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SWANEY, William L.


Posted By: Annette Lucas (email)
Date: 5/23/2021 at 09:50:45

SOURCE: Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon Counties, Iowa; W. S. Dunbar & Co., Publishers, 1889

WILLIAM L. SWANEY has been identified with the interests of Audubon County since 1878. Unlike many of the residents of the Hawkeye State, he has the honor to have been born within her borders, and February 21, 1847, is the date of his birth, and Jackson County, near Preston, is the place. He is the son of David and Sidney (Latta) Swaney, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio respectively. They were married in Ohio, and soon after removed to Michigan and settled in Ann Arbor; thence they went to Jackson County, Iowa, in May, 1839, being among the pioneers of the county. David Swaney was a son of James Swaney, a native of Ireland, who was a soldier in the British army. David died in Jackson County, Iowa, in 1883, in his seventy-fifth year. The mother of our subject was born in 1818, and reared eight children, four sons and four daughters - Nancy J., wife of D. Baldwin; James, Angeline, wife of George Lucas; Mary A., wife of William Mills; William L., the subject of this sketch; Medora, wife of William Rutledge; Milton L. and Alonzo. William L. passed his boyhood in his native county, receiving a common-school education; he remained with his parents until his twenty-first year, when he took up the responsibilities of life and began to carve out his own fortune. In the summer of 1873 became to Andubon County and purchased eighty acres of wild prairie land. The following spring he moved his family to the new home, where they bravely faced many of the privations incident to pioneer life. Mr. Swaney has put all the improvements upon the place, and has added from time to time to his first purchase, until he now owns 400 acres in one body. A part of the farm is seeded down to pasture and the balance is under cultivation. Mr. Swaney pays special attention to feeding live-stock, shipping large numbers annually; he has been quite successful in this department of agriculture. In 1873, February 12, occurred the marriage of William L. Swaney and Arminda Wilson, a native of the State of New York, and a daughter of A. Wilson, Esq., who died in this county. Her mother's maiden name was Bacon; she is still living. Mr. and Mrs. Swaney have had born to them six children David L., Ada M., Wilson Bacon, Milton, Minerva G. and Albert J. Mr. Swaney has served as justice of the peace since coming to the county, except one year; he has also represented his township as trustee and as a member school board and as assessor, to the entire satisfaction of the public. He is a member of Veritas Lodge, No. 392, A. F. & A. M., having been made a Mason in Jackson County, Iowa. In State and National affairs he supports the issues of the Democratic party, but in local matters he votes for the man best fitted for the office in his estimation. He commenced life with no capital excepting that with which nature endowed him, pluck, energy and a determination to succeed; that he has succeeded is demonstrated when one takes a look at his broad acres in a high state of cultivation, and all the modern improvements upon his farm. Everything is arranged for comfort and convenience, and the air of thrift and prosperity about Mr. Swaney's farm places him in the front ranks of Audubon County's agriculturists.


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