James M. Seymour

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James M. Seymour
Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
In office
January 1, 1896 (1896-01-01) – January 1, 1903 (1903-01-01)
Preceded by Julius A. Lebkuecher
Succeeded by Henry Meade Doremus
Personal details
Born James Madison Seymour
(1837-01-30)January 30, 1837
New York, New York
Died April 1, 1905(1905-04-01) (aged 68)
Newark, New Jersey
Political party Democratic

James Madison Seymour (January 30, 1837 – April 1, 1905) was the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey from January 1, 1896 to January 1, 1903.[1]


He was born on January 30, 1837 in New York City. He married Amanda Elizabeth Crowell in 1859, and they had one son, James Murray Seymour. After the death of his first wife, he married her sister Anna J. Crowell, and the couple also had one son, David C. Seymour.[2]

At the age of two, in 1839, Seymour's father died in a yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans. His mother remarried Jose Vantana, and the family went to reside in Spain. Seymour attended St. Austin's College in Cádiz.[2] At the age of 17 he began an apprenticeship at Novelty Iron Works of New York and was subsequently employed by the Erie Railroad. When he was 21, in 1858, he was appointed master mechanic of a railroad from Matanzas to Puerto Príncipe in Cuba, and later worked for two years as chief engineer of a large Cuban sugar plantation.[2]

In 1865 he joined with Daniel Whitlock to form the engineering firm of Seymour and Whitlock in Newark, New Jersey. In 1884 he was elected to the Newark Aqueduct Board, re-elected in 1887. In 1888 President Grover Cleveland appointed him as one of the United States Commissioners to Spain. In 1891 Governor Leon Abbett named him the State Supervisor of Prisons.[3][4]

Seymour was a candidate for Mayor of Newark in 1894 but lost by nearly 5,000 votes. He ran for mayor again in 1896 and won by a margin of 3,396 votes. He was re-elected as mayor in 1898 and 1900.[2] While he was mayor construction began on a new city hall in Newark. Seymour argued for the creation of "Greater Newark" by the annexation of a number of nearby towns: East Orange, Vailsburg, Harrison, Kearney, and Belleville. Of these, only Vailsburg was eventually annexed to Newark.[3]

In 1901 he was the Democratic candidate for Governor of New Jersey, opposing the Republican Franklin Murphy. He lost the election by a vote of 183,814 to 166,681.[5]

Seymour died in 1905 at his Newark, New Jersey home at the age of 68.[6]


  1. ^ "Henry M. Doremus Sworn In by His Predecessor" (PDF). The New York Times. The New York Times. January 2, 1903. Retrieved December 28, 2009. Mayor Henry M. Doremus was inducted into office at noon to-day. The oath was administered by the retiring Mayor, James M. Seymour ... 
  2. ^ a b c d Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society. 3. 5. 1909. pp. 95–96. Retrieved December 28, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Urquhart, Frank John (1913). A History of the City of Newark, New Jersey. 3. pp. 205–206. Retrieved December 28, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Some Curious Relics" (PDF). The New York Times. The New York Times. May 3, 1891. Retrieved December 28, 2009. James M. Seymour, Supervisor of the State prison, whose residence is in Newark ... 
  5. ^ "Mayor of Newark Nominee for Governor" (PDF). The New York Times. The New York Times. October 2, 1901. Retrieved December 28, 2009. Mayor James M. Seymour of Newark was nominated to-day as the Democratic candidate for Governor of New Jersey in a convention that at times was turbulent in ... 
  6. ^ "Death list of a day" (PDF). The New York Times. The New York Times. April 2, 1905. Retrieved December 28, 2009. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Julius A. Lebkuecher
Mayor of Newark
January 1, 1896 – January 1, 1903
Succeeded by
Henry Meade Doremus
Party political offices
Preceded by
Elvin W. Crane
Democratic Nominee for Governor of New Jersey
Succeeded by
Charles C. Black