The Swaim Family of Indiana and Oklahoma


John Emory21 Swaim (my father’s father)



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John Emory21 Swaim (my father’s father)


My grandfather on my father’s side was John Emory Swaim. He was called ‘Jack’ which is the origin for my father’s middle name and my first name. My first name is actually ‘Jack’ and is not a nickname derived from ‘John’. John Emory Swaim was born in Bluffton, Indiana in the Jackson Township of Wells County on September 27, 1885. He was raised in Jackson Township, Indiana near Bluffton27. John was a teacher, postal clerk, oil field driller’s helper, postmaster, WWI veteran, Exalted Ruler of the Elks Lodge, farmer and expert basketball referee.

John E. Swaim married Alice Belle Hawkins Champion on August 6, 1904. Belle’s parents, John and Laura Champion, lived with them for much of my father Bob’s childhood. Laura Champion was sweet, wore thick eyeglasses and eventually became blind. John Champion became partially paralyzed from a stroke. He was short and reportedly had a temper. John would strike out at the air with his cane when he was angry.28

When John Swaim was young there are newspaper references that indicate he may have gone by his middle name “Emory”.

The June 15, 1907 Montpelier Herald Newspaper article contains the following:

“Emory and George Swaim who are attending Vorles’ Business College at Indianapolis, arrived last night to spend Sunday at their home northwest of town.”

Also in the July 11, 1907 Montpelier Herald Newspaper article there is the following reference:

“Born to Mr. and Mrs. Emory Swaim this morning at the Dr. M. A. Emshwiller home, a fine baby boy. Mrs. Swaim is a niece of Mrs. Emshwiller.”

John was a teacher as evidenced by several newspaper articles from that period

“J. E. Swaim who teaches in Keystone, held the lucky number, 38, which drew the electric alarm clock at the Pharmacy drug store”29

As recorded by the 1910 Indiana Census, John was a teacher in the Bluffton, Indiana Common Schools. While in Bluffton, Indiana, John E. Swaim was a schoolteacher who taught arithmetic and spelling. John resigned as a teacher from the Bluffton School System in May, 1914 and became a clerk at the local post office. It is said that John left the teaching job for a more secure job as a post office clerk sorting mail. He got the post office job when an unfortunate accident occurred (a man named Dan McFadden lost an arm).

John E. Swaim has tendered his resignation to Supt. P. A. Allen as a teacher in the Central School. He will go to work next week as a clerk at the local post office and Professor D. D. Ryder of Murray will fill his position in the schools.” 30

John’s brother George Earl Swaim was also a schoolteacher in the Bluffton Common School.31

Emory and George Swaim who are attending Vorles Business College at Indianapolis arrived last night to spend Sunday at their home northwest of town.32

A few weeks later John’s son Marion was born.

“Born to Mr. and Mrs. Emory Swaim this morning at the Dr. M. A. Emshwiller home, a nice baby boy. Mrs Swaim is a niece of Mrs. Emshwiller.” 33

Dr. Marion Emshwiller’s wife was Ethel Adams, Belle’s mother’s sister. I believe my Uncle Marion may have been named after this doctor.

What is interesting is that these two newspaper articles refer to John Swaim as Emory Swaim. These are the only references I have that indicate he may have gone by his middle name at this point in his life.

In January, 1916 there was an article in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette that “John E. Swaim, a local basket ball referee, has received a contract from the Indiana High School Athletic association to act as a referee, at one of the basketball tournaments to be held this spring.” 34

John Swaim was still working in that post office when World War I began in 1917. He was reportedly the first man in Bluffton, Indiana to sign up for the American Expeditionary Force (World War I) and was 37 years old. John who had been known at least by some by his middle name “Emory” began to go by the name “Jack” at some point. Jack and Belle had been married 12 years. Belle and the kids went by train to stay in Humboldt, Kansas during the war. A Fort Wayne News (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) newspaper article from July 25, 1917 records

“Alfonso Vachon, Frank C. Waugh, John E. Swaim, William McBride, Marion C. Reiff, Orel Myer, Harold Roe and Oris Huffman went to Fort Wayne Tuesday to take the examination for admission to the second officers’ training camp at Fort Benjamin Harrison.”

Jack was a First Lieutenant in the army and served in France including Ivoiry, Varennes, Longuyon, Longwy-Haut, Andul-le-Roman, Carnot-Strasse, Bayeux and Montsec, only about 20 miles from Verdun. Jack suffered mustard gas damage35 and lost a lung during the war. Even so, this would not stop him from chain-smoking Lucky Strikes years later as my cousins recall.

The following excerpts are from postcards Jack sent home during the war2236:

“This is a view of Montsec, sometimes called Hill 280, in the St. Michiel sector. This is where we first went into the trenches on Aug. 5th. I have peered over the parapet of the trench and watched Germans at work on this hill many a day. It was the strongest enemy position in this sector and was one big machine gun nest. The French lost 25,000 men trying to take this hill in 1916. On the day of our drive, Sept. 12th, we were allowed 24 hours to take this hill and took it in 5 1/2 hours. All credit to the American Doughboy. This was not a job for the Quartermaster Corps, believe me.”…

“Thiaucourt in the St. Michiel Sector, from which the Germans were driven out on Sept. 12. The Germans shelled and gassed this town night and day. It was at this town that Lt. Cullen was gassed, and I got some myself. But not enough to slow me down. When the picture was taken it was held by the Boche.”

“This is the Bouillionville railroad bridge, destroyed by the Germans early in the war. The line I have drawn on the landscape represents our sector (the 356th) on Sept. 12th. The arrow shows which way we were going. We passed by the bridge about 3.00 P.M. on that date and drove the enemy out of town and my battalion and company taking many prisoners here. The woods you see in the distance were one mass of barbed wire and German machine guns and covered several square miles of land. Some of the hardest fighting of the day was done by us in these woods. Here is where your boy almost got his. I’ll tell you about it when I come home.”

“We captured this town (Beuvry) with the assistance of the 355th and some ‘tanks’ late in the evening of Sept. 12. We slept in a field near this town that night and took up the fight again in the morning. And remember we had no breakfast of hot cakes and sausage before going to work—and no supper the night before and no dinner the day before and no breakfast the morning before. Johnnie had many narrow escapes here.

“Here’s where we captured ‘beaucoup’ prisoners (Bouillionville) and where the ruined bridge is located. On the night of October 6th my company was relieved in this sector and marched back this far by night. As we were not allowed (in fact it wasn’t healthy) to march on the roads by daylight, my company and I spent the day of October 7th in the upper story of the building marked X. At dark we took up the march, passing through Essey, and marching until daylight, spending that day in the woods. On the third night we again marched all night to Larney where we were loaded on trucks and brought up to the Argonne front. No rest for the weary.”

The following is a “first person” characterization of Jack’s gassing as written by Don Swaim, Jack’s grandson. It is based on information included in his post cards:

“During that European year clouds of mustard gas drift over the battlefields, suffocating the unwary and the unprepared. Exhausted, I drop into a muddy crater for a smoke and encounter a pocket of fumes. I smell them instantly. My eyes begin to burn. I try to crawl out of the ditch but the earth gives way and I slide back in. I fumble for my mask but drop it into the mud and pick it up again. I don’t have time to securely strap the mask to my head so I hold it to my face with my hands. The vapors permeate the folds. I feel a searing pain. My chest catches fire. Sergeants Schoonfield and Page drag me out of the ditch. I lay in the dirt, coughing, for two hours until stretcher bearers carry me behind the lines.”

“A little gas doesn’t stop me, even though my breathing’s short and the slightest exertion makes my chest feels as though it’s being punctured by spikes. But I return to the battlefield. Captain Brattle dies with a sniper’s bullet in the brain. I, a first lieutenant, lead the company.”

“Bird’s eye view of the Argonne sector. The line I have drawn represents the 356th sector, and the X is the town of Romagne, from which place I was sent to the hospital. You can see the Meuse River to the right of town. Our troops crossed the river the night of November 10-11th on rafts. I fought with them from the bottom of the picture to the X and believe me it was some fighting too. They say it was even worse from there on. The dark spots represent woods which were alive with German machine guns.”

An article in the Fort Wayne News and Sentinel dated August 23, 1918 reported as follows:

Near the Firing Line – Lieut. John E. Swaim, son of Commissioner H. L. Swaim, writes that he is now but a short distance from the firing line in France.”

Jack received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and the Distinguished Service Medal. I still have the small NT bible he carried during the war. I have many VFW and other assorted medals that Steve Swaim, my cousin and a son of Marion Swaim, was so gracious to send me. However, Tom Swaim believes that his WWI medals were buried with him.

The following is from the Bluffton High School Alumni internet page:

“Captain John Swaim, though not an alumnus of B.H.S., did teach school in the Central building for many years, so we think he should be mentioned here. He was so anxious to do his bit, that in spite of his having a family, he enlisted in the infantry and after receiving his commission as a lieutenant at an officers’ training camp, was send to Fort Riley, Kansas. From there he went to France, where his bravery in action won him his captaincy and where he was severely gassed. He will recover, however, and expects to soon be home again.”


“Jack” returned home from the war sometime near June, 1919 based on a Fort Wayne News article dated June 3, 1919:

“BLUFFTON, Ind, June 3 - Captain John Swaim, who is known throughout northern Indiana, as an expert basketball referee, has sent word to his father H. L. Swaim stating that he is now home from overseas and is at Fort Riley, Kansas. He is suffering from a cough, the result of being gassed, and probably will not be released until he is improved. Swaim made big advancement in the ranks and because of his excellent work was promoted to captain on the battlefield.”

After the war, Jack returned to Kansas and worked as a driller’s helper. He followed “black gold explorers” to Texas and housed the family in a tent camp called Olden Switch about fifty yards from the tracks of the Texas Pacific Railroad about two miles from Ranger, Texas. John and Belle Swaim and their two sons, Ivan and Marion, are listed in the 1920 Federal Census in Eastland County, Texas, right next door to John’s sister Nora and her husband Daniel Murray and their daughter, Mildred.37

In 1921, they moved back to Tulsa to be near Belle’s family. Jack became a clerk in the West Tulsa postal substation. They moved into an apartment at the back of a grocery store on the North Side. Two years later they bought a new frame bungalow at 2219 East 10th Street near the railroad tracks. Belle’s parents come down from Humboldt to stay and they brought furniture including dark mahogany tables, oversized chairs, and lamps.38

Based on the 1930 census, Belle’s parents, the Champions, were living at their house in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Tulsa County) 39. John Swaim was then employed as a postal employee. He would later become Postmaster for the West Tulsa post office.

John Champion was Belle’s step-father and was listed in the 1900 census of Wells County, Indiana, as being born in Indiana in July, 1850. John’s father was born in Germany and his mother was born in Pennsylvania. Laura Champion was listed in the 1900 census as being born in October, 1867 (however, the Adams family bible lists her birth as December 17, 1868). Laura’s father was listed as being born in Ohio and her mother born in Indiana.

John was active in organizations including the VFW and Elks. He was an exalted ruler of the Tulsa Elks Lodge and played poker there. He served three terms as commander of the Tulsa VFW and was a state VFW commander. John’s name is mentioned in a federal statute concerning use of the VFW emblem, H. R. 11454, (Public - No. 630 - 74th Congress), (May 28, 1936, Chapter 471, Sections 1-10, 49 Stat. 1390, 1391) (U.S.C.A. Title 36, Chapter 7A, Sections 111 to 120) (Amended 83rd Congress, May 29, 1953) AN ACT To incorporate the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States:

“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following persons, to wit: James E. Van Zandt, Altoona, Pennsylvania; Bernard K. Kearney, Gloversville, New York; Scott P. Squyres, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Robert B. Handy, Junior, Kansas City, Missoui; Henry R. Marquard, Chicago, Illinois; William E. Guthner, Denver, Colorado; Edward J. Neron, Sacramento, California; Joseph C. Menendez, New Orleans, Louisiana; Paul L. Foulk, Altoona, Pennsylvania; Robert E. Kernodle, Kansas City, Missouri; Walter I. Joyce, New York City, New York; George A. Ilg, Cranston, Rhode Island; James F. Daley, Hartford, Connecticut, Charles R. Haley, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; F.C. Devericks, Clarksburg, West Virginia; John J. Skillman, Miami, Florida, Ellie H. Schill, New Orleans, Louisiana; Gerald C. Mathias, Lagrange, Indiana; James W. Starner, Effingham, Illinois; Leon S. Pickens, Wichita, Kansas; Archie W. Nimens, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Harvey W. Snyder, Denver, Colorado; Charles O. Carlston, San Francisco, California; Walter L. Daniels, Seattle, Washington; John E. Swaim, Tulsa, Oklahoma;…”

John retired as Postmaster of the West Tulsa post office40. John and Belle were members of the Church of Christ.41

After retirement John and Belle moved to a farm in Talihina, Oklahoma in Le Flore County. By that time G-Grandfather John Champion had passed away but they brought G-Grandma Laura Champion with them to the farm. But Great Grandmother Champion had cataract problems and was virtually blind. She would struggle to get out of her rocking chair and then struggle to find her way around the farm house.42

For some time after moving into the farm, they had no indoor plumbing or running water. They had a creek running through the farm property and a muddy pond that we fished in with cane poles. The pond was man-made and stocked with trout and was full of crawfish.

I must have been only about 6 years old or so when I last visited their farm. John E. Swaim died in 1957 and Belle moved back to Tulsa shortly after Jack’s death. So I should have limited recollection of this farm but in fact I remember quite a lot about it. I recall chickens, a vegetable garden and large rainwater barrels at the corners of the house to capture water draining off from the roof. I remember my Dad and I hiking. I remember pointing out a snake which my father shot.

John E. Swaim died on August 12, 1957 from prostate cancer at U. S. Veterans Hospital, Muskogee, Oklahoma. I remember visiting him in the hospital although I did not go into his hospital room. I remember Grandfather Jack waving to us from an upper floor hospital window as we went to our car into the parking lot to leave. Tom Swaim’s recollection is that they remembered too late to retrieve many of Jack’s WWI medals and he was buried with many of them. Tom Swaim still has a curved saber with a scrolled handle that Jack brought back from WWI that he will pass down in the family through his son43.

After John’s death, Belle’s Aunt Ethel (Ota Ethel Adams, her mother’s sister, born 1876) moved in with Belle at the farm. They stayed there perhaps a year or so and then moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. 44 Aunt Ethel passed away in Tulsa, Oklahoma in December, 1963.

Belle Swaim lived in at least two different houses in Tulsa that I can recall. She died in 1968 of cancer. I recall Belle liked to play solitaire, cook and bake bread. Alice Belle Hawkins is also described in more detail in the Adams chapter.

John Emory Swaim (b 27 Sep 188545, d 12 Aug 195746) married Alice Belle Hawkins (Champion) (b 5 Nov 188647, d 15 Aug 196848) on August 6, 190449 and had three children (all boys):


  1. Ivan Henry Champion Swaim was born in 1905. Ivan was born in Neosho County, Kansas and was raised near Bluffton, Indiana in Jackson Township, Wells County. Ivan was reportedly smart and became an accountant and bookkeeper. He was a good pianist and had his own band.50 He later developed a drinking problem which created friction in the family and among the brothers. For example, his father John E. Swaim would borrow money from Marion to give to Ivan which was then never repaid51. His first marriage was to Edna Butts and they had two children named Tom and Dick (described later).

    Tom Swaim recalls family vacations and that Ivan was a Cub master while Tom was in Cub Scouts. Ivan and Edna divorced when Tom Swaim was in Junior High School (7th or 8th grade), perhaps sometime near the 1942-43 time frame and Ivan moved out. At some time after the divorce Ivan moved from the Tulsa area to the Fort Worth area (Grand Prairie). Tom Swaim, his son, believes that Ivan may have moved there sometime in the 1950’s. I (Jack Swaim) met Ivan once at my Grandmother Belle’s funeral in 1968. In that brief meeting he appeared as an elderly, thin and somewhat frail man and was pleasant to speak to. He would pass away only two years later in 1970. Ivan was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Dallas County, Texas. The only people at his funeral were Marion Swaim, Helen Swaim and Tom Swaim.



Ivan reportedly had many wives and children although do not know all of their names. My Mother Olly Swaim wrote that Ivan had married three times. The following is what I have collected thanks to Tom Swaim and recollections from my mother and sister.

(a) Ivan Henry Champion Swaim (b 23 Jul 190552, d 10 Oct 197053) was married on January 16, 1928 in Salulpa, Oklahoma (Creek County) to Edna Olen Butts (b 17 Aug 1906, d 16 Jan 199354).

  • Edna Butts was born in Claremore, Oklahoma (Indian Territory) and was buried in Collinsville, Oklahoma.

  • Edna’s father was Ira Ole Butts (b 23 Mar 1874, d 22 Apr 1949), a farmer and county leader. Ira Butts was born in Kansas and died in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

  • Edna’s mother was Ella Susan Baker (b 20 Oct 1879, d 19 Mar 1981) who was born in Claremore, Oklahoma (Indian Territory).

  • Ella’s mother was Elizabeth (Quatsy) Buffington (b 4 Apr 1855) who was a Cherokee born in Tahlequah, Indian Territory or Cherokee Nation.

  • Elizabeth was the daughter of David (Tawi) Buffington (d 1856) and Susie (Miller) (Ghi-Go-No-Le) Sanders (d 1894). David and Susie Buffington were born in Cherokee Nation, East, Georgia23.55.

Ivan and Edna Swaim are reflected in the 1930 census as living at 630 E. 10th Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Tulsa County). In the 1930 Census Ivan’s occupation was listed as “Accountant – Oil”.

Ivan and Edna Swaim had two children – Tommy Jack Swaim and Richard Ivan Swaim:



    1. Tommy Jack Swaim (b 28 Nov 193056). Tom Swaim married Donna Maxine Hoover (b 16 Mar 193157). Tom was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Tulsa County). Maxine was born in Norton, Kansas (Norton County).

Tommy Jack Swaim and Donna Maxine Hoover had the following children:

      • Donald Jack Swaim (b 18 Mar 1952). Donald was born at Barksdale AFB, Bossier City, Louisiana. Donald Swaim married Malinda Sheffield (b 31 Aug 1952). Donald and Malinda Swaim had the following children:

        • Bradford Allen Swaim (b 8 Dec 1978). Houston, Texas (Harris County)

        • Bridget Lea Swaim (b 19 May 1983). Houston, Texas (Harris County).

Donald and Malinda Swaim divorced. Donald was married on August 9, 2003 to Beverly Tremont.

      • Michael Olen Swaim (b 11 Mar 1954). Michael was born in Brownwood, Texas (Brown County). Michael married Rita Kay Winslow. Rita was born in Conroe, Texas (Montgomery County). Michael and Rita Swaim had the following children:

        • Shanon Lynn Swaim (b 25 May 1981). Shanon was born in Conroe, Texas (Montgomery County). Shanon married Shannon DeWayne McMullen (b 24 Nov 1981). Shannon was born in Houston, Texas (Harris County).
          Shannon and Shanon McMullen had the following children:

          • LeAnn Elizabeth McMullen (b 5 Jan 2001). Conroe, Texas (Montgomery County).

        • Lance Allen Swaim (b 10 Jan 1984).

Michael and Rita divorced. Michael Swaim married Peggy Lynn (Cranford) Shairrick (b 20 Apr 1956). Peggy was born in Houston, Texas (Harris County).

      • Susan Inez Swaim (b 11 Aug 1956). Susan was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania (Bucks County). Susan married Karl Edwards Brown, Jr. (b 8 Nov 1955). Karl was born in Austin, Texas (Travis County). Susan and Karl Brown had the following children:

        • Darryl Edwards Brown (b 20 Jun 1978). Darryl was born in Huntsville, Texas (Walker County).

        • Michelle Diane Brown (b 20 Sep 1981). Michelle was born in Dallas, Texas (Dallas County). Michelle married Josh Futrell. Josh and Michelle Futrell had the following children:

          • Hunter Christian Futrell (b 11 Jul 2002). Born Austin, Texas.

      • Billy Joe Swaim (b 30 Dec 1959). Billy was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania (Bucks County). Billy married Michelle Elizabeth Mecke (b 13 Feb 1966). Michelle was born in Austin, Texas (Travis County). Billy and Michelle Swaim had the following children:

        • Jessica Swaim (b 20 Mar 1990). Jessica was born in Conroe, Texas (Montgomery County).

        • Lillian Nicole Swaim (b 12 Apr 1993). Lillian was born in Conroe, Texas.

        • Tommy Jack Swaim (b 18 Mar 1997). Tommy Jack was born in Conroe, Texas.

Tom and Donna Swaim divorced. Tom married Susan Guion (b 4 Sep 1946). Susan was born in Portland, Oregon (Multnomah County). Tom and Susan Swaim had the following children:

      • Christopher Shawn Swaim (b 26 Jul 1980). Christopher was born in Huntsville, Texas (Walker County).

      • Jennifer Lynn Swaim (b 9 Mar 1983). Jennifer was born in Huntsville, Texas (Walker County).

Tom was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1930. Tom was four years younger than my dad and played with him. My dad’s house on 10th street was near railroad tracks and Tom recalls climbing with my Dad on cranes used to unload railroad cars. After his dad and mom divorced, Tom began working at night and in the summers at a drug store during his Junior High School and High School years.

Tom went to Will Rogers High School (my mother Olly Swaim’s high school). He graduated and went to Tulsa University for about a year at the same time my father, Bob Swaim, was there. He enlisted in the Air Force and served during the Korean War as a B29 flight mechanic. In 1953 he was stationed in Okinawa. He was then sent to Tulsa, Oklahoma. His oldest son, Don, was born while he was stationed at Barksdale Air Force base and living in Shreveport, Louisiana.

After his discharge from the Air Force, Tom returned to Tulsa University briefly and then began training as a pilot. He flew as an airline pilot for Pan Am for 35+ years. He lived in various locations during his career including New Hope, Pennsylvania; Frankfort, Germany; Los Angeles, California and Houston, Texas. He also was involved in the evacuation of Americans over the years in at least four revolutions including the Baath revolution in Iraq.

Tom is retired and currently (as of 2003) lives with his wife Susan in Beaverton, Oregon58.


    1. Richard (Dick) Ivan Swaim was born in 1934 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dick served in the air force during the Korean War. He became an airline pilot. He started with DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware and continues to fly as a corporate pilot59. Dick lives in Georgetown, Delaware.

Richard Swaim (b 27 Jul 193460) married Joan Adele Failing (b 11 Mar 1936). Dick and Joan Swaim have the following four children:

      • Cheryl Lynn Swaim (b 6 Sep 1958). Cheryl was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Tulsa County). Cheryl married Robert Wayne Stump (b 24 Apr 1957). Robert was born in Dover, Delaware (Kent County). Robert and Cheryl Stump had the following children:

        • Chad Richard Stump (b 5 Jan 1980).

Robert and Cheryl Stump divorced.

      • Lisa Jo Swaim (b 10 Jan 1963). Lisa married Christopher Robert Parker. Lisa became Lisa Jo Swaim-Parker. Lisa and Christopher had the following children:

        • Jackson Ford Swaim-Parker

      • Karen Ann Swaim (b 15 Mar 1965). Karen was born in Wilmington, Delaware (Newcastle County). Karen married John Robert Riebel (b 17 Jun 1961). John was born in Bucks County, PA. John and Karen Riebel had the following children:

        • Jamie Rae Riebel (b 11 Dec 1985).

Karen and John Riebel divorced. Karen became Karen Ann Hill.

      • Nancy Lee Swaim (b 6 Aug 1966). Nancy married Richard West. Richard and Nancy West had the following children:

        • Ashley West

        • Alan West

In May, 1944 Ivan sent a High School graduation card to his brother Robert Jack Swaim that read “Ivan and Edna”. At some point after 1944 Ivan and Edna divorced.



(b) Ivan Swaim was married to Angelina Maria Sardis61. Ivan and Angelina had the following child:

    • Angela Belle Swaim62 (b 23 Aug 194863)


(c) Ivan Swaim married Halycon2464. I am not sure if they had any children.

If Ivan had other wives and or perhaps other children I do not have information on them. .65




  1. Marion Emory Swaim was born in 1907 in Indiana. Marion spent his childhood years near Bluffton, Indiana and in the Kansas oil fields. On at least one of his long walks to school in Kansas, Marion had the opportunity of being chased by a billy-goat.66

Marion married Helen Purdy from Neosho, Missouri around 1929 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.67 Marion and Helen N. Swaim are listed in the 1930 census for Tulsa, Oklahoma (Tulsa County) where Marion is listed as an engineer for an Oil Well Supply company.

Helen was the daughter of James Milton Purdy and Helen Purdy. James Milton was born in Kentucky. Helen’s mother Helen was born in Tennessee. By the 1910 Census (Neosho, Missouri), Milton had passed away. Helen’s mother Helen was listed in the 1910 Census with ten of her eleven children. Mary had already left home.68

James Milton Purdy (b May 186369, d ~ 1900-191070) and Helen Tommie Norvell71 (b Oct 186872) were married ~ 188673 and had the following eleven children:


    • Mary Purdy (b Nov 188674)

    • Milton Purdy (b Nov 188875)

    • Pauline Purdy (b Aug 189076)

    • Mabel Purdy (b Oct 189277)

    • Gary Purdy (b Oct 189478)

    • Charles Purdy (b 189679)

    • Sarah Purdy (b Feb 189980)

    • Anita Purdy (b ~190281)

    • James J. Purdy (b ~190482)

    • Virginia B. Purdy (b ~190683)

    • Helen Nadine Purdy (b 6 Oct 190884).

I do not know who James M. Purdy’s father and mother were. I have found the following selective ancestry of Helen Tommie Norvell, Helen Purdy Swaim’s mother. This information was obtained via Ancestry.com and source information was from various family sources including the Greaves Family.

Figure 6 Selective Purdy Family Ancestry

Marion took the first job he was offered at National Supply Company. Marion began work with National Supply Company as a janitor and worked his way up eventually serving as a Vice-President of Sales85. National Supply Company was bought out by Armco Steel and Marion became a VP of Sales for the National Supply Division of Armco Steel until his retirement around the age of 55.

Marion and Helen lived in various locations including southern Illinois; Toledo, Ohio; Kansas; Pittsburgh and Houston. Marion retired in Houston, Texas around the age of 55. After retirement Marion took lessons and learned to play the organ25. He also refinished antique furniture, trunks and clocks. He weaved baskets and wicker chairs. He even built his own wooden blinds. He was driving right up to a few years before his death at 85.86

Marion Emory Swaim (b 11 Jul 190787, d 3 Jan 199388) was married ~192989 to Helen Purdy (b 6 Oct 1908, d 29 Apr 198690). Marion and Helen Swaim had the following children:



    1. Donald Lewis Swaim. Don was born in Wichita, Kansas and would grow up in southern Illinois; Toledo, Ohio; Pittsburgh, PA and Houston, Texas. Don was always been interested in broadcasting, journalism and writing. At 13 he was a child actor on two local radio programs broadcast live every Saturday morning in Toledo, Ohio. Don graduated with a degree in broadcast-journalism from Ohio University.

In 1966 Don married Beverly Bradenbaugh. He took a pay cut to become news editor for WORK. After WCBS in New York City changed their format to an all-news format, Don hired on with WCBS in 1967 and moved to Manhattan. He would work for 31 years for WCBS as an anchor, reporter, producer and writer.

While at WCBS Don had the opportunity to conduct numerous radio interviews of well-known people and writers including Richard Nixon, Isaac Asimov, William Burroughs, Dick Francis, Art Buchwald, Robin Cook, Tom Clancy and many more. Many of those interviews can be heard on the internet (as of 2005) at www.wiredforbooks.org/ .

Donald Lewis Swaim (b 19 Sep 193691) and Beverly Bradenbaugh had the following son:


      • Donald David Swaim (b 16 Jul 196892)

Don divorced in 1992. He later married Elizabeth Joyce in 1999. Elizabeth is a nationally known psychic. Don retired from WCBS in 1998 and moved to New Britain Township, Pennsylvania. Don has written seven books and published one of them, the H.L. Mencken Murder Case.



  1. John Stephen Swaim was married in 1968 to Waltraud (Vickie) Ewine Anni26 Schuette. Vickie was born in Darku, Germany. Steve was born in Olney, Illinois. As mentioned with his brother, Don, Steve lived in Houston, Toledo and Pittsburgh before meeting and marrying Vickie in 1968. Steve worked as a Sales Manager for EIM Controls before retiring in 1999 after working for them for 32 years. EIM manufactures electrical, pneumatic and manual valve controls, used on larger size valves....water/waste water plants, pipelines, refineries, Navy, chemical plants, power plants, etc.  Steve said working for EIM wasn’t so bad. “They took good care of me and only slowly beat my brains out.”

Steve recounted an interesting story to me that I will paraphrase. One day a driller called Steve and said Marion and Bob were heirs to Belle’s farm’s mineral rights. Gas or oil had been found in adjacent acreage. Someone wanted to buy the mineral rights and offered some money, not much, perhaps a few thousand dollars for the mineral rights. Steve checked with Bob. Bob wanted to contact Tommy Jack and Dick, Ivan’s sons.

Steve called Tom and asked him to contact his brother Dick. Dick didn’t want to sell and didn’t believe the guy offered enough money. Dick suggested that Steve needed to get up there since he was closest (about 450 miles away), hire some lawyers and surveyors and check this thing out to make sure they weren’t getting taken. As of 2003, the mineral rights had not been sold because Dick did not want to sell.

Steve has always been a ham radio buff. He has talked to people in 304 different countries. There are 3,077 counties in the U.S. Steve has contacted someone in each county three times and is currently (as of 2003) working on his fourth round. He particularly enjoys the challenge of seeing how far away he can reach using the least amount of power. For example, he has been able to reach countries in Europe, Africa and Asia using only 100 milliwatts of power.

In 1993 Steve and Vickie moved from Houston to a house on Lake Conroe, about 50 miles north of Houston. Steve is currently retired.

John Stephen Swaim (b 15 Jun 1941) and Waltraud (Vickie) Ewine Anni Schuette (b 27 Jun 1942) have two children, both adopted, as follows:


      • Mark Stephen Christopher Swaim (b 22 Dec 197293). Mary was born in Houston, Texas (Harris County). Mark Swaim was married on 6 Aug 1994 to Valerie Ann Hamm. Mark and Valerie Swaim had one son:

        • Jeremy Stephen Swaim (b 8 May 1996). Jeremy was born in Houston, Texas.

Mark and Valerie Swaim divorced. Mark married Lina Jaime.

      • Susan Stephanie Swaim (b 21 Oct 197694). Susan Swaim and Jonathan W. Greene (b 21 Jun 1960, d 3 Nov 200195) had one daughter:

        • Rebekah Aleah Swaim (b 8 Nov 1995). Aleah was born in Conroe, Texas.

Susan Swaim and Ryan Maher had one son:

  • Jordan Isaiah Swaim (b 20 Sep 1998). Jordan was born in Houston, Texas.


  1. Robert Jack Swaim (b 14 Jul 1926, d 18 Jul 1997) was married May 30, 1948 to Olly Marie Robinson (b 19 Oct 1926). Bob and Olly had the following children:

    1. Jack Stuart Swaim (b 1952). (previously described).

    2. Carol Jane Swaim (b 1954). (previously described).

    3. Randall Lee Swaim (b 1959). (previously described).

[Bob and Olly Swaim’s family is described in detail in the previous chapter].
There was a 19 and 21 year difference between the first two sons, Ivan and Marion, and my father, Bob. By the time Bob was growing up, Ivan and Marion had moved out of the house.





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