ATWELL C. SEWARD. - A cherished memory is an enduring monument, more ineffaceable than polished marble or burnished bronze. "To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die." Atwell Clark Seward was for many years a leading and influential citizen of Kansas City, Kansas, and his activity in business affairs, his cooperation in public interests and his zealous support of all objects that he believed would contribute to the material, social or moral improvement of the community, kept him in the foremost rank of those to whom the city owes its development and present position as the leading metropolitan center of Kansas. His life was characterized by upright, honorable principles and it also exemplified the truth of the Emersonian philosophy that "the way to win a friend is to be one." His death occurred on the 24th of May, 1911, and his loss was universally mourned throughout the entire community and city at large.
A native of the fine old Empire state of the Union, Atwell Clark Seward was born in Chenango county, New York, the date of his nativity being the 11th of June, 1830. He was a son of Daniel C. and Nancy (Rood) Seward, both of whom were born in New York. The father was a farmer and minister of the Methodist Episcopal church during the greater part of his active career. The first in order of birth in a family of five children, Atwell Clark Seward was reared to maturity in his native state, where he was afforded an excellent common-school educational training. In 1852 he decided to try his fortunes in the west and in that year removed to Rockport, Illinois, whence he later went to Adel, Iowa. In the latter place was solemnized his marriage, in 1857, and after that important event he and his wife went to Nebraska, where they resided for the ensuing three years. Later they established their home at Denver, Colorado, and at the expiration of two years they returned to Plattsmouth, Nebraska. On the 6th of April, 1866, in company with the Weatherby family, they removed to Kansas City, Kansas, where they maintained their home until Mr Seward's death and where his widow still resides.
At the time of the inception of the Civil war, Mr. Seward's sympathies were with the cause of the Union and while a resident of Colorado he enlisted for one hundred days' service in Company D, Third Regiment of the United States Cavalry. He gave valiant service as a gallant and faithful soldier and while he was prominent in the frontier warfare with the hostile Indians, he was never seriously wounded. As a young man he became interested in engineering and he followed that line of work throughout practically his entire life time. In 1893 he met with an accident while operating his engine, his left hand getting caught and cut off. This injury so impaired his health that he was an invalid from that time until his demise, in 1911. In his political convictions Mr. Seward was an independent, preferring to give his support to men and measures meeting with the approval of his judgment rather than to follow along strictly partisan lines. In a fraternal way he affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1887, and he became a valued and appreciative member of the Knights of Pythias in 1880. He was a prominent factor in both those organizations and held a number of important offices in each. Shortly after coming to Kansas City, Mr. Seward erected a residence across Jersey creek; later the family resided on Nebraska avenue and eventually the present home at No. 931 Sandusky avenue, where Mrs. Seward lives, was constructed.
At Adel, Iowa, on the 20th of August, 1857, Mr. Seward was united in marriage to Miss Nancy Luddington, whose birth occurred at Williamsport, Indiana, on the 14th of January, 1840, and who is a daughter of Henry and Julia (Tarpning) Luddington, both of whom passed the closing years of their lives in Nebraska, whither they had removed in 1862. This union was prolific of the following children, concerning whom the following brief record is here inserted: Ella, who became the wife of Leander Hosp, is deceased; Linnie is the wife of E. P. Holloway and resides at 933 Sandusky avenue; Ida died at the age of three years; Irene passed away when eight months of age; Charles died aged six years; Ethel died at the age of eight months; and Myrtle is now the wife of John C. Taylor, a sketch of whose career appears on other pages of this work. Mrs. Seward is a woman of most gracious personality and she is deeply beloved by all who have come within the sphere of her gentle influence.
Mr. Seward was always greatly interested in community affairs and his every effort was exerted to advance the general welfare of the city in which he so long resided. His genial, kindly manner won him the high regard of all with whom he came in contact and thus his death was uniformly mourned throughout Kansas City and the surrounding district. He retained a deep and abiding interest in his comrades in arm and signified the same by membership in the Grand Army of the Republic. His religious faith was in harmony with the tenets of the Protestant Episcopal church, of which he and his wife were devout communicants.
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