Sources for THE COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD - page 172, National
Archives of Civil War records in Washington, Pennsylvania census records,
vital records, land deeds, will and other family sources:
FROM THE COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD WRITTEN IN 1901 - page 172:
"PAUL SWINGLE, justice of the peace, and president of the Wayne County Mutual Insurance Company, is a leading citizen of South Canaan Corners, Wayne County, and for many years has held an influential place in the business, social and political life of that section. His genial disposition has won for him a host of friends, and he has frequently been chosen to positions of public trust, in which he has shown marked ability and unswerving fidelity to duty".
"His Family is well known in Wayne County, his great-grandfather, Hans Ulrich Swingle, a native of Switzerland, having settled there in 1783. Conrad Swingle, our subject's grandfather, was born in New York State in 1769, and died in Wayne County in 1849, and his wife, Lucy (Bunton), died in 1850. [A more complete account of the Swingle family appears elsewhere, giving interesting particulars concerning the earlier generations.]"
[website editor's note: The Commemorative Biographical Record may be in error regarding Hans Ulrich Swingle's nativity. Research by the late Alvah McLaughlin indicates Hans was born in Hülben, Gemany. Please see: "Hans Swingle's Birth Record".]
"Moses Swingle, the father of our subject, was born April 2, 1804, and during his later life was extensively engaged in Farming in South Canaan township in Wayne County. He was a man of much intelligence, and in early manhood he taught school for a time, and throughout his life he was fond of the old-time sports of hunting and trapping, in which he excelled. At various times he held township offices, and he was an active worker in the Democratic organization of his locality until the nomination of J. C. Fremont, when he became an ardent supporter of the Republican party. For a number of years he was, a leading member of the Methodist Church near his home, and he died in that faith on November 29, 1891, aged eighty-six years, his last days being spent with his son-in-law, R. E. McMinn. His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Cobb, is also deceased, and the remains of both were interred in the cemetery at South Canaan. They had the following children: Mary A. and Mary F., who died in infancy; Laura J., wife of Conrad Cobb, a farmer in Lackawanna County, Penn, Clark, a farmer in Washington State; Rubie, deceased; Ralph, who died leaving a widow (now Mrs. Booth, of Bradford County, Penn.) and three children; Paul, our subject, who is mentioned more fully below; Asa S., a farmer in Kansas; Benjamin F., a farmer in South Canaan township, Wayne County; Lewis, who married Jane Manderville, and died in Kansas; Ruth A., a resident of South Canaan; Estella, Mrs. Benjamin Smith, a widow residing at Montoursville, Penn; Lucetta, wife of Abraham Kiser, a farmer in South Canaan township; and Abbie, deceased wife of R. E. McMinn, assistant postmaster at South Canaan".
"Our subject, Paul, was born April 18, 1838, at South Canaan Corners, and grew to manhood upon the farm. His education was begun in the public schools of the vicinity, and at the age of eighteen he entered Wyoming Seminary for a higher course of study, remaining two terms. On leaving school he taught for one term in Lackawanna County, Penn., and then, returned to South Canaan Corners, he became a clerk in the store of E. C. Swingle. On November 25, 1857, Squire Swingle was married in South Canaan township to Miss Sarah J. Sampson, who was born at South Canaan October 23, 1838, a daughter of William and Elizabeth Storm Sampson. Her father was born in Connecticut, her mother in Monroe County, Penn., and they located in South Canaan township in pioneer times. In 1859 he purchased a half interest in a sawmill and flour mill, which he conducted in partnership with H. S. Bloes until 1862, when he sold out to Mr. Bloes and entered the Union army"..
"Paul enrolled on 8/20 1862 and served four months in Company A, 137th P. V. I., under Capt. J. M. Buckingham, with the rank of second lieutenant, and although he escaped wounds he was taken ill and ended up in Seminary hospital in DC where he was honorably discharged on 12/19 and sent home disabled (family history says he was brought home by his wife). During his term of service he had participated in the battles of Antietam, Crampton's Gap and South Mountain. After his recovery he purchased a farm and settled down, but his patriotic spirit led him to again offer his services to the government as a soldier, and on March 7, 1865, he reenlisted, this time in Company A, 143rd P. V. I., under Capt. Plottsy, on detached service. He remained in the service as long as there was any fighting to be done (June 12, 1865, to be exact) and on coming home resumed the management of his farm, continuing until 1890, when he removed to South Canaan Corners. In 1893 he was appointed President of the Wayne County Mutual Insurance Co., which office he has ever since held, and at times he has been identified with important enterprises of various kinds. He is one of the chief advisers of the Republican party in his locality, and has held different offices, including those of school director, County Treasurer and auditor besides other positions in the township, and since 1869 he has served continuously as Justice of the peace. He has also been active in the politics of the county, and in 1874 he was elected treasurer of the county. Socially he is connected with the I. O. O. F. at South Canaan, also with Blue Lodge, F. & A. at Waymart, and for years he has been an active member of the Methodist Protestant Church at South Canaan".
CENSUS RECORDS: According to the 1880 census for the inhabitants of South Canaan in the county of Wayne taken on June 8, 1880 Paul Swingle was 42 years old, married, was a farmer, was born in PA as were his parents, was married to Sarah J who was 41 years old, keeping house, born in PA as was her mother and father, children all born in PA, those still living at home as follows; Mary A, age 19, Calvin E, age 17, farming, Carrie L, age 16, Estella E, age 15, William H, age 13, at school, Ruben N, age 11, at school, Elmer E, age 10, at school, Jennie M, age 6, Velmar H?, age 4.
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD - continued - "Mrs. Sarah J. Swingle died February 15, 1893, and on December 4, 1897, the Squire married Miss Susan Elizabeth Hetzel, daughter of Samuel Hetzel and Mary Anne Shaffer, of South Canaan. She was a younger sister of Paul's oldest sons wife, Paul knew her for about 16 years prior to their marriage. By his first marriage he had the following children: Myron Eugene, the postmaster at South Canaan, who is also engaged in agriculture; Mary A., who married Andrew Swingle, a distant relative, who resides upon a farm in South Canaan township; Calvin E., who married Lizzie Lesher and resides in Scranton, Penn.; Carrie, wife of John Condon, a decorator at Honesdale; William, who married Anna Hoel, and is engaged in farming in Lake township, Wayne County; Nelson, a railway postal clerk, who married Anna Black, and resides at Scranton; Ellsworth, a farmer in South Canaan township, who married Martha Swingle, a distant relative; Velmar, wife of George Howell, a school teacher of South Canaan Township; Estella, wife of George Carman, an oyster grower on Long Island; and Jennie M. who married David Hand, a blacksmith, and resides at Scranton, Penn. There were no children for the second marriage".
On the back of the original photo, currently in the possession of Jean McNamara, that was used for the Commemorative Biographical Record (a book of biographies that each person had to pay for to be included in), there was a comment made by some unknown person; "Paul Swingle, known as a real wheeler dealer in the area." This more than likely had something to do with the amount of land he seems to have bought and sold during the course of his life. The following accounts were taken from deed records, all of which can be found at the county Courthouse in Honesdale, Wayne County. In 1865, Paul's father Moses and mother Elizabeth sold him a piece of land east of Samuel Spangenberg's land, bordered on by Daniel Swingle's land, for $200. On 1/19 1871, Paul sold land to Elijah Swingle for $20. This land borders on Paul's current land as well as Elijah's deceased father, Charles and is part of the same land that Bartley Fuller sold in 1864. On 9/2 1876, Paul purchased, for the sum of $1100, two parcels of land from Abraham and Lucetta Kizer. This land included a dam and a mill yard. On 2/7 1880, Paul Swingle and wife Sarah J Swingle sold a parcel of land for $2400 to Ruby and Ruth Swingle, two of Paul's sisters. On 12/2 1881, Paul and his wife sold the interest in two parcels of land to his son Myron E Swingle for the sum of $900. This land included a brook, dam, water rights, saw mill and fishing rights. On 4/24, 1891, Paul paid $50 to the heirs of PH Lerch for a piece of land that ran from the South Canaan Post Office to the Simons Post Office. On 4/18 1901, Elizabeth Hetzel Swingle, Paul's second wife, paid $900 for land that involved some of the Lerch estate as part of Paul's will stipulation.
There are quite extensive records available on Paul Swingle's efforts to receive a Civil war invalid pension. The following is a summary taken from these medical records which are still on file with the National Archives in Washington:
At age 54 years, on January 4, 1891, Paul Swingle initiated his first application for his invalid pension. On this document he stated that while a member of the army in Washington, DC he contracted on or about the 30th of October, 1862, catarrh, bronchitis due to exposure and typhoid resulting in "disease of the lungs" ending up in Seminary hospital in Washington DC. His invalid petition was denied. Paul appealed again on 2/27, 1892. His doctor stated on this petition "that he is frequently confined to the house his cough is so bad". His medical report findings on this petition states that he had a slightly abnormal heartbeat but there were no other disabilities to be found. He was rated a 6 out of 18 for his disability rating, 18 being the most serious, noting heart disease as the only problem. Another petition was filed on 9/28 1897. This stated that there was bronchial trouble resulting from typhoid fever, congestion of the lungs (which caused his resignation), heart problems, stomach problems and rheumatism. It is also stated that he is not currently a pensioner. Paul stated on this invalid pension document that "I cough all night some nights. Have stinging and tickling in my throat. I have a ? and ? in my stomach. I have a fluttering and faint feeling in my heart. My legs pain me when I walk and at times I am lame". Once again, the surgeon rates all of the problems associated with Paul's statement. Most of the individual ratings are a 2 out of 18 which means Paul's problems are considered minimal. The doctor does state though that his prostrate is twice the normal size. The application was rejected again on 2/28, 1898 as there was no notable disability, this was communicated to Paul on 6/2 1898. In April of 1899, EM Varney, MD, of Wayne County stated in a medical examination that Paul Swingle had diabetes and an enlarged prostrate. Once again the appeal process began. Paul stated to the US surgeon that "I have an old cough, my throat stings and tickles, my heart doesn't seem to be right and I am lame with rheumatism". Paul is now 61 years old, 190 pounds and is 5 feet 7. Once again, on June 28, 1899, the Army surgeon examines Paul and disputes almost every problem Paul has noting that only his prostrate is still enlarged, rating him a 4 of 18. His pension was once again denied. Paul once again stated at South Canaan on May 29, 1900 that he is suffering from bronchial disease, heart, stomach and rheumatism in his right shoulder and an enlarged prostrate resulting in Cystitis. Prior to meeting the Army surgeon he states "my right shoulder pains and is lame. I have to pass urine very often day and night. In spells I have a cough and my throat troubles me". The surgeon states in his report that all is normal with the exception that the right shoulder is slightly limited in motion, the prostrate is twice the normal size which explains the need to urinate frequently, there is no evidence of vicious habits. His ratings are all 2/18 and 4/18 and he was again rejected. Paul petitions again on 2/18 1901. He states on the record that he has bronchial trouble, disease of the lungs, disease of the stomach and heart and an enlargement of the prostrate gland. His wife Elizabeth co-signs the document. The final document on file states that "claimant failed to appear within the specified time". It was dated 10/1 1902.
Paul died in South Canaan Township on March 1, 1901 at 3:45 AM after a 2 day "throat illness". His will had many accounts payable and receivables listed. Paul also owned stock in Georgetown Creamery and South Canaan and Georgetown Telephone Companies.
Paul is buried next to his first wife close to the pond at the East Canaan cemetery.