural resources, especially of water. We must hope that the plan which our planners have made is in the best interest of us all, and when we take leave of Cannonsville we must try still to make good use of all which the valley had given to us and will give to coming generations. But that is another story.”

Miss Owens relates one of her early experiences riding on a raft from Cannonsville to Deposit with a group of negro(sic) singers who had given a concert in the village. Going over the dam was the big thrill.

“And another exciting time,” writes Miss Owens, “was when William Henderson later a merchant in Walton for many years shot a burglar in my father's store. The mark of the bullet may still be on the old counter.” (This is now the B & V store, which was also Great Grandpa Clinton Seymour's store). “After that my young brother kept a baseball bat at the head of his bed t o be ready for any emergency.

In 1900 when the covered river bridge went down with horses, load and driver, one of the boys rushed his row boat from the mill pond to help in the rescue.” H. Clinton Seymour was the driver who was rescued, but the horses were drowned.

Miss Owens also remembers hearing that in the early 1860s a private school was conducted in the Presbyterian parsonage opposite Chestnut Point. The ministers wife Mrs Thomas Hempstead was her mother's aunt and her mother and Mrs Hempstead's sister came to live with their aunt and attend the school. “Miss Ada Hotchkins of Windsor was an able teacher,” writes Miss Owens, “but what intrigued her pupils was the story that she had Indian blood in her veins.”

Albert M. Adams, who was born in 1888 in the old Maples homestead on the site of the present schoolhouse, writes about some of the stores and shops in the early days:

His grandfather, Ebenezer Adams, had a shoe shop in part of the Lines building near the river bridge (Joe Judd's hardware store) and next to that was Sam Benjamin's blacksmith shop. Near this building (which was Ken's barbershop a few years ago) Charles Banks owned a shoe shop which later became Wilbur Hulbert's cooper shop and after that Clinton Seymour's meat market. Martha Owens operated a millinery shop near the market. She sold her property to Newton Walley who had a meat market there. The old Pomeroy drug store stood next and after Mr Pomeroy built his new store, Arthur Cook had a shoe shop in the old building and in later years Sanford Seymour (Clinton's big brother) used the building as a grocery store.

The meat market must have preceded the general store.

More websites on the life and death of Cannonsville. 1869 map showing Willet Seymour's farm 1956 map. A bit blurry but if you look closely you can see a Seymour building on main street, probably the Store owned by my G grandfather Clinton, who had already died 10 years earlier. Maybe with Erford at this time. Story of the death of Cannonsville. A couple of pictures

Now on to Clinton and Carrie.

Unfortunately this is the only photo I have of the two of them. I can't imagine what possessed them to hide behind a bush for the photo, but that's what we have.

Aside from the stories related above I only know what my Grandparents told me about Clinton and Carrie. First and foremost, Clinton was a successful businessman in Cannonsville, as we saw above, running first a meat shop, and then it looks like he graduated up to the primary general store in town. The latter was the only one that I heard about and was pictured from the outside above. Here's a picture of the inside with Clinton and great Uncle Erford:

It was pretty extensive, selling clothes, farm supplies, food, etc. and had the gas pumps out front. As I understand, he was the only supplier in the small town for many of the goods. One story which always stuck with me was that during the Great Depression, many people were suffering great hardships, of course. Clinton on many occasions was very generous and understanding. On several occasions my Grandfather witnessed people coming in to the store, and picking out the necessary items for survival. They would then humbly tell Clinton that they didn't have any money at the moment, but would pay as soon as they could. Clinton would graciously nod, knowing full well that that day would never come. To this day, I try to carry on with that same sense of compassion here in Colombia. Today in fact, I gave a little money to a poor lady in the street of Venecia, who was trying to do so shopping for the week.

Grandma had also mentioned something to the effect that ol' Clint was something of a lady's man in his day, which also seems to hold true looking back at the family line. Grandpa didn't put forth any denial when she said this, so I assume it was true.

They also made several trips to Sidney to visit my Grandparents late in their lives, including when my Dad, Westley Francis, was born. They both proudly said that Clinton was very taken with young “Skipper” as he was nicknamed early on. I guess they made a few visits in his last year, or so, and he died before Dad turned two, so he never really knew his Grandfather.

I guess, fortunately for him, Clinton died without ever knowing that soon his beloved Cannonsville would be destroyed in order to build a dam for drinking water for NYC. It had been partly founded by William Jr., then further grew during Willet's long life while he continued running lumber to Philadelphia and was the first Seymour to open up a store in town, and further still while Gilbert was farming, and with his older brother Alonzo, still running lumber down the river to Philadelphia. I guess that during Clinton's time, the lumber business had already died out, with the railroad, etc., so he continued his Grandfather Willet's tradition of running a store in town. I think that Erford continued running the store after Clinton's death, at least for a while, so in all five generations made Cannonsville their home.

I know next to nothing about Great Grandma Carrie Cuyle, but have a photo of her father, Alvin Cuyle, who I learned was from nearby Masonville, by looking up a Civil War record of his participation. Grandpa used to always take us to the old Mason Inn in Masonville for special family dinners, like Mother's Day, etc. That would include ten of us. Grandma and Grandpa, Mom, Dad, me and Tammy, and Uncle Dick, Aunt Dot, David and Andrew Curtis. As I recall, we never really understood the attraction to the little place on top of a hill in what seemed like the middle of nowhere to us, but it was important to him, and we gladly went along. It seemed to be nostalgic for him, and hey, it was his day, not to mention his nickel.

Here's the oldest photo that I have, which is of GG Grandpa Alvin Cuyle in his Civil War uniform. I was told that it was taken at a World's Fair, which makes sense based on my research below - This photo was taken in the first days of photography and is printed on some sort of metal plate, and I cherish it.


“The Centennial International Exhibition of 1876, the first official World's Fair in the United States, was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. It was officially the International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures and Products of the Soil and Mine. It was held in Fairmount Park, along the Schuylkill River. The fairgrounds were designed by Hermann Schwarzmann. About 10 million visitors attended, equivalent to about 20% of the population of the United States at the time (though many were repeat visitors).” Centennial_Exposition.

Alvin Cuyle died in 1915 in Trout Creek, NY, near Cannonsville.

If you look closely, you'll see that GG grandpa Cuyle is stoking that cigar of his for the photo. Grandpa (Wes), as you'll see in the next chapter, was a major cigar smoker. He told me that this photo was what had inspired him to take up the habit.

If you're a photography buff, here's the history of the photo.

“The Centennial Board of Commissioners awarded the sole license for photography at the exposition to Edward L. Wilson, editor of the journal, The Philadelphia Photographer, and his good friend William Notman, a prominent Scottish-born Canadian photographer. Notman served as president of the Centennial Photographic Company (CPC) and Wilson as Superintendent and Treasurer. The other officers of the CPC were W. Irving Adams of New York City, who served as Vice-President, and Notman's Toronto business partner, John A. Fraser, who served as Art Superintendent. A CPC catalog lists 2,820 photographs for sale to the public, many in more than one size. Stereoviews were sold for $.25 each; 5×8” photographs sold for $.50; 8×10” photographs went for $1.00; 13×16” prints for $2.50; and 17×21” photographs for $5.00 each. Exhibitors were charged substantially more for the first print but were offered bulk discounts of up to 20% off the rate charged the public for 50 copies.

All of the CPC photographs are silver albumen prints and were made using the wet-plate process in which glass plates were first coated with a collodion solution of gun-cotton dissolved in alcohol and ether and then sensitized with a solution of silver nitrate. The glass plate negatives had to be exposed while still wet and developed and fixed soon after exposure. Contact prints were then developed in the Company's processing room using albumen paper (paper coated with a mixture of egg whites and ammonium chloride). The prints were then mounted on card stock for sale. This process was both complex and cumbersome. It required lots of supplies, equipment and manpower. However, the process captured images in exquisite detail on the negative plates. The exposure times for the treated glass plate negatives averaged twenty minutes, according to reports by one of the Company's photographers, John L. Gihon, whose “rambling remarks” appeared in every issue of The Philadelphia Photographer during 1877. Exposure times as long as 2 hours were reported, made necessary by the lack of good lighting in many of the Centennial buildings.

The Company was apparently quite successful and their photographs were in great demand both during and after the Centennial. In the book The World of William Notman, Roger Hall, Gordon Dodds and Stanley Triggs estimate that the Centennial Photographic Company made a sizeable profit during the Centennial.”

The soldiers from Delaware County, NY fought in the 144th Infantry Regiment ain.htm

“Mustered in: September 27, 1862, Mustered out: June 25, 1865 (almost three years, which is a long time to stay alive in those circumstances)

The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 – records of the regiments in the Union army – cyclopedia of battles – memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II.

“One Hundred and Forty-fourth Infantry.-Cols., Robert S Hughston, David E. Gregory, William J. Slidell, James Lewis Lieut.-Cols., David Gregory, James Lewis, Calvin A. Rice; Majs. Robert T. Johnson, Calvin A. Rice, William Plaskett. This regiment, recruited in Delaware county, was organized at Delhi, and there mustered into the U.S. service on Sept. 27, 1862. It left the state on Oct. 11, 956 strong, and was stationed in the defence of Washington at Upton's hill, Cloud's mills and Vienna until April 1863. It was then assigned to the Department of Virginia, and in Gurney's division assisted in the defence of Suffolk, during Long-street's siege of that place. In May it was placed in Gordon's division of the 7th corps at West Point, and snared in the demonstration against Richmond. In July it joined the 2nd brigade, in (Schimmelfennig's) division, nth corps. This division was detached from its corps on Aug. 7, and ordered to Charleston harbor, when during the fall and winter of 1863 the regiment was engaged at Folly and Morris islands, participating with Gillmore's forces in the siege of Fort Wagner and the bombardment of Fort Sumter and Charleston. In Feb., 1864, in the 1st brigade, Ames' division 10th corps, it was engaged at Seabrook and John's islands, S. C It was then ordered to Florida, where it was chiefly engaged in raiding expeditions and was active in the action at Camp Finnegan (Jacksonville). It returned to Hilton Head in June; was active at John's island in July, losing 13 killed, wounded and missing; in Potter's brigade the Coast division it participated in the cooperative movement: with Sherman, fighting at Honey Hill and Deveaux neck. Its casualties at Honey Hill were 108 and at Deveaux neck, 37 killed wounded and missing. Lieut. James W. Mack, the only commissioned officer killed in action, fell at Honey Hill. Attached to the 3d separate brigade, District of Hilton Head, it was severely engaged at James island in Feb., 1865, losing 44 killed, wounded and missing. In the fall of 1864 the ranks of the regiment were reduced to between 300 and 400 men through battle and disease, and it was then recruited to normal standard by one year recruits from its home county. The regiment was mustered out at Hilton Head S.C., June 25, 1865, under command of Col. Lewis. It lost by death during service 40 officers and men, killed and mortally wounded; 4 officers and 174 enlisted men died of disease and other causes total, 218.”

This photo was taken 10 years after the end of the war, so Alvin is probably into his 30's. As I study this photo, I try to imagine him on the battlefield as a 20 year-old. Based on what I've read of the Civil War, with 50,000 men, or so, dying in a single day (more than in the entire Vietnam War), it's difficult for me to get my head around the hell that he must have endured during his service. It also helps to bring some life to the older stories, in previous chapters, of our more ancient ancestors fighting in metal chain, with battle axes for Christ's sake. The shear brutality of actually going through that, I think, is one of those things that only he, and others who also had the misfortune of being in such a situation, can speak about. I somehow can imagine though, that I wouldn't want to have seen old Alvin charging at me with that sword drawn and a wild look in his eyes. The mere fact of his survival makes one think of those he faced, and their fates.

Of course as a kid, and then as a young man, I thought that I actually could have done such things with ease. The older, more mellow Paul, isn't so sure.

Also very interesting to me is the fact that during the civil war, two of our distant cousins, who broke off our family branch in the beginning in Connecticut, were important players during this era. Remember that of Richard's sons, only first born Thomas (our sire) was of age at Richard's death. John, Zehariah and Richard were raised as step sons of the first regional governor of Massachusetts and Connecticut, John Steele, and were therefore somewhat more privileged, as presumably were their offspring. John's descendants, especially, included many US Congressmen and Senators. Same blood line, but with more cash and opportunity, as many went to Yale, for example.

Both Horatio and Thomas Seymour were Governors of their respective states of New York and Connecticut at this time. And both were opposed to the war, and to centralizing the US government, as both were hard core Jeffersonians, and therefore favoured a decentralized government. Although, unfortunately much less popular these days, as Jefferson himself seems to have been largely forgotten by the new, mostly immigrant population, I, myself, am one of the last remaining Jeffersonians. Maybe that helps explain why I live in South America. Jeffersonian_democracy

I also made contact while doing my research with Judy Cuyle, a very accomplished genealogist and wife of Bill Cuyle, who is a descendent of Alvin as well. Bill was in to drag, and stock car racing in a major way.

Grandpa, Dad, and I were/are big speed freaks as well, which may have come down through the Cuyle line (pronounced like Kyle). Cuyle, isn't a very common name, but is also from southern England, almost exclusively found in Sussex County, England. This would indicate another family of Norman origin, I think, and it just looks and sounds French as well, which would indicate Norman origin.

Now on to generation 11 in America.

book/clinton10.txt · Last modified: 2014/11/01 15:00 (external edit)