Thursday, January 21, 2021

Seavers In the News -- Architect Henry M. Seaver Dies in 1947 in Pittsfield, Mass.

  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 Berkshire County Eagle [Pittsfield, Mass.] dated 10 December 1947:

The transcription of the article is:

"Henry Seaver, Architect, Dies at 74

Funeral Service To Be Held Friday Afternoon

"Henry M. Seaver, 74, of 29 Wendell Avenue, architect and city planner, a resident of Pittsfield for nearly a half a century, died last night at the House of Mercy where he had been a patient since Nov. 19.

"Mr. Seaver was born in West Roxbury, March 6, 1873 son of Charles M. Seaver and Susan M. Hibbard Seaver.  He was educated in the public schools and was graduated from English High of Boston in 1890. He worked in the architectural office of Longfellow, Alden & Harlow, Boston, and attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology his junior and senior years with the class of 1897 as a special student in architecture and received the Rotch prize award.

"Mr. Seaver spent the summer of 1898 in a tour of France and Italy and in 1899 joined George C. Harding, architect in Pittsfield, under the firm name of Harding & Seaver and remained in partnership with him until his death in 1921.  Mr. Seaver continued the office alone afterwards.

"City Planner Since 1924

"Mr. Seaver had been a member of the city Planning Board since 1924 when it was established by Mayor Fred T. Francis.  He was also skilled as an artist and his water colors and drawings were highly praised in exhibitions in the Berkshire Museum and other galleries.

"Mr. Seaver was a member of the First Congregational Church and the Pipe & Pen Club since its start in 1903.

"Survivors are his widow, the former Alice G. Wentworth, daughter of the late Dr. and Mrs. W.H. Wentworth of this city; and one daughter, Mrs. Harry C. Helfman of Brooklyn, and one grandson, Robert Helfman.

"Funeral services will be Friday afternoon at 3 in the chapel at the First Congregational Church.  Burial will be in the Pittsfield Cemetery.  The Wellington Funeral Home is in charge.

"Designed Many Buildings

"The firm of Harding & Seaver designed many of the prominent buildings, not only in this city, but throughout Western Massachusetts and was one of the local architectural firms associated in forming plans for the new Pittsfield High building.  Various buildings planned by Harding & Seaver included the Berkshire Museum, YMCA, Boys' Club, Edward A. Jones Memorial at House of Mercy, Clapp Memorial Nurses Home, Berkshire Life Insurance Company West Street addition; Lenox Brotherhood clubhouse, Curtis Hotel, Lenox; South Congregational Church restoration and parish house; Colgate University chapel and Lathrop Hall, Colby Academy at New London, N.H., W.R. Plunkett School.

"A few of the many residences in Pittsfield designed by the firm are those of Miss Elizabeth Campbell and Miss Grace VanNorden, John Barker, William A. Whittlesey, Miss Harriet Plunkett, Albert L. Bliss, A.W. Eaton, William H. Eaton, Charles L. Hibbard, Carey R. Kinney, Charles W. Power, Charles H. Wilson, John Balzer, Albert Sprague Coolidge, Dr. George P. Hunt, Mrs. Lucy W. Dodge, and Miss Isabella T. Redfield.

"The Lenox homes built by Harding & Seaver were those of Cortland F. Bishop, Dr. H.P. Jaques, Eustace Jaques, R. Jay Flick, A.B. Fenno, J.F. Schenck, George E. Turnure and Miss Kate Buckingham; and in Dalton, Senator W. Murray Crane, Fred G. Crane, Z. Marshall Crane and Charles F. Sawyer.  They also designed many homes in other cities."

The source citation is:

"Henry Seaver, Architect, Dies at 74, " The Berkshire County Eagle [Pittsfield, Mass.] newspaper, obituary, Wednesday, 10 December 1947, page 1, column 4, Henry M. Seaver obituary;   ( : accessed 21 January 2021).

This obituary provides a birth date, parents names, widow's name, daughter and grandson names, and a long recitation of his education, professional and civic accomplishments.  

Henry Morse Seaver (1873-1947) was born 6 March 1873 in West Roxbury, Massac husetts, the son of Charles Mores and Susan (Hibbard) Seaver.  He married Alice Van Vorx Wentworth (1878-1965) on 16 June 1904 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  They had two children:

*  Robert Hibbard Seaver (1907-1936).
*  Elizabeth Wentworth Seaver (1911-2001), married 1942 Harry C. Helfman (1910-1995).

Henry Morton Seaver is my 6th cousin 4 times removed, with common Seaver ancestors of  my 9th great-grandparents Robert and Elizabeth (Ballard) Seaver.  

There are over 10,000 Seaver "stories" in my family tree - and this was one of them.   Life happens, accidentally and intentionally, and sometimes a man achieves great things in his adopted home town. I am glad that I can honor Henry Morton Seaver today.  

You never know when a descendant or relative will find this blog post and learn something about their ancestors or relatives, or will provide more information about them to me.


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

Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook,  or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

No comments: