A Guide to the Fiske-Seymour Family Papers, 1864-1918, n.d. Fiske-Seymour Family Papers Ms2009-133

A Guide to the Fiske-Seymour Family Papers, 1864-1918, n.d.

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2009-133


Special Collections, Virginia Tech

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

©2018 By Virginia Tech. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Lora Settle, Special Collections

Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Fiske-Seymour Family Papers, 1864-1918, n.d.
Physical Characteristics
1.4 Cubic Feet 1 box
This collection contains personal correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, and ephemera from the Fiske and Seymour families. The bulk of the correspondence was written by William Warren Fiske and Eliza "Lida" Robertson Seymour Fiske. The remainder of the collection pertains to William and Lida's children, family, and friends.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Fiske-Seymour Family Papers, Ms2009-133, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Fiske-Seymour Family Papers were acquired by Special Collections before 2009.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Fiske-Seymour Family Papers commenced in October 2009 and was completed in January 2010.

Biographical Information

Eliza "Lida" Robertson Seymour Fiske (c.1856-1922) was the daughter of Lucretia R. Seymour (born c.1832) and Dr. James H. Seymour (c.1825-1862). Lida married William Warren Fiske (born abt. 1857-1930s?)—son of Harriet M. Fiske (c.1823-1903)—on November 25, 1880. Both Lida and William were devout Christians. The couple lived in Philadelphia where William worked as a printer. Lida and William had four children—Robert Seymour (b.1885), Fleda (1888-1935), Donald Robertson (b.1891), and Seymour (b.1895). Fleda married Albert H. Ochsner (c.1889-1964)—a man she met on a return trip from her (Wellesley College) junior year abroad in Germany—and the couple had two children, Albert (b.1913) and Seymour Fiske(1915-2005). At least one source mentions a third child, but little information is available.

Fleda and Albert moved to Eastover—a large farm in Spring Grove, Virginia—in late 1913. The house was purchased by Albert's father, Dr. Albert J. Ochsner, who was a practicing surgeon in Chicago. While Albert had received both his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Agriculture, the property measured about 700 acres and the main building was in poor condition, providing quite a challenge to the young couple. On a property adjacent to Eastover, a small house was built for William W. Fiske (Fleda's father) that was referred to as "The Fiske Place." William got little use of the house, however, with his wife (Lida) dying in 1923 and him following in the early 1930s. Fleda, herself, passed away in 1935, and Albert remarried.

Scope and Content

The Fiske-Seymour Family Papers are separated into three series: Series I: Correspondence, Series II: Photographs, and Series III: Family Papers and Ephemera. The first series contains around 600 letters written by various members of the Fiske and Seymour families, as well as family friends. The bulk of the letters were written by William W. Fiske (over 200 letters) and Lida S. Fiske (over 100 letters). Many of these letters were written before Lida and William were married, and many of them were written while William was traveling for his job. Other substantial writers were Fleda F. Ochsner and Lucretia R. Seymour, writing over 50 letters each. The Family Correspondence folders contain letters written by family and friends that do not exceed more than two or three in number by each individual.

The collection also contains over 30 photographs of family members, as well as family-owned properties. Most of the photographs are undated. The Family Papers and Ephemera series contains newspaper and magazine clippings (some written by family members), programs for various events, school papers, and calling cards.


The collection is arranged in three series: Series I: Correspondence, Series II: Photographs, and Series III: Family Papers and Ephemera. Series I: Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by author. Each author's letters are arranged chronologically with undated letters last. The Family Correspondence folders are arranged alphabetically by author with unidentified authors last. Series II: Photographs is arranged by subject matter. Series III: Family Papers and Ephemera is arranged by material type.

Index Terms

Contents List

Correspondence, 1864-1918, n.d.
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Photographs, 1900-1909, n.d.
Box-Folder: 1
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Family Papers and Ephemera, 1887-1912, n.d.
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Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

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