Monday, February 5, 2018

The Rest of the George W. Seaver Story - Part I: Newspaper Articles

I wrote Seavers in the News -- George W. Seaver Disappears in 1899 last week about a man disappearing from his home in Santa Monica, California.  It was an interesting story, and I found no other newspaper articles about him in the online newspaper resources I searched.

But that was only the beginning of the story.  What happened to George and his unnamed spouse?

My friend, Barry Sheldon (he's an excellent experienced researcher...) took mercy on me, and found several more articles about the disappearance, and more information about George and his spouse.  Over four days, he provided the following newspaper articles about George and his wife, using resources at his disposal (including, which I don't subscribe to).  

Rather than transcribe the articles, I'll let you read them in their snippet form.

The first article Barry found identified George's wife as Mrs. Lida J. Crocker:

1)  Los Angeles Herald - 24 July 1898:

So now we know her name was Mrs. Lida J. Crocker.  The wedding date was probably 17 July 1898 ("last Sunday" from 24 July).  Was Lida a widow, a divorcee?  

These articles from a month before clear it up:

2) Los Angeles Herald - 21 June 1898:

3)  Los Angeles Daily Times - 21 June 1898:

Eeww.  "The Case of the Smelly Husband?" And a marriage date and place.  And a number of children.

So Lida got custody of her two younger children, and Henry A. Crocker won custody of their two older sons.

So now Lida and George are married, living happily (?) with her two children, and then George disappears for some reason in May 1899.  Where did he go?  How did he get there?  Why did he leave?  More articles in the newspapers:

4)  Sacramento Record-Union - 26 May 1899:

So the dog returned home - amazing how that happens.  No word about the horse.

Two days later, another report:

5)  Los Angeles Sunday Times - 28 May 1899:

So it looks like George walked over the Santa Monica mountains, caught a train to Santa Barbara, and then went to Port Harford (now called Avila Beach, near San Luis Obispo) and boarded a ship, the Bonita, to Portland, Oregon.  No reason was given for leaving.  Still no word about the horse.

Disappeared, traveled, found.  But we don't know why, do we?  Did they get back together?  What happened to George and Lida?

So is that the end of the George W. Seaver story?

Well, not exactly.  We're almost out of newspaper articles, but there are some interesting documents available to fill in some of the unknown events in the life of George W. Seaver.

My thanks to Barry Sheldon for his efforts to help solve the disappearance mystery.  He also found some interesting and useful records for me, and provided expert opinion on analysis of all of this.  More in another post.


Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

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Diane Gould Hall said...

What a story Randy.

Magda said...

He probably sold the horse to buy the train ticket!