GEORGE WHITFIELD SEYMOUR - The Seymour family of Whitney Point, Broome county, New York, began in this locality
with the advent of John Seymour from Norwalk, Connecticut, in the year 1790. In 1793 he married Sarah Stoddard,
and from a family of eight children three sons remained in Whitney Point, John, George Whitfield and Henry A. Dr.
Ralph Augustus Seymour, son of Henry A. Seymour, occupies the old homestead today. John Seymour died in 1876. In
1838 George Whitfield Seymour married Mary Freeman and established a home on a part of the land that his father
bought of the Indians and of the company of the Boston Purchase, and which remains in the family to the present
day, being occupied by some of his children and grandchildren. He and his wife were charter members of the Presbyterian
church of Whitney Point and were devout Christians to the end of their days.
Mr. Seymour was an intelligent, well read man and alive to the questions of the day. He was justice of the peace
in his own town for many years, and a pronounced abolitionist in Civil War times. His main occupation was that
of farmer, although he had many other interests. Beyond his business interests, and paramount to all, was his desire
to educate his children and equip them for life. Evenings in his home were spent in reading biographies, Shakespeare,
"Pilgrims Progress," Washington Irving's Works, Littells "Living Age," and the Bible. Rather
strong meat for six young children, but each one is thankful today for whatever part of it was incorparated into
life. A keen sense of humor often relieved the situation of austerity, and the mystery of all the things to be
learned was an ever present and absorbing source of interest. The six children were by name: Stella M., Louisa
T., Mary L., John S., Frederick S., Louis Irving. Of the two living daughters, Stella M. and Mary L., it may be
said that they are women of purpose, the eldest a musician and much traveled woman, and the other, Mary L., married
Willis O. Newcomb, a sketch of whom follows.
Of the three sons, John S., the eldest, was commissioner of patents under President Cleveland. His children are:
a son, Harold F. Seymour, a prominent citizen of Cleveland, Ohio, and a daughter, Mary Seymour Kerr, an artist
of New York City. Frederick Seymour, the second son, an eminent lawyer of New York City, is the father of Helen,
who married Clive L. Newcomb; Margaret, wife of Ripley Nelson, banker of New York City; and Frederick D., a rising
young business man of New York. Louis Irving Seymour, the third son, a mining engineer of South Africa, was killed
in the Boer War in 1900. The following quotations, taken from articles written at the time of his death, in the
London, Johannesburg and New York periodicals, are, data excepted, in many respects equally descriptive of the
characters of the three brothers.
Major Seymour was born at Whitney Point. New York. forty years ago. He had been in the Transvaal for a number
of years and was recognized as a mechanical engineering and mining authority of the highest rank. Previous to the
outbreak of the war, he was constiting engineer of the great Eckstein gold mines on the Rand at the highest salary
paid any engineer in that land of generous remuneration. He was a personal friend of Sir Alfred Milner, Lord Kitchener,
and of Cecil Rhodes, and in one of his last letters home was a description of a visit to Mr. Rhode's house. Major
Seymour was a representative American in all things. Progressive, energetic, capable, with a cool disregard of
danger, he mast ever be in the first rank in all his undertakings. It was thus that he rushed into tho thick of
the fight in which he lost his life, sacrificed in the cause of civilization in a foreign land. But it is just
such men as he that make the name America respected the world over.
George Whitfield Seymour kept the faith with life, and the memory of his high purposes in the conduct of life stands
as an immutable monument to those of his blood who still remain to "carry on."
Binghamton and Broome County
Editor in chief: William Foote Seward
Libarian for the Binghamton Public Libraey
Lewis Historical Publishing Company
New York and Chicago, 1924
Broome County, NY
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