Garfield, WA Databases


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GREEN SWINNEY

Green SWINNEY is a retired farmer making his home in Pomeroy. A native of Indiana, he was born on Christman day of 1841, his parents being Elijah and Hannah (STARKS) SWINNEY. The father was a native of Virginia and in his boyhood removed with his parents to Indiana, where he attained his majority and was married. Later he became one of the early pioneers of Davis county, Iowa, his removal to that state occurring when his son Green was but an infant in arms. The father remained in Davis county until 1864 and then disposed of his property there, after which he crossed the plains with ox teams and wagon to Oregon, establishing his home in Lane county. There he spent eleven years and in 1875 made his way northward to what is now Garfield county, Washington. Within the borders of that county he took up a homestead, which he later turned over to his son James, who proved up on the property. The father resided upon that farm until his death and was widely known among the leading early settlers of his section of the state.

Green SWINNEY was reared and educated in Iowa, pursuing his studies in the public schools of that state. He was a young man of twenty-three years when he crossed the plains, driving one of the ox teams and thus making his way to a country which was to give him his opportunity. His school training had been limited to a few months' attendance inone of the old-time log schoolhouses of Iowa with its puncheon floor and slab benches, the methods of instruction being as primitive as were the furnishings. Upon his arrival in Oregon he began work as a farm hand and continued to work for wages until his removal to Washington in 1875. At that date he purchased a tract of railroad land in Columbia county, near Dayton, and four years later he disposed of that property and removed into what is now Garfield county, where he took up a preemption of one hundred and sixty-five acres eight miles east of Pomeroy. He resided upon that tract for a quarter of a century and his labors wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of the place, for he brought his land under high cultivation and divided it into fields of convenient size, annually gathering good crops. Year by year he carefully tilled the soil and became recognized aas one of the representative farmers of his part of the state. In 1904 he left the farm and removed to Pomeroy, where he has since made his home, enjoying the fruits of former toil in a well earned rest.

On the Ist of July, 1877, Mr. SWINNEY was united in marriage to Miss Catherine SMITH, a daughter of Joseph SMITH, who left his Ohio home as a boy of seventeen years, and after spending a short time in Iowa, he crossed the plains in 1846. On the journey he contracted mountain fever and when the train with which he was traveling reached Walla Walla, he was left with Dr. WHITMAN, who nursed him back to health, he spent the following winter and the next spring with Dr. WHITMAN, for whom he worked at splitting rails and also planted some small tracts to grain. In the summer of 1847, prior to Dr. WHITMAN's murder, he went to Oregon, settling in Lane county, where he was afterward married. There he lived until 1861, when he came to Washington and spent the summer in the Orofino mines. During the hard winter of 1861-62- a winter memorable in the history of the state-he was in Columbia county, living near Dayton. There he acquired land and later made that place his home. During the latter years of his life, however he resided with Mr. and Mrs. SWINNEY, reaching the ripe old age of eighty-one years.

In politics Mr. SWINNEY has always been an advocate of democratic priniciples but has never been an office seeker. He and his wife are members of the Christian church and are most worhty people, honored and respected by all who know them and most of all by those who have known them longest and best-a fact which indicates that their strongest traits of character are those which ever command confidence and respect.
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Source: Book: Lymans HISTORY of OLD WALLA WALLA, COLUMBIA, GARFIELD, and Asotin Counties. by. W.D. LYMAN, M.A., Lit.D Illustrated Volume 1 Chicago, The S.J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1918 Pages 616-619, picture on pg 617