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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



Among native Californians who have forged to the front in the business field of Sacramento there is none more deserving of mention in a work of this character than Henry I. Seymour of the Buffalo brewery and of other enterprises of importance and of promise. Mr. Seymour was born in Sacramento July 25, 1861, son of Henry 0. and Elizabeth (Osborn) Seymour, both of whom were natives of New York state. The father came around the Cape in a sailing vessel in 1854 and followed farming. At the time of his death he was a member of the Board of Supervisors and had been chairman of that body. His death occurred in 1876. Mrs. Sey- mour had made the trip to the west in 1852, and she passed away in 1910.

Educated in the public schools Henry I. Seymour was graduated from high school in 1878. His first experience in business was as an employe in the freight department of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. He early demonstrated that he had in him the energy from which successful men of affairs are developed, and his advancement was rapid. For ten years he was in the service of that corporation, then in 1890 he entered the employ of the Buffalo Brewing-Company as a bookkeeper, and in that capacity he labored faithfully and most efficiently five years. So devoted had he been to the interests of the concern, so well had he informed himself in the intricacies of its affairs, that he was called to the higher responsibility of its management, and since then he has been influential in shaping its course and directing the carrying out of its policies. The company began business in 1890, with a capacity of twenty-five thousand barrels. It had been incorporated in 1888, and its original board of directors was constituted as follows: Ex-Governor Newton Booth, J. E. Watson of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, H. H. Grau, Adolph Heilbron, W. E. Gerber, Frank Ruhstaller, Sr., Louis Nicolaus, Frederick Cox and Samuel Lavenston. Of this board only three survive. Mr. Grau, the original manager, retired in 1895. The present capacity of the plant is so very much greater than that of the early days of the company that the output exceeds one hundred thousand barrels and ranks on a par in production and quality with any brewery in California.

For four years Mr. Seymour was active as a director and vice- president of the Chamber of Commerce, and from time to time he has been identified, directly or indirectly, with various interests of the city. About 1885 he became a member of Company E, First Artillery, National Guards. From a private he rose to the office of captain in the next three years. In 1895 he was placed on the retired list, remaining there until 1900, when he was elected colonel of the Second Infantry Regiment, N. G. C, serving in that capacity until 1910, when he was again placed on the retired list. As colonel of the Second Infantry he served in San Francisco during the fire of 1906. He is a member of Sacramento Lodge No. 6, B. P. 0. E., and of Sunset Parlor No. 26, N. S. G. W. The Sutter Club numbers him among its members, and he has served on its board of trustees.

Mr. Seymour was married in Napa county in 1887 to Miss Grace Brownlee, who was a native daughter of Napa county and a graduate of Perry's Seminary of Sacramento. They are the parents of two children, Donald and Doris. In many ways Mr. Seymour has demonstrated his public spirit, and there are few movements inaugurated which give promise of benefiting any considerable number of his fellow citizens that do not receive his cordial and generous support. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011