Seymour Family papers, 1842-1947

Processed by Pat L. Walter.
Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections Division
History and Special Collections Division
12-077 Center for Health Sciences
Box 951798
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1798
Phone: 310/825-6940
Fax: 310/825-0465
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

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.

Container List


Series 1. ROBERT CURRAN, M.D. 1806-1872

Physical Description: 6 folders
Box 1, Folder 1

Biographical synopsis.

Scope and Content Note

compiled by his granddaughter, ECS; with an undated photograph, Louisville, KY
Box 1, Folder 2

Indiana Central Medical College, Indianapolis, etc. 1850-1851

Scope and Content Note

1) "Introductory Address," at the opening of the 2nd Session of the College, by RC; 2) catalog, listing RC as Professor of Physiology and General Pathology; 3) program of anniversary exercises, Indiana Asbury University (later, De Pauw University), listing RC as a speaker
Box 1, Folder 3

Correspondence pertaining to medical career. 1850-1852

Box 1, Folder 4

Methodist Episcopal Church, Indiana. 1842-1871

Scope and Content Note

1) certification of RC being ordained an Elder in the Church, by the Jeffersonville Station and by Bishop Matthew Simpson, (RC's friend, and a counsellor of Abraham Lincoln), 1842; 2) letter to Rev. RC, from William N. Daniel, Mount Vernon, Indiana, 1851; 3) 1854 letter by RC, asking to be relieved of position of Elder, which was refused; 4) a sermon, by Rev. RC, to Wall Street Episcopal Church, 1864; 5) proceedings of the Local Preachers' Association, containing a letter from RC, 1871
Box 1, Folder 5

Resolution upon the death of Dr. Robert Curran, passed in a special meeting of the Jeffersonville Academy of Medicine. 1872

Box 1, Folder 6

"Nosology of the diseases which have prevailed in Clark Co., Ind., since A.D. 1833, with remarks," by Robert Curran. 1872

Scope and Content Note

in: "Transactions of the Indiana State Medical Society"

Series 2. FRANCIS ASBURY SEYMOUR, M.D. 1843-1920

Physical Description: 11 folders
Box 1, Folder 7

Autobiographical synopsis. 1843-[1918]

Physical Description: eleven 5 x 9" handwritten pages, plus one-page typed summary
Box 1, Folder 8

Obituaries. 1920

Scope and Content Note

1) clipping from a Los Angeles newspaper (unidentified), dated in pencil Mar. 20, 1919 [sic]; 2) obituary and portrait, "The Bulletin, Los Angeles Country Medical Association", p. 10
Box 1, Folder 9

License to preach. 1861

Scope and Content Note

added written note: "This is to certify that Francis A. Seymour was licensed to exercise his gifts and graces as a local preacher in the Methodist E. Church South, by the Quarterly Conference of the Eight St. Station Louisville Conference, Louisville, December 23, 1861," signed: Thos. Bottomly, P.E.; added below in different hand: "The same Rev. Bottomly had baptized him in 1843."
Box 1, Folder 10

Kentucky School of Medicine, Louisville, KY. 1864-1868

Scope and Content Note

1) short note regarding FAS' M.D. degree; 2) announcement of 1864 graduates, including FAS; 3) letter about a lecture that was to have been given by FAS
Box 1, Folder 11

Certificate of membership, College of Physicians and Surgeons of the city of Louisville, KY. 1866

Scope and Content Note

issued Oct. 31, 1866
Box 1, Folder 12

Medical societies. 1866-1885

Scope and Content Note

1) admissions card to an entertainment for the American Medical Association, Baltimore, May 3, 1866; 2) pamphlet, "Transactions of the Indiana State Medical Society, 22nd annual session, 1872"; (for this item, see [Box 1 : 6]); 3) "Constitution of the Indiana State Medical Society, and letter of explanation, 1875"; 4) officers of the Los Angeles County Medical Association, showing FAS as president and chairman of the Library Committee, 1885
Box 1, Folder 13

Printed articles and editorials by FAS. 1881-1938

Scope and Content Note

1) nine items from the "Southern California Practitioner"; 2) one item from the "California Christian Advocate"; 3) one item from the "Louisville Medical News"; 4) one item, taken from FAS' diary, published in "The Bulletin, Los Angeles County Medical Association"; 5) one item in "Transactions of the Indiana State Medical Society", 1872 (see [Box 1 : 6] for the item); 6) officers of the Los Angeles County Medical Association, showing FAS as president, and chairman of the Library Committee, 1885
Box 1, Folder 14

Holograph essays by FAS.

Box 1, Folder 15

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles.

Scope and Content Note

letterhead showing FAS as president
Box 1, Folder 16

Letter from William Williams Keen. 1914

Box 1, Folder 17


Scope and Content Note

1) 3 x 4" portrait, probably 1864; 2) 3 x 4" picture of medical diploma (2 copies); 3) 3 x 4", seated in armchair

Series 3. ELEANOR CURRAN SEYMOUR, M.D. 1877-1961

Physical Description: 5 folders
Box 1, Folder 18

Timeline. 1877-1947

Scope and Content Note

gives dates of birth, medical degree, positions, honors, interests
Box 1, Folder 19

Correspondence and gifts from S. Adolphus Knopf, M.D. 1936

Scope and Content Note

1) letter from Dr. Knopf; 2) "Heart Disease and Tuberculosis", by S. Adolphus Knopf. New York, 1936, inscribed to Dr. Eleanor Seymour by the author; 3) reprint, "Antituberculosis work in the United States," by S. Adolphus Knopf, in: "Medical Record", Oct. 31, 1936
Box 1, Folder 20

International College of Anesthetists. 1937

Scope and Content Note

certificate of fellowship and specialist in anesthesia
Box 1, Folder 21

Photographs. 1904, 1924, 1938

Scope and Content Note

1) 8 x 10", "California Hospital nurses," (n.d.); 2) 8 x 10", "Dr. C. L. Lawman with nurses at California Hospital" (n.d.); 3) "Health Dept. Staff, 1904. Dr. L. M. Powers, Dr. Sumner J. Quint, ass't, Dr. Ethel Monan [?]"; 4) 4 x 6" studio portrait of ECS (1924); 5) 3 x 5" snapshot, "Dr. Eleanor Seymour, 1938, Arizona"
Box 1, Folder 22

Pacific Coast Association of Anaesthetists. 1920

Scope and Content Note

8"-diameter circular crest of the organization, with note by ECS: "Pacific Coast crest designed by wife of Dr. Neil C. Frew [?], anaesthetist, now deceased,"


Physical Description: 11 folders
Box 1, Folder 23

Lecture admission cards, Univ. of Pennsylvania Medical Department. 1883-1886

Scope and Content Note

admitting J. R. Crawford, Jr. to lectures and practical instruction in a number of courses
Box 1, Folder 24

Matriculation cards, University of Pennsylvania Medical Dept. 1883-1886

Scope and Content Note

made out to J. R. Crawford, Jr.
Box 1, Folder 25

Illustrations of the Colleges of Medicine, USC, and UCLA. 1887, 1910

Scope and Content Note

a page from "The Practitioner" [?] (unidentified, no date) showing one building for the College of Medicine, USC in 1887, four separate buildings for the College of Medicine, UC, Los Angeles Department, in 1910, and portraits of G. W. Lasher, M.D. and Joseph Kurtz, M.D.
Box 1, Folder 26

Certificate from Board of Health, City of Los Angeles. 1893

Scope and Content Note

names Dr. Lulu T. Ellis the bacteriological examiner of cholera
Box 1, Folder 27

Theta Nu Epsilon, Los Angeles. 1899-1900

Physical Description: mounted 8 x 10" group photograph
Box 1, Folder 28

Newspaper clipping.

Scope and Content Note

5 column inches and portrait of Dr. W. Lemoyne Wills of Los Angeles from unidentified source
Box 1, Folder 29

"Christmas Jinks of 1913". 1913

Scope and Content Note

announcement for the Christmas program of the Los Angeles County Medical Association
Box 1, Folder 30

Obituary of Dr. Norman Bridge. 1925

Scope and Content Note

newspaper clipping, unidentified source
Box 1, Folder 31

Avicenna material. 1926-1927

Scope and Content Note

1) pages 27-32 cut from "The Syrian World", Dec. 1926: "Ibn Sina (Avicenna), physician, philosopher, poet," by F. I. Shatara; with pencil notation, "Rec'd ex P. Hitti M.D., Beirut, Syria, 1/31/27"; 2) two typed pages: a short note from the Editor of "The Bulletin" [presumably of the Los Angeles County Medical Association], followed by the transcript of a letter about Avicenna's tomb from M. Sa'eed, M.D., Teheran, to Dr. John William Shuman, Beirut and Los Angeles; 3) three photographs sent by Dr. Sa'eed, of the tomb and its inscriptions


items were with the Seymour materials in an envelope labeled "Avicenna material, [?-undecipherable] Seymour Collection"
Box 1, Folder 32

California Medical-Economic Survey, 1934-1935. 1937

Scope and Content Note

subtitle: "Formal Report on Factual Data." [San Francisco], California Medical Association. 174 p.
Box 1, Folder 33

Material on vaccination. 1800, 1802

Scope and Content Note

1) reproduction mounted on cardboard of an 1802 cartoon ridiculing enemies of Edward Jenner and cow pox vaccination; 2) photocopy mounted on cardboard of a notice on "Kine pock institution," by Dr. B. Waterhouse; Cambridge, [Mass.] July 3, 1800
Box 1, Folder 34

Medical Women's Society of Los Angeles County, Branch Twenty-Three, American Medical Women's Association, Inc. 1947

Scope and Content Note

membership directory and by-laws