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.