Biography of Charles A. Seiders
Lucas County, OH Biographies

Charles A. Seiders, one of the best known members of the Toledo bar, whose successful practice, extending through more than forty years, has been barked by an observance of the highest ideals and standards of his profession, was born June 1, 1857, in the village of East Texas, near Allentown, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, where his ancestors had lived for many generations. In April, 1866, his parents moved to the village of Flat Rock, Seneca county, Ohio, and after two years moved to a farm in Adams township, that county, and five years later to another farm in the same township.

While but a boy Charles A. Seiders began to take a great interest in reading, which he indulged by such books as he could borrow from the neighbors and teachers, and soon subscribed to young folk's inexpensive magazines and weekly papers. His first subscription to a weekly was to the Cincinnati Weekly Times, the first copy received by him containing an account of the Chicago fire, which copy he still retains. In moving to the second farm he came into a neighborhood where great interest was taken in books and education. To procure these Mr. Seiders had to rely on his own efforts, his father being financially unable to help him, and not having the fortune of good health he was unable to graduate from college. Having made up his mind at the age of sixteen to become a lawyer, he commenced reading for that profession in the fall of 1878, but, having to work his own way, his studies were often broken into, and he was not admitted until March, 1882, when he passed the examination of the Ohio supreme court. In the meantime, and as a means of livelihood, he had in July, 1879, established and edited the Greenspring Tinies in the village of Greenspring, Ohio, and the two starved and struggled along together for eight months, when they parted company.

In April, 1883, Mr. Seiders began the practice of the law in Paulding, Ohio, the county seat of Paulding county, which was then just being developed, up to that time having been largely covered by a dense growth of timber. A few years later he became the attorney for the New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railway Company for that county. The general offices of that company being at Cleveland, and Paulding county being hard to get at, General Williamson, then general counsel, entrusted all of the work to Mr. Seders; and for twenty five years he performed it, having continued to do so after his removal to Toledo and after Hon. John H. Clarke, late associate justice of the United States supreme court, had become general counsel. In the meantime there was soon added a large general practice which extended into other and surrounding counties. In the fall of 1888 he also became the local counsel for the Cincinnati, Jackson & Mackinac Railway Company, and continued to represent that company until his removal to Toledo. On November 15, 1897, he went into the office of Doyle & Lewis, Toledo, Ohio, and remained with that firm until January 1, 1902, when he went into practice for himself. He is and has been for over twenty years an attorney for the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Company.

While reading law with Lutes & Lutes at Tiffin, Ohio, a firm composed of Nelson B. Lutes and his wife, Nettie Cronise Lutes, Mr. Seiders met Miss Edith Sams, who was then practicing law in partnership with Miss Florence Cronise, a sister of Mrs. Lutes. Mr. Seiders and Miss Sams were married on May 1, 1883, at Tiffin, Ohio, and about a month after Mr. Seiders had commenced practicing law at Paulding. Miss Sams was admitted to the bar of Ohio in December, 1881, and was the first woman admitted to practice in that state by the supreme court.

Miss Sams was the fourth child of Alexander Brannen and Marianna Stuart Sams, both of English birth, her mother being a lineal descendant of the royal house of Stuart of Scotland. Mr. Isaac Sams, the grandfather of Mrs. Seiders, came to this country from England in 1824 and established Rock Hill Academy at Ellicott City, Maryland. In 1834 he removed to New York city and there reopened his school, but in 1835, his health having become impaired by overwork, he acquired one thousand acres of land adjoining the town of Hillsboro, Highland county, Ohio, and in that year removed thither with his family. After the recovery of his health he became the head of a boys' school at that place and continued so for a number of years. He took a great interest in education and everything pertaining thereto, and was during the remainder of his life a member of the board of county examiners. He opened a library and reading room at Hillsboro, was the means of establishing teachers' associations and educational publications, and in many ways, by his culture and energy lifted educational standards in southern Ohio. Being Episcopalians Mr. (Isaac) Sams and his two sons (the uncle and father of Mrs. Seiders) took a leading part in organizing an Episcopal church in Hillsboro, and, in 1853, in the erection of the beautiful Episcopal church at that place. The memorial window placed in the church to commemorate the names of the founders contains the names of the grandfather, uncle and father of Mrs. Seiders, together with five others. Her grandfather was senior warden from the time of the establishment of the church until his death on December 1, 1878, while her father was secretary of the vestry from the time of its establishment until his removal to Tiffin in 1869.

Mr. Alexander Brannen Sams, father of Mrs. Seiders, was educated in New York city as a pharmacist, and lived there until 1848, when he, too, came to Ohio, Where he met Miss Stuart, who, with her mother, was then making a tour of this country, and they were married shortly after. They lived at Hillsboro, a part of the time on his father's farm and a part of the time engaged in the hardware business and also as collector of internal revenue, until 1869, when he purchased a drug store at Tiffin, Ohio, and removed there, where he died in 1893, having survived his wife eight years. Both of the parents of Mrs. Seiders were not Only well educated but liberally so.

After their children were of school age Mrs. Seiders joined with her husband in the practice of law at Paulding, Ohio, under the firm name of Seiders & Seiders, and so continued until December, 1896, when Mr. A. M. Waters was associated with them under the firm name of Seiders, Seiders & Waters, and when, in November, 1897, Mr. Seiders removed to Toledo, Mrs. Seiders and Mr. Waters continued the business at Paulding until December, 1898, when the family removed to Toledo. She did not resume the practice in Toledo. While living at Paulding she was elected a member of the board of education and served the full term of three years, being also elected clerk throughout her whole term,

Aside from holding the office of village solicitor for one term at Paulding, during the first years of his practice, and being a member of the board of education at Toledo from March 5, 1906, to June 15, 1908; at which time he resigned, and during the greater part of which period he was president of the board, Mr. Seiders has neither held nor sought political office. His only diversion has been the study of history, on which subject he has accumulated a library larger than any other private historical library in the city of his residence:-

After removing to Toledo, Mr. and Mrs. Seiders became identified with the Unitarian church, Mr. Seiders being for nearly fourteen years a member of the board of trustees of the First Unitarian church of that city and, for nearly all of that period, its president. He is a member of the Toledo Club, Toledo Commerce Club, Toledo Automobile Club, Toledo Museum of Art, the American Historical Association and the Maumee Valley Pioneer and Historical Association. Mrs. Seiders is a member of the Toledo Women's Association and the Women's Educational Club.

They have two children living: Marian D., who married Dr. W. Frank Maxwell. and has a son, Gregory W., born July 25. 1917, in Toledo; and Seth, who is in the advertising business at Chicago and who is married and has a daughter, Mary Elizabeth, born April 10, 1910. Mr. Seiders' residence is at No. 1632 Wildwood road.

Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio
BY: John M. Killits, A.M., LL.D.
S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago and Toledo

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