Thursday, January 25, 2018

Seavers in the News -- Reuben Seaver Shoots Frank Ellis in 1892

It's time for another edition of "Seavers in the News" - a semi-regular feature from the historical newspapers about persons with the surname Seaver that are interesting, useful, fun, macabre, or add information to my family tree database.
This week's entry is from the Aberdeen [Wash.] Herald newspaper dated 28 January 1892:

The transcription of this article is:

"Near Colfax Sunday evening Reuben Seaver shot Frank Ellis as the result of a quarrel over a girl named Amelia Peck.  Ellis followed him from church that night and attempted to shoot him.  Seaver fired too quick for him.  Seaver immediately rode to Colfax and gave himself up to the police."

The source citation for this article is:

"State," Aberdeen [Wash.] Herald newspaper, 9 April 1912, page 8, column 3, Reuben Seaver article; digital image, Chronicling America  ( : accessed 18 January 2018).

Another article about this incident was published by The Dalles [Oregon] Times-Mountaineer newspaper dated Saturday, 30 January 1892:

The transcription of this article is:

"Ellis is Not Dead

"Colfax, Wash., Jan. 26. -- Frank Ellis, the man reported killed in the Sunday night shooting affray, seven miles from this city, while dangerously wounded, is not yet dead.  Reuben Seaver, who shot him, came to town here last night, and was placed under arrest.  He stated that the trouble was of long standing between them, but they had not met since January 5, until at the church Sunday evening.  When he started home he found that Ellis, who had left the building before him, had untied his horse and had then ridden away with Petty.  By the help of friends, Seaver's horse was caught and and he and his brother proceeded towards home.  A short distance from the church the road forked and Seaver rode on toward his own house.  He had gone about three-quarters of a mile after leaving his brother.  When Petty and Ellis road up in front of him, and Ellis demanded that they have it out, at the same time dismounting.  Petty reined his horse in front of Seaver, so he could not pass, and Ellis went around to the other side, threatening him.  Seaver thought Ellis had a pistol, and drew one and fired, the shot taking effect in Ellis' left breast.  In the meantime, Petty had drawn his revolver and fired three times at Seaver, who, after shooting Ellis, fired at Petty, but missed him.  Seaver was placed under $2000 bonds, which was furnished, and he is now at liberty."

The source citation for this obituary is:

"Ellis is not Dead" The Dalles [Oregon] Times-Mountaineer newspaper, Saturday, 30 January 1892, page 2, column 7, Reuben Seaver article; digital image, Chronicling America  ( : accessed 25 January 2018).

This is an interesting story from the Old West.  Who was Reuben Seaver?

I don't know.  He is not in my Seaver database in my RootsMagic family tree.  I don't have enough information to determine who his parents, spouse and children are, let alone his birth, marriage and death records.

I searched on Ancestry, andthere are entries in the Ancestry Member Trees for a Reuben T. Seaver, born in 1863 in Missouri, married to Annie Ridgeway in 1882, and five children.  There is a 1900 U.S. Census record for this Reuben T. Seaver residing in San Francisco, who apparently came to California in or before 1892.  The census record was indexed initially as Leaver.  To me, it looks like Seaner.  A daughter's Social Security Application indexed the name as Leaner.  He is in the FamilySearch Family Tree as Reuben T. Leaner.

I always wonder how many persons are lost to history.  This guy may be someone other than Reuben T. Seaver/Leaver/Leaner that is in no other record.

This is just one of billions of stories in world history.  I wonder if Frank Ellis survived?


Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

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