The Dorchester County Library on Old Trolley Road first opened its doors in the 1970s. George H Seago Jr is the man largely responsible for the inception to opening day for Summerville’s first local public library. Access to books for the public prior to that was only through small, private establishments.
Mr. Seago was not a native of Summerville but was a native of Augusta, Georgia. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1939 with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry. He then served as an officer in the Army during World War II. Most of his service time was spent in North Africa with the British 8th Army, training soldiers to use American-made military replacement equipment.
He met and married the love of his life, JoNelle Grace Nichols of Leesville while stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. After his service in the Army, they settled in Summerville. His first job was manager of the CC Royal Lumber Co (later Flack-Jones Lumber Co, then Westvaco Lumber). He retired in 1983 and started his own import and export company called Seago Forest Products. He exchanged specialty woods from all over the world.
He realized that public libraries provide an opportunity to advance literacy for everyone. So he established a new organization called The Friends of the Summerville Library Group. This group contacted all the registered voters in the county by mail, asking for support on their cause to build a local public library. Mr. Seago contacted all the Dorchester County Council members to inform them of the many benefits of a local public library. He continued to advocate for Summerville’s library services at the state and national levels. Read more about the early library years here.
George H Seago Jr was an influential Summerville resident that was not a native but contributed in a big way. He had the energy, enthusiasm, and level of caring and made the community better simply by being a part of it.
Mr. Seago just passed away at the age of 101 on July 31, 2020.
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