Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Seavers in the News -Orin G. Seaver Receives a Gift

It's time for another episode of Seavers in the News.

This week it's a sad story and an uplifting story too - found in the Ann Arbor [Mich.] News-Argus newspaper dated Tuesday, 17 September 1907, accessed on GenealogyBank:

The transcription of this article is:
As Orin G. Seaver, the university student who lost both legs in a street car accident lay on his cot in the Detroit hospital Saturday morning his face beamed with good nature and hopefulness.  On a table by his side stood a number of bouquets from friends, some of them fellow students at Ann Arbor,, and among a stack of letters from sympathetic persons was one from a total stranger.  In it was a check on the State Savings bank for $20.  It was from A.K. Ozawa, a Japanese law student at Ann Arbor.
The writer said in his letter that, although he had never met the patient, he couldn't refrain from extending sympathy and offering a little help.  He heard of the accident through the newspapers, he said.
I have just come to Ann Arbor to study law," Mr. Ozawa said in closing, "and I hope to soon have the pleasure of giving you a hearty handshake/.  I admire your grit in determining to continue your marine engineering course in spite of your handicap.  I am a Japanese by parentage, but an American in spirit."
Seaver, only 24 years old, has made a plucky fight for an education.  A student from early childhood, he went from his home in Ypsilanti to Ann Arbor for his high school education and later entered college.  While at high school he carried a week's victuals from his home every Monday morning, living on cold food all the time.  Later, while at college he washed dishes for his meals and attended to a furnace for his room.  He will return to college as soon as his condition will permit.
Since leaving college last spring Seaver has been running the engine at the cold storage plant of R.Hirt Jr., 34 Market street, in an effort to make enough money to pay his own expenses at college during the coming term.  His father, a farmer and butcher at Ypsilanti, is able to help him, but Orrin is of such an independent spirit that he decided to stand the expense of his education himself.  He now holds a first-class stationary engineer's certificate.
The source citation for this article is:

"JAP STUDENT SENDS $20 CHECK TO SEAVER," Ann Arbor [Mich.] News-Argus newspaper, online index and digital image, GenealogyBank ( : accessed 14 December 2016), Tuesday, 17 September 1907, page 1, column 1.

I easily found Orrin G. Seaver in my RootsMagic family tree database.  He was born 25 January 1883 in Ypsilanti to John Smith and Theresa Mary (Yeiss) Seaver.  He married Mae Murphy in about 1916, and he died on 22 December 1974 in Ypsilanti.  His World War I draft registration card provides his birth date, an occupation of high school teacher, and a physical description of "medium height, slender build, with blue eyes, brown hair, and had both legs off."

I need to go find the gory details of the accident - I'm sure it made the newspapers.  Yep, there was an article in the same newspaper for 6 September 1907.  I'll post that in the next episode of Seavers in the News.

This article raises all sorts of questions, like "Did Orrin and Mr. Ozawa ever meet, and did they have a long-standing relationship?"


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