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Rev. Samuel H. Swaim (b. 1820)

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Rev. Samuel H. Swaim (b. 1820)

Posted: 8 Mar 2002 3:32PM GMT
Rev. Samuel H. Swaim, a time honored pioneer of Warren, was born in Randolph County, North Carolina, October 25, 1820. His parents were Simeon W. and Nancy (Irwin) Swaim. The former a native of Randolph County, North Carolina, where he was born March 18, 1799, and died in Huntington County, Ind., in May, 1847. Christopher C. Swaim, Simeon’s father, was also born in Randolph County, North Carolina, but under Colonial Government, December 24, 1774, and died in Huntington County, Ind., in 1851. John Swaim, Christopher’s father, a native of Randolph County, North Carolina, traced his lineage to the colony of Swedes and Finns who settled Delaware and New Jersey in 1638, the name “Swaim” being of Swedish origin. John Swaim married Elizabeth Vicory who died in 1833, at an advanced age. Christopher’s wife, Simeon’s mother’s maiden name, was Sally Hines. The wife of Simeon Swaim and the mother of Samuel H. Swaim, was Nancy Irwin, born in Guilford County, North Carolina, Feburary 27, 1799, and united in marriage to Simeon Swaim, December 21, 1819, died in Huntington County, Ind., September, 1865, in her seventy-sixth year. Her father was Samuel Irwin, a native of Guilford County, North Carolina. Her mother, whose maiden name was Mary Means, was a native of Ireland, born in 1726, and out lived her son. She died in Guilford County, North Carolina, in 1829, aged one-hundred and three years, when her great grandson S. H. Swaim was nine years of age. The mother of Nancy Swaim, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Worthington, was born in Randolph County, North Carolina, in 1760, and died in Huntington County, Ind., in 1848, aged eighty-eight years. Her parents, John Worthington and wife, were of English extraction. Simeon W. Swaim emigrated to Preble County, Ohio, in 1833, when S. H. Swaim was thirteen years old, and thence to Salamonie Township, Huntington County, Ind., in 1836. On the 26th of April, 1836, James Morrison showed the “new comer” land in Sections 27 and 28. In due time Mr. Swaim entered an “eighty and a forty” and received the patents for the same, dated May 30, 1837, by “Martin VanBuren”. These parchments now a half a century old are still in the hands of the Swaims, as well as the old farm made by the father and son two miles east of Warren and known as the Swaim “homestead.” Samuel’s parents did all in their power to educated their children, Samuel H., Mary A., Elizabeth, Christopher C., Cyntha A., and Ruth C. But opportunities in a state cursed with slavery were not good. Samuel, however, mastered Webster’s “easy standard of pronunciation,” The “Introduction,” “English Reader,” “Columbian Orator,” “Pikes Arithmetic,” and some lessons in the “New Testament” during his childhood days. Only a few months’ tuition were afforded him after his thirteenth year. During the winter of 1840 and ’41, he enjoyed the instruction of Judge Nimrod Johnson and Prof. S. K. Hoshour of Cambridge Seminary, Wayne Co., Ind. He was married to Miss Elizabeth P. Back, daughter of Aaron and Margaret E. L. Back. The former was born in Madison County, Virginia, June 18, 1785, and was a soldier during the war of 1812. He fell from his chair in instant death December 13, 1868, aged eighty-three years, five months and twenty-five days. The latter was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, December 16, 1788, (her maiden name was Hammer). She died January 12, 1851, aged sixty-three years and twenty-seven days. They both sleep side by side in the “Good” Cemetery near Warren. Elizabeth, their daughter, and the wife of S. H. Swaim was born in Prebble County, Ohio, November 28, 1821. The demand for a teacher placed S. H. Swaim in the school house in District No. 8, in 1814, and he taught not less than twenty terms of sixty to seventy days each, closing his last term in 1866, when the standard of license and the number of branches taught shut him off, and the children he had taught outranked him in the school system. The old man rejoices in the advancement made, and says the standard of requirements of today, needs further advancement to secure the greatest success. In 1840, when in his twentieth year, he united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and has ever since adhered to the same, with an undeviating steadfastness, at the same time he abandoned forever alcohol in all its forms, and has been an uncompromising opponent of the liquor traffic for forty-six years. He as taken and maintained such advanced grounds on the question of prohibition, as to receive some strictures from his fellow citizens. He served one term as surveyor of Huntington County. He always took an active interest in township affairs, and assisted in locating the school houses of the same. In May, 1847, his church saw proper to confer on him a license as local preacher, and “Deacon’s order,” in September, 1855, and “Elder’s order” in September, 1859, and while engaged in the business of his farm for the last forty years, he has been no idler in the church. He taxed himself day and night to read up his church literature, and as a supply filled the position as pastor in the church three terms and was always ready, when called upon to officiate at funerals and marriages. He has also given close attention to political and national questions as they were presented on the passing page of history during the last half century. He and his loving wife have reared a family of seven children, two of them, one son and one daughter, have gone to rest, the other five, two sons and three daughters, are living to comfort their parents in the decline of life. Their names were: William F., Mahala M., Harriet A., Simeon A., Mary A., Elizabeth A., and David S., of whom, Mahala M. and Simeon A., are deceased. The former was married to Lemuel Colbert and when called across the dark river left two children, Mary E., and Samuel E., of whom Mary E. is married to Byron Thompson and blessed with three children, including these great grandchildren, Jesse E., Jennie M., and Julia Thompson. Mr. Swaim has lived to see his relatives in seven different generations, which is remarkable. He looks back upon his past life with pleasure, and can call to mind many incidents of note connected with it. We will mention one: When one of the little girls who attended his school had grown to womanhood and her hand was sought in marriage, Mr. Swaim officiated, and in after years solemnized the marriage of her son and daughter. He began life on his own responsibility in limited circumstances, and after the death of his father it required considerable tact and labor on his part, to hold the old homestead and to assist his mother in paying a few small debts left by the father. He and his wife are enjoying a retire life in their comfortable home in Warren where they expect to reside until they are called to that final resting place of all humanity.

History of Huntington County, Indiana. (Brant & Fuller: Chicago) 1887. Biographical Sketches of Salamonie Township. Pages 838-843.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
HuntingtonV 8 Mar 2002 10:32PM GMT 
PatriciaIrwin... 28 Mar 2002 1:57PM GMT 
Linda Chan 28 Mar 2002 4:04PM GMT 
Jack Swaim 28 Sep 2005 12:48AM GMT 
PatriciaIrwin... 28 Sep 2005 12:54PM GMT 
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