George W. Seaman, of Hiawatha, Kan., is a native of the Buckeye State, having been born in Port Clinton, Ottawa county, Ohio, Jan. 20, 1846. He comes of German ancestry on the paternal side and of Scotch-Irish ancestors on the maternal side. His parents were Isaac N. and Julia A. (Hayes) Seaman, the former a native of New Jersey, where he was reared to farm life and who, when a young man, accompanied his parents to Ohio. There he met and married Julia A. Hayes, a native of Saratoga, N. Y., and the daughter of Daniel Hayes, of Saratoga and of the same line as the late Rutherford B. Hayes, ex-president of the United States. After his marriage Isaac N. Seaman first engaged in mercantile pursuits, which he followed both in Ohio and at Attica, Ind., to which place he removed in 1849, when his son, George, was but three years old. His business ventures proved very successful and ere long he not only owned and operated an extensive mercantile business, but also a line of boats plying on the Wabash and Erie canal. But in the midst of his prosperity financial disaster overtook him. Two boat loads of his merchandise were lost on Lake Michigan, and being unable to stem the demands of creditors, he was compelled to sacrifice all he was worth to adjust his obligations. It was under those conditions that he decided to seek his fortunes in the great new West, and in 1854 removed to Iowa City, Iowa, where for the following two years he was engaged in the livery business. In 1856 he decided to make Kansas his future home and started with his family for this state, his objective point for crossing the Missouri river being at Kickapoo. On his arrival there he observed a scaffold erected and on inquiry was told that it was put up by the pro-slavery people for the purpose of hanging every free-state man who dared to cross the river into Kansas. Now Isaac N. Seaman was a Democrat and the Seamans for generations back had been stanch supporters of the Democratic party, but this bold threat against the free-state men was so repugnant to his idea of free American citizenship that he then and there declared his allegiance forever to the free-state cause and defied the pro-slaveryites to molest him in his belief. He crossed the river and continued westward to a tract of land on Spring creek, about two and a half miles south of what is now the village of Netawaka in Jackson county. There he preëmpted a quarter-section and established a home, being one of the first settlers of that community. He was an active participant in the free-state movement and when the great Civil war came on he and his three sons fought with the Kansas troops in defense of the Union. In 1864, he with his sons, George W. and Isaac N., enlisted in the Fourth Kansas infantry and served until transferred to Company M, of the Sixteenth Kansas infantry, in which command they did valiant service for their adopted state and the nation. Isaac N., Jr., took sick and died at Fort Leavenworth early in 1865. George W. fell a victim to inflammatory rheumatism and in June, 1865, received his honorable discharge on account of disability incurred while in the line of duty and returned home on crutches, Samuel J. Seaman, the eldest son, enlisted in the First New Mexico Volunteers under Col. Kit Karson, the famous scout and Indian fighter. He passed through the war unscathed and returned to his New Mexico home and vocation to meet an untimely death at the hands of the John Hitson gang of outlaws and cattle rustlers. After receiving his honorable discharge in the fall of 1865 the father returned to his home, and in the following year removed to Brown county, Kansas, where he had bought a partly improved tract of land containing 166 acres near Claytonville. This became the family homestead and there Isaac N. Seaman continued to reside until his death in 1885. He was a sturdy type of pioneer and was endowed with a tenacity of purpose that enabled him to survive adversity and to achieve success where many a less courageous man would have failed. After paying his ferryage across the Missouri river on his way to Kansas he had forty cents left, but nothing daunted, he plunged into the wilderness with his family and overcame each barrier to success as he met it. Ere his death he demonstrated his faith in his future in Kansas by acquiring a homestead of 840 acres of fine tillable land in Mission township, Brown county, and left to his helpmate an ample competency for her declining years. The wife and mother survived until 1897, when she passed away at San Diego, Cal., in the home of her only daughter, Mrs. Arabelle Moore, the wife of Isaac Moore, formerly of Jackson county, Kansas, but who later removed to San Diego, Cal. Of the four children Judge Seaman and his sister are the only ones now living.
He spent his boyhood and youth with the family in Ohio, Indiana, Iowa and Kansas and in addition to attending the common schools he took a course at St. Benedict College, at Atchison, Kan. Although he was barely fifteen years old when the Civil war broke out, yet his patriotic ardor prompted him to enlist at the first opportunity, and in April, 1862, he enlisted in the Second Nebraska Cavalry for nine months, but served about fourteen months. After his discharge he volunteered in the Fourth Kansas Battery as a veteran. After four years of faithful service in defense of his country, he lacked nearly two years of having reached his majority. On his return from the war his first thought was to secure a better education and, as stated, he entered St. Benedict College. After his course there he went to Montana Territory, where he clerked and prospected during the summer of 1866. He then went to Salt Lake City and during the winter of 1866-67 he taught school. During the summer of 1867 he and a partner bought milch cows in southern Utah, drove them to Montana and sold them to ranchmen at a good profit. Tiring of the life so far removed from civilization he decided to return to his old home in Brown county, Kansas and, except for twelve years' residence at Silverton and Red Mountain, Col., he has made that county his home since 1868. He removed to Silverton, Col., in 1880 and while residing there was made city marshal, which position he filled during that wild era to the satisfaction of all law-abiding citizens. He later removed to Red Mountain, Col., and established the "Red Mountain Journal," which he successfully published for four and one-half years, when a disastrous fire not only destroyed the plant, but a fine drug business as well. As he was postmaster at the time, the postoffice was also burned and not having any insurance on his property he was completely wiped out financially. Being physically strong he secured employment in the mines and for a time roughed it as a miner. He then leased "The Silverton Miner," a Populist paper, changed its politics to Republican over the protest of the "Pops" and ran it until 1893. He then returned to Claytonville, as his father had died in the meantime, and took charge of the old homestead and operated it until he received the appointment of deputy sheriff and jailer by Sheriff I. N. Smith. After three years' service as deputy sheriff he again returned to the farm, where he remained until 1905, when he was elected to the office of sheriff of Brown county and was reëlected again in 1907, serving the people two terms with general satisfaction. In the fall of 1910 he was elected probate judge of Brown county and is filling that responsible position at the present time.
On Feb. 9, 1871, Judge Seaman was united in marriage with Miss Anna E. Smouse, of Hiawatha, the daughter of Samuel Smouse, a well known citizen of Brown county. Mrs. Seaman is a native of Pennsylvania, where she was born in 1851. She accompanied her parents to Brown county when a girl. To Judge and Mrs. Seaman have been born eight children, two of whom were twins that died in infancy. Those that grew to maturity were: Samuel J., now in business in San Diego, Cal.; Julia B., now the wife U. G. Hauber, a farmer of Brown county; Ella M., the wife of G. V. Koch, a druggist of St. Joseph, Mo.; Frederick H., in the drug business in Kansas City, Mo.; and Alfaretta, who is at home. Judge Seaman has been an active Republican all of his life and while residing in Colorado was a delegate to every state convention. He has served on the local committees and has been a delegate to the state conventions in Kansas several times. Fraternally he is a Royal Arch Mason, belonging to the Mt. Horeb Chapter No. 43, Royal Arch Masons. He is a past chancellor commander of the Knights of Pythias and was a representative of that order in the grand lodge in Colorado. He is a member of the Life and Annuity Association, of Hiawatha, and of Post No. 130, Grand Army of the Republic, and has served as its commander. He and his wife are both members of the First Presbyterian Church of Hiawatha.Pages 1122-1125 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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