Pages 643-645, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




For a comparatively brief period John A. Seaton has resided in Woodson county, but already he has formed a wide acquaintance and won the regard of the best people of the community. His life has been one of marked activity in which he has faithfully performed public service and successfully carried on business enterprises. He is now extensively engaged in farming and is the owner of a large and valuable tract of land in Everett township.

Mr. Seaton was born in Green county, Pennsylvania, October 30, 1840, and was the fifth in order of birth in a family of eight children, of whom six are yet living. The father, James M. Seaton, was also a native of Green county, and in early manhood married Miss Sarah Roberts, of


Washington county, Pennsylvania. He made farming his life occupation, and in 1849 emigrated westward, first taking up his abode in Des Moines county Iowa. His death occurred in Newton, Jasper county, Iowa, when he was eighty-five years of age, and his wife passed away some time previous, at the age of seventy-three.

When at lad of nine years John A. Seaton accompanied his parents on their removal to the Hawkeye state and upon the home farm he was reared, receiving practical training in the work of the fields and the care of the stock. In the common schools of the neighborhood he obtained his education and to his father he gave the benefit of his services until he attained his majority. About the time he reached man's estate the Civil war was inaugurated and the country was calling for aid to preserve the Union. In October, 1861, he enlisted among the boys in blue of company B, Thirteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry for a term of three years and was soon at the front, fighting the battles of the country. He participated in the engagements at Shiloh, Corinth, Iuka and the battles and skirmishes of the campaign of 1862, and at the battle of Raymond, Mississippi, he lost his leg on the 12th of May, 1863, and 12 days later he was captured and remaind[sic] in captivity for 8 weeks, although paroled on day of capture. His injury, however, was so great that he could not be moved. On the 5th of October, 1863, on account of the loss of his limb, he was honorably discharged and returned to his home.

In the following spring Mr. Seaton was married and in the fall of that year he was nominated and elected to the office of county clerk by the Republican party. By re-election he was continued in the position for four years, and in the spring of 1864 he was given other official duties, being appointed by the governor to enroll the county militia. On his retirement from office he purchased an interest in the Townsend harness busineses[sic] and engaged in the harness business under the firm name of Townsend & Seaton. Six months later he sold his interest in the store and removed to a farm near Newton on which he lived for three months—sold this and moved to Kellogg, Iowa, where he was engaged in the insurance and real estate and milling business for a number of years. He was appionted[sic] special agent for the American Fire Insurance Co. of Chicago, and was its traveling representative for 13 years. On the expiration of that period he turned his attention to farming and stock-raising and also engaged in shipping stock. In 1886 he became the special agent of the Northwestern Live Stock Insurance Co. of Des Moines, Iowa, for southwestern Iowa, and held that position nearly 8 years, doing a very large business for his company. In 1897 he engaged again in business with his old friend and former partner, Col N. Townsend in the town of Newton in real estate loans and insurance. In 1898 he disposed of his possession in Iowa and came to Woodson county, Kansas, arriving in the month of May. Here they purchased four hundred and eighty acres of land near Vernon and have developed one among the best farms of the county, have erected a


large residence, built in modern architectural style, and have also built a large barn. Their residence is the most attractive home in the northern part of the county and stands as a monument to their business life. Since coming to Kansas Mr. Seaton has given his entire time and attention to farming and stock-raising and intends to make a specialty of handling registered shorthorn cattle and registered Poland China hogs under the firm name of Jno. A. Seaton & Sons. They also put up and ship large quantities of hay each year.

On the 14th of April, 1864, was celebrated the marriage of John A. Seaton and Elma Bevan, for a number of years one of the leading teachers of Jasper county, Iowa. She was a daughter of Stacy and Jane Bevan, who came to Iowa in 1855. Mrs. Seaton is a most estimable lady and preodes with gracious and charming hospitality over their home. They became the parents of te nchildren,[sic] but lost three in infancy. The living are: James E., at home; Elvin H., an attorney at law in Hubbard, Iowa; Charles D., who is engaged in teaching school in Woodson county; Sarah, wife of R. W. Nesmith, of Neosho Falls; R. K., A. G. and Mary E., all with their parents.

Mr. Seaton has always been a staunch Republican, in sympathy with the party that stands for the protection of American liberties, rights and industries and upholds the flag wherever it is planted. With the savings of his army life he entered upon his business career and by judicious investment and capable management he has increased his capital as the years have gone by until his possessions now rank him among the men of affluence in his adopted county, but the fact that he has won success is not all that gains him respect for his life has ever been upright and honorable, his public duties faithfully performed and the obligations of private life honorably met.

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