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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891


~Page 568~


Mrs. Elizabeth Swale

Mrs. Elizabeth Swale residing on section 9, Windsor Township, is numbered among the early settlers of the county having here made her home since 1854, covering a period of thirty-seven consecutive years. She was born in Dumfries County, Upper Canada, on the 10th of December, 1833, and was a daughter of Hance and Jane (Gordon) Cumming. Her father, a native of Ireland, was born August 18, 1794, and her mother was born in 1804. She died in Wisconsin in 1847, after which, in 1854, Mr. Cumming came to Iowa, settling in Windsor Township, Fayette County. He was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Jane (Stewart) Hughes, who survives him. His death occurred at his home in this county in August, 1881. By the first marriage were born four sons and four daughters, and by the last one daughter. Mrs. Swale is the eldest of the family; Thomas who enlisted in Company G, Thirtieth Iowa Infantry in 1862, died of disease at Vicksburg, Miss., in 1863; Sarah, wife of Joseph Shipton of Clermont, Iowa, was born in Canada, July 26, 1836, and by her marriage had ten children, five of whom are living; Hance who was born in 1838 and married Adeline Underwood of Clermont, Wis., by whom he has one child, is now engaged in merchandising in Burr Oaks, Kan.; Matilda Jane, born in Canada, in 1841, is the wife of Hiram Underwood, of Kansas and they have three children living and one deceased; Mary is the wife of R. F. Thompson, of Windsor Township, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work and is the youngest of the family.


Elizabeth Cumming remained under the parental roof until the 10th of January, 1850, when she became the wife of Thomas Swale, a native of Yorkshire, England, born March 23, 1823. His parents, Abram and Mary Swale, spent their entire lives in Yorkshire, their native county. In their family were eight children, three of whom came to America. William, who was born in Yorkshire, August 15, 1809, came to America in 1842, and is now living in Waucoma, Iowa; Mary, whose birth occurred in Yorkshire, in 1818, became the wife of F. J. Carter, of West Union, June 1, 1840, and died at her home in that city several years ago leaving one child, Elvina, now the wife of J. W. Gardner of West Union.


Mr. and Mrs. Swale became the parents of the following children, nine of whom are living: George, born in Waukesha, Wis., January 10, 1851, married Alice McIntyre, from whom he was divorced and later wedded Augusta Gurdy of West Union. He follows farming and teaching for a livelihood; Mary J., born December 20, 1852, became the wife of Thomas J. B. Poynter who died soon after and for her second husband she married John Bender. They reside in Chickasaw County, Iowa, and have three children; Hance, born December 18, 1854, wedded Mary Jane Stevens and with their seven children, they make their home on a farm in Windsor Township, Emma Alice who was born January 20, 1857, and for a number of years engaged in teaching, attaining a enviable reputation as an instructor and disciplinarian, is the wife of Isaac Brockway, a farmer of Windsor Township. John, born February 25, 1859, died in infancy. Frank, born August 15, 1860, is now a practicing attorney of New Hampton, Iowa. He graduated from the classical department of the Upper Iowa University in 1886, afterwards attended the law department of the State University of Iowa, from which he was graduated in 1887, and at once entered upon the practice of his profession. He married Miss Willie Neling of New Hampton, Iowa, and they have one child, Thomas N. Thomas William, born October 28, 1862, is now engaged in farming on the old homestead. He attended the Upper Iowa University for several terms and is well fitted for professional life but prefers that of an agriculturist. H. S. born October 28, 1864, resides in this township, married Lilian L. Waite October 17, 1890. Arthur, born March 11, 1867, attended the Upper Iowa University several terms, received a diploma of graduation from the commercial department of that institution and is now giving his attention to the cultivation and improvement of the home farm. Cora May, born October 3, 1869, died August 3, 1870. Clarence Milton, born July 5, 1871, was a student in the Upper Iowa University and is now engaged in teaching but intends to enter the medical profession.


Purchasing land on Section 9, Windsor Township, Mr. Swale removed his family to their present farm in 1854. With the exception of the two eldest children all were born and brought up here. Mr. Swale was a man of industry and enterprise, possessed of good business qualifications and left his family in comfortable circumstances. The home farm comprises three hundred and twelve acres of rich prairie land and eighty acres of timber land. It is conveniently situated near West Union and has all the modern improvements including large barns and other outbuildings, the latest machinery and other accessories of a model farm. Good grades of cattle and hogs are raised and income derived from their sales is not small. The home is a fine stone residence, tastefully furnished and provided with all the comforts of life. The husband and father was called away March __, 1882, leaving there a vacancy which can never be supplies. The widow still occupies the homestead with her three youngest sons, the other children having married and gone to homes of their own. The voters of the family are all solid Republicans and frank is chairman of the Republican Central Committee of Chickasaw County. Socially, he is a member of West Union Lodge, No. 69, A. F. & A. M., and William T. is an honored member Round Grove Lodge, No. 41, I.O.O.F. of West Union. This family is widely and favorably known throughout the county and is well worthy of representation in this volume.





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