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A Page From Our Past:
One Swiss Family's Album
One of the original builders on Swiss Avenue was Benjamin T. Seay, who came to Dallas from Tennessee in the late 1800's. In 1916, his first construction project on the street was the massive Prairie Style house at 5533 Swiss, on the corner of Swiss and Beacon, which he sold soon after completion to prominent Dallas judge and attorney M.M. Brooks and his wife, Mattie. Benjamin then moved east one block to the corner of Swiss and Glendale, where he built 5647 Swiss as his family's permanent residence.
As was common at the time, Mr. Seay shared 5647 Swiss with his children and their families. These included his daughter Mary Belle Seay Ray, Mary Belle's husband Erastus Hugh Ray and their daughter Roberta, and Benjamin's son, Robert Seay and Robert's wife, Mai.
Today, the Seay Family still maintains a presence in the District. Benjamin's great-great grandson, Bob Bracken, lives around the corner on Bryan Parkway, a half a block from his family's original home on Swiss Avenue. The photos on this page provide a snapshot of the Seay Family's life on Swiss Avenue in its formative years.
A 12-year old Roberta Ray in front of the home her grandfather built at 5647 Swiss Avenue
Roberta Ray and her mother, Mary Belle Seay Ray
Roberta with her maternal grandfather, Benjamin Seay
Roberta, in a Tartan skirt, relaxes on the porch railing at 5647 Swiss with her mother, Mary Belle Seay Ray
Benjamin Seay's daughter-in-law, Roberta's Aunt May, standing on the driveway with a view down Swiss
Mary Belle Seay Ray on the lawn with Swiss behind her
Roberta Ray in Scottish Tartan dress performing a Highland Jig in front of the family home
Roberta in a Dutch Maiden costume on the front lawn
Benjamin Seay's daughter, Mary Belle, on the steps at 5647 Swiss
Mary Belle Seay Ray with her daughter, Roberta, in front of 5647 Swiss
The first house Benjamin Seay built in 1916 at 5533 Swiss, as it appears today
The Seay Family's home at 5647 Swiss in beautifully maintained condition
The current home on Bryan Parkway of Benjamin Seay's great-great grandson, Bob Bracken, built in 1919
The Rest Of The Story From A 2007 Edition Of:
Photos: Bracken Family Collection:
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