Thursday, May 25, 2017

Seavers in the News -- Dr. R.N. Seaver is Ill in 1905

It's time for another episode of "Seavers in the News" wherein I try to find obituaries and stories of persons named Seaver that are interesting, fun or macabre.

This week's article is an article about Dr. R. N. Seaver in the Altoona [Penn.] Mirror newspaper dated 4 April 1905 found on

The transcription of this record is:

"Prominent Corry Doctor Stricken

"Corry, Pa.,  April 4. -- Dr. R.N. Seaver, one of the prominent men in state, member of the soldier's pension examining board, was stricken with apoplexy in his office and is now at the point of death."

The source citation for this record is:

"Prominent Corry Doctor Stricken," Altoona [Penn.] Mirror, Tuesday, 4 April 1905, page 8, column 6, Dr. R.N. Seaver article; indexed database and digital images,   ( : accessed 25 May  2017).

I looked in my RootsMagic database, and found Randolph Nelson Seaver (1847-1907) in my database, with the death listed in Minnesota in 1907.  So perhaps he didn't die in 1905 after his apoplexy attack?  

I searched on Ancestry for him, and easily found Randolph N. Seaver in the 1900 U.S. Census in Corry, Erie County, Pennsylvania, and there was a suggested record for a Find A Grave memorial for Dr. R. Nelson Seaver (1847-1905) buried in Corry, Pennsylvania, with a photo of his gravestone.  

A mention of him in the journal American Medicine (Volume 9, 1905, 22 April 1905, page 638, accessed in the "Compilation of Published Sources" collection on says:

Randolph N. Seaver, aged 60, April 3, from cerebral hemorrhage, at his home in Corry, Pa. ; a graduate of the University of Worcester, medical department, Cleveland, O., in 1874."

So there's a death date.  The "Directory of Deceased American Physicians" database on also provides a death date and a bit more information about his practice:

I could find no true obituary or other biography for Randolph Nelson Seaver in databases on,, GenealogyBank, FindMyPast newspapers, FamilySearch Books, Google Books, Google Search, or Chronicling America.  I don't have a subscription at this time.  You would think that someone prominent in the state would have an obituary and a biography in several regional newspapers.  Perhaps he did, and they have not been digitized, or I just haven't found it yet.

There may be a fuller biography in the "Directory of Deceased American Physicians" noted above.  I found the FamilySearch collection "United States, Deceased Physician File (AMA), 1864-1968) and it had two index cards with the information similar to the Ancestry database:

I am going to cite the FamilySearch index card because it is probably the best source of the information above.  The FamilySearch citation is:

"United States Deceased Physician File (AMA), 1864-1968," images,  FamilySearch  ( : 22 May 2014), > image 1316 of 3097; American Medical Association, Chicago.

In this process, I found a Pennsylvania Death Certificate for Randolph's wife, Nellie E. (Bracken) Seaver in 1939 and her Find A Grave memorial.  It's been a productive hour and a half finding information about this couple.  Alas, they seemed to have had no children.  FYI, Randolph Nelson Seaver is my third cousin 5 times removed.


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1 comment:

Lois Willis said...

I have a subscription to, so I went looking for an obituary or death notice for R. N. Seaver.

I found a notice for his death in the Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 4 April 1905 p 15.
Dr. R. N. Seaver
Corry, Pa., April 4 - Dr. R. N. Seaver, aged 60 years, a wealthy and prominent practitioner and former mayor, died last night as a result of a stroke of apoplexy. He leaves a wife.

I then went looking to see if the Pittsburgh Press is available elsewhere, and found it in Google News: This link is to page 2 of the Pittsburgh Press on 4 April 1905. You just need to type in 15 to take you to the page with the notice. The notice is in column 3.