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Seward-Wood family papers, 1840-2002.

Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  Doc 507  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Title : Seward-Wood family papers, 1840-2002.
Physical Description : 3 linear ft.
General Note : Continued in Doc 508-509, MS Size D.
Summary :

The collection consists of assorted papers from the Seward family (and related families of Herrick, Russell, and Riley) and two generations of the Wood family from Highgate, Swanton, Alburg, and most recently, Saint Albans, Vermont.

The oldest papers in the collection span four generations of the Seward and related families. Although many individuals are represented, there are no extensive collections related to one person or one generation. The papers include Daniel and Luther Herrick's 1848 legal papers, Alzina Russell's 1866 diary (Alzina was Elvira Russell's half-sister), Alonzo D. Seward's 1872-73 and 1881-82 diaries, as well as the latter's miscellaneous documents and receipts. The collection also contains photographs documenting Leroy Deforest Seward's employment as a U.S. Customs officer from 1919 to 1939, including a photograph showing liquor seized by U.S. Customs during prohibition.

The Wood family is the focus of the collection, specifically Robert M. Wood, (1887-1966) and more importantly, his son Raymond (1916-1996) both of Saint Albans, Vermont. The latter was passionate about cars and local history. The collection includes Raymond Wood's writing on both subjects; a large collection of photographs that he meticulously annotated; and his collection of newspaper articles and pamphlets related to Saint Albans and Franklin County towns from the 1950s to 1990s.

Robert M. Wood acquired a tow truck for his automotive shop, a 1925 Reo 2 ton truck, nicknamed "Tug Boat Annie." Raymond M. Wood writes of towing Cadillac, Packard, and Lincoln cars that had been seized for smuggling Canadian liquor into Vermont during prohibition (507:30). His photographs and writing from 1946 to 1965 document his company's towing service. A history of the Foundry Repair Shop is included. The collection also contains photographs and ephemera relating to the Missisquoi Airport in Swanton, Vermont. Raymond Wood was writer, editor and producer of the Reo Echo, a magazine serving Reo Club of America members. The collection includes issues from the magazine's inception to 2002.

The collection also includes biographical information about Robert Wood, his son, Raymond, and his sister, Margaret, including an article detailing her travel adventures world-wide prior to World War II.

Biographical or historical data :

Alonzo Seward (b. 1813), the son of John and Mary (Smith) Seward, married Phoebe (or Phebe) Herrick (b. ca 1820) of Highgate, Vermont. Their son, Alonzo D. Seward (1850-1933) married Elvira Russell (1856-1924) in 1878. Alonzo D. and his father were farmers in Highate, Vermont. Leroy Deforest Seward (b. 1888), son of Alonzo B. and Elvira (Russell) Seward, married Lucy Riley (1890-1976), daughter of Fred Eli Riley (1866-1900), in 1913. They lived in Highgate, Richford and Swanton, Vermont. Lucy taught school in Richford, Vermont in 1917. Leroy taught school in Highgate and then worked for U.S. Customs in Richford, Swanton, and Highgate Springs. Their daughter, Merilyn (1918-1989), married Raymond Wood. She graduated from Swanton High School in 1936 and from the University of Vermont in 1940. She taught in the public schools of Sheldon, Alburg, and Saint Albans.

Robert Montgomery Wood, the son of Charles and Ida Jane (Montgomery) Wood, was born on a ranch in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1887. When teenagers, he and sister Margaret moved with their family to Randolph, Vermont. In 1915 Robert married Florence Mayo of Bethel and, in the same year, he became shop foreman for the St. Albans Foundry and Implement Company. In 1922 Wood opened an automotive service and machine shop in Saint Albans, known as the Foundry Repair Shop, which his son, Raymond, took over after World War II.

Raymond M. Wood, son of Robert and Florence Wood, was born March 16, 1916. When he was a Bellows Free Academy (Saint Albans) student in the 1930s he won three Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild model coach contests that included cash awards as well as trips to Detroit and Chicago. One of his winning model coaches is in the museum of the Vermont Historical Society. Ray attended Burlington Business College (now Champlain College). In 1941 Ray studied flying and received his pilot's license in 1942. He served in the U.S. Corps of Engineers rebuilding railroad lines and bridges in Europe during World War II. After the war, Ray joined his father in the automotive business and subsequently became the owner of the Foundry Repair Shop. The latter expanded to become successive dealerships for Franklin, Marmon, Reo, and Dodge vehicles.

Related Collections : The prize-winning model coach made by Raymond Wood for a 1932 Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild contest is in the Vermont Historical Society Museum.
Personal Subject : Seward family.
Seward, Alonzo D., 1850-1933.
Seward, Leroy Deforest, b. 1888.
Wood family.
Wood, Robert M., 1887-1966.
Wood, Margaret M., b. 1888.
Wood, Raymond M., 1916-1996.
Corporate Subject : Foundry Repair Shop Saint Albans, Vt.
St. Albans Foundry and Implement Company Vt.
U.S. Customs Service. Region 1 Photographs.
Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild.
Reo Motor Car Company.
Subject Term : Farm life Vermont Highgate.
Women Diaries.
Automobile repair shops Vermont Saint Albans.
Automobiles Towing Vermont Saint Albans.
Prohibition Vermont.
Airports Vermont Swanton Photographs.
Schools Vermont Franklin County Photographs.
Wreckers Vehicles Vermont Franklin County Photographs.
Traffic accidents Vermont Franklin County Photographs.
Geographic Term : Highgate (Vt.) Archival resources.
Swanton (Vt.) Archival resources.
Saint Albans (Vt.) History.
Saint Albans (Vt.) Archival resources.
Franklin County (Vt.) Photographs.
Genre/Form : Diaries.
Legal documents.
Occupation : Teachers
Added Author : Wood, Raymond M., 1916-1996.
Seward, Alonzo D., 1850-1933.
Russell, Alzina, 1841-1876.
Added Author : Reo Club of America.
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.