Richland County

Biography - MRS. MARY A. SEYMOUR

The subject of our sketch is one of those brave women who gave so much help to their- husbands and brothers during the early days of the settling of our counties, and in the dread days of the Civil war when gloom and danger seemed for awhile to settle upon our land. She is still able to bear her seventy-five years comfortably and enjoy the little spell of peaceful retirement which is but a fitting accompaniment to her life of activity and good work.

Mrs. Mary A. (Tade) Seymour was born in Withe county, Virginia, on May 24, 1833, and was the daughter of James and Catherine (Hines) Tade. Her father was a native of Kentucky, and her mother, born November 28, 1812, was a Virginian. Her father, who had come to Virginia, married there in 1832, and her parents returned to Kentucky when she was but five months old. In Kentucky her father bought a farm in Montgomery county, where they lived until about 1841. Her father's death occurred in 1839, being killed while on a steamboat near New Orleans. Two years later her mother married Joseph Tade, a brother of our subject's father, the marriage taking place in March, 1841. The family then migrated overland in wagons to Illinois, the trip requiring five weeks. In Illinois they located in Richland county (then known as Lawrence county); Richland county not yet being laid off. Here our subject's mother and stepfather purchased a farm of three hundred acres, partly under fence, paying three hundred dollars for same. On the land there was a small log house in which they continued to reside for many years. There was also a log stable originally on the property. The land was at once improved and cultivated, and after a residence upon it of forty years they left Claremont township, in which the farm was situated, and bought forty acres of land in German township with the proceeds of the sale of their former farm. Here they remained for several years, when they removed to Liberty, Jasper county, IInois, where our subject's step-father died in December, 1880, at the age of ninetytwo. He is buried in Stoltz cemetery, German township. Her mother survived for several years, finally dying at our subject's home in German township on December 29, 1906, at the ripe age of ninety- four years, one month and one day. She is also buried in Stoltz cemetery. Our subject's parents had four children, of whom she was the eldest. Her mother by her second marriage raised six children. There are only four members of both families now living.

Mary A. (Tade) Seymour remained at home with her mother and stepfather until her eighteenth year when she married James T. Seymour, the ceremony taking place on October 22, 1852, in Richland county. He was born October 1 1826, in Lincoln county, Ohio, and was the son of Isaac and Sarah (Sproll) Seymour. Isaac Seymour was a native Ohioan, his father coming from England and his mother from Ireland. James T. Seymour came to Illinois in the spring of 1852, from his native Ohio. He was followed by his parents, who came to the state in the following fall. They lived in Richland county for one year, then buying a farm in Lawrence county, where they remained until their deaths. His mother died first, at the age of sixty-three; his father surviving her about three years, his death occurring at the age of sixty-six. They are both buried in Wagner cemetery, Lawrence county. Eight children were born to them, one of whom died in childhood. James T. Seymour was the eldest member of his parents' family.

On their marriage Mary A. (Tade) Seymour and her husband in 1852, settled on the farm on which she now resides, and which contains forty acres, in German township. They paid the government price of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre for the land, which was all raw and unimproved. It comprised tall prairie-grass and hazel thickets and was the last forty acres remaining unentered in Richland county. They immediately set about clearing and improving the place and built a small log house in which they lived for four years. They then built a small frame house which burned down a few years later. Afterwards they erected the house in which Mary A. Seymour now lives; it was built about the year 1872.

When the Civil war broke out her husband enlisted in July, 1861. The Illinois regiments being of the required strength at the time, he was placed in Company E, of the Eleventh Missouri Regiment, under command of Capt. John Blue. He served the three-year term of enlistment returning home in 1864, having been mustered out of service in St. Louis, Missouri. During his term of service he was never wounded nor taken prisoner. At one period he was confined to the hospital at Jefferson barracks on account of sickness. On his becoming convalescent he was ordered to attend to the other sick patients which he did until he was able once more to rejoin his regiment. He served in the Western Division under General Sherman though he was not with him at the time of the march to the sea as he was not in service. During the campaign he served in the Red River expedition, the siege of Vicksburg. battle of Missionary Ridge, and many others of the hard fought and principal battles of the war, and also endured many long and hard marches. Though he was never wounded he became badly broken in health on account of the hardships of the years of 1860-1865.

While her husband was in the army, the subject of our sketch remained on the farm with her children. Trying to run the farm, performing all the work entailed thereby, and caring for herself and her small children, she suffered much hardship. On his return home he resumed work with his wife and family on the farm. His death took place on March 12, 1907, at the age of about eighty years. He is interred in Wagner cemetery in Lawrence county, Illinois.

Mrs. Mary A. (Tade) Seymour is the mother of the following children: Mortimer S., Isaac C. and John W. are living. Sarah Catherine and Joseph, both deceased, are buried in Wagner cemetery. Mortimer, married and is living in Crawford county, on a farm. Isaac is married and resides at West York, Crawford county. John is also married and lives on a farm near his mother in German township.

Mrs. Seymour obtained a good education, considering the educational facilities of the time of her youth, in the subscription schools in Richland county, Illinois, having attended school at intervals from Tier ninth until her sixteenth year. The common free schools did not come into existence until she was eighteen years old. Notwithstanding this she was enabled to obtain much information in the subscription schools.

James T. Seymour was a member of the Whig party up to the time of the Civil war: from that time onward he was a Republican. He was School Director for several years, but never held any other public office as he never cared for public recognition. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, the John Liddle Post, No. 745, at Chancy, Illinois. He and his wife and the members of their family all belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church in German township. Mrs. Seymour has been a class leader in the Methodist Episcopal church for several years, and was for three years superintendent of the Sunday school. Her husband was a good, religious man and a steward of the church for several years.

Mrs. Mary A. Seymour is now living a happy life of retirement on the farm which the labors of herself and her devoted husband made one of the best improved in German township.

Extracted 21 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 461-463.

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