Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The Frontiersmen of New York
by Jeptha R. Simms
Albany, NY 1883

Volume II, Page 491.

A Liaison of Col. Marinus Willett at Fort Plain.--Henry Seeber, a son of the pioneer tradesman, William Seeber, by his second marriage, is believed to have married Elizabeth, a daughter of John Lough, by whom he had two children, Jacob and Polly, who both grew up to be respected citizens; the latter, a fine looking girl, becoming the wife of Abram Lipe. Henry Seeber, who seems to have been an exception to the name of Seeber in this respect, became dissipated early in life, and like most of that class of men forfeited the respect of all good citizens; and although he had an education fitting him for a school teacher, he was troubled with a fever sore, was dissolute and improvident in his habits, all of which united led to an estrangement of the respect and affection of his wife, who was a proud and handsome woman. At this stage in the affairs of this family, Col. Willett took command of Fort Plain, with an oversight of its adjacent military posts. The hero of Fort Stanwix was not long in discovering the charms of this woman of widowed affection, whose children were then small, and he not only made her acquaintance, but ere long was on most intimate terms with her, despite the busy tongue of scandal; and, in process of time, she presented her admiring hero with a young son, who took on the name of Marinus Willett Seeber. Whether or not this Henry Seeber house was "divided against itself" before the coming of the commandant of this frontier post I cannot say, but they were estranged ever after this event; and her son Jacob was taken by his uncle Conrad and reared to an honorable manhood. He also cared tenderly for Henry, an only son of his brother Audolph, who, then a widower was slain in the Oriskany battle.

This military waif was tenderly looked after by Col. Willett, who showed his manhood by placing him at school and defraying the expenses, somewhere, of his care and education until he arrived at manhood. When grown to man's estate he returned to Minden, and is remembered by my informant, then a boy, as a remarkably fine looking young man, and possessed of more than an ordinary intelligence. After his return to the Mohawk valley, he for a time taught a dancing school in Freysbush, and was known as Willett Seeber; but as his half brother and sister and other relatives did not recognize his kinship as he thought they should, he left the neighborhood and was ever after unknown to my informant. (The venerable William H. Seeber, of Fort Plain, who was born in the present town of Minden, May 29, 1791. Mr. Seeber is a very intelligent gentleman and possessed of a remarkably good memory of the passing events of his early life. He is a great-grandson of William Seeber, Sen., elsewhere mentioned as the pioneer of that name, who came hither from Germany prior to the French war. His grandfathers, William Seeber, third son of William Seeber, Sen., by his first wife, married Elizabeth Sharron. Henry Seeber, his father, married Eve, a daughter of Thomas Casler. Informant has had two wives, Elizabeth and Nancy, daughters of Catharine Dygert (daughter of Warner Dygert, who was killed by the Indians at Fall Hill) and Henry Failing: both of whom he has outlived. Having been possessed of an inquisitive mind, he is not only a very companionable man, but looking back upon life, he is a good logical reasoner. He has ever been an exemplary man of remarkably good habits, ever honest and upright in his dealing, which accounts for his ripe old age. He is also a pensioner for services rendered his country in the war of 1812. NOTE--Mr. Seeber died in the spring of 1881, in the 90th year of his age.) This story was corroborated by others.

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