98. William Otto Seemann, son of Hans and Maria C. (PETERSEN) SEEMANN, was born on 6 Aug 1870 in Lyons, Clinton co., Iowa. He moved, with his family, to Union co., South Dakota in 1884, and shortly thereafter began attending school in Sutherland, Iowa.


William O. Seemann, 1897

(photo courtesy of Mike Seeman)



His education continued when, in 1892, he entered the medical department of Iowa State University, in Iowa City, Iowa.  During the next ten years, he appears to have been in two places at once.  He graduated from the University, with an M.D. deree, in 1895.  In 1895 and 1896, he interned at the hospital associated with the University.   He appeared in the 1897 University of Iowa Hawkeye Yearbook, as seen at right.   He was said to have been practicing medicine with his brother Fred in Dubuque after his 1895 graduation.  Many sources (biographies, obituaries) place him in Dubuque during this period of time as well.  With the close proximity between Dubuque and Iowa City, it is possible that his official residence during his schooling was at Dubuque.  He could have been assisting his brother, Dr. Fred Seemann, in his practice as well.  In the 1897 Dubuque city directory, he is listed as a homeopathic physician.

The mystery deepens a little further in the next few years.  In 1898, after his marriage, he and his bride moved to Eau Claire, where he engaged in the practice of medicine.  However, newspaper advertisements appear in the Eau Claire Daily Leader from as early as April of 1894, advertising "Drs. Seeman and Seeman".  The other Dr. Seeman would have to be Fred; perhaps Fred helped him get a practice established during the early years, but it would seem to make for a very busy life that first year, between being in school in Iowa City, having a residence in Dubuque, and having a medical practice in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.



Photo from the 1897 Iowa State University "Hawkeye" Yearbook

Will and Linn's home at 429 S. Hudston Street, as it appeared

in 2007. 

(photo courtesy of Gary and Karen Seeman)


Will married Elizabeth Ann "Linn" WEIS70,78,394 on 6 Sep 1898 in Dubuque.  Linn was born about 1874 to Gabriel WEIS and Elizabeth HERD in Dubuque.   After their marriage, they moved to Eau Claire, Eau Claire co., Wisconsin.   The initial location of Will's office was on the corner of Barstow and Kelsey streets (apparently the name of Kelsey St. has been changed since then) but by 1898, he was listed as being in the Laycock buildling on Barstow street, where his office and associated laboratory would remain. 

They made their home initially at 123 Barland, a home nearby Will's office, but by 1901 had purchased their permanent home at 429 Hudson St., a location also very near to Dr. Will's office on Barstow street.  It was here that they raised their children, and spent most of the rest of their lives.

Besides building up a successful medical practice, Dr. Will was a highly contributing member of the Eau Claire community.   He was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and a 32nd degree Mason.  He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus.  He played bassoon for the local orchestra, and also played saxophone on various occasions.  He enjoyed pitching horseshoes as well.  And he even named the local baseball team.




Captain William Seemann served his country during World War I, as a Medical Officer in Fort Riley, Kansas.   The local newspaper stated that the physicians were put through "as strenuous a drill schedule and as severe marches as were the enlisted soldiers themselves" and furthermore stated that Captain Seeman "appears to have lost any superfluous flesh he may have had in the days of old."  He was discharged from his service in January of 1919.


Tragedy struck on 8 May, 1934, when Linn passed away after a "lingering illness".  She was about 60 years of age.  She was buried at St. Patrick's Cemetery in Eau Claire.  Will continued in his medical practice another few years, and retired about 1938.  In 1939, he moved to Rice Lake, Wisconsin, where his daughter Mary Elizabeth and her family lived.  The following year, he moved to La Crosse, Wisconsin, where his son, Father Lester Seemann, was living.   William Otto Seemann passed away on 9 Nov 1945, and was buried next to his wife in St. Patrick's Cemetery.


Captain Wm. O. Seemann

(photo courtesy of Mike Seeman)


(photo courtesy of Gary and Karen Seeman)






(photo courtesy of Gary and Karen Seeman)


St. Patrick's Cemetery

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

The family plot is located next to the street, near a charming black wrought iron fence surrounding the cemetery.  The large monument marks the end of the family plot, with individual stones for Will, Linn and their son Lester.





(photo courtesy of Gary and Karen Seeman)



The children of William Otto SEEMANN and Elizabeth Ann "Linn" WEIS are:




Infant Son SEEMANN.



Lester W. SEEMANN was born on 10 Aug 1901 in Eau Claire, Eau Claire co., Wisconsin.

He died from a heart attack on 27 Apr 1959 in De Pere, Brown co., Wisconsin at the age of 57, and was buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery, in his hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Lester attended Campion College from 1916 - 1922, St. Paul Seminary,1922 - 1924, and Catholic University from 1924 -1926. He was ordained as a Catholic priest on 30 May 1926. He attended Catholic University again from 1933-1934, and then took a position as Diocesan Superintendent of Schools in La Crosse, from 1934 until 1946. He was also the editor of the La Crosse Register from 1940 - 1947. In the period from 1950 until his death in 1959, he was pastor of St. Mary's Church in Stanley, Wisconsin, and St. Norbert College, until his death.

From the 1944 Aquinas High School Yearbook



Mary Elizabeth SEEMANN.