Thursday, February 1, 2018

Seavers in the News -- George W. Seaver Disappears in 1899

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 Los Angeles [Calif.] Herald newspaper dated 21 May 1899:

The transcription of this article is:


"Santa Monicans Puzzled Over George W. Seaver's Disappearance

"Santa Monica, May 29. -- George W. Seaver disappeared from his home yesterday morning before breakfast, and up to this evening no news has been received as to his whereabouts.  Seaver was agent here for the Anchor laundry as well as for a mineral water and lived with his wife and her two children by a former marriage at 210 Ocean avenue.  Seaver went out to feed his horse yesterday morning before breakfast and has not been seen since.  His wife says he had about $100 in his possession, but cannot account for his sudden leave-taking, and, owing to the hour of day, a foul play theory is not tenable.  Seaver was married to his present wife about a year ago, the latter having secured a divorce from her first husband a short time previous, on account of which the ceremony took place in Mexico.  They are believed to have lived harmoniously together and no reason can be assigned by Mrs. Seaver for his strange behavior.  Seaver is a member of the Soldiers' home, out on an extended furlough, about 60 years of age, weighing about 150 pounds, with gray hair and mustache, blue eyes and wearing spectacles."

The source citation for this article is:

"Missing Man" Los Angeles [Calif.] Herald newspaper, Sunday, 21 May 1899, page 10, column 7, George W. Seaver article; digital image, California Digital Newspaper Collection  ( : accessed 1 February 2018).

I looked for additional articles about this episode, and there was one the next day in the same newspaper, and George was still missing.  Here is that article:

The transcription is:


The Missing Santa Monican Drops Completely From Sight

Santa Monica, May 21. -- The disappearance of George W. Seaver remains asm uch a mystery as ever.  From the time when he went out to the barn to feed his horse before breakfast on Friday morning nothing has been seen or heard of him.  The barn in which the horse is kept is in the rear of a cottage on the corner of Second street and Oregon avenue, up the alley about a block from where Seaver lived.  A neighbor saw him carry a bucket of water into the barn soon after 6 o'clock on Friday morning and for all trace that has been found of him since the earth might have opened and swallowed him from sight.  A search has been made in the crevices along the bluff and Santa Monica heights and the surrounding of the big wharf have been gone carefully over, but not the slightest trace of the missing man has been found.  Many theories have been advanced, but the most plausible one seems to be that he has voluntarily gone off somewhere, whether in a fit of temporary insanity or not remains to be seen.  Seaver had a black and tan dog which followed him everywhere, and which is supposed to have been with him on Friday morning, for it has not been seen since.  The almost positive fact that the dog was with him seems proof conclusive that there has been no foul play and that he has left town, taking the animal with him.  At the time of Seaver's disappearance, a Mrs. Crane of San Pedro was the guest of his wife.  Mrs. Crane believes that Mr. Seaver must have become suddenly insane, as she says that is the only satisfactory conclusion to be arrived at, when all things are considered.  Acquaintances of the family say that Mr. and Mrs. Seaver lived on most amicable terms and Mrs. Crane states that on the evening previous to his disappearance Mr. Seaver was an interested participant in making plans for her entertainment on the following day.  Seaver carried a revolver on the day he left, something he was not in the habit of doing, and his wife can account for his action in taking the weapon on that particular morning  only for the fact that a troublesome cat frequented the yard and he had endeavored several times to kill it with the revolver.

"Marshal Baretto has sent particulars regarding the missing man to the Los Angeles police, and it is said that the Uncle Sam post, G.A.R. of the Soldiers' home, of which Seaver was a member, will organize a searching party tomorrow in an endeavor to locate their comrade."

"No Trace of Seaver" Los Angeles [Calif.] Herald newspaper, Monday, 22 May 1899, page 5, column 4, George W. Seaver article; digital image, California Digital Newspaper Collection  ( : accessed 1 February 2018).

There are some clues as to the identity of George W. Seaver besides his name.  He was about 60 years old, and was a GAR member, and had resided in the Soldiers' home.  He was married, but his wife's name was not given.  

I searched my RootsMagic database for this man, and came up dry.  I could not find a George Seaver who probably resided in the Los Angeles area, or the soldiers home in about 1899, in my database.

I searched for George W. Seaver in Los Angeles County in the 1900 U.S. Census.  There was none to be found.  

There was an entry in the "U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938" collection on for George W. Seaver, age 48 in 1893 born in Wisconsin, entering the Sawtelle Veterans Home in Los Angeles.  He enlisted in the Army on 8 December 1863 in Andover, Mass. in the 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment and was discharged in Boston on 11 July 1865.

A Find A Grave memorial for this George W. Seaver was found in the Los Angeles National Cemetery, with a death date of 31 October 1918, with a death place of Sawtelle, Los Angeles County, California.  He was a member of the 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment, Battery K. A "U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865" collection entry on Ancestry for George W. Seaver lists an alternate name of Seavy.

There are City Directory and Voter Register entries for George W. Seaver in Los Angeles County.  He is age 65, born in Wisconsin, in the 1910 U.S. Census in the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Malibu.   He may be the George W. Seaver in Oregon in the 1870 U.S. census.

So it appears that George was found or came back at some point in time.  That probably wasn't important enough to make the news.  I wonder who his wife was?

I continue to wonder how many persons are lost to history.  This guy may be someone who has no records other than the Civil War record, the 1910 census, and the Veterans Home records.  The birth name could have been Seaver, Sever, Seever, Seavers, Severs, Seevers, Seiver, Siever, Leaver or many other spellings.  

This is just one of billions of stories in world history.  


Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

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1 comment:

Unknown said...


I took a quick look and found the answer to George Seaver' s disappearance.

Send me an email address to, I will send you your answer.