Carroll County Biographies

Samuel Sword
Cherry Grove Twp. IL

Samuel Sword, who has been a resident of Carroll county since his parents moved to this locality in 1846, is now living on section 28 in Cherry Grove township, being one of the representative men of his neighborhood. He was born in Franklin county, Pa., June 2, 1836, a son of George and Catherine (Wilt) Sword. These parents were born, reared and married in Franklin county, Pa. By occupation, the father was a potter, but his inclinations lay in the direction of farming and it was with the idea of becoming the owner of land that he set out, in 1846, with his family for Illinois, by way of Pittsburgh overland, then by water to Fulton county, Ill., and by team into Ogle county. The family remained in that county until the fall of the year, when the father assumed charge of a farm that his uncle George Puterbaugh had bought in Cherry Grove township, Carroll county, renting it until 1847, when he bought eighty acres from the government and by the following spring had erected a log cabin on section 28, on the site of the present residence, the first story of which is a portion of the house now comfortably occupied by Samuel Sword. From 1864 to 1868, he lived on land in Marshall county, Ia., but then returned to his old home. When the family first came to Carroll county, there were but two houses between Mr. Swordís own and Chambers Grove, and one of those was built of sod. Game was plentiful, deer, prairie chickens, wild turkeys and quail being in abundance. George Sword lived to see the country settled. When he arrived, no school houses had been provided, nor churches built, but all these evidences of progress, Mr. Sword lived to see before he passed to his long rest, in May, 1888. His widow survived him until 1893. Both had been reared in the old Dunkard faith and for many years were leaders in the neighborhood church. He served as a school trustee, and was so excellent a man that no doubt the Republican party would have often elected him to other offices had his inclinations been in that direction.

Samuel Sword was ten years old when the family came to Illinois, and he was taught at first by a traveling teacher, one who went with his books through the sparsely settled country and would spend about a week at a time at each farmhouse imparting knowledge. The first schoolhouse was a frame building about one mile from the Sword homestead. The other members of his fatherís family were: Nancy, who became the wife of David B. Martin, is deceased as is her husband; Sarah who is deceased, was the first wife of David Boyd; Mary Ann who lives at Shannon, Ill., was the second wife of David Boyd, and survives him; James M., who lives in Linn county, Ia., is a farmer; and two who died young. Samuel was the second in order of birth.

Until his marriage, Samuel Sword remained at home, the event taking place January 9, 1861, when he was united with Anna Catherine Long who was born in Maryland and came to Cherry Grove township with her mother and step-father Jacob Miller, both of whom are now deceased. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Sword: Flora, who is the wife of J. A. Royer, a farmer of Cherry Grove township, issue, -Russell; Frank A., who is a minister of the Christian Church at Lanark, married May Wulf, issue,-Joy and Grace; Cora who is the wife of Clinton Rowland, a farmer in Cherry Grove township, issue,-Erma; Alvin, who is a farmer in Cherry Grove township, married Addie Zillart; George H. who is a merchant of Lanark, married Mary Werntz, issue,-Sterling, Russell and Marien; Howard, who is a physician and surgeon at Milledgeville, married Mary Hayes, issue,-Virginia and an infant; Edna, who is the wife of Ira B. Eisenbise, issue,-Vada Arlene; and Harry who has charge of the farm activities. The mother of the above family died July 22, 1888, a woman beloved by all who knew her. Since then the youngest daughter has looked after domestic affairs for her father.

Mr. Sword has lived to see wonderful changes take place in this section, many of these in his youth never having been dreamed of. His fatherís harvest was cut with the old cradle and hand scythe but long since the self binder and steam thresher have taken the place of the old-time farm implements. After his marriage, Mr. Sword remained on the home farm until 1864, and then spent four years in Marshall county, Ia., and after he came back, he purchased the original farm of eighty acres, to which he added eighty acres more, now having 160 acres under a high state of cultivation. In 1870 he began the business of breeding Poland-China hogs, buying a pure-bred hog for five dollars, going against his fatherís advice in doing this, as the latter thought it a foolish investment, but results proved the contrary. For sixty-six years Mr. Sword has been a man of influence in Carroll county, and is well know all over it. He and his family have been lifelong members of the Brethren church. In politics he is a Republican and for many years has served as a school director. (pg. 911-912)

Contributed by Carol Parrish from The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and the History of Carroll County, Vol. II published 1913 by Munsell Publishing Company, Chicago, IL

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