|John W. Seaman
From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 221-222, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
John W. Seaman, an old representative citizen and successful
stock raiser, was born in Jefferson county, Virginia, six miles north
of Harper's Ferry, September 21, 1820. His father, Joseph, was also a
native of Jefferson county, and was engaged there for years as a
boatman on the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers, and kept a public inn for
some time. His parents, who lived and died there, were American born,
but of German ancestry, the father being in the Revolutionary war.
Joseph J.. was a soldier in a Virginia regiment, was in many
engagements, and for some time was stationed at Baltimore, Maryland.
His wife was Nancy Deaver, who was born and reared in Jefferson county,
and came of similar ancestry as her husband. After the birth of their
children, of whom our subject is the youngest, Joseph Seaman and wife,
in the spring of 1832, came West, taking a boat at Wheeling, and came
down the Ohio, and up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, and landed
at Beardstown when it was a hamlet of a few houses. There the family
lived for some years, Mr. Seaman following the trade of carpenter. He
later went to Frederick, Schuyler county, and there died when sixty
years of age. His wife died the next day, at about the same age. They
had many acquaintances among the pioneers of Cass county.
John is the only surviving member of the family that came from
Virginia to Illinois. He came here in 1832, found it new and unbroken,
and has lived to note the many changes that have taken place during the
past thirty years. He reached here about the time the Indians left the
county, and hence has been closely connected with all pioneer history.
He has seen the county settled, all the roads laid out and built, all
the school houses built, all the railroads and all the other
improvements made that have made this the garden spot of Cass county.
His farm of about 500 acres, highly improved and well stocked, is
located in section 16, township 18, range 11 west. He can boast of the
character of his soil, except 100 acres on a sand ridge, and sixty-five
acres in the bluffs. He purchased the place in 1852, and its present
substantial condition is due to his perseverance and industry.
He was married in this county, to Mary E. Thompson, born in New
York, in 1828. She came to this county with her parents, George B. and
Hannah Thompson, late in the ‘30s. Both lived and died in the county,
Mr. Thompson being a farmer, and at one time a merchant in Beardstown.
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson were quite well known as pioneer settlers of this
county, the former dying in Beardstown, about seventy years of age, and
the latter in 1850. Mrs. Seaman was one of five children. A brother,
Seth Thompson, now at the soldier's home at Quincy, Illinois, and Mrs.
Seaman, are the only remaining members of the family.
Mr. and Mrs. Seaman are members of no church, but are good,
moral people, and are beloved by all who knew them. He is not an office
seeker, but is a decided Democrat in politics.
They are the parents of eleven children, four of whom are dead:
Frank, Harriet, Charles and an infant. Those living are: John, a farmer
on the old homestead, married Ida Kruse; George, a machinist living in
Cass county, married Susie Reiket; Fred, at home helping on the farm;
Hannah Heaton, living in Washington, on a farm; Cora, wife of James
Heaton, also lives in Washington; Anna S. Pearn, near Virginia,
Illinois; and Bertha S. Hale, of Springfield, Illinois.
The entire family are excellent people, and excellent representatives of Cass county.
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