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Biography of Christian Seiler, M.D..(1804 - 1873)

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From Transcribed by Kathye Thornton, kathyethornton@hotmail.com, For The Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project – http://maley.net/transcription. 28 Oct 2000

SEILER, CHRISTIAN, M.D., the second son of Christian Seiler and Elizabeth Wolfarth, was born November 24, 1804, in South Hanover township, within a few miles of Hummelstown, Dauphin county, Pa. He received the rudiments of education, principally German, at the village school in Hummelstown, the English language at that date being spoken by few families of the neighborhood. His father removing to Harrisburg in 1821, the son was sent to the Harrisburg Academy, while that institution was under the care of Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Todd. He was of an inquiring turn of mind, an attentive student, and received not only a good English education, but acquired a knowledge of Latin and Greek. At an early day he had a predilection for military life, and in the year 1823 was elected captain of a juvenile infantry company in Harrisburg. He commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Cornelius Luther, a young physican of great prominence, who died at Harrisburg in 1827, afterwards completing his studies with Dr. Samuel Agnew. He then attended the lectures at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, where he graduated in March, 1828. Shortly after he commenced the practice of his profession at Halifax and vicinity, where his knowledge of the German language gave him great advantage . His practice extended through Upper Paxtang and Mifflin townships, in fact through all that section of country lying west of Peter’s mountain. He was succeeding well, but having married about this time, he concluded to remove to Williamsport, and for a while abandoned his profession for the mercantile business. The former had more charms for him, and after practicing a year or two at Williamsport he returned to Harrisburg, where he soon secured an extensive practice, which he retained until his death. In 1844 he was elected brigadier general of the militia, after which he was more familiarly addressed. At the outset of the war with Mexico he offered his services, and was within a few votes of obtaining the command of a regiment of volunteers.

In politics Dr. Seiler was a Democrat, and was several times nominated for the Legislature, and thrice for Congress, but although his party was in a hopeless minority, it was only through strenuous exertions that he was defeated. For nearly a quarter of a century he served as a director of the public schools of the borough of Harrisburg, and took a warm interest in educational matters. Up to about 1859 Dr. Seiler enjoyed excellent health , but at that time symptoms of disease of the heart manifested themselves, and he was obliged to forego much of the fatigue incident to his large country practice, in which he was greatly relieved by his son, Robert H., who had studied medicine under his father, and graduated at Jefferson College in 1860. He was a man of uncommon endurance, and too frequently he yielded to the requests of his patients. In February, 1873, after a long ride in the country, where he was detained longer than perhaps prudent, he was seized with a chill, and pneumonia developed itself. From this attack he never recovered, dying on the 11th of February, 1873, at the age of sixty-nine. Dr. Seiler married, on the 29th of March, 1833, Mary Hayes, daughter of William Hayes. Esq., of Lewisburg, Pa. She survived her husband only five years, dying at Harrisburg in 1878. They had two children who reached maturity---Dr. Robert H., who died in 1876, and Frank S., died December 20, 1879.

Dorothy Bumbaugh page 362-363

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