Fred A. Seaton

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Frederick Andrew "Fred" Seaton

In office
December 10, 1951 – November 4, 1952
Appointed by Frederick Valdemar Erastus "Val" Peterson
Preceded by Kenneth Wherry
Succeeded by Dwight Griswold

In office
June 8, 1956 – January 20, 1961
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded by Douglas McKay
Succeeded by Stewart L. Udall

Born December 11, 1909
Washington, D.C.
Died January 16, 1974 (aged 64)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Resting place Parkview Cemetery in Hastings, Adams County, Nebraska
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Gladys Hope Dowd Seaton
Children Donald Richard "Don" Seaton

Alfred Noble Seaton
Mrs. Maynard Epp
Mrs. Jerry Hansen
Fay Noble and Dorothea Elizabeth Schmidt Seaton

Alma mater Kansas State University
at Manhattan, Kansas

(Bachelor of Arts)

Occupation Newspaper publisher

Frederick Andrew Seaton, known as Fred A. Seaton (December 11, 1909 – January 16, 1974), was a newspaperman and a Republican United States Senator for Nebraska, who served eleven months from 1951 to 1952 after appointment by Governor Frederick Valdemar Erastus "Val" Peterson (1903–1983) to succeed the staunchly isolationist and conservative Republican Kenneth Wherry, who died in office.

In 1956, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed his fellow Moderate Republican Seaton as the United States Secretary of the Interior. He remained in the Cabinet until Eisenhower turned over the office to John F. Kennedy on January 20, 1961.[1]


A native of Washington, D.C., Seaton was reared in Manhattan, Kansas, by his parents, Fay Noble Seaton and the former Dorothea Elizabeth Schmidt. He attended Manhattan High School and graduated in 1931 from Kansas State University, also in Manhattan. He and his wife, the former Gladys Hope Dowd (1919–1999), a Kansas native, had two sons, Donald Richard "Don" Seaton (1940–2018) and Alfred Noble Seaton, and two daughters, Mrs. Maynard Epp of Henderson, Nebraska, and Mrs. Jerry Hansen of Norfolk, Nebraska.[2] They also had twin daughters, Johanna Christine and Monica Margaret Seaton, who died at birth in 1936.

In 1937, Seaton moved to Hastings, Nebraska, where he was the publisher until his death of his family-owned The Hastings Daily Tribune,[3] which is issued six days a week until his death at the age of sixty-four.[1] Don Seaton succeeded his father as publisher and held the position until 2010.[4]

Fred Seaton bioguide.jpg

Political career

Publisher Seaton, who also had television and radio stations, served on the nonpartisan, unicameral Nebraska State Legislature from 1944 to 1949. In his last two years, he was the chairman of the legislature. He had been secretary to Alf Landon, former Kansas governor, the GOP nominee in the 1936 presidential election, and the father of Moderate Republican U.S. Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker.[1]

After his brief term in the U.S. Senate and his four-and-a-half years as Secretary of the Interior, Seaton returned to Hastings. He ran for governor of Nebraska in 1962 but was defeated by the incumbent Democrat, Frank Brenner Morrison (1905–2004).[5] After his defeat, Seaton pushed for campaign finance reform in Nebraska.

Death and interment

Seaton is interred along with his wife and son at Parkview Cemetery in Hastings.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bioguide Search (, August 23, 2021.
  2. Fred A. Seaton, Interior Chief ‘Under Eisenhower, Dies at 64. The New York Times (January 18, 1974). Retrieved on August 23, 2021.
  3. Fred Seaton. Kansas Historical Society. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  4. Donald R “Don” Seaton (1940-2018) - Find A Grave Memorial, accessed August 23, 2021.
  5. NE Governor Race - Nov 06, 1962. Our Campaigns. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  6. Frederick Andrew Seaton (1909-1974) - Find A Grave Memorial, accessed August 23, 2021.

External links