Scope and Content
Title: Seymour Family Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1842-1947
Collection number: 182
Creator: Seymour, Eleanor Curran
0.5 linear feet
(1 document box)
University of California, Los Angeles. Library.
Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections
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
Physical location: History and Special Collections Division,
Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, University of California, Los
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
[Identification of item], Seymour Family Papers, 182, Louise M. Darling
Biomedical Library History and Special Collections Division, University of
California, Los Angeles.
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.
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
The following terms have been used to index the description of this
collection in the library's online public access catalog.