Handsome Homes of Gereamtown: The Seeds Residence




                                           Residence of Jacob J. Seeds                       
        Horace F. McCann. Germantown Independent Gazette. 1899




Jacob J. Seeds Property and Surrounding Neighborhood
Baist, G. W. Baist's Property Atlas of  the City of Philadelphia, 1899. Plate 5. From the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.




               
Map of Jacob J. Seeds Property
Baist, G. W. Baist's Property Atlas of  the City of Philadelphia, 1899 . Plate 5. From the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.

The residence of Jacob J. Seeds was built between 1895 and 1899, and is located in the 22nd ward of Germantown on West School House Lane. This house is made of stone and has a wooden porch at its rear. The residence includes a shed made of brick with a wooden deck at its entrance. Seeds was neighbors with Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Harris and recieved visitors into his residence every Thursday.

Neighbors of Jacob J. Seeds (C.E. Howe Company. Boyd's Blue Book: A Directory from Selected Streets of Philadelphia and Surroundings. 1889)


Information on Jacob J. Seeds



  Jacob J. Seeds
  Philadelphia Inquirer, Caught on the Fly- No. 93: Jacob J. Seeds of Councils Finance Committee, of Philadelphia. January 08. 1900

 Between 1895 and 1899, the neighborhood surrounding School House Lane changed significantly. The Baist's Property Atlas of Philadelphia of 1895 and Bromley's Philadelphia Atlas of 1899 show that between these years Winona Street, Earlham Street and Earlham Terrace were removed. These side streets allowed for smaller properties to be rented or bought. However, by 1899 only large plots of land are available for buying and renting. This change in the landscape around School House Lane suggests that wealthy individuals, such as Jacob J. Seeds, began to inhabit this space, unlike four years before. It is possible that Jacob J. Seeds bought land from the owner of a property who sublet homes or apartments to residents.

Jacob J. Seeds was born in 1859. He attended public school throughout his childhood and graduated from the Central High School. He opened a wholsesale hat business, known as Jacob J. Seeds & Co. at the age of twenty, (Congressional Serial Set) . During his lifetime, Seeds was also the Dirctor of Wharves Docks and Ferries in Philadelphia. Seeds was known for his lavish dining events at the Lazaretto (Philadelphia Inquirer). He was married to Anna H. Seeds  (The New York Times) and had a son whom he named Joseph.

Seeds was a wealthy individual as a result of his hat company with branches in Philadelphia and New York as well as due to his leadership in the Port Authority of Philadelphia. Seeds owned multiple houses including one on the intersection of Upsal St. and Wayne Avenue. This second residence was built in 1909 and its architects were Scheetz and Savery. (Philadelphia Architects and Buildings).

Jacob J. Seeds was heavily involved in Germantown politics as a Republican. He was also a member of the Union League, the Union Republican Club of Germantown, Young Republicans and the Germantown Cricket Club. He was known for his charity and gave donations to his alma mater.




Sources:

Baist, G.W. Biast's Property Atlas of the City of Philadelphia, Penna, complete in one volume, 1895. From Anthenaeum of Philadelphia. Plate 37. 1895.

Baist, G. W. Baist's Property Atlas of  the City of Philadelphia, 1899 . From the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.  Plate 5. 1899


C.E. Howe Company. Boyd's Blue Book: A Directory from Selected Streets of Philadelphia and Surroundings. 1889.

Horace F. McCann. Germantown Independent Gazette. 1899.

New York Times. Mrs. Jacob J. Seeds: Special Thanks to The New York Times. Page 21. September 24, 1936.

Philadelphia Architects and Buildings. Seeds Residence: Scheetz and Savery Architects. From Anthenaeum of Philadelphia. 1909.

Philadelphia Inquirer. Caught on the Fly- No. 93: Jacob J. Seeds of Councils Finance Committee, of Philadelphia.  Volume 142. Issue 8 Page 8. January 08. 1900.

Philadelphia Inquirer. Athletic Councilmen. They Visit the Lazaretto as Guests of Jacob J. Seeds. Volume 136. Issue 157. Page 3. June 06, 1897.

U.S Government Printing Office. Congressional Serial Set. 1908.