biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
JAMES A. SEEVERS. In the days of slavery there were many Southerners, who, although brought up in familiarity with that peculiar institution, yet felt that they could not con- scientiously give it support or encouragement; hence it was that in the settlement of the great Northwest many of the old slave-holding families of the South followed the tide of emigration and did their part in establishing and uphuilding a freer and a healthier civilization. The subject of this sketch was a member of such a family. He was born in Jefferson County, Va., March 6, 1832, and in 1842 came to Iowa with his father, James See- vers, who left him in school at Burlington, while he with the rest of the family came to Mahaska County. Young James' longing for the western home he had never seen, combined with the fever of immigration of which he had had a taste, proved stronger than his love for school, and accordingly he left Burlington without leave and walked to the Oskaloosa of that day. of which the main business buildings were a log blacksmith-shop and grocery store. In 1853, Mr. Seevers, having studied law with his brother, Judge William H. Seevers, was admitted to the bar and soon after formed a part- nership with Judge J. A. L. Crookham. In 1856 he was elected County Attorney, and dissolving his connection with Judge Crookham, formed a partnership with his brother and Hon. M. T. Will- iams, with whom he continued in business until the outbreak of the Civil War. May 29, 1855, Mr. Seevers married Miss Mary Collins. She was the eldest daughter of one of Marion County's first pioneers, and still resides with her family in Oskaloosa. Three sons were born to themÄCharles A.. Albert Collins and James E.Äthe second of whom died in infancy; and one daughter, Eva, who is still living. Mr. Seevers was a strong adherent to the politi- cal faith of Stephen A. Douglas, and during the stormy period preceding the war took an active part in the affairs of the Democratic party. When in 1861 all hopes of a peaceful settlement of the dif- ficulties between the North and South were aban- doned, Mr. Seevers espoused without hesitancy the cause of the Union, and assisted in organizing a company of volunteers, largely composed of men of his own political faith. In October, 1861, he was elected Captain of Company C, 15th Iowa Regiment, and spent the winter of 1861Ä62 in quarters at Keokuk, Iowa. Capt. Seevers took part with his company in the battles of Shiloh and Corinth, and in the smaller affairs of Iuka and Boliver, suffering a loss in the first two engagements of five men killed and twenty-one wounded. In both battles Capt. Seevers received honorable mention for gallantry in action. The 16th Iowa arrived at Shiloh, by steamer, on the morning of the first day of that battle, and as the men marched to the front with bright guns and new uniforms they were taken by the retreating Federals for regular troops. In an hour the 16th Iowa was also slowly retreating before the impetuous advance of the confederates. in a forced march through heavy timber from Cor- inth to Grand Junction, Capt. Seevers fell, and re- ceived injuries in the side, which obliged him to re- sign his commission. On returning from the army the Captain re-en- gaged in the practice of law, as much as his im- paired health would permit But the injuries he had received caused the formation of a tumor, which, growing continually worse, caused his death Nov. 6, 1865, at the age of thirty-three years, when it might truly be said he was only fairly com- mencing life. He was once a candidate for the Legislature on the Democratic ticket, hut was not successful. He canvassed the county for his party, and as a public speaker was a fluent one, and a man of much influence in the counsels of his party.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy