George M. Seward

George Morton Seward was a younger brother of my great-grandfather William Henry Seward. He was born in Bloomington, Indiana, 1 Jan 1864 and seems to have had an interesting life with several changes of address, judging by the small amount of information I was able to find on him. There are several mentions of him in articles from Bloomington newspapers which are posted on INMONROE-L. The first is from the Bloomington Republican Progress, 23 May 1888, page 3:

George Seward and his wife of Topeka, Kansas, are visiting relations and friends in Bloomington.

From the Republican Progress, 13 April 1892, page 3:

Miss Kate Seward is visiting her brother, George Seward, at Topeka, Kansas.

From the Bloomington Telephone, 3 February 1893, page 1:

Miss Luttie Helton1 will make an extended visit with George Seward and wife at Topeka, Kansas. She will first visit Mrs. Ollie Carter, at Englewood, and started for that place today.

From the Republican Progress, 6 July 1897, page 1:

Geo. H. Seward, who has resided in Topeka, Kas., a number of years, is now a citizen of Chicago, and came down to Bloomington with his wife last week on a visit to the family of his father, Hon. W.B. Seward.

From the Telephone, 13 January 1899, page 1:

George M. Seward, of Chicago, has been appointed receiver by the U.S. court for the district of Michigan, of the Washburn, Mayfield & Iron River railroad. This is indeed an honor for one as young as Mr. Seward. He is a son of Hon. and Mrs. W.B. Seward, of this city, and was born and reared in Bloomington. He went west about ten years ago, or when he reached his majority, to seek his fortune. Fate was kind to him and in less than two years after he settled in Kansas he was appointed deputy state auditor and held the position three consecutive terms under as many different administrations, though a strong Republican. He was acting in that capacity during the riots at Topeka indulged in by the Populists and Republican members. He went to Chicago two years ago and secured an excellent position with a large firm of bond brokers, where he has since remained. He has taken charge of the affairs of the road in question and will endeavor to untangle it from its present difficulties.

According to his mother's obituary, he was living in Minneapolis in 1915. I found the following undated obituary in my grandmother's scrapbook:


Mrs. A. H. Beldon and Paul Seward left for Chicago at noon today in answer to a message announcing the death in that city of their brother, George M. Seward, 62 years old, a native of Bloomington, and son of the late W. B. Seward. Other sisters and brothers surviving the deceased are Mrs. Edward Hall, this city; Mike Seward, Muscogee, Okla., and Mrs. Ralph French, Binghampton, N. Y. Fred and Austin Seward will leave for Chicago tonight to be at the funeral, which is to be held there tomorrow afternoon.

Mr. Seward left Bloomington when about 18 years old, locating in Abeline, Kansas. During his residence in that state he served two terms as deputy state treasurer. After moving to Chicago, he became associated with the Sheridan Trust company as manager of its bond department. The widow and daughter, Shirley, also survive him. Mr. Seward was a member and officer of the Presbyterian church and was a Mason. He was successful as a music composer.

I can find no evidence of George Seward's "successful" career in music, or of his rôle in the "riots at Topeka", or just what those riots were. His wife was Neti Estelle Summers, who was born in Hudson, Michigan, 19 Nov 1866. They were married 18 Feb 1885 in Abilene, KS. The following obituary appeared on page 2 of the Bloomington Daily Telephone, 3 April 1926, and was made available via INMONROE-L:

G.M. Seward Dies At Chicago

G.M. Seward, a former well known resident of this city, and son of the late W.B. Seward, is dead at his home in Chicago and funeral was this afternoon.

He is survived by the following brothers and sisters: Mrs. A.H. Beldon, Mrs. Edward Hall and Paul Seward, of this city; Mike Seward, of Muscogee, Okla., and Mrs. Ralph French, of Binghampton, N.Y.

Mr. Seward left Bloomington 18 years ago, locating in Aberline, Kas. He served as deputy state treasurer of that state for two terms and after moving to Chicago he became associated with the Sheridan Trust company.

He is also survived by the widow and a daughter, Shirley. He was a member of the Presbyterian church and a Mason.

Mrs. A.H. Beldon, Paul, Fred and Austin Seward attended the funeral from this city.

1 I can't identify this person. She may be related to George's mother, Elizabeth (Helton) Seward.
This page was last updated 20 Sep 2004.