Mike Seward

Michael Helton Seward was a younger brother of my great-grandfather William Henry Seward. He was born in Bloomington, Indiana, 7 Nov 1859. He was married twice:

  1. 17 Jan 1884, in Abilene, KS, to Harriett Lorena "Hattie" Reddick, who was born 20 Jan 1859 in Boston, Ontario, Canada, and died 7 Jan 1897, in Bloomington. They had the following children:
    1. Lee Seward, born 14 Nov 1885 in Dixon county, KS, died 20 Dec 1885 in Bloomington.
    2. Helen Reddick Seward, born 6 Jan 1890 in Bloomington, died 1982 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Married Anton "Tony" Bacher.
  2. 25 Nov 1897, to Sarah E. Johnson, who was born 3 Jan 1866 in Missouri. Sarah had been married once previously also.

Mike moved around a lot, with occasional mentions of his whereabouts turning up in the Bloomington newspapers. An item in the 19 Feb 1879 issue of the Bloomington Progress mentions:

Mike Seward, who for more than a year past has been residing in Winterset, Iowa, returned to Bloomington on Friday afternoon.

Mike's first wife, Hattie Reddick, was living with her parents in Abilene at the time of the 1880 census, with her father listed as a "clergyman". In 1881, Mike was in Dixon county, KS. His wedding to Hattie was reported on the front page of the Bloomington Telephone for 2 Feb 1884:

The following is clipped from the Abilene (Kas.) Reflector, concerning a well known Bloomington boy. Mike, our best wishes for you and yours: "At the residence of the bride's parents, Abilene, on Thursday, Jan. 17th at six o'clock, p.m. by Rev. J. Reddick, Mr. M. H. Seward and Miss Hattie Reddick. The young people are well and favorably known to our readers. Before accepting the position of foreman of the J.B. Ersham machine shops at Enterprise, Mr. Seward was a valued and popular member of Abilene society. Miss Reddick was one of the most successful teachers in our public schools, and withal a charming, accomplished and highly esteemed young lady. The Reflector's best wishes follow them into the future. Their home will be at Enterprise."

A news item on page 3 of the 23 May 1888 edition of the Bloomington Republican Progress states:

Mike Seward of Indianapolis was in town last week. He is selling cigars of his own manufacture.

The Bloomington Telephone reported on its front pages, 1 and 5 Feb 1889:

Mike Seward and wife are in the city. Mr. Seward has sold his cigar manufactory at Indianapolis and has about decided to go into business in Bloomington. He is also arranging to buy property for a home.
Mike Seward's cigar factory will be in the Waldron block and it is his intention to employ several hands. He also expects to buy resident property here.

Mike was still making cigars, and living in Bloomington at 213 North Washington, at the time of the 1900 census. The following item on the front page of the 9 May 1905 Telephone accounts for another move:

Mike Seward has a position as traveling salesman for the Pearson & Co. Cigar House of Indianapolis

Mike isn't mentioned in his father or brother's 1909 obituaries, but the 1910 census and his mother's 1915 obituary have him living in Muskogee, Oklahoma, where he spent the rest of his life. He was living at 919 South 20th Street in 1910, and moved to 810 Elgin Avenue between then and the 1920 census.

Mike's obituary is taken from an undated clipping in my grandmother's scrapbook:


Formerly Connected With Foundry Here -- Well-Known.

A wire received by Mrs. A. H. Beldon announced the death Wednesday morning of Mike H. Seward, age 72, at Muskogee, Okla. Funeral services were held there at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Mr. Seward was well known in Bloomington, having resided here until about 1910, when he moved to Muskogee. He was connected with the Seward Foundry and was also a cigar manufacturer. He had maintained his membership in the local lodge of Knights of Pythias. He was engaged in the insurance business in Muskogee for a number of years, but of late years had lived on a farm close to the city.

He was a son of the late W. B. and Elizabeth Seward, and surviving relatives are the widow, a daughter, Mrs. Anton Bacher, and grandson, Austin Bacher of Muskogee; two sisters, Mrs. A. H. Beldon and Mrs. Kate Hall, and one brother, Paul Seward of Bloomington, and one sister, Mrs. Ralph French of Binghampton, N. Y. Mrs. Beldon and Paul Seward just returned last week from visiting him.

For information on Mike's descendants, including his musical grandson Austin, please visit his daughter Helen's page.

This page was last updated 25 Jan 2015.