Didjano... Uncle Seeb?

I received an email from a reader about the “Didjano...” articles and she included a personal story of her own. I would like to present it here in part as she wrote it.

I was reading your articles about the Troy, Ohio vicinity..I love to read the old stories - I think they are an 'ingredients list' of what or who we are today.

The family story goes something like this: "Uncle Seeb" (Clarence Seborn Bradford 1872-1963) lived in a tar-paper shack in the city park in Troy, OH for years. The city tried to remove him from the park and ended up in court - apparently, he had 'squatter's rights' and was allowed to stay.

I have had difficulty backing up this information. Most of it is just oral history. I do know that his wife (Grace Nellie Orr Bradford) threw herself in front of a train in September 1937 (Lima News) and that Clarence S. Bradford died June 1963 at Hilltop Rest Home in Piqua, OH - having been there since 1959. His obit says he lived in Troy for 37 years before that and that he had lived in Lima before then. He was born in Degraff, Ohio. (Lima News)

(By-The-Way - There is ANOTHER Clarence Bradford - Clarence W. - called DAN - who lived on Dewey Ave. in Lima - this is Clarence Sebron's nephew.)

Supposedly, my uncle (b. 1938) and a cousin went to visit him in the park. My father (b. 1944) was too young to go.

From what I can figure, he must have lived there, at least, in the late 1940s through most of the 1950s. I do know that when his wife died (1937), the two children who were still at home (both girls) were sent to live with relatives, so Seborn seems to have not been involved with the family from the mid-1930s on.

Another story I've heard is that, sometime, my Grandfather or someone from his generation went to see Seeb in his 'shack' (this would have been before 1937 when Grace died), and his wife had 'beat him up'. Again, this is all oral history. I would love to know the facts. Sometimes  truth is stranger than fiction.

I'm sure there are people alive who remember the old guy who lived in a shack in the city park.

Talk about a colorful past and entertaining as well!! Whew, That’s great!! Thanks Dejah.

Is there anyone out there that remembers ol Seeb and or any of the circumstances described in this article? If so let us know and we can add to this story and maybe even help Dejah (Bradford) Rowland of Cardington OH with some additional history.

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