Historical Details

Seaman, Mr. and Mrs. Sam

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 01/05/2021


by Milton Whitman

Samuel Roome Seaman was born in New York City Jan. 9, 1865. His mother passed away when he was 17 months of age. He was raised to manhood in the home of his father's sister, Mrs. Adele Townsend, of Oyster Bay, Long Island. He completed his education at Friends Academy in New York City.

When he was a young man Mr. Seaman worked for Strange and Brothers, a silk importing firm. One of the duties, which was a tribute to him, was carrying the bag of gold to the customs house to pay for the silk.

In 1884 he came west to Cheyenne. From there he went by stage coach to what is now Lusk, Wyo. He worked until 1887 on the Node ranch, which was owned by the Western Livestock Company of Wyoming. Tuck Jester was the foreman; also on the ranch at the time was Fred Redington, George Davis and Ed Arnold.

The Western Livestock Company of Wyoming owned, along with the Node Ranch, the S - Ranch, Indian Creek, Hat Creek Basin, Head of Running Water in Laramie County. Frank Lusk was the manager. One of the offices was in Room I, Tabor Block, Denver, Colo. While Mr. Lusk was manager he shipped in a load of flat barbed wire which was used to build pastures etc. Some of the wire is still around and some is still used in the fence lines.

When they were breaking up their ranch and holdings near the present town of Lusk, Mr. Seaman bought some mares from the ranch and an imported Percheron stallion called Garibaldi.  Garibaldi was imported from France by Mark Dunham of Wayne, Ill.   Mr. Dunham sold him to the Western Livestock Company of Wyoming.          After Mr. Seaman had bought the mares Mr. Lusk gave him the brand called the Claw Hammer. At the time the brand was a registered Colorado Brand. Ollie Seaman is still using the brand, al­ though it is now registered in Wyoming.

In the year 1887 Mr. Seaman started his horse ranch with his headquarters in a val­ley on the southeastern side of the hills, now known as the Seaman Hills, 18 miles north of Lusk.

In the winter of 1887 one of the worst blizzards in the history of the State struck. Mr. Seaman told me that three or four days before and during the early part of the storm, cattle drifted by his cabin day and night, the path so close that they almost rubbed against the corner. Mrs. John B.Kendrick related the results of the storm as she and Mr. Kendrick were on their way to Omaha, Nebr. that spring.  Mr. Kendrick was almost in tears most of the way through Nebraska as they saw dead cattle on both sides of the track.

Mr. Seaman built his horse herd up to 500 head and in 1890 he hired Pete Summers to help look after the horses. It was not unusual for them to ride 60 miles a day look­ing after them. To give themselves a vari­ety to their meals they built an ice house. In the winter they filled it with ice to make ice cream with in the summer.

The market for his horses was in Columbus and Dayton, Oh. He also sold some in Alliance, Nebr. Jeff Hewett was at a horse market in Oklahoma, and one day he saw some large dappled gray horses in a pen.         They looked familiar so he looked at them closer and saw the Claw Hammer brand on them. He notified the authorities and Mr. Seaman and discovered that they had been stolen from the range and brought down there for sale.Since they were there Mr. Seaman had them sold.

Sarah Martha (McKenzie) Seaman was born in Goderich, Ontario, Canada April 30, 1877. Her father passed away when she was a baby. When she was four years old she and her mother moved to Detroit, Mich. When she was eight or nine years old her mother passed away, and she then made her home with her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Dave Rogers. In 1887 she came to Hat Creek, Wyo. to live with-her aunt, Mrs. Josephine St. Clair.

Her grandparents soon moved to Wyoming and she again made her home with them near Hat Creek.   One of her admirers when she was a small girl living near Hat Creek was John B. Kendrick. When he was in the neighborhood he would pay her a visit, bring her candy and sometimes a gift from the store at Hat Creek. Mrs. Seaman was the only small child living in that area at the time.

There were still quite a few Indians around that part of the country at the time. Mrs. Seaman used to tell of them corning to the Hat Creek Store, walking in single file, for supplies. Once inside the store they would motion for the items they wanted, even though some of them could speak English.

In 1893 on Oct. 4, she and Sam Seaman were married in the Hat Creek store. They made their first home on the horse ranch in the Seaman Hills. They had four sons, the first one passed away when but a few hours old; their second one was Charlie, who passed away recently; Clement who passed away as a result of a football injury when he was in high school; and Jasper Oliver (Ollie) who is still on the home ranch north west of Harrison, Nebr.

After living on the horse ranch a few years they took up a homestead on Old Woman Creek, just south of the present Red Bird Store.

While living on the homestead in 1896 or 97, Mrs. Seaman tells of the time some Indians came along one day and wanted to trade for Charlie. They tried to get her to go along with them, but she told them that she didn't have a horse. One Indian patted his horse, indicating that she could ride on his horse behind him. When they realized that she wouldn't trade, they rode off. She was afraid they would come back, so she took Charlie and her 45-90 rifle and left the place.  John Herman was out riding on a pinto horse and saw her. She took him to be an Indian and kept watching him.  He finally took off his hat and she saw that he was baldheaded and then knew he was a white man. Mr. Herman wasn't too sure that she knew he was a white man so he was cautious, too.

She would go a ways and stop. He would stop also. She put down her gun to show him that she knew he was a white man, then he rode up to her and took them back to the ranch.

While they were still living on their homestead, Mr. Seaman bought several small places east of the Wyoming line in Nebraska and combined them into one ranch.   He hired Hans Meng to work for him and in the winter Hans would stay on the Nebraska place and take care of the cattle. Mr. Seaman trailed his cattle from the Nebraska place in the spring to the place on Old Woman Creek, and in the fall trailed them back. One of their overnight stops was Bill Sheppard's cow camp on Indian Creek. Bunny and Marjorie Chard now own the cow camp and are living there.

In about 1913 or 1914 Mr. and Mrs. Seaman sold their homestead and moved to their place in Nebraska. Their first home on the Nebraska ranch was a dugout, just south of where the present shed and barn is.

While they were living in the dugout they had a man by the name of George Clark move his saw mill on the place and had quite a lot of lumber sawed.  Several of the neighbors worked that winter for him getting out saw logs and helping with the sawing.

One of the fellows on the crew came down with pneumonia. Mrs. Seaman got him over it by using mustard poultices, made him drink hot vinegar and sugar, steamed him with hot towels, and fed him a lot of onions.

In the 1920's they moved to Harrison where Clement and Ollie went to high school. Mr. Seaman became deputy sheriff of Sioux County; those being prohibition days his work was cut out for him.

In 1927 they moved back to the ranch, built a large ranch house, and with their two sons, Charlie and Ollie and their familes started back into the cattle business and raising horses.

Images & Attachments

There are no attachments for this record.

Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Seaman, Sarah (04/30/1877 - 04/03/1944) View Record
Obituary Seaman, Samuel (01/09/1865 - 09/11/1942) View Record