Transcribed by Gina Reasoner - AUPQ38A@prodigy.com
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HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS OF OHIO, By Henry Howe, LL.D., 1898
In the graveyard at Greenville lies the remains of ENOCH BERRY
SEITZ, one of the greatest mathematicians of his time on the globe, and
withal a man of singular modesty and amiability of character. He died in
Missouri in 1883, aged thirty-seven, and was brought here for burial,
because he had been a teacher here for a number of years, was endeared to
the people, and this was the home of his wife. He was born near Lancaster,
Fairfield county, the son of a farmer, and early displayed great aptness
for mathematics. He graduated at the Ohio Wesleyan University in 1870. His
friend, Prof. John S. Royer, wrote of him:
"Having a special fondness for mathematics, he devoted his leisure
hours to the broad fields and hidden beauties of its higher branches,
delving deep into the mine of original investigation, and astonishing the
world by the aptness with which he unfolded the beautiful and mysterious
relations of numbers.
Years ago he was a subscriber to the School-day Magazine, which had
a mathematical department, edited by the great mathematician, Artemus
Martin. He displayed great ingenuity and ability in solving difficult
probability problems, and when asked what works he had on that difficult
branch of mathematical science, Mr. Seitz, to the great astonishment of his
friend, replied: 'I have no books on that subject, but what I know of it I
learned by studying the problems and solutions in your magazine.' Here was
the secret of his success. He first studied the principle -laid a sure
foundation, upon which he afterward reared the magnificent edifice. He
furnished over 500 model solutions to the School Visitor, which evinced
those striking characteristics of his mathematical work -originality,
accuracy, and beauty. Many readers have gathered inspiration and taste for
the science by his labor of love in this behalf. He was also a regular
contributor to the Analyst, the mathematical Visitor,
and the Educational Times, of London, England.
The latter has a department sustained by the greatest
mathematicians in Europe and America. In this everything is found
starlight, but our lamented friend represented a most brilliant star,
standing upon the eminent plane side by side with Woolhouse, England's
acknowledged mathematical champion, and in his especial branches -'Average'
and 'Probabilities' -Prof. Seitz had no superior in the world." In 1880 he
was elected a member of the London Mathematical Society, being the fifth
American so honored. At the time of his decease he was Professor of
Mathematics at the State Normal School, Kirkersville, Mo. He died young,
but the work he accomplished remains, and endearing monument of fame and honor.