Thursday, June 20, 2019

Seavers in the News -- Rev. Norman Seaver Dies in Rutland, Vt. in 1915

It's time for another edition of "Seavers in the News" - a weekly 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 St. Alban's [Vt.] Weekly Messenger newspaper dated 28 January 1915:

The transcription of the article is:

The Rev. Norman Seaver.

The Rev. Dr. Norman Seaver, of Rutland, died suddenly Thursday at his home on South Main st., having been ill in bed for two weeks.

Doctor Seaver was born in Groton, Mass., April 23, 1834, and with his family moved at an early age to Boston.  He was the son of Norman Seaver, a lawyer, and Anna Maria Lawrence, a member of the famous Lawrence family of Massachusetts.  A cousin is Bishop William Lawrence, of Massachusetts, and another cousin ids Dr. A. Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard University.  Nearly all of the Lawrence and Seaver men were graduates of Harvard College with the exception of Doctor Seaver, who graduated at Williams.

Doctor Seaver attended Boston Latin School and thence went to Williams College, from which he was graduated in 1854.  After his graduation he studied law with a prominent firm in Boston and was admitted to the bar at the age of 21 years.  He practiced his profession for two years and then, feeling a call for the ministry, he went to Andover Theological Seminary.  Later, in 1960, Doctor Seaver went to Rutland as assistant to Dr. Silas Aiken, pastor of the Congregational church.  When Doctor Aiken retired two years later, Doctor Seaver was made pastor, filling that position for eight years.

From Rutland he was called to the First Presbyterian church of Brooklyn, N.Y., where he was a contemporary of Henry Ward Beecher, with whom he frequently exchanged pulpits.  For eight years he retained that pastorate.  At the end of that time the Rutland church again tried to secure his services, but he had pledged himself to go to Syracuse, N.Y. where he served another eight year pastorate, leaving there to go to St. Paul, Minn.  Doctor Seaver felt that eight years was sufficiently long for a pastor to remain in one church and at the end of another period of that length, he left St. Paul, returning to Rutland, where he intended to live and give up pastoral work.  He was asked to supply one Sunday in the Montpelier church and he made such an impression upon that parish that upon urgent request he served them for eight years, going to that city from Rutland, where he kept his residence.

Since severing his connection with the Montpelier church Doctor Seaver had lived in Rutland and had supplied at different times nearly every evangelical church in the state.  His broadminded view of Christianity fitted him to fill acceptably any pulpit.  It is said that for a week in Chicago he preached in a Jewish synagogue.

In 1866 Middlebury College conferred the degree of doctor of divinity upon him.  While Doctor Seaver was pastor in Rutland he preached a memorable sermon at the time of President Lincoln's assassination, even the pulpit steps being used to seat the throng of people who crowded to hear him, and at the memorial service commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of that tragedy, he gave in the same church the memorial address.

Doctor Seaver married Caroline K. Daniels, of Rutland, who died January 1, 1905.  In 1906 Doctor Seaver married Mrs. Ellen S. Pond, who survives him.

Doctor Seaver was a prominent Mason and an Odd Fellow, having held offices in both of these orders.  He was also a member of the Knights of Pythias.  He belonged to the Sigma Phi College fraternity and, in his prime, was an athlete of recognized prowess.  He received many honors, being selected orator at many gatherings of prominence.

The source citation for the article is:

"The Rev. Norman Seaver," St. Alban's [Vt.] Weekly Messenger newspaper, obituary, Thursday, 28 January 1915, page 3, column 3, Rev. Norman Seaver obituary;   ( : accessed 20 June 2019).

Norman Seaver (1834-1915) was the son of Norman S. Seaver (1802-1838) and Anna Maria Lawrence (1806-1895).  He married, first, Caroline Keith Daniels (1839-1905) on 10 December 1863 in Rutland, Vermont; he married, second, to Ellen (Stocker) Pond (1853-1921), widow of Abbott Sequard Pond, on 4 January 1906 in Rutland.  He had no children.  

Norman Seaver (1834-1915) is my 2nd cousin 4 times removed.  


Disclosure:  I have a paid subscription to and have used it extensively to find articles about my ancestral and one-name families.

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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