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CHARLES GADDIS SWEGLE
Contributed by Karen Swegle Holt
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Charles Gaddis Swegle born February 20, 1875, in West Township, McLean Co., IL, was the first son born to Jacob Gaddis and Frances Ellen (Householder) Swegle.

In February of 1895, his dad purchased land in Lee County. At some point, Charles and his younger brother, Walter, moved to the land to begin farming it. It was located in Reynolds Township, Lee Co., IL.

Sophia Pearl Carney was born on May 2, 1887, in Steward, IL; the third daughter of Joseph and Mary Elizabeth (Wise) Carney. She attended school in the Steward area before going to Dixon College where she completed the course to receive her teaching certificate. For the eight-month school year, 1911-1912, Sophia taught at the Van Campen School, a country grade school near Compton in Viola Township, Lee Co., IL, for $45 a month. It was after that year of teaching that she and Charles were married.

Charles and Sophia were married on Wednesday, November 27, 1912, in a double ceremony with her sister Agnes and Rollie H. Romick of Anita, Iowa, in the home of their parents in Steward, Lee Co., IL.

They had seven children, 5 boys and two girls.

Donald Carney SWEGLE, b. 1913
Ivan Charles SWEGLE, b. 1914 Obituary
Stanley Chandler SWEGLE, B. 1916
William Sidney SWEGLE, b. 1918
Ellwyn Laverne SWEGLE, b. 1922
Mary Ellen SWEGLE, b. 1924
Milldred Lorraine SWEGLE b. 1925
Howard Sylvester SWEGLE, b. 1930

The Charles Swegle family attended the Fertile Valley Church located about one and a half mile west of the Carney farm at the corner of Herman Road and the Meridian Highway in the SW Corner of the SE 1/4 of Sec 35 of Reynolds Township.

Charles initially did very well farming and even purchased additional land but eventually had to sell out. The family moved to the Dixon, IL, area in 1925 where Charles worked for other farmers. For a time he worked at the Medusa Cement Plant and the WPA (Works Progress Administration) at the Dixon Airport where he helped build the hanger but eventually resumed farming. An article that appeared in the Prairie Farmer about the family indicated that Charles and Sophia were raising their children on a farm ". . . [when his] health gave out, and he had to give up farming."

After Charles quit farming, the family moved to a home in Dixon. During the next few years, Charles took various jobs. World War II was in progress and Charles at 69 years old worked at the Ordnance Plant in the Labor Pool.

It was a practice during World War II for families to hang flags in their window with stars representing the numbers of children serving. The Swegle home had a four-star flag for their sons. Ivan was an Air Corps mechanic in the Southwest Pacific. Stanley served as an infantryman in North Africa. Ellwyn was a pilot instructor stateside in Southwest U.S. Sidney had been a tail gunner in Europe until his plane was shot down over enemy territory and he became a POW.

All of the children continued to live in the Lee Co., IL, area. Stan and Mildred remained single all their lives. The other children married and raised families. All remained close and continued to enjoy one another and their growing families. Charles was very proud as each one of the children became homeowners and sunk their roots into the community.

Charles was 78 years old when he died on April 21, 1953. Sophia was 72 when she died on July 12, 1959, in Dixon, IL. Both are buried at Chapel Hill Cemetery in Dixon, IL.

They were married 41 years and demonstrated commitment to family and faithfulness to one another through very difficult days. They have left their family a legacy of honesty, integrity and hard work

As Published in The Biographies of the Citizens of Lee County Illinois

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