Thursday, July 11, 2019

Seavers in the News -- Judge Thomas O. Seaver Dies in 1912 in Vermont

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 18 July 1912:

The transcription of the article is:


Col, Thomas O. Seaver

Col. Thomas O. Seaver, of Woodstock, aged 78 years, for over 20 years judge of the Hartford probate district, died suddenly of heart trouble Thursday morning.  He had just come home and entered his office apparently in the best of health.  Ten minutes later he was found dead in his chair at his desk.  The funeral was held Saturday afternoon art 3 o'clock.

Colonel Seaver was one of the best known veterans in the state with a brilliant military record as commander of the Third Vermont regiment in the Civil War.  At the outbreak of the war he recruited Company F, was chosen captain in June, 1861, promoted to major, then to lieutenant-colonel a few weeks later, and in January 1863, took command of the regiment.  His regiment participated in most of the great battles of the war.  Colonel Seaver rendering notable service at Fredericksburg and at the Battle of Wilderness.

Colonel Seaver was born in Cavendish, in 1834, the son of Joseph Seaver Jr., was graduated from Norwich University, Northfield, in 1859 and began the study of law in the office of Washburn and Marsh in Woodstock.  Returning at the close of the war, he resumed his law studies and was admitted to the Windsor county bar in 1864.  He first practiced in Cavendish, going to Woodstock in 1873, where he had since resided.  About 20 years ago he was appointed probate judge and had since been successively elected to this office.

In May, 1897, Colonel Seaver was shot by William W. Lawrence for some fancied grievance, the bullet passing through his body very near the heart.  Courage and a strong constitution saved him and he apparently entirely recovered from the wound.  Lawrence was sentenced to the state prison for 16 years and was later transferred to the state hospital for the insane at Waterbury.  Colonel Seaver married Nancy J. Spalding, of Hartford who survives him, and he also leaves a son, Kenneth, of Pittsburgh, Pa.

The source citation for the article is:

"Thomas O. Seaver," St. Alban's [Vt.] Weekly Messenger newspaper, obituary, Thursday, 18 July 1912, page 3, column 5, Thomas O.Seaver obituary;   ( : accessed 11 July 2019).

The obituary covers the three major events in Thomas Orville Seaver's life, mentions his father's name, his wife's name and one surviving son.  Thomas was born 23 December 1834 in Cavendish, Vermont, to Joseph and Abigail Evaline (Parker) Seaver.  He married Nancy Johnson Spaulding (1840-1917) on 20 June 1861 in Hartford, Vermont, and they had five children:

*  Ethel L. Seaver (1862-1893), married Richard S. Ely (1863-1929) in 1892.
*  Gertrude E. Seaver (1865-1887)
*  Mary Seaver (1870-????)
*  Maude M. Seaver (1874-1875).
*  Kenneth Seaver (1877-1969), married Mabel B. Bright (1878-1963) in 1903.

Thomas Orville Seaver (1834-1912) is my 5th cousin four 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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