SILAS S SWIM
In the days when Doniphan county was a wild western prairie, when the work of progress and civilization had scarcely begun, Silas S. Swim came to Kansas and through the succeeding years has been identified with the great department of labor known as agriculture, the bringing forth from the soil the goodly fruits, which contribute in larger measure than any other one thing to the prosperity of the world. He is now numbered among the substantial farmers of Doniphan county and as he is well known the record of his life cannot fail to prove of interest to our many readers.
He was born in Fleming county, Kentucky, April 8, 1830, and is the son of Michael Swim, who was probably a native of Indiana, was a farmer and died in Kentucky at the age of sixty years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Sarah Gorman, departed this life in Kentucky, in 1852. The children of this worthy couple were: Minerva, who became the wife of Mr. Staggs and died in Kentucky, leaving a family; Alexander, who died in the Black Hills; Telitha, the deceased wife of John Shane; Margaret, who is living in Wisconsin; William S., from whom no news has been received since 1858, at which time he was in Alexandria, Louisiana; Silas S.; Trumbo, who has not been heard from since 1858, and Barbara, now Mrs. McElam, of Kentucky.
The subject of this review spent the days of his childhood and youth in the state of his nativity and in the early '50s removed to Buffalo county, Wisconsin. At the time of the inauguration of the civil war he enlisted, in Lee county, Iowa, in Company A, Thirtieth Regiment of Iowa Volunteers, which became a part of the First Brigade, First Division of the Fifteenth Corps. It was ordered to the south early in the struggle and participated in the first attack on Vicksburg in December, 1862. The command was forced to withdraw from there, however, and crossing the river marched against Arkansas Post and succeeded in taking that important point. The troops then returned to the vicinity of Vicksburg when General Grant was besieging that place, in 1863, and on the 4th of July, when the city was evacuated, the Thirtieth Iowa was located at Walnut Grove, east of the town. The regiment aided in recapturing Jackson, Mississippi, from Johnston, and when General Grant succeeded to the command of the Army of the Tennessee the Thirtieth Iowa was one of the regiments ordered to join that army at Chattanooga and marched from Corinth three hundred miles across the south to Lookout mountain. It took part in that battle under Generals Austerhaus and Hooker and aided in defeating the rebels at Missionary Ridge, after which the troops followed up the Confederate forces and again defeated them at Ringgold. The winter was passed at Paint Rock, and in the spring of 1864 the Thirtieth Iowa started on the Atlanta campaign. The regiment was under fire nearly every day until the city capitulated, participating in the skirmishes and engagements which occurred between Resaca and the time when the white flag floated over the Georgian capital. The Thirtieth Iowa then became a part of Sherman's army, participating in the celebrated march to the sea, followed by the Carolina campaign, and was stationed at Raleigh when the news of Lee's surrender was received. There Mr. Swim remained with his command until ordered to Washington, D. C., where he participated in the grand review, the most impressive and brilliant military pageant ever seen in the western hemisphere. He received an honorable discharge at Davenport, Iowa, and with a military record of which he may well be proud he returned to his home. Not long afterward Mr. Swim decided to take up his abode in Kansas, and on September 12, 1865, purchased his present farm, then a tract of wild prairie land destitute of improvement. Long furrows, however, were soon turned, the work of planting followed and in the course of time good harvests rewarded his labors. He had a capital of only about five hundred dollars when he arrived in this county, but during his residence here general farming has claimed his attention, and the success which has attended his labors has been most pronounced.
On the 4th of January, 1869, Mr. Swim was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Rittenhouse, a daughter of David Rittenhouse, deceased. The latter came to Kansas from Indiana, being one of the early settlers of the Sunflower state. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Swim has been blest with six children: William H., who wedded Miss Corbit and resides in Doniphan county; Charles H., who wedded Miss Hurrel and lives in Trenton, Missouri; Neva, the wife of Abe Corbit; Swallow, the wife of Ed Oldt, of Leona; Mary and Myrtie. The family is well known in this locality and the members of the household occupy enviable positions in social circles.
Mr. Swim gives his political support to the party which upheld the Union cause during the civil war and which advocated the policy of the president during the late trouble with Spain. He attends its conventions, to which he has frequently been a delegate, but has never sought or desired political preferment, preferring to devote his time and energies to his business. He was a loyal soldier, is a faithful citizen and a reliable business man, and the many excellent qualities which he displays has gained him high regard.
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