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.

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A 12-year old Roberta Ray in front of the home her grandfather built at 5647 Swiss Avenue
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Roberta Ray and her mother, Mary Belle Seay Ray
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Roberta with her maternal grandfather, Benjamin Seay
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Roberta, in a Tartan skirt, relaxes on the porch railing at 5647 Swiss with her mother, Mary Belle Seay Ray
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Benjamin Seay's daughter-in-law, Roberta's Aunt May, standing on the driveway with a view down Swiss
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Mary Belle Seay Ray on the lawn with Swiss behind her
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Roberta Ray in Scottish Tartan dress performing a Highland Jig in front of the family home
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Roberta in a Dutch Maiden costume on the front lawn
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Benjamin Seay's daughter, Mary Belle, on the steps at 5647 Swiss
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Mary Belle Seay Ray with her daughter, Roberta, in front of 5647 Swiss
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The first house Benjamin Seay built in 1916 at 5533 Swiss, as it appears today
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The Seay Family's home at 5647 Swiss in beautifully maintained condition
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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:

The Occasional

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Photos: Bracken Family Collection: