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The Piedmont Historical Society
Local History Records - James Seay

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Published in Upper South Carolina Genealogy and History, Vol. 1, No. 2, April 1983:

Source: Spartanburg Herald
March 14, 1915

In the presence of a large number of people, simple exercises were held yesterday afternoon in St. Timothy's Chapel burying ground, commemorating the placing of a handsome marble marker at the grave of James Seay, a hero of the American Revolution. The exercises were held under the auspices of the Cowpens chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, who were instrumental in having the marker placed on his grave by the United States government.

James Seay died in 1850, at the age of 93 years, and was buried in the churchyard cemetery of St. Timothy's Chapel, near Arkwright. The marker was placed over the grave in November last, but exercised commemorating it were deferred until a more convenient time.

One of those who attended the funeral of Mr. Seay was Maj. A.H. Kirby, of this city. The D.A.R., therefore invite Major Kirby to deliver the address commemorating the placing of the marker. On account of illness, Major Kirby was unable to deliver his address yesterday afternoon, but he had prepared it, and it was read by the Rev. W.H. K. Pendleton, rector of the Church of the Advent and of St. Timothy's chapel.

Several Graves Marked.

The marker over the grave of James Seay is one of a number that have been placed recently through the work of the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The cost of the marker, etc., is borne by the United States government, it is understood. All that is necessary to have one placed is to secure the necessary records showing that the deceased was a soldier of the Revolution, and to have the grave identified. Officers of the chapter said last night that they would be glad to take a similar move in behalf of any Revolutionary grave not yet so marked. The chapter will welcome applications, it is stated and will take the matter up with the proper authorities immediately upon receiving the request.

Graves over which these handsome marble markers have been erected recently in this county, through the work of the chapter are: John Ward, near Moore; Paul Castleberry, near Woodruff; William West, near Roebuck; Sullivan Abbot, near Cherokee Springs; Golding Tinsley, near Cross Anchor.

Major Kirby's Address.

Major Kirby's address, read for him by Mr. Pendleton yesterday afternoon is as follows:

Having known James Seay, a soldier of the Revolutionary war, in my boyhood days, about 1839, and having participated in the burial of the old soldier on this strip of ground, where he was laid to rest with military honors about 1850, is perhaps the reason I have been invited by the Daughters of the Revolution to participate in these exercises. When a boy of ten years of age I became acquainted with Mr. Seay, the soldier who lived just across the from this spot of ground. When Mr. Seay first came down here from Virginia, soon after the revolutionary war, he must have found this a fine forest of beautiful timber and very productive, with plenty of deer and wild turkeys. (I have heard his son, Kinsman, say that on Kirby Hill where I now live, was a good deer stand, called the Hickory stand, where the deer, in crossing from the Lawson's Fork creek to the Fairforest creek, to the canebrake, would stop to listen for the dogs to track on them.)

Mr. Seay was quite old and feeble when I first met him in his humble home. I found him to be a man of amiable disposition, and quite generous, for he never denied me of the fruits he had about his house. I enjoyed the apples that grew about his garden. I was too young to talk with him about the war, but frequently the young law students at the village would come down to hear his stories of the revolution, whom he always agreeably entertained.

Mr. Seay must have Owned about 500 acres of land just around here, which he divided among his children. Several years before his death he became so feeble that he moved across the creek to live with his son, Kinsman Seay, where he died at the age of about 93. On hearing of his death on that day in 1850, the military company of Spartanburg, under command of Gen. O.E. Edwards, who was then captain, was called together and marched to the home of the deceased. From thence his body was brought to the spot and laid in the grave which had been prepared, and buried with military honors. Three salutes of musketry being fired over the grave. It is very fit and proper that this stone be erected to further perpetuate the memory of the dead soldier, and the daughters of the Revolution are to be congratulated and thanked for their efforts in this behalf; also the congress of the United States for the donation of the stone marking the grave.

I think it is fortunate that this spot of ground has fallen into the hands of a Christian church which will ever protect it, and care for it, as a sacred spot, and where lies a soldier of the revolution.

A.H. Kirby
Nov. 14, 1914

So far as I know, Mr. Seay had but two sons, viz: Kinsman and James Seay, and one daughter, Mrs. Garner Self. All of them settled around him and reared families, who were well known to be good, industrious people. One granddaughter, Patsey Seay, now living on the hill over there at the age of 80, (an invalid and having been blind for a number of years). I don't know which branch of the church the revolutionary soldier belonged, but Kinsman Seay (the oldest son) was a charter member of Central Methodist church and one of the trustees. The youngest son, James Seay, died in middle life, leaving several children. He was a member of the Baptist church. Quite a number of great-grandchildren of the soldier are living in this county.


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