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The Charles Thomas Swift Story
December 10, 1836 - December 30, 1890

S.S.S. Tonic is good for you: It was especially good for Swift


by

Ann Talbot Brandon Womack
and
Farris Wade Womack
August 2004
Revised December 2010
 

Please email suggestions, comments, or corrections to:  fww@umich.edu

One of the most fascinating and compelling stories in American history centers around the development and distribution of patent medicines, a phenomenon that dominated much of medical practice during the 19th century.  The number of such products is unknown but they reached into the hundreds and perhaps even thousands of labels and they engendered fierce loyalty from their devotees. The most common ones were Dr. Caldwell's Syrup of Pepsin, Lydia Pinkhams, Fletcher's Castoria, Grove's Chill Tonic and many more.  The popularity of these remedies is hard to imagine in 21st century America where great strides have been made in the treatment of diseases. But even with modern advances, the diseases and maladies that afflicted the population in the 1800s are still around and just as deadly.  It is, therefore, little wonder that an unsophisticated public flocked to any remedy that held the smallest hope for relief from the scourge of cancer, diabetes, tuberculosis and many other killers.

Although there were dozens of remedies available, S.S.S. Tonic certainly ranked among the most successful in market penetration and few were so accepted in European markets.  The story surrounding the development of the product and the company takes many turns but the best one seems to be the one displayed on the Company's website and reprinted below.

Chances are the year 1826 doesnít strike a deep historical chord in most Americans. But to the people at the S.S.S. Company, itís one of the most significant dates in history. For it was in 1826 that the mighty Creek Indians bequeathed a treasured remedy of theirs, now known as S.S.S. Tonic, to Captain Irwin Dennard of Perry, Georgia as a reward for having saved the life of one of their Chieftains. Captain Dennard sold the formula to Colonel Charles T. Swift who also lived in Perry, Georgia. Colonel Swift formed a partnership with Colonel H.J. Lamar of Macon, Georgia to bottle and sell the Tonic. In 1873, Colonel H.J. Lamar, foreseeing Atlanta as the Metropolis of the south, the manufacturer of S.S.S. Tonic was moved to Atlanta. According to the Companysí History, the S.S.S. stood for Swiftís Southern Specific in the earlier years.

From this storybook-like beginning, The S.S.S. Company was born. Now itís the oldest non-prescription drug manufacturer in the country. After operating for more than one hundred plus years with only one product, S.S.S. Tonic, the company became diversified. Today, S.S.S.   Company and itsí wholly owned subsidiary, Pfeiffer Pharmaceuticals, Inc., markets over one hundred products.   The company will continue to develop and promote new products to meet health care needs of people as their desires change.

Much of the companyís growth can be attributed to an enduring family pride in the products...and what finer tribute could be paid to any company than it has contributed, literally, to the very life blood of America .

Henry Hart told much the same story in his work, James L. Dickey, The world as a lie, in which he asserted:

A Civil War captain in the Georgia Light Artillery, Charles Swift originally bought the formula for his tonic from Irwin Dennard, a plantation owner from Perry, Georgia. According to legend, in 1821 Dennard gave some Creek Indians a suit of clothes for the recipe of herbs and roots (swamp sumac from Alabama, Queen's Delight from South Georgia, and sumac from North Georgia). His slaves found the medicine he bottled highly palatable, perhaps because of its high alcohol content, and regularly used it to cure indigestion.   

Charles Swift and his business partner, Col. H. J. Lamar of Macon, Georgia, brought their SSS business to Atlanta around 1873 because of the city's numerous railroads. Like the original Coca-Cola tonic, the Atlanta-based Botanic Blood Balm (BBB), and the many other tonics that circulated after the Civil War, the SSS tonic was supposed to cure all sorts of ailments, from dyspepsia to cancer and syphilis. Sales grew steadily during the late nineteenth century, boomed in the prosperous 1920s, and survived the Depression. ...   .... The brick building erected in 1879 to house the company still stands on the northeast corner of Butler and Hunter Streets. The recipe of roots and herbs has changed little, although now it is fortified with iron and vitamins to enrich the blood. Having expanded its product list to include such amenities as toothache gel, skin lotion, and vitamin supplements, in 1997 the company earned nine million dollars in annual sales and still paid dividends to the family.

In 1826, when Colonel Dennard was bequeathed the magic elixir, Charles Thomas Swift had not been born.  Certainly, it is possible that Colonel Dennard retained possession of the recipe for many years before selling it to Colonel Swift and it is also possible that the records of transfer of title might lack some of the clarity that one would expect today.  But when and under what circumstances Swift came into possession of the recipe may be shrouded in some darkness, the fact that he had the formula and began to produce it is not in question.

Although we have only sketchy notions about the early years of the Company, it seems clear that Charles Thomas Swift had begun to manufacture the product while he was yet living in Houston County, Georgia and it may very well have been the case that the company was moved to Atlanta as indicated in the Company history cited above.  We continue to search for more details about the life of Charles including details about a marriage that might have occurred before 1870.  

But let us not rush ahead with this story.  Charles Thomas Swift was born December 10, 1836, probably in Morgan County, Georgia and quite likely in Madison.  He was the second child born to William Tyre Swift and Elizabeth Nidy Furlow.  His grandfather, Thomas Swift, and his grandmother, Lucy Talbot Swift, were prominent members of the community and Thomas Swift was a very successful businessman with interests in saw mills, grist mills, and farming.  Rebecca Felton, also a grandchild of Thomas and Lucy Talbot Swift, wrote eloquently about her recollections of many trips to visit her grandparents in Morgan County.  Her story can be seen by clicking here.   Charles Thomas Swift was only a few months younger than Rebecca and her recollections about her grandparents would have been very similar to those of Charles.  In 1840, the three year old was living with his parents in Madison just two doors away from his grandparents.  Although we have no records to tell us about the life he led as a young child, we know that it was spent in the warm embrace of loving parents and grandparents.  Hardships were plenty but so were the good times!

His father, William Tyre Swift, moved his growing family from Morgan County to Lee County, Alabama sometime during the decade between 1840 and 1850.  We don't know why he moved to Alabama and we know that the time he spent there was brief because none of his children were born in Alabama. Perhaps he, like thousands of others, thought that new lands in the west would be better.  For whatever the circumstances, by 1850 the William Tyre Swift family was living in Houston County, Georgia and William was farming.  The six older children were all still at home and Charles, reported at age 12 but probably a year older, surely would have had things to do around the farm.  In 1857, William Tyre Swift built a very fine home in Perry, GA which is still standing and currently is used as a bed and breakfast.

The Perry Chamber of Commerce asserts that S.S.S. Tonic was first manufactured in the backyard.  We do not know when the recipe was perfected nor do we know when Charles acquired the rights to the secret ingredients from Irvin Dennard but it was probably about 1860.  What Dennard had done with the formula after it was given to him by the Creeks several decades before is unclear. 

Houston County, Georgia was organized in 1821 and by 1850 had a population of more than 6500.  The Perry Baptist Female Seminary was located in Perry and by 1854 had undergone a name change to Houston Female College.  William Tyre Swift was an active supporter of the College and two of his daughters, Mary Charlotte and Lucy Talbot Swift were enrolled in 1854.  By then, William had become quite active in the community and was elected Ordinary, a term somewhat peculiar to Georgia government and generally having the same meaning as Probate Judge. Whether he had any formal training in the law can't be determined but many quite able lawyers in that day learned the little that was required by reading with a practicing attorney. 

By 1860, Charles Thomas Swift, age 23,  was living in Hancock County, Georgia in the home of his older sister, Margaret and her husband, Henry G. Northen, a merchant for whom Charles was clerking. A younger sister, Lucy Talbot Swift, was also living with Margaret and Henry.  We don't know why Charles might have been living with his sister nor do we know how long he might have lived with them.  But we do know that Margaret and Henry had relocated to Houston County by 1870 and they may very well have moved there soon after 1860.  The Civil War certainly brought disruptions to the Swift family as it did to many others.  Charles joined the Georgia Light Artillery and served for the duration.  When the War ended in 1865, Charles would have been almost 30 years of age and it seems certain that he returned to Houston County.  Perhaps it was during this period that he worked to perfect the recipe that would make him rich and famous. 

The 1870 Census presented data that both expands our knowledge of Charles and also raises many other questions.  His father and mother, William and Elizabeth along with the younger children, were listed.  Living in a hotel next door was Thomas Swift, age 35, and a lady, presumably his wife, Elizabeth, age 37.  We cannot be absolutely sure that this Thomas is in fact the same as Charles Thomas Swift although we believe that to be the case albeit the evidence is circumstantial: (1) He is listed next door to his father, he is the right age, and there is no other person listed with that name.  Conversely, we have no record that Charles Thomas Swift was married before his marriage to Lena Burckhardt in 1880. The Thomas Swift referenced above reported that his occupation was that of Stock Trader.  There was no mention of his having an interest in the magic tonic that would soon make him a rich man.  Perhaps the product had not yet achieved the status that might induce him to list its ownership as his occupation.  Evidence exists that soon after this time, Charles became associated with Colonel H. J. Lamar and it was to Lamar that credit is given for the decision to move the company to Atlanta in 1872.  

With the relocation to Atlanta, Charles threw himself into expanding the Company.  While there were many competitors, each with its own peculiar advertising slant, S.S.S. Company prospered at levels that surely exceeded the most optimistic expectations.  We have read advertising copy in the Atlanta newspapers as early as 1879 describing the Tonic as a cure for a whole host of diseases including scrofula, catarrh, indigestion, cancer, skin disorders and more.  The ads almost always carried testimonials from satisfied customers, many of whom described illnesses that had plagued them for years but which disappeared after taking a few bottles of the Tonic.  Occasionally, the ads showed copies of purchase orders from retailers asking for shipments of the product to meet the growing demand.  The Company, being privately held, did not release its financials but one can clearly learn from other sources that S.S.S. Company was very profitable.  The Charles Thomas Swift family was doing well and the prospects for the future were very bright.

In May 1880, Charles Thomas Swift was married to Lena Burckhardt, daughter of Gustavus and Elizabeth Burckhardt, both immigrants from Germany in the 1830's who had become naturalized citizens in 1860.  Lena was 22 years of age and Charles was 43 although he reported his age as 40.  Lena's parents were merchants in Atlanta and while they were doing respectably financially, they surely were not in the same league that Charles was about to find himself.  Two months after their marriage, Charles and Lena were enumerated on the 1880 Census in the household of Gustavus and Elizabeth.  Charles gave his occupation as that of "druggist", the first instance that we have found in which he made some reference to the business that he was now pursuing so energetically and profitably.

In 1882, Corrine was born and Lena Elizabeth came along in 1883.  Ruby Jeanette arrived in 1885 and Maibelle was born in June 1888.  Charles Thomas Swift, Jr. was born November 1890.  In the decade since their marriage, the Swift family had grown by five, four daughters and a son.  The financial fortunes had seen phenomenal growth as well and Charles had become one of the wealthiest and most progressive men in Atlanta, indeed, throughout the State.  He had invested heavily in a number of ventures including real estate and railroads.

Sometime during the summer of 1890, Charles began to have bouts of illnesses and spent a good bit of time in his bed at his home on 215 Capitol Avenue, Atlanta.  On December 30, 1890 at about 1:00pm, he suffered what the physician called an apoplectic convulsion and died within minutes.   Although he had not been feeling well for several weeks, his death was a shock to his family, friends,  and the business community.  His funeral was held at Saint Phillip's Episcopal Church with burial in Oakland Cemetery.  Charles Thomas Swift was only 54 years of age when he died but in that short life he had accomplished much and he had accumulated a substantial fortune.  He was survived by his wife of 10 years, his five children, his father and a brother, John, who was in business with him, and his five sisters.

Lena Burckhardt Swift was 32 years of age when her husband died.  She faced the formidable task of rearing five very small children alone and she surely could not take her eyes away from a business that was producing substantial income but needed hands on management.  John G. Burckhardt, the brother of Lena, was named to administer the estate and it appears that he took an active role in the management of the business, a role that he maintained for the next two decades.  John Burckhardt reported his occupation as that of General Manager of a Medicine Company on both the 1900 and 1910 Censuses but his whereabouts after 1910 remain unknown.  But Lena was not without resources and she was very conscious of her position in Atlanta's society.  By every measure she worked hard to give her children a proper rearing and while she had the resources to do that with elegance, she surely worked hard at the task.  But after a decade of devoting her energies to her children, she found a new romance in Dr. John Park Huntley, an Atlanta dentist, whom she married February 1900 and with whom she honeymooned in Florida for several weeks.  The marriage took place at her home on 267 Capitol Ave in Atlanta and it was to this house that the newlyweds returned.  The 1900 Census for Atlanta was taken on June 5, 1900.  It contained a listing for John P. Huntley and his wife, Lena S. Huntley along with the five children from her marriage to Charles Thomas Swift.  They were living in the big house on Capitol Avenue and the Swift girls were all teenagers while Charles Thomas Swift, Jr. was a young lad of nine years.

During the years from 1900 until their marriages, the Swift misses were often mentioned in the Atlanta papers in accounts that showed the social prominence of the Swift women as they moved into society.  Their famous mother was apparently a generous benefactor and the young Swift ladies were prominent in the arts and musical circles.  Corrine, the eldest, was the first to marry, September 5, 1900, in a elegant affair appropriately reported in the Atlanta Constitution.  Among the many gifts received by the popular couple was a check from the bride's mother in the amount of $1,000.00, worth about $22,000.00 in 2004 dollars.  Her husband, Claude Eugene Buchanan, was a good business man, a broker,  who seemed to fit well in the affluence of the Swift family.  Indeed, Corrine and her mother continued to have common business interests including a real estate partnership they formed with others in 1909.

Lena Elizabeth Swift was married October 25, 1905 to Dr. Willis Bryant Jones.  The marriage took place at the residence of the bride's mother on Peachtree Street.  The Constitution duly noted that, after a trip east, the couple would be at home in the residence of Mrs. Huntley, the bride's mother.  In fact, the couple was still living with Lena in 1910 and both were listed on the Census in her household.  Lena reported no occupation but did list in the appropriate column on the form that she had her "own income".  Although Lena Elizabeth and Willis Jones had been married almost five years, they were childless.  Jeanette and Maibelle Swift, the two younger children of Lena Swift Huntley, were also living in the big house on Peachtree Street. 

Charles Thomas Swift, Jr., only a few weeks old when his father died in 1890, presents an interesting and often mystifying figure.  When he was yet a teenager, he met and married Jacque Bradley, a native of Alabama and an actress whom he had met in Atlanta while she was performing in a vaudeville show.  After a whirlwind courtship, they were married in 1908 in Columbus where Jacque was performing.  In 1910, Charles and Jacque were living on Pine Street not far from the residence of his mother and quite near the homes of his sisters.  He reported that he was a salesman for a medicine company, surely S.S.S although that name was not mentioned.  Late in 1910, Jacque Lena Swift was born, an occasion that must have brought great joy.  But even then dark clouds were gathering that would undermine the marriage of Charles and Jacque.  Around the time of Jacque Lena's birth, Jacque Bradley Swift filed for divorce from Charles on the grounds of desertion.  The petition was granted and alimony awarded.  Charles persuaded Jacque to return and she apparently did so but rapprochement was short lived.  The Atlanta Constitution for March 31, 1912, carried a lengthy story with picture of Jacque announcing her intentions to return to the stage and give up her home on Peachtree Street in Atlanta.  Charles was not quoted and no mention was made of the child.

In mid January 1914, The Washington Post carried a story that Jacque Bradley was dying of tuberculosis and that she had prepared a will bequeathing all her possessions to "Little Jacque" and appointing Jennie Wendel, her sister,  as the guardian for Jacque Lena Swift.  The story continued with the assertion that Thomas Swift " heir to the Swift family millions in Atlanta" had offered $30,000.00 to get his child back.  That offer had been refused.  The newspaper account made direct reference to the fears of the Wendel family that the Swifts might attempt to get the child by whatever means necessary.  Perhaps those fears caused the family to hold Jacque Bradley's funeral in the home of her sister.  Negotiations between the two families continued with little success until a few months later when Lena Swift Huntley traveled to Washington and convinced the Wendels to give "Little Jacque" to her. 

In August 1915, Charles Thomas Swift was remarried to Nancy Reed (Reid) in a private ceremony in Atlanta.  They honeymooned in New York and the newspaper account of the wedding referenced the stormy first marriage for Charles and noted that his daughter from that first marriage, Jacque Lena Swift, resided with her grandmother, Lena Swift Huntley, at her "palatial" residence.  On June 5, 1917, a C. T. Swift registered for military service in Marietta, GA.  He listed his occupation as real estate and entered L. S. Huntley Company of Atlanta as his employer.  L.S. Huntley Company was owned by his mother and perhaps his sister.  More importantly, he asserted that he had a child and wife who were dependent upon him.

In 1920, a Nancy R. Swift and her son, Charles T. Swift, Jr.,  age 18 months, were listed in the household of Mary Reid on 10th Avenue in Atlanta.  Mary Reid was the mother of Nancy.  Although we believe that this is the family of Charles Thomas Swift, we have not confirmed that.  The Atlanta Constitution carried a news story reporting the death of Eugene Dickey, Jr. on April 5, 1921 and Tom Swift was listed as an uncle of the deceased. We have been unable to find Nancy in the 1930 Census but the 1930 Census does contain a listing for a Charles T. Swift, May P., his wife, and a son, Charles T. Swift, Junior.  The ages given for the two males correspond with known birthdates for Charles and his son.  Charles and May had been married only two years.  Finally, there is a grave marker in Oakland Cemetery for one Charles T. Swift with death date 1-22-1931 and a notation that he was 40 years of age.  We believe that this is the same Charles Swift described above.

However, in 1920, Jacque Lena Swift, age 9 years and 6 months is listed in the residence of Lena S. Huntley, 1209 Peachtree, Atlanta and in that same household is Maibelle Swift Dickey, her husband, Eugene, and their two children.  Lena Huntley is the head and reports that Eugene Dickey is her son-in-law, that Maibelle is her daughter and that the children are her grand children.  The 1920 Census contains no listing for Charles Thomas Swift and no listing for anyone named Swift whose age might be the same or nearly so as his.  Finally, the 1930 Census for Washington, DC showed a Lena Swift living in the home of Isaac and Jennie Wendel, the uncle and aunt of Lena, nee Jacque Lena Swift, age 19.  Jennie Wendel is the sister of Jacque Bradley and the person appointed as guardian for her daughter.  Why "Little Jacque" had left the home of her grandmother and return to live with her aunt remains a mystery. 

December 1910 was a busy month in the household of Lena Swift Huntley, not only for the obvious reasons associated with the season but, more specifically, because of the marriage of her two remaining daughters.  Ruby Jeanette Swift was married to Mitchell Campbell King on November 30, 1910 and Maibelle Swift was married to Eugene Dickey December 29, 1910.  After a wedding trip, the Dickeys moved into the big house on Peachtree Street and the King family took up residence not far away.  By 1911, all the children of Charles Thomas Swift were married and living within a short distance of their mother who by now was a widow once again.  Although the decade from 1910 until 1920 would see a lot of uncertainty and turmoil around the world, it was a good time for the Swift family.  Business was good and S.S.S. was growing in popularity and market penetration.

Maibelle and Eugene continued to live with Lena until 1925 when they moved a short distance away to their own home on West Wesley.  Although neither Maibelle nor Eugene may have realized it, they were distantly related by virtue of descending from two of the sons of Matthew (I) Talbot. Maibelle's lineage flows from Matthew (II) to William, Lucy Talbot Swift, William Tyre Swift, and Charles, her father.  Eugene's line flows from James Talbot, Williston Talbot, Elizabeth Smith Talbot Cox, Leonora Patton Cox Smith, to Gertrude Smith who married James Lafayette Dickey, the parents of Eugene.  For the curious, they were 5th cousins!  Both Maibelle and Eugene lived very long lives so there may be something to having the right genes after all.

When 1920 arrived, the Swift family had every reason to look forward to the years ahead with high hopes and great expectations.  The Grand Dame, Lena, was still quite active and even her mother, Margaret, was still living.  All of the children, with the exception of Charles, Jr., were settled and living nearby.  They had begun families of their own and some had built quite handsome houses in the most exclusive section of Atlanta.  The Table below shows the address and value of the home as each respondent reported in the 1930 Census.  The value in 2004 dollars was estimated by applying a constant increase of 4% for each year since 1930.  The actual value was surely much higher.

Name

Value of Home

Address

Value in 2004 Dollars

Lena B. Swift Huntley

$100,000.00 1459 Peachtree $1,821,000.00
Corrine Buchanan $40,000.00 1667 Peachtree $729.000.00
Lena Elizabeth Jones $125,000.00 1753 Peachtree $2,277,000.00
Ruby Jeanette King $35,000.00 1332 17th Street $638,000.00
Maibelle Dickey $33,000.00 166 West Wesley $$601,000.00

Lena Burckhardt Swift Huntley lived until 1934 and as late as 1930, she continued to live in her own residence although she had a nurse and attendants on the premises.  Her daughter, Corrine, lived next door but Corrine died in 1931.  Lena Elizabeth Jones lived a few houses away and the distance to the homes of Jeanette and Maibelle was not far.  Lena was laid to rest in May 1934 in Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta and joined Charles Thomas Swift in the sleep of the ages.  

Descendants of Charles Thomas Swift

1 Charles Thomas Swift Sex: Male b: 10 Dec 1836 in Morgan Co.,GA, -Atlanta Constitution showed 1846 in obit d: 30 Dec 1890 in Fulton Co.,GA-Atlanta Age at death: 54
. +Lena Burckhardt Sex: Female b: 25 Jul 1857 in Fulton Co.,GA-Atlanta m: 04 May 1880 in Fulton Co.,GA d: 13 May 1934 in Fulton Co, GA Age at death: 76
..... 2 Corrine Margarette Swift Sex: Female b: 18 Apr 1881 in Fulton Co, GA d: 03 Dec 1931 in Fulton Co.,GA Age at death: 50
......... +Claude Eugene Buchanan Sex: Male b: 13 Sep 1871 in Georgia m: 05 Sep 1900 in Fulton Co.,GA d: 30 Mar 1954 in Fulton Co., GA Age at death: 82
............. 3 Elizabeth Buchanan Sex: Female b: 25 Jul 1903 in Fulton Co, GA d: 17 Feb 1988 in Laurel, MD Age at death: 84
................ +Hugh Klemme Parker Sex: Male b: 11 Apr 1894 in Iowa m: 13 Sep 1930 in Atlanta, GA d: 11 Sep 1974 in New Jersey Age at death: 80
............. 3 Eugenia Buchanan Sex: Female b: 15 Jul 1905 in Fulton Co, GA d: 20 Oct 1990 in Fulton Co., GA Age at death: 85
............. 3 Caroline Buchanan Sex: Female b: 1909 in Fulton Co, GA
............. 3 Claude E. Buchanan Sex: Male b: 25 Apr 1911 in Fulton Co, GA d: 25 Jun 1934 in Fulton Co.,GA Age at death: 23
..... 2 Lena Elizabeth Swift Sex: Female b: 06 Aug 1883 in Fulton Co, GA d: 14 Mar 1942 in Fulton Co., GA Age at death: 58
......... +Willis Bryant Jones, MD Sex: Male b: 31 Jan 1875 in Fulton Co, GA m: 25 Oct 1905 in Fulton Co.,GA d: 03 Mar 1934 in Fulton Co., GA Age at death: 59
............. 3 Willis Bryant Jones, Jr Sex: Male b: 03 Aug 1914 in Fulton Co.,GA d: 29 Oct 1990 Age at death: 76
............. 3 Charles Swift Jones Sex: Male b: 27 Aug 1916 in Fulton Co.,GA d: 07 Jun 1974 Age at death: 57
............. 3 Bryant Jones Sex: Male b: 25 Jun 1918 in Fulton Co.,GA d: 17 Nov 1995 Age at death: 77
..... 2 Ruby Jeanette Swift Sex: Female b: Dec 1885 in Fulton Co, GA d: 23 Nov 1975 in Fulton Co., GA Age at death: 89 est.
......... +Mitchell Campbell King Sex: Male b: 27 Aug 1878 in South Carolina m: 30 Nov 1910 in Fulton Co.,GA d: 27 Jun 1959 Age at death: 80
............. 3 Mitchell Campbell King, Jr Sex: Male b: 1917 in Fulton Co.,GA
..... 2 Maibelle Swift Sex: Female b: 21 Jun 1888 in Fulton Co, GA d: 10 Jun 1977 in Fulton Co, GA Age at death: 88
......... +Eugene Dickey, Sr Sex: Male b: 26 Jan 1888 in Fulton Co, GA m: 29 Dec 1910 in Fulton Co.,GA d: 12 Mar 1974 in Fulton Co, GA Age at death: 86
............. 3 Maibelle Swift Dickey Sex: Female b: 02 Jul 1912 in Fulton
Co, GA
............. 3 Eugene Dickey, Jr Sex: Male b: 14 Sep 1914 in Fulton Co, GA d: 04 Apr 1921 in Fulton Co, GA Age at death: 6
............. 3 [1] James Lafayette Dickey Sex: Male b: 02 Feb 1923 in Fulton Co, GA d: 19 Jan 1997 in Richland Co.,SC, Columbia Age at death: 73
................ +Maxine Syerson Sex: Female b: 17 Jul 1926 m: 04 Nov 1948 in Nashville, TN d: 28 Oct 1976 Age at death: 50
.................... 4 Christopher Dickey Sex: Male b: 31 Aug 1951
.................... 4 Kevin Dickey Sex: Male b: 18 Aug 1958
............. *2nd Wife of [1] James Lafayette Dickey:

.
............... +Deborah E. Dodson Sex: Female m: 30 Dec 1976
.................... 4 Bronwen Dickey Sex: Female b: 17 May 1981
............. 3 Thomas Swift Dickey Sex: Male b: 05 Dec 1925 in Fulton Co, GA d: 08 Dec 1987 Age at death: 62
..... 2 [2] Charles Thomas Swift Sex: Male b: 12 Nov 1890 in Fulton Co.,GA d: 20 Jan 1931 in Fulton Co.,GA-Oakland Age at death: 40
......... +Jacque Bradley Sex: Female b: Bet. 1889 - 1890 in Huntsville, AL m: Abt. 1908 in Columbus, GA d: 16 Jan 1914 in Washington, DC-Glenn Park Age at death: 25 est.
............. 3 Jacque Lena Swift Sex: Female b: 1910 in Fulton Co.,GA
..... *2nd Wife of [2] Charles Thomas Swift:
......... +Nancy Reed Sex: Female b: Abt. 1893 in Prob Fulton Co.,GA-Atlanta m: 07 Aug 1915 in Atlanta, GA

..
........... 3 Charles Thomas Swift Jr Sex: Male b: 1918 in Georgia


  

Charles Thomas Swift was a good businessman who obviously worked hard to establish his company but who surely enjoyed an enormous amount of good luck.  His death at such an early age would have spelled doom for many closely held businesses such as his.  But Lena was also a good businessperson who kept a sharp eye on things even while she devoted herself to the rearing of her family and to the duties that fall to individuals with great wealth.  In the years since the patent medicine business reached it pinnacle, most of the companies have long since either gone out of business or been absorbed by others and the names have disappeared.  But the S.S.S. Company still exists and here is a picture of the product to prove it and another picture to show the product in the time of Charles Thomas Swift.

 
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Arden

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Lena Elizabeth Swift Jones Home

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