Clark SWIFT has for twelve years resided upon his farm on section 5, Whitefield township, where he now owns and operates eighty acres. It is a well tilled and well equipped place and in its thrifty appearance gives evidence of the care and supervision of a practical yet progressive owner. Mr. SWIFT is a native of the Empire state, his birth having occurred in Angelica, New York, on the 11th of May, 1841. His father. Philander SWIFT, was born in Rochester, New York, in 1800, and came to Illinois at an. early period in the history of this state, making the journey by wagon before his son Clark was two years of age. Reaching Marshall county he settled upon a farm in Whitefield township. He had carried on merchandising in the east but following his removal to the west gave his attention to general agricultural pursuits and spent seven years upon his farm in Marshall county, after which he was called to his final rest in 1865 at the age of sixty-five years. His political support was given to the whig party. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Arzilla EGBERT, was also a native of New York. In their family were eleven children, of whom four are yet living, the others, in addition to our subject, being Mrs. Sarah ATWOOD, a resident of Nebraska; William, a retired farmer residing in Livingston county, Illinois; and N. I. SWIFT, of Chicago, who was formerly engaged in merchandising but has also retired.
In taking up the personal history of Clark SWIFT we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known in this part of the state, having lived here from early pioneer times. He acquired his education in the district schools of Whitefield township and remained upon the home farm through the period of his boyhood and youth. He was, however, only nine years of age at the time of his father's death. After reaching his majority he purchased the old home place and lived there for a considerable period but about twelve years ago he bought eighty acres, which is his present farm on section 5, Whitefield township. To this he has since added until he now has two hundred acres constituting a model farm property of his locality. The soil is rich and productive and he makes of it the best possible use, so that good crops are annually gathered. He uses the latest improved machinery in the care of his fields and he has good buildings upon his place.
Mr. SWIFT was married at the age of twenty-six years to Miss Electa FOSDICK, a daughter of Joel FOSDICK, of New York, who followed the occupation of farming. Unto Mr. and Mrs. SWIFT have been born two children: Bertha, who is engaged in teaching and resides at home; and Merton, who is living on the old home farm and who married Jennie WHEELER of Putnam county, Illinois, by whom he has two children, Percy and Clare.
Mrs. Clark SWIFT is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which she takes an active and helpful interest, while to its support they are liberal contributors. Mr. SWIFT votes with the republican party and has served as school director for many years. A residence of more than six decades in Marshall county has made him very familiar with its history and he is conversant with many of the early experiences and events which have left their impress upon the annals of this part of 'the state. He can remember the time when much of the land was wild and uncultivated and the homes of the settlers were widely scattered, but as the years have passed by he has seen a marked change wrought by the labors of the enterprising residents who have come to the middle west and he has borne his full share in the work of development, especially along agricultural lines.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.