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  • ID: I6292
  • Name: George Ebbert SENEY
  • Surname: Seney
  • Given Name: George Ebbert
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 29 May 1832 in Uniontown, Fayette, Pennsylvania
  • Death: 10 Jun 1905 in Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio
  • _UID: 1F0A82D2F18CB6499FB65BFB8F2766CB8B8C
  • Note:
    1. The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume IX

    SENEY, George Ebbert, representative, was born in Uniontown, Fayette County, Pa., May 29, 1832; son of Joshua and Ann (Ebbert) Seney; grandson of Joshua and Frances (Nicholson) Seney and of George and Sarah (Wood) Ebbert; and great-grandson of Col. John Seney, and of Commodore James Nicholson, the former in the army, the latter in the navy, in the Revolutionary war. In November, 1832, his parents removed to Tiffin, Ohio. He was educated at Norwalk seminary, Ohio, and was admitted to the bar in 1853. He was a candidate for presidential elector on the Buchanan and Breckinridge ticket in 1856: and was elected judge of the court of common pleas of the third judicial district in 1857. In July, 1862, he enlisted in the 101st Ohio regiment; was promoted 1st lieutenant, and served as quartermaster of the regiment. He was a delegate to the Democratic national convention of 1876; was married in 1879 to Anna, daughter of Joseph and Rebecca (Hedgas) Walker of Tiffin, and was a Democratic representative from the fifth district of Ohio in the 48th-51st congresses. 1883-91. He continued the practice of law at Tiffin, but took no active part in politics after 1891.

    2. Biographies of Notable Americans, 1904
    The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume IX

    3. From the biography of George E Seney in "Men of Northwestern Ohio : a collection of portraits and biographies of well known men in this section of the professional, business and commercial world : prefaced with historical sketches and full page views." Bowling Green, Ohio: C.S. Van Tassel, 1898, 568 pgs

    George Ebbert Seney was the third child and eldest son of Joshua Seney and Ann Ebbert. He was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, May 29, 1832 and brought to Ohio by his parents the same year. His father and mother were educated and cultured and he was thus favored with unusual advantages at home. In the Tiffin schools he was prepared for the academic studies which he pursued in the seminary at Norwalk. He spent four years in this seminary when it was enjoying a season of great prosperity and its highest reputation under the presidency of Dr. Edward Thompson, who was afterwards a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal church. His mother was a beautiful woman, whose life exemplified a high type of Christianity and whose memory is blessed because of her abounding qualities and unfailing goodness. For a brief period young Seney tried merchandising as the partner of his uncle, George Ebbert, in a bookstore. He, however, changed his plans and began the study of law in the office of Luther A Hall, of Tiffin

    5. 1860 Ohio Census

    Tiffin, Seneca County

    Geo. E. Seney 30 Com. pl. judge $13,000 $2,000 b. PA
    Anna L. " 28 b. MD

    6. 1870 Ohio Census

    Tiffin, Seneca County

    Seney, George E. 39 Attorney-at-Law $40,000 $1,000
    " Anna 36

    7. 1880 Ohio Census

    2525 N. Washington St., Tiffin, Seneca County

    Seney, G. E. 48 Atty-at-Law b. MD (note: incorrect)
    " Anna R. 32 Wife Boarding (Note: is this the same wife Ann?)

    8. 1900 Ohio Census

    Tiffin, Seneca County

    Seney, George E. b. May 1830 PA Father born MD Mother born PA Lawyer
    " Anna Wife b. Jan 1847 OH Father born MD Mother born OH

    9. History of Western Ohio and Auglaize County with Illustrations and Biogrtaphical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Men by C. W. Williamson, Press of W. M Linn & Sons, Columbus, Ohio, 1905

    Educated at Norwalk (OH) Seminary. Later returned to Tiffin where he was a clerk in a dry goods store. In 1848 he and his uncle, George Ebbert, opened a book store in Tiffin. He left Tiffin and moved to St. Louis where he worked in a wholesale dry goods store. He entered the office of Luther A. Hall, Esq., in Tiffin, to read law and became a lawyer in Tiffin and, later, a judge.

    Judge Seney was commissioned a first lieutenant and was at Covingto (KY) Hills defendings Cincinnati against attack from rebel forces during the Civil War. He was with the regiment at Perryville, Lancaster and Nashville and Knob Gap. He also swa service at Chickamauga, Liberty Gap, Chattanooga and Franklin. He was with the One Hndred and First in its five month campaign marching and fighting under Sherman from Mission Bridge to Atlanta. He resigned his army commission and returned to Tiffin in December, 1864 where he opened a law office.





    GEORGE EBBERT SENEY, Tiffin, was born play 29, 18:32, at Uniontown, Fayette Co., Penn. The late Joshua Seney, of Tiffin, father of our was born, retired and educated in New York City, where he graduated at Columbia College and the University Law School. He was a nephew of the distinguished statesman, Albert Gallatin, and was the private secretary of that gentleman when he was Secretary of the United States Treasury. Mr. Gallatin had a country seat at Uniontown, Penn., and it was there that Joshua Seney, met Ann Ebbert, who afterward became his wife. After his marriage Mr.
    Seney established himself at Uniontown as a lawyer and soon won distinction at the bar. While still a resident of that city he declined the appointment of United States Judge for the western district of Pennsylvania, which was tendered him by President Jackson. Removing to Ohio in 1832, he settled at Tiffin, and there lived until his death in 1854. Of his four daughters one died early; one, the wife of the late George W. Howell, of Columbus, Ohio, died in 1883 ; two, Mrs. Frances M. Crum and Mrs. Harvey Redick, reside in Toledo, Ohio. His three sons are George E., in Tiffin; Joshua R., in Toledo, and Henry W., in Kenton, Ohio. Joshua R. and Henry W. are lawyers. The, former has served with distinction upon the bench, and the latter is now one of three judges who compose the circuit court for the Third Judicial Circuit of Ohio. Upon his removal to Tiffin, Mr. Seney did not engage in the practice of law. Judge Lang, of Tiffin, who knew Mr. Seney intimately and well, thus speaks of him, in his history of Seneca County published in 1880: " If Mr. Seney's industry had been equal to his capacity he would have been very successful as a lawyer. He had a natural aversion to anything that looked like labor. He was all politician, however, and a more shrewd, more calculating and far-seeing politician than Mr. Seney Seneca County never had in any party. He was not selfish nor sought ofce for himself. When he liked a person that aspired to office, he would do all in his power to aid him. Raised in the lap of wealth and luxury, he knew nothing about labor, nor the value of money. He had very little taste for, or appreciation of, the practical part of life. His language was chaste and polished, and his manners peculiarly his own. He was perfectly at home in an office and discharged every trust with ability and fidelity. He was treasurer of Seneca County for two terms, and clerk of the supreme court for many years. He wrote a fine hand and his records were spotless. Mr. Seney had a large well developed head, an expressive countenance, a piercing black eye, a pleasant voice, and his hands were so small as to attract universal attention." To all of this may be added that Mr. Seney had a fine education and scholarly tastes. He knew well the theory of the law, but had no ambition to practice it. He was a great student and read everything that he could lay his hands on. Few men were better posted than he in history and general literature, and few understood as well as he whatever pertained to the affairs of church or State. He was not a good public speaker, but as a forcible writer and entertaining talker he excelled.

    The grandfather of George Ebbert Seney was Joshua Seney, of Maryland. He was a distinguished citizen of that State, and took a prominent part in the public affairs of that colony during the Revolutionary struggle. He represented Maryland in the last session of the Continental Congress, and in the first Congross under the Constitution of the United States. He resigned his seat in Congress to accept a seat upon the judicial bench of Maryland. He was chosen one of the presidential electors for the State of Maryland and voted for George Washington when he was first elected president. No less distinguished were the other ancestors of George Ebbert Seney. His grandmother, upon his father's side, was a daughter of James Nicholson, a distinguished commodore in the United States Navy, in 1775. Com. Nicholson was in command of the United States Frigate "Trumbull," when she fought the British man-of-war " Wyatt." The engagement was one of the most desperate naval battles of the Revolutionary war. One of the daughters of Com.Nicholson married Albert Gallatin then Secretary of the Treasury, and afterward United States senator from Pennsylvania; another became the wife of Col. William Few, who was a member, from the State of Georgia, of the convention that framed the Constitution of the United States, and afterward a senator in Congress from that State; the third married John Montgomery, of Maryland, then mayor of the city of Baltimore and afterward a member of Congress from that State: the fourth, Frances, married Joshua Seney. Upon the mother's side the grandparents of the subject of this sketch were George Ebbert and Sarah Wood, horn in Philadelphia, where they were married. Removing to Uniontown. Penn.. George Ebbert there established a mercantile business, which he conducted with marked success for forty years. The older people of that busy little city speak of him as a model man. He was, they say, "the soul of honor, a man of line business capacity and energetic and successful in whatever he undertook. Ho had a sound judgment and expressed his views in a few words, but with great clearness. He had a. kind heart and a generous hand. He was without malice and with him charity was a great virtue. He was a well informed man and reading was his favorite pastime." Sarah Ebbert is said to have been more than an ordinary woman; domestic in her tastes she lived a quiet life. She was a pious woman and took an active part in promoting the good of her church. The fathers of George Ebbert and Sarah Wood were merchants ii, Philadelphia.. In that city they accumulated wealth and Held high social 1 position s, Their lives were full of good deeds and their memories are greatly revered by their descendants, and by the descendants of those who knew them a hundred years ago. To Mr. and Mrs. George Ebbert children were born, number unknown, five the writer of this sketch knew---three sons and two daughters; two of the sons, Henry and John H., were men of high character. both had ability, and their lives were conspicuously useful. One of the daughters, Elizabeth Dorsey, wife of the late Dr. Caleb Dorsey, of Virginia, was a lady well accomplished in mind. The other daughter, Ann, the mother of George Ebbert Seney, is said to have been a beautiful girl. She received a liberal education at Brownsville (Penn.) Female Seminary. She was a lady of great practical sense and had strong religious convictions. Before, her mar riage she was an active Christian worker in her native town. At Tiffin, when she lived twenty-two years a wife and twenty-six a widow, she was highly es teemed. In her the poor had a friend. She was a frequent and welcome visitor to the bedside of the sick and dying. A leading member in the Methodist Episcopal Church, she took an active part in promoting the interests of that denomination. One of the handsome memorial windows in the Methodist Episcopal Church, at Tiffin, was placed there by Judge Seney, in honor of the memory of his mother. Mrs. Ann Seney died May 5, 1879, aged seventy-five years.
    George Ebbert Seney was brought to Tiffin (then a village of 400 inhabi tants) an infant in his mother's arms. Judge Seney (for by this name George E. is universally called) was educated at Norwalk (Ohio) Seminary. then under the charge of Dr. Edward Thomson, subsequently a bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church. After four years spent at that institution Judge Seney returned to Tiffin, and for a year or more was clerk in a dry goods store. In 1848, perhaps, and while a mere boy, he and his uncle, George Ebbert, opened a book store in Tiffin. The stock with which the firm of Ebbert & Seney coin menced business was purchased in New York City by the boy partner who went there for that purpose. Judge Seney remained in this store for less than a year. The business being small and unprofitable for two, Judge Seney retired and Mr. Ebbert remained. Upon leaving the book store, Judge Seney determined that St. Louis should be his future home, and through a family relative in the East had secured a position in a wholesale dry goods store in that city. This was opposed by his mother and opposed as well by his father, mho had his heart set upon making a lawyer out of his son. Judge Seney's ambition was to be it merchant. To being a lawyer he was stoutly opposed. Simply to please his father, and to show his filial respect to his wishes he entered the office of Luther A. Hall, Esq., in Tiffin, to read law, but with an understanding that, if at the end of three months he preferred the place open for him at St. Louis, neither father nor mother would further object. Years after, when .Judge Seney was strong in his profession, Mr. Hall said: "the first day George wits in my office he and the law fell in love, and they have been loving each other ever since." Neither he, his family, nor his friends have cause to regret that he became a lawyer instead of a merchant. Two years of close and attentive study of the law books prepared Judge Seney for admission to the bar. He was admitted in 1853, and immediately commenced practice in company with his preceptor, Mr. Hall. This partnership lasted about two years. The Judge, preferring to be alone, opened an office close by the one he now occupies, and alone, until his election to Congress, has he practiced his profession, except when on the bench and in the army. At the time Judge Seney left the office of Mr. Hall there were eighteen practicing layers in Seneca County, several of them being gentlemen of large experience and acknowledged ability. Judge Seney had clients and cases from the beginning; they grew in number, and whon at the end of four years he left the bar for the bench his business favorably compared with the best done by either of the older attorneys. The reputation Judge Seney acquired during these six years of practice was that of a studious, methodical and reliable lawyer, and an able, effective and eloquent jury advocate. After his election as judge, and before his term of office commenced, President Buchanan tendered him the appointment of the United States district attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, which he declined, preferring the place on the bench to which he had just been elected; Judge Seney was on the bench five years. He was elected when he was twenty-six years of age, and is perhaps the youngest man who ever held a common pleas court in Ohio. That he was not over anxious for the place is to be inferred from the fact that he. refused to take his party's nomination unless it was tendered unanimously. At a convention held at Carey, largely composed of lawyers from Seneca, Crawford, Wyandot, Hancock and Wood Counties, he was nominated by acclamation as the Democratic candidate for common pleas judge of the third subdivision of the Third Judicial District. The politics of the district at that time were doubtful; Judge Seney carried it by a majority of 1, 006 over his opponent, Gen. John C. Lee. The first court held by Judge Soney was at Perrysburg, in Wood County, and the first lawyer who addressed him in the argument of a case was Hon. M. R. Waite, then a practicing attorney at Toledo, and now the chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. During his term of five years on the bench Judge Seney held three terms of court each year at Tiffin, Bucyrus, Upper Sandusky, Findlay and Perrysburg, and frequently a term, or a part of a term, in other counties in the first and second subdivisions of his district. In addition to this he and the judges of these two subdivisions, with one of the judges of the supreme court of the State, held a term of the district court, once a year, in each of the twenty counties comprising the judicial district. Upon the bench Judge Seney met the expectations of his friends. Youthful as he was, he presided with marked dignity, impartiality and courtesy, and by his decisions .added to his reputation as a sound lawyer, a dispassionate reasoner and an honest, discreet and just judge. It was while Judge Seney was on the bench that he published what is known to the profession as "Seney's Ohio Code," and this volume he republished in 1874. Among lawyers this work is highly valued, and is in constant. and extensive use in Ohio and several of the Western States. Judge Seney's term upon the bench closed during the second year of the war. Our subject was an ardent Democrat, a stanch friend of the Union and uncompromising in his opposition to secession. Upon the close of the last term of court he enlisted in the One Hundred and First Ohio Volunteer Infantry, he and three others being the first to enlist in that regiment. Judge Seney was commissioned a first lieutenant, and immediately he and his three fellow soldiers commenced recruiting for the regiment. In thirty-eight, days the regiment, over 1,000 strong, was upon the Covington (Kentucky) Hills, defending Cincinnati against attack from rebel forces, led by Gen. Kirby Smith. He was appointed quartermaster of the regiment, serving with it in the field for two years and a half under Buell, Rosecrans, Thomas and Sherman. He was with the regiment in its encounters at Perryville, at Lancaster and Nashville. He was present at the engagement at Knob Gap, and was within sound of the guns at Stone River. He saw service at Chickamauga and at Liberty Gap, and witnessed the heroic valor of the One Hundred and First in the battles of Chattanooga and Franklin. He was with the One Hundred and First in its five months' campaign of almost continuous marching and fighting, under Sherman, from Mission Ridge to Atlanta. Resigning his army commission he returned to Tiffin in December, 1864, reopened his law office, and in a short time was in the enjoyment of a large and lucrative practice. For the next eighteen years few lawyers labored harder in his profession than Judge Seney. Early and late, day after day, and night after night, he could be found at his office, or in court, or if elsewhere, always full of legal business. In 1879 a biographer speaks of Judge Seney in these words: "As a lawyer he is highly esteemed by his brethren of the profession. His papers are thoroughly prepared, the witnesses are sifted to the bottom, and the case is effectively presented to the court and jury. While he excels as an advocate, being a fine speaker, and possessing naturally oratorical gifts and graces, as an attorney and counsellor he is no less excellent, being well read upon points of law. From the fact that he is usually assigned the closing of a case, ono can judge of the esteem in which he is held by those who are with him in it. As a man he is genial, and possessed of the native delicacy and refinement of the educated gentleman."

    With politics he had little to do, unless to attend a convention to help a friend make a few speeches during a campaign, and regularly, spring and fall, vote the Democratic ticket. When elected to Congress in 1882 he was fifty years of age and yet the only office he had held was that of judge, twentyone years before. He was a candidate for presidential elector on the Buchanan ticket in 1856. With these two exceptions his party had never been troubled with him in a convention or at an election, as a candidate for office. With the exception of ;judge and member of Congress he never held an office. ward, township, city, county, district or State; never was a candidate for one` before a convention or the people. In 1874 he was nominated to make the race for Congress against ex-Gov. Foster. There were other able Democrat:, who sought the place and in the convention were put in nomination. With out his knowledge his name was presented. Judge Seney declined to be a candidate, saying that he would not accept the nomination if it was made. In spite of this refusal he was nominated upon the first ballot, receiving nearly all the votes. He again arose to decline,-but the convention was unwilling to hear him, and in the noise and confusion that prevailed he was declared the nominee, and immediately the convention adjourned. It was thought that Judge Seney could carry the district against Foster, who had twice. before been elected, but Foster beat him by 139 votes. There is no remark respecting that election more common than that Judge Seney did not want the place and consequently made no effort to be elected. It is the opinion of those supposed to know that the Judge was pleased at his defeat. That he had no desire to be in Congress was satisfactorily demonstrated at Upper Sandusky four years later. The district had been changed, and was then Democratic by 5,000 majority. An election was certain, he was about to be nominated, and would have been had he not arisen and appealed to the delegates not to vote for him, stating that under no circumstances would he accept of the nomination. In 1876 he was made a delegate to the Democratic National Convention at St. Louis, and assisted in nominating Samuel J. Tilden for President. He was an active member of that body, and, in the campaign which followed, he eloquently and ably advocated before the people the justness of his party's cause. In 1882 he was made the Democratic candidate for Congress in the Fifth District. Soon after his nomination he made a thorough canvass of the district, speaking at fifty or more places. He was elected by a majority of 5,613. In Seneca County he received many Republican votes. His majority in this county was 1,472; in Tiffin, 776, and in the First Ward of Tiffin, where he lived, 773. In 1883 his district was changed by taking off Putnam County with 1,417 Democratic majority and adding in Wood County with 496 Republican majority. This change reduced the Democratic majority in his district, on the vote of 1882, to 3, 644. Judge' Seney was nominated in the new district in 1884. This was a presidential year. He made a thorough canvass, addressing over seventy public meetings within his district. He was elected by 4,006 majority. The majority for Cleveland and Hendricks in the district was 3,216.

    The reputation of Judge Seney as a lawyer followed him to Congress; he was appointed a member of the Judiciary Committee upon which were the ablest lawyers in the House. During the session he was always in his seat in the committee or in the House, giving faithful attention to every duty; modest and unassuming, he talked little, but listened much. His speeches in the Olio contested election case of Campbell vs. Morey, against the repeal of the tax on tobacco and spirits not used as a beverage, and against allowing National banks to increase their circulating notes, are exceedingly able efforts, and attracted, as they deserved, public attention. Judge Seney is known far And near as the friend of the soldiers. To their interest before Congress and in the departments he gives especial attention. All the letters he receives from soldiers about their pension claims, and they number thousands, he promptly answers, and as promptly attends to all their requests. In 1884 the Ohio Legislature was Democratic in both branches; Judge Seney was prominently named for United States senator to succeed Senator Pendleton. He refused to be a candidate, and wrote to those who were urging his candidacy that he would neither seek nor decline the place. He was known to be the first choice of a few members, and the second choice of several others. Several of his party Newspapers advocated his election, and not a few of the public men, in and out of the State, favored his election. It was thought that neither of the leading aspirants --Payne or Pendleton would be chosen, and in that event, Judge Seney, better than any other Democrat, would be acceptable to the . two factions, Pendleton and anti-Pendleton, into which the Democratic members appeared to be divided. Mr. Payne, to the surprise of everybody, was chosen in the caucus upon the first ballot. Among those prominently named as the Democratic candidate for governor of Ohio, in 1885, is the distinguished congressman from the Tiffin district. He positively refused to be a candidate or allow his name to be used in connection with the gubernatorial office.

    Years of industrious and energetic labor in his profession have not been without substantial rewards to Judge Seney in fortune, a5 he has been successful. By his own exertions he has accumulated property estimated to be worth $150,000 to $200,000. He is the owner of the Tiffin Gas Works, which thirty years ago he assisted in constructing, and was for the first three years of their existence the secretary of the company who built them. He is a progressive, liberal and enterprising man. In whatever is calculated to advance Tiffin and the good of her people, he takes an active and leading part. If money is wanted to help the poor, the sick, or the unfortunate, no one gives more cheerfully or liberally. If a church is to be built, a minister lacks support, the cause of education needs help, or any enterprise for the public good wants assistance, he is always ready and willing with his purse. He is a member of no church. yet the friend of religion and of all Christian effort. .Judge Seney has no children. His estimable wife, Anna (Walker) Seney, is a daughter of the late Joseph Walker, Esq., long a merchant of Tiffin, and a granddaughter of the late Josiah Hedges, Esq., who was the founder of Tiffin, and is remembered by older citizens as an active leader in public affairs forty years ago. There are those who believe that still higher honors are in store for Judge Seney. We write not of the future, but of the past and the present.

    11. No children
  • Change Date: 26 Jul 2011 at 21:21:01

    Father: Joshua SENEY Jr. b: 20 Nov 1793 in Maryland
    Mother: Anna Wood EBBERT b: 13 Sep 1803 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Marriage 1 Anna Isabella SINGER b: 1832 in Maryland
    • Married: 21 Jan 1858 in Seneca County, Ohio
    • Note:
      1. Dave Seaney

      2. Ohio Marriages, 1803-1900

    Marriage 2 Anna Elizabeth (L). WALKER b: Jan 1844/1847 in Ohio
    • Married: 5 Jan 1879 in Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio
    • Note:
      1. Dave Seaney

      2. Ohio Marriages, 1803-1900
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