Biography - JOHN SWARTZ

Love has here dictated a few facts that are most salient in the life of him who was at one time the comfort and support, as well as the clear object of loving affection, to the companion with whom he lived for many years, and who, when he was taken away, was left bereaved. Although simple in his relations both in the family and in his business life, Mr. Swartz was a manly man and a gentleman in all his dealings. His death occurred at his home in Pickaway Township, September 28, 1883. He had lived here since 1871, and during his residence had secured a farm of eighty-two acres on section thirty-one, which he had improved and put in the best cultivation before his death.

Mr. Swartz was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, January 2, 1837. His parents were also natives of Ohio, who came West, settled and died in this county. Our subject lived in his native county until he arrived at manhood, and there early learned the duties incident to farmers' life, as the calling of his father was also that of an agriculturist. When the war broke out, he of whom we write enlisted in Company F, of the Forty-sixth Ohio Regiment. It was made up at Columbus, Ohio, and our subject's enlistment was made February 6, 1861. The regiment to which he belonged was assigned to Gen. Sherman's command, and under that veteran military genius saw full and active service. The history of Gen. Sherman's career is so familiar to our readers that we do not need to recount the desperate battles fought and won, nor the chances of war run by our subject, whose fate was the same as that of his commander. The original of our sketch served his full three years, and after being honorably discharged and receiving particular commendation for bravery, he re-enlisted as a veteran in his old regiment and served six months longer, receiving his final discharge July 8, 1865. He was engaged during his military career in twenty-one hard-fought battles, and many more skirmishes. He served for some time as Sergeant of his company. After the war he received a medal from the State of Ohio, which honor was conferred for noble veteran service. He was never wounded nor taken prisoner, but was poisoned by drinking impure water; this was in the last days of his service, but he never really recovered from the sickness brought on.

After Mr. Swartz's return from the army he joined his wife and three children, having been married previous to his entering into service in Fairfield County, Ohio, his nuptials taking place February 18, 1856. His wife's maiden name was Rachael Friesner. She was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, February 20, 1838. Like her husband, she came of German ancestry, although her parents. Henry and Rebecca (Seitz) Friesner. were natives of Ohio and of Virginia, respectively. After marriage they made their home in Fairfield County, Ohio, and there Mr. Friesner died in 1854, being at the time forty-nine years of age. His wife came to Shelby County, and here died September 28, 1887, being at the time eighty years of age. She had been for many years previous to her death a member of the Baptist Church.

Since the death of her husband Mrs. Swartz manages the estate which he left, and carries on more efficiently the work of the farm, assisted by her children, of whom she has six living. They are: William, Emma, Luella, Ida, Rebecca and Carrie. The son is at home and carries on the active work of the farm. Emma is the wife of L. Thomas, and resides on a farm in Missouri. Luella married Edgar Thomas, and takes charge of the domestic portion of his household in Eustace, Neb. Ida is the wife of Wilson Friesner, and she and her husband live on the old homestead with her mother. Mr. Friesner is a painter by trade, and divides his attention by the exercise of his
trade and farming. Rebecca is the wife of John Tolly, and resides in Pickaway Township. Carrie lives at home, and is the loving assistant and adviser of her mother in the domestic work of the farm. Mr. and Mrs. Swartz have ever been associated with the best people of their Township. Mr. Swartz was a Republican, and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Extracted 17 Dec 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 573-574.

Templates in Time