Clayton A. Swiggett is a mechanical engineer both by college diploma and by long and practical experience gained in many localities and in many positions. He is now superintendent of the Western States Portland Cement Company at Independence, and is contributing his ability towards the making of that one of the great industries of Kansas.
The Western States Portland Cement plant began operations at Independence in 1905, and from time to time it has been enlarged and improved until its annual capacity is now a million barrels. About 250 men are employed and the pay roll is one of the chief assets of local property. The plant is situated a mile southeast of Independence, while the offices are in the plant with a branch office in Kansas City. A dozen buildings make up the group of the plant, while the limestone quarry and the clay mines are immediately on the premises. The officers of this company are: A. W. Shulthis, of Independence, president; B. F. Henry of Lamar, Colorado, vice president; C. B. McVay, secretary and treasurer, and C. A. Swiggett, superintendent.
In 1624 Herman Swigert came from Germany and settled in New Amsterdam, now New York City; in 1700 his son, Otto Swigert, settled in Pennsylvania, now Delaware; in 1760, grandson of Otto Swigert, James Swiget, settled in what is now Casey County, Kentucky; in 1829, Nathan Swiget moved from Kentucky to Pike County, Illinois, with one son, George Swiget, then three years old. It was during this time the additional letters crept into the name which is now spelled Swiggett.
Andrew Swiggett, son of George Swiget, was born May 27, 1854, at New Salem, Pike County, Illinois, and moved to Kansas in 1872, and married Celia A. Mooney, December 31, 1876; from which union there were three children, Floyd P., Clayton A., and Mary E.
Andrew Swiggett first located at Towanda, afterward moving to Eldorado, Kansas, and in 1905, to Wichita, where he still resides; he is a hotel proprietor, a progressive in politics, and a member of the Masonic fraternity.
In the maternal line, the Mooneys originated in the Isle of Man, and were New Jersey settlers also in colonial days. Isaac Mooney, Celia Mooney’s father, was a native of Illinois, moved to Kansas in the early days and helped found the town of Towanda, Butler County. He died there; he was a Christian minister and for many years was president of a Christian college in Northern Kansas.
Clayton A. Swiggett received his early education in the public schools of Butler County, Kansas, graduating from the High School of Eldorado in 1901; found his first employment in the Santa Fe shops in New Mexico. He spent three years learning the trade of machinist from a practical standpoint. After that he worked at his trade in old Mexico, California, through the gold fields of Alaska, in the Cour D’Alene mining district of Idaho, and then returned to Kansas. For a year he was a student in the Fairmount College at Wichita, and then entered the Kansas State University, where in 1910 he was graduated and given the degree of mechanical engineer.
Since leaving the university, Mr. Swiggett’s work has been identified with the cement industry. As mechanical engineer and assistant superintendent he was connected with the Iola Portland Cement Company at Iola, Kansas, until March, 1916. He then accepted his present post as superintendent of the Western States Portland Cement Company at Independence.
Politically, Mr. Swiggett is an independent democrat. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and is affiliated with the Iola Lodge No. 569, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. At Iola, in 1915, he married Miss Florence Setterstrom, daughter of Judge J. P. and Mrs. Setterstrom, who reside at Elsmore, Kansas. Her father is a prominent citizen of Allen County, being a farmer, a dealer in real estate, and also probate judge.