Mrs. Rhoda H. (Green)
ALFRED SEYMOUR, a representative of Madison County and a member of one of its oldest settled families, was born January 8, 1817, in the town of Lebanon. His father, Silas Seymour, was born May 7, 1777, in Hartford, Conn., and was a son of Eleazer and Anna (Merrills) Seymour, both natives of Connecticut. The former was by trade a nail-maker, and followed that occupation before nail-making machinery had been invented. He and his wife, Anna, were the parents of twelve children; namely, William, Jesse, Noah, Joel, John, Eleazer, Silas, Lucy, Lydia, Mehitable, Rhoda, and Elizabeth. Three of the sons, William, Jesse, and Noah, served their country in the War of the Revolution, and were present at the surrender of Burgoyne, October 16, 1777. Major Moses Seymour, the grandfather of Governor Horatio Seymour, a distant relative of the father of our subject, was present at the same event.
Silas Seymour, the father of our subject, purchased sixty acres of timbered land in the town of Lebanon, on which he built a log house, and engaged in farming and stock-raising. He married Sally Gilbert, who was born April 1, 1779, and was a daughter of Eleazer and Sarah (Weeks) Gilbert. This marriage took place at Stillwater, Saratoga County, N.Y., November 2, 1800. It was in the winter of 1801-2 that they removed to the town of Lebanon, Madison County, and settled on Lot 25, where they lived until their death. He became very prosperous, and added to his landed estate until he was the owner of two hundred acres. In 1828 he erected a substantial and commodious stone house, which is still standing and in good repair. He raised some flax on his farm; and his wife used to card, spin, and weave, and dressed her children in homespun made by her own hands. She and her husband were the parents of eleven children, namely: Fanny, born December 19, 1801; Eleazer, May 3, 1803; Lucy Ann, January 26, 1805; Miranda, September 12, 1806; Henry, April 15, 1808; William, October 19, 1810; Sally, June 3, 1813; Maria, May 3, 1815; Alfred, January 8, 1817; Charlotte, April 14, 1821; and Mary, July 14, 1827.
Silas Seymour was one of the honest, hardy, and industrious pioneers of this county. Upon the organization of the town, in 1807, he was elected the first Town Clerk, and held that office for many years, and, though never an office-seeker, was elected by his fellow-citizens to various other positions of honor and trust. Politically, he was a Whig, and was nominated several times for Assemblyman; but, his party being in the minority, he was uniformly beaten. This, however, did not disturb his serenity or disappoint him in any way; for he was emphatically a man of a quiet and retiring disposition, and averse to public display, preferring to remain at home and attend to his own private affairs. The cause of popular education found in him a strong supporter. He was a man of liberal views, and opposed to all intolerance, bigotry, and sectarianism, believing that the highest truth can only be found by striking off all shackles from the human mind; and the principles and rules of conduct enunciated by Christ, as applied to the affairs of every-day life, found in him a practical exemplar. Those in trouble frequently sought his counsel and advice, realizing that in him they had a sympathizing friend and one capable of self-sacrifice in behalf of others. He was a foe to all intemperance, and viewed with abhorrence the crime of human slavery. His humanitarianism was of the broadest and truest type; and, when he died, the town in which he had lived for so many years lost one of its purest and noblest citizens.
Alfred Seymour, the subject of this sketch, succeeded his father in the ownership of the home farm, and still owns it, having resided thereon until 1892, at which time, leaving his son in charge, he removed to the village of Lebanon, where he now lives, retired from the active duties of life. He stands high among the intelligent and enterprising citizens of his town, and well fills the place in the community left vacant by his father's death. In politics he is a Republican, but has never been an aspirant for office. Having an excellent education and being a constant reader, he is well informed on the current events of the day, and is capable of discussing them in an intelligent and convincing manner. He has served as Secretary and also as President of the Agricultural Society of the town of Lebanon, and has been a Deacon in the Congregational church for over twelve years. He has always taken a deep interest in whatever tends to promote the material and moral welfare of the town and the intellectual improvement of its inhabitants.
Mr. Seymour's marriage occurred January 1, 1846, when he led to the altar Miss Rhoda H. Green, daughter of William and Mercy (Tifft) Green, both natives of Rhode Island. William Green was born April 1, 1779, and was a son of Amos and Elsie Green. His wife was born May 12, 1785, and was a daughter of Jeremiah and Rhoda (Hoxie) Tifft, the former of whom was a native of Rhode Island. He came from there to Madison County, and purchased a Chenango River Valley farm in the town of Lebanon, on which he resided until his death. His wife was also a native of Rhode Island. She survived her husband, and died at the home of a daughter in Brookfield. Mr. Green, the father of Mrs. Seymour, came to Madison County in 1803, making the trip overland. He bought a tract of timber land in the town of Brookfield, and erected a log house in the wilderness. There was no railroad for many years, and the people lived chiefly off the products of their farms. The mother used to card, spin, and weave, and taught her children the same art. After a few years Mr. Green erected a small frame house, and in 1825 a commodious frame dwelling, that is still standing. After the death of his first wife, the mother of Mrs. Seymour, he sold his farm, and removed to Lebanon, where he purchased another farm, and resided thereon until his death. Both he and his wife were of the Quaker faith, which they always retained, and in a measure followed the customs of that sect. He had learned the trade of blacksmith, and had a shop on his farm, where he did all his own work. The marriage of himself and wife occurred May 2, 1801; and they became the parents of eleven children, namely: Hoxie, born August 28, 1802; Mary, December 24, 1804; William, January 14, 1807; Eliza, April 5, 1809; Jeremiah T., October 18, 1811; Mercy, October 18, 1814; Peleg, April 1, 1817; Levi, June 16, 1819; Amos, August 31, 1821; Martha E., October 15, 1823; and Rhoda H., March 27, 1826. Mr. Green's death occurred in March, 1857, at the age of seventy-eight, and that of his wife September 20, 1839.
The marriage of our subject and his wife has been blessed with seven children, those living being: Silas, who was born August 2, 1847, and married Amelia Morgan; Sarah M., who was born February 19, 1849, and married to Albert Morgan in 1866; Arthur W., born October 2, 1854; and Frank D., May 27, 1857. These children were carefully reared, were given as good an education as the times permitted, and were trained to be obedient, honest, pure, and self-respecting. Mr. and Mrs. Seymour took great pains with their bringing up, watched over them with true parental solicitude, and carefully guided and directed the development of their characters. As a result, they have the satisfaction of seeing them lead noble and useful lives, being a credit and joy to their parents, and a blessing to the community in which they live. As it is true that "the child is father to the man," so is it true that the character of the coming generation depends upon the training that the children of to-day receive at the hands of their parents and teachers; and those children may indeed be considered fortunate whose parents, like Mr. and Mrs. Seymour, watch over them in youth, check all evil impulses, and develop and bring out all that is good and noble in their characters. In this way is moulded, not only the character of the individual, but of the community, the State, and the nation; and the true makers of history are not those who, at the head of conquering armies, pursue their devastating way through a wasted country and over the ashes of ruined homes to a victors' crown of triumph, but those who, by the cradle's side, in the home circle, and in the school-room, plant in the minds of the young those seeds that shall ripen in due time into the fruit of a well-rounded and perfected character. The morals, character, achievements, and stability of a nation depend upon the character of its home life; and to the happy homes of America may be attributed most, if not all, that is great in its past history, present performance, and future prospects. As the builders and authors of one of such homes, rich in happy memories of parental and filial love, we present this brief sketch of Mr. and Mrs. Seymour, together with their portraits, believing that it will not only afford pleasure and gratification to each and all of their many friends, but to all the readers of this volume.
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