Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/12/2009 at 13:32:28
George Swisher, George Swisher, whose home on Sec 16, Cass township, is an indication of the practical and progressive spirit of the owner, is a native of West Virginia his birth having occurred in Preston county, near Terre Alta, on May 6, 1842.His parents were John and Mary Jane (Grow) Swisher. The father was a native of Germany and when a young man came to the new world, settling in Hampshire county, West Virginia. He was twice married, his second wife being the mother of our subject. He died during the early childhood of his son, George and the mother afterward married again.
The subject of this review worked upon a farm I the Cumberland mountains for his earliest youth and endured many hardships and privations. He had very limited school privileges and his knowledge has been mostly acquired since attaining his majority. When the country became involved in Civil war his sympathy was with the Union, which he did not wish to seed destroyed by the spirit of secession in the south. Accordingly he enlisted on July 16, 1861, in the Seventh West Virginia Volunteer Infantry and was assigned to Company A. The regiment as attached to the Army of the Potomac under General McClellan, and Mr Swisher participated in the engagements at Fredricksburg and Chancellorsville. The regiment was held in reserve at the second battle of Bull Run and later he took part in in the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg. The regiment made an awful charge into what seemed the very jaws of death just in the evening of July 3 and this was the turning point to the important battle of Gettysburg. On one occasion Mr Swisher was int eh hospital, having contracted rheumatism and measles, and in December 1863, he was honorably discharged on account of sickness.
He then returned home and after partially recovering his health he made his way westward to Chicago, in June 1864. During the succeeding winter he was engaged in chopping cordwood in Indian and the following year came to Iowa, arriving in December 1865. He made the journey to this state in company with a Mr Sprague and the trip was accomplished with horses and teams to Willoughby, Butler county. Mr Swisher soon afterward made his way to Black Hawk county, where he worked upon a farm until December 1866, when he came to Boone county and here engaged in chopping cordwood for two persons. He then rented and engaged in farming the land belonging to Michael Myers for thirteen years. With the capital he had acquired through his industry and economy he then purchased land in 1879, buying eighty acres of the farm upon which he now resides. The following year he took up his abode there and began clearing away the timer and brush and placed the land in a condition for plowing. Soon afterward he planted his crops and in course of time reaped abundant harvests. He has paced substantial buildings upon his farm and now has a well developed property which has steadily increased value as the years have gone by. He also purchased more land and today within the boundaries of his farm are comprised of 240 acres. This is a rich and arable tract and he annually gains a good income as the result of the labors which he bestows upon the fields. He has given to his son 80 acres of the old home farm.
In Boone county, on June 27, 1867, Mr Swisher was united in marriage to Miss Emily A McMichael, a native Henry county, Iowa, who was born and reared in Boone county and is a daughter of Samuel McMichael, who belongs to one of the honored pioneer families of this state. He took up his residence in Boone county at a very early period and was identified with the work of progress and improvement here. Unto Mr and Mrs Swisher have been born five children: Carrie B, now the wife of Charles K Vernon a farmer of Cass township, Mary M, the wife of Frank Parcel of Dallas county, Iowa, Benjamin M who is also married and is carrying on farming in Dallas county, George, who is married and follows agricultural pursuits in Cass township, and James V, who is married and resides upon the old home place, giving his attention to the work of improvement and development there.
When Mr Swisher came to Boone county he was a poor man. From early life he had been inured to hard labor and he was willing to again work industriously in order to establish a good home. Industry and enterprise have been the salient features of his career, and indolence and idleness are foreign to his nature. As the years have passed his labors have resulted in bringing him a very desirable competence and he is now numbered among the substantial citizens of the community.
In politics he is a stanch Prohibitionist, voting with that party at national elections, but at local elections, where no issue is involved, he casts his ballot for the men whom he regards as beast qualified for office. He was elected and served as assessor for twelve consecutive years and is now township clerk, in which capacity he has remained for four years. For several years he has been a member of the school board and in public office he is ever found faithful and true to the trust reposed in him. Both he and his wife hold membership with the Methodist Episcopal church of Woodward, and he is a member of its official board, having long served as trustee. Socially he is identified with the Woodward Lodge, I O O F. His life has ever been honorable and upright. He deserved great credit for what he has accomplished. While laboring to promote his individual success he has also been loyal to his duties of citizenship and has borne his part in the work of public progress and improvement. He has witnessed the wonderful growth and development of this county, has seen the swamp lands drained and developed into excellent farms while the timber has been cleared away and the homes of the prosperous and contented people dot the landscape. He has also seen the roads made, the building of the railroads, together with the introduction of many business enterprises which have contributed to the prosperity of the community. He is well known in Boone county as a man of exemplary habits, high integrity and of genuine worth and well does he deserve mention in this volume.
1902 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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