Friday, November 24, 2006
William H. Seymour, Father of Helen Seymour Sylvester
Seymour, William H., was born in Litchfield, Conn., July 15, 1802. But four generations intervene between him and his ancestor, Richard, whose name is inscribed on an old monument to the first settlers of Hartford in 1639. Richard came from Berry Pomeroy in Devonshire, according to an old bishop's Bible, still in the pos- session of the family, on which his name is written. William H. was the son of Samuel Seymour and Rebecca Osborn Seymour, and is the sole survivor of five children. Samuel, with his brother Moses, established a hat factory about 1760 in Litchfield. Moses Seymour was the grandfather of Gov. Horatio Seymour of New York State. James, son of Samuel, went to Pompey, where he was in the employ of Henry Seymour, father of Horatio Seymour, to Ovid, Seneca county, and soon after to Murray Four Corners, Genesee county, and engaged as partner with him in the general mercantile business. In 1818 William H. entered the employ of his brother, and in 1823 removed to Brockport which was then the head of navigation on the Erie canal, and continued the same business. James was appointed the first sheriff when the county was organized in 1820. Soon after he removed to Rochester, leaving the business to his brother, who continued it till 1844. About 1845 he engaged in the furnace business, manufacturing the first McCormick reaper used in the field, and after Mr. McCormick removed to Chicago, he invented the first self-raking reaper, known as the New Yorker, and other improvements.