Thursday, October 4, 2018

Seavers in the News -- Vernon C. Seaver Almost Got Divorced

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, mysterious, fun, macabre, or add information to my family tree database.

This week's entry is from the Des Moines [Iowa] Tribune newspaper dated 25 November 1907:

The transcription of the article is:

'Then withdrew Her Petition and Gave Company of Friends 'Reconciliation Dinner'
"CHICAGO, Nov. 25. -- Mrs. Vernon C. Seaver believes the man who invented automobiles was a friend of the divorce court lawyers.

"After a 'reconciliation dinner' at which she and Mr. Seaver entertained fifteen of their friends in honor of her withdrawal of the divorce petition she filed in September, she nodded her head approvingly as her husband gravely advised all young married men who are considering the purchase of a motor, 'don't.'

"'The devil is often the chauffeur,' he says.

"In his discourse of 'Automobiles as Rapid Transit to Divorce Courts,' presented his side of the case this way, while Mrs. Seaver listened and smiled approvingly.

"'You see, the first thing all the husband's friends and acquaintances discover is that he has a great big touring car at his disposal, with five seats in the tonneau and two in front.  That looks pretty good to the husband's friends.  His women acquaintances, in particular, are glad.  They jolly him along and get him to take them out on runs here and there, just to see how the new car acts.'

"'And right there is the beginning of the route to the lawyer's office.  I'll bet that the man who invented automobiles had a kind spot in his heart for lawyers.  Automobiles are a wonderful aid to the practice of the legal profession.

"'So the poor husband commences to play host in his car to his feminine friends.  The first thing he knows his enemies are bringing all kinds of yarns back to the family circle, something like this:

"'Your husband was seen dining in a Highland Park hotel last night with six women -- he had a little automobile party on.'

"'Your husband was whirling up Michigan avenue this afternoon with three women and two other men in his new touring car.'

"'Who was the woman I saw using your husband's new automobile yesterday -- I recognized it by the number?'

"'Who are the two blondes, looking like actresses, who were with your husband in his new motor car in Washington park last week?'

"'These are only a few of the bits of news and kinds of inquiries which come filtering back to the wife at home.

"'The husband is put through the third degree and all he can say is:

"'Every one I know or ever heard of is always at me to give them rides in my automobile or are borrowing it from me.  What can I do?  I don't like to offend my friends.  There's no harm doing, I assure you.'

"'But the wife very likely doesn't comprehend the fact that an automobile owner is often an easy mark.  She doesn't fully appreciate the difficulties of the situation, and the next thing that happens is that Cupid makes a quick getaway and the wife consults a lawyer.  My last word of warning to husbands is -- don't get an automobile.'

This narrative reveals the experience of the Seavers.  Automobile rides, when she wasn't along, were the theme of Mrs. Seaver's petition.  They are members of Chicago's socially elect."

The source citation for this article is:

"Auto Friend Divorce CourtDes Moines [Iowa]Tribune newspaper, dated 25 November 1907, page 8, column 6, Mrs. Vernon C. Seaver article; digital image,   ( :  accessed 4 October 2018).

Vernon Charles Seaver (1863-1951) was born in Holly, Michigan to Hiram and Ruth (Packer) Seaver.  He married three times - first in 1884 to Effie Clara McKee (1868-1954), and they had two children.  Second, to Mabel ???? (1871-????) before 1900, and they had one child.  Third, to Ethel Burley (1885-????) in 1920 and they had no children.  Vernon died in Miami, Florida.

Vernon Charles Seaver, owner of the touring car, is my 4th cousin 4 times removed.  He is the grandfather of one of my Facebook friends!  I hope she sees this post.


Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

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