Austin and Edith Seward

My grandmother's younger brother, Austin Seward, was one of several people I looked forward to visiting in Bloomington, Indiana. He and Aunt Edith treated their visiting California relatives most hospitably. Austin and his brother Fred gave me and my brothers the grand tour of the Seward foundry and took us around the area to see the University and other points of interest. I think it was Austin and Edith who took me to lunch at the local country club, although after fifty years, my memories of those days are somewhat hazy.

Austin's military career:
Bloomington Herald-Times
IU Alumni Magazine

I can still remember Austin showing me his Rainbow Division "yearbook" in his Atwater Avenue home and telling me about coming home in 1919 from service in World War I to be informed by Fred that he could rest that day, but that he had better report to the foundry bright and early the next morning to go to work.

On 3 Sep 1921, Austin married his high school sweetheart. Her father was a prominent Bloomington attorney whose name was mentioned frequently in the local press as representing one side or another in various legal actions. The following article was clipped by my grandmother and pasted in her scrapbook:


Edith, Daughter of Attorney and Mrs. Regester, Becomes Bride of Austin Seward, Local Business Man and Ex-Soldier

At 3 o'clock this afternoon, Miss Edith Regester, one of the charming young ladies of the city and a daughter of Attorney and Mrs. Frank Regester, became the bride of Austin Seward, a successful young business man of Bloomington and an overseas soldier of Battery F. The ceremony was read by Rev. Speers of the First Baptist church, and the beautiful ring service was used. Eighty friends and relatives were guests at the Regester home, which was beautifully decorated for the affair.

The bride and groom go north tonight for a honeymoon trip to Chicago and over the Great Lake. Returning they will be at home to their friends on east Atwater avenue.

The wedding today was a very pretty affair. Mrs. Bernice Lovell sang "At Dawning" and "I Love You Truly" preceding ceremony. Mrs. Ola Robertson of Logansport, played "Lohengrin Wedding March."

Miss Lucille Robertson, as maid of honor wore orchid taffeta trimmed in cream lace and carried an arm bouquet of Ophelia Roses. The bride was followed by little Doris Seward, niece of groom, as ring bearer, wearing white organdie, carrying ring in basket of Ophelia roses. The bride entered with her father, and wore cream filet lace, carrying a shower bouquet of brides roses and lilies of the valley. The stairway was entwined with white clematis and greenery, and the altar was formed by a lattice of white clematis and tulle trimmed baskets of yellow dahlias on pedestals. Rev. Speer of First Baptist church read the single ring ceremony. Fred Seward, brother of groom, acted as best man. Refreshments of frozen custard, individual cakes, mints and coffee.

Out of town guests: Mr. and Mrs. George Lingard and daughters of Casa Grande, Arizona; Mrs. Eva Canada, Mrs. Lee Robertson, Mrs. Minnie Rettig, Misses Pearl and Irma Rice, Mr. and Mrs. M. L. Hansom from Indianapolis; Mr. and Mrs. James Cherry, Mrs. Noble Dean from Gosport; Mr. and Mrs. James B. Farr from Martinsville; Miss Lucille Robertson and Mrs. Ola Robertson from Logansport; Mr. Ainslee Chenoweth from Shoals.

The bride is one of Bloomington's best known young ladies, having attended the local high school and University. Mr. Seward is also a graduate of the high school and Unviversity. He went to France with Battery F, and is now connected with the Seward Foundry - an old business established by his father.1

After the "Great War", Austin was active in the 150th Regimental Association. According to an article in the Bloomington Telephone for 28 May 1923:

The fourth Annual reunion of the 150th Regimental Association of the Rainbow Division of veterans was brought to a close at Martinsville on Saturday with a business session in the Elks Club.

The present officers were retained by unanimous vote. They are... Honorary President, W. Austin Seward...

Austin's obituary is taken from a Bloomington newspaper which miscalculated his age in its headline. He passed away on 3 July 1976, just short of 80 years of age:


W. Austin Seward, 84, 1219 Atwater Ave., chairman of the board of Seward and Co., Inc., the oldest business firm in Monroe County, died at 8:50 a.m. Saturday at the Bloomington Hospital.

He was born Dec. 9, 1896 in Bloomington, the son of William Henry and Jennie Lynd (Allen) Seward.

Seward was a former president of the company, which was founded 150 years ago by his great grandfather, Austin Seward. It is one of the oldest family businesses in the State of Indiana.

He was a graduate of Indiana University in 1917 with honors.

After graduation he went into the Army and served in Battery F 150th field artillery Rainbow Division. He was the first president of the Rainbow Division Veterans of Indiana.

Upon returning from World War I Seward joined his brother Fred in the operation of the company and remained active for over 50 years before retiring as president and becoming chairman of the board.

Active in the community he was a member of the First Baptist Church, United Church of Christ, Phi Beta Kappa, Elks Lodge, Masonic Lodge and Burton Woolery Post of the American Legion.

He served on the executive council of the Indiana University Alumni Association, was on the board of directors of Workingmen's Federal Savings and Loan Association and was a member of the Kiwanis Club, serving as its president in 1941.

He served on the Monroe County Anti-tuberculosis board for many years and was chairman of the fund raising committee for Bloomington Hospital expansion in 1944.

Survivors include: the wife Edith (Regester); two daughters, Mrs. Wayne (Marilyn) Warden of Bloomington and Mrs. Walter (Nancy) Taylor of El Paso, Tex.; seven grandchildren and one great grandson.

He was preceded in death by two sisters, Mrs. Eva Lingard and Mrs. Alice Walker and by a brother, Fred.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church-United Church of Christ with the Dr. A. E. Lacy presiding. A private family burial service will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Friends may call at the Day Mortuary Monday from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.

There will be an Elks memorial at the mortuary at 8 p.m. Monday.

The family has suggested that memorial contributions be made to the Bloomington Hospital Foundation or to a charity of the donor's choice.

Aunt Edith's obituary appeared in the Herald-Telephone Wednesday, 16 Jun 1982:

Edith Seward

Edith Regester Seward, 88, of 1219 Atwater Ave., died Tuesday morning at Bloomington Hospital.

Born Feb. 19, 1894, in Morgan County, she was the daughter of J. Frank and Alice (Farr) Regester.

She attended Indiana University and was a member of the IU Alumni Association. She was also a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, Psi Iota Xi Sorority, Bloomington Hospital Auxiliary, Local Council of Women and the Conversation Club. She was a lifetime member of the Monroe County Historical Society.

She also served as a Pink Lady at Bloomington Hospital, and for several years served on the local Girl Scout Council. She was active during the founding ot the Christian Center and was a member of First Baptist Church-United Church of Christ in Bloomington. She was the widow of W. Austin Seward, former chairman of Seward & Company, Inc. in Monroe County, who died in 1976.

Survivors include two daughters, Marilyn Warden, Bloomington, and Mrs. Nancy Taylor, El Paso, Texas; one brother, James Regester, Bloomington, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Elvyn and Francis Regester. In addition to her parents and her husband.

Services will be 10:30 a.m. Fridav at the First Baptist Church-United Church of Christ with Rev. Robert A. Curtis officiating. Burial will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery. Friends may call at Day Mortuary in Bloomington 3-5 and 7-9 p.m. Thursday. The family has suggested memorial contributions be made to the Bloomington Hospital Foundation or First Baptist Church-United Church of Christ.

1 Actually it was founded by uncle Austin's great-grandfather, as is noted correctly in his obituary.
This page was last updated 15 Sep 2008.