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Seymour Family papers, 1842-1947
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Seymour Family Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1842-1947
    Collection number: 182
    Creator: Seymour, Eleanor Curran 1877-1961
    Extent: 0.5 linear feet (1 document box)
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections Division
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
    Abstract: The collection consists of miscellaneous personal and professional materials belonging to 3 generations of physicians in one family, spanning 150 years: Robert Curran, M.D. (1806-1872); Francis Asbury Seymour, M.D. (1843-1920); and Eleanor C. Seymour, M.D. (1877-1961). Eleanor Seymour lightly annotated some material and provided biographical synopses for herself, her father and grandfather. This material provides an intermittent glimpse into the professional lives of the three doctors, as well as into the men's church activities.
    Physical location: History and Special Collections Division, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, University of California, Los Angeles
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    The collection is open for research. Contact the History and Special Collections Division, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, UCLA, for information.

    Conditions of Use

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Seymour family papers (Manuscript collection 182). Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections Division, University of California, Los Angeles.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4430902 

    Acquisition Information

    These papers were originally a gift from Eleanor Curran Seymour to the Library of the Los Angeles Country Medical Association (LACMA); then a gift from LACMA to the UCLA Biomedical Library with the help of Selma Calmes (ca. 1996).


    These papers concern three generations of physicians, Robert Curran, M.D. (1806-1872), his son-in-law, Francis Asbury Seymour, M.D. (1843-1920), and Dr. Seymour's daughter, Eleanor Curran Seymour, M.D. (1877-1961).
    Dr. Robert Curran was characterized by his granddaughter as a physician, preacher, teacher, and author. He had taught in a public school and was licensed to preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church before obtaining a license to practice medicine in 1831; in 1838 he graduated from the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery. He was appointed Professor of Physiology and General Pathology at the Indiana Central Medical College in 1850, and Professor of Physiology and Pathology in his alma mater in Cincinnati. Dr. Curran was highly respected both within the medical profession and within his church.
    For Dr. Francis A. Seymour, his daughter used teacher, preacher, physician, surgeon to describe him. He, too, first taught in public schools, studied medicine, discontinued that study to take up theology, was licensed to preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, but returned to medicine, and graduated from the Kentucky School of Medicine. In 1864, just before the close of his final medical school year, he was appointed Acting Assistant Surgeon in the United States Army; he finished the Civil War as Chief Executive Officer of Jefferson General Hospital, Jeffersonville, Indiana. After his marriage in 1866 he joined his new father-in-law, Robert Curran, in the latter's practice in Jeffersonville. He also served on the faculty of the Kentucky School of Medicine. Ill health motivated a move to California in 1880, and to Los Angeles in 1882, where he remained in continuous practice until his death. Dr. Seymour served as president of the County Medical Association, assistant editor of "The Southern California Practitioner", member of the State Board of Health, and was prominent in many medical and philanthropic activities. He was also an active and important participant in the activities of the Methodist Church.
    Dr. Eleanor Curran Seymour, Dr. Francis Seymour's only daughter, obtained her medical degree from USC in 1903. She interned at Women's and Children's Hospital, San Francisco, then moved back to Los Angeles, where she served variously as instructor in Bacteriology at USC, Resident in Anesthesia, X-Ray, and Pathology at Pacific Hospital, and as long-term Resident in Olive View County Tuberculosis Sanatarium. Dr. E. Seymour was active in the American Medical Association, the Los Angeles County Medical Society, and several anesthetist societies, serving as President of the American Association of Anesthetists meeting in 1923.

    Scope and Content

    These papers give an intermittent glimpse into the professional lives of three generations of doctors in one family and, for the first two generations, also a window into the gentlemen's church activities. Eleanor C. Seymour, M.D., the third generation, was obviously very proud of her heritage and preserved, lightly annotated, and passed on whatever material she possessed or considered relevant. She provided a synopsis, or timeline, for her own life to 1947 and for her father and grandfather.
    The family materials are arranged roughly chronologically, under each physician's name. There are also some miscellaneous materials spanning the ca. 150 years of the family materials, but no attempt was made to match these to any one of the family. There are portraits of each family physician.
    The collection is organized into the following series:
    • Series 1. ROBERT CURRAN, M.D., 1806-1872. 6 folders
    • Series 2. FRANCIS ASBURY SEYMOUR, M.D., 1843-1920. 11 folders
    • Series 3. ELEANOR CURRAN SEYMOUR, M.D., 1877-1961. 5 folders
    • Series 4. MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS., 1800-1947. 11 folders

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Curran, Robert.
    Seymour, Eleanor Curran.
    Seymour, Francis Asbury.
    Physicians--Los Angeles.