John Swiggett, deceased, was born in Pike county, Illinois, December 25, 1838, and died in Troy, Kansas, January 19, 1896. His parents, Nathan and Margaret Swiggett, were natives of Kentucky and were among the early settlers of Pike county, Illinois, where they reared their family. There John, the subject of this sketch, grew to manhood and received a common-school education. When he started out in life to make his own way in the world he went to Colorado, spending some time in Denver and on Pike's Peak, where he was fairly successful in his undertakings. When the civil war broke out he returned east as far as Kansas and here tendered his services to the Union and became a member of Company I, Seventh Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, of which Colonel Anthony was in command. Mr. Swiggett was in numerous battles, prominent among them being Corinth, and at the expiration of his three years enlistment he recruited a company, re-enlisted and served until the close of the war. In resisting Price's raid Mr. Swiggett's horse was shot under him, but he himself escaped uninjured on this occasion as he did on many others, and, while he was often in the thickest of the fight and on numerous occasions came near being captured, he escaped wounds and prison. In July, 1865, he was honorably discharged and returned to Kansas.
After the war Mr. Swiggett became interested in sawmilling in Doniphan county. He purchased both a portable and a stationary sawmill and engaged extensively in the manufacture of native lumber. After a time he sold the portable mill and turned his attention to the manufacture of flour, later disposing of the flour mill. His next venture was in the livery business in Troy. That was in 1882 and he was successfully engaged in this business until the time of his death, January 19, 1896. Mr. Swiggett was a man of many excellent traits of character and throughout his life won the confidence and respect of those with whom he was associated. He affiliated with the Republican party, was for several years a member of the school board of Troy, and fraternally was identified with Kennedy Post, No. 292, G. A. R., and also the Knights of Honor.
He was married, in 1868, to Miss Della Lewis, of Doniphan county, Kansas, a daughter of Bryan and Elizabeth Lewis, natives respectively of Tennessee and Kentucky. To this union were born four children, two sons and two daughters: Grace D., a teacher in the public schools of Troy; Roy, assistant postmaster of Troy, under John Kennedy, postmaster; Louis D., his father's successor in the livery business; and Della Mary, who is attending school.
A brother of Mr. Swiggett, Nathan Swiggett, is still living and he, too, has a war record. He enlisted in Company G, Fifth Illinois Cavalry, commanded by Colonel Updegraff, and served in the western department four years and three months, at the end of that time receiving an honorable discharge. He is now a resident of Troy, Kansas.