Biography of Fred W. Swantz
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Fred W. Swantz, of Yorkville Township, is one of the native sons of Racine County who has continued to reside here after reaching, mature years, as he is convinced that the opportunities offered the industrious man here are equal to those to he found elsewhere. He has been active in the real estate field for many years, buying and selling a large number of farms within that time, and he is now interested in several tracts of good land in the County, He also writes insurance and in addition to his other activities engages in raising 0-rain and stock. His birth occurred upon the farm where he still lives, on the 8th of September, 1865, and he is a son of William and Elizabeth (Freitag) Swantz, both natives of Pomerania, Germany. The paternal grandfather owned a small tract of land in that country and concentrated his energies upon farming, passing away in his native country in middle life. The maternal grandfather was employed as a farm laborer in Germany and died there at an advanced age, but his wife came to this country and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. William Swantz, when seventy-seven years old. The birth of William Swantz occurred in 1816, He was reared in the fatherland and remained there for a number of years after attaining his majority, but in 1851 came to the United States and located in Milwaukee. In 1853 he removed to Racine County and purchased eighty acres of land which he cleared and brought under cultivation. He also improved the place with substantial buildings and devoted the remainder of his life to the operation of his farm, dying there in 1895. When he came to this country he had no capital, but was energetic and determined to succeed and at his death owned four hundred acres of valuable land. He was a republican in politics and was a member of the Lutheran church, as was his wife. She was born in 1823 and died in 1889. Their marriage was celebrated in Germany a number of years previous to their emigration to this country, Ten children were born to their union, of whom four sons survive, as follows: Herman, a farmer of Kenosha County; William, also farming there; Henry, who is living retired in Union Grove; and Fred W.
The last named received a district school education and passed his boyhood and youth under the parental roof, devoting his time, when not attending school, to assisting his father, He now owns the family homestead of eighty acres, which he operates, and he also has an interest in a number of other farms. For twenty-five years he has engaged in the real estate business and during that time has owned forty-eight different tracts of land in Kenosha and Racine counties, He has also been active to some extent in the insurance field and in all branches of his business has met with gratifying success. As a farmer he devotes his attention chiefly to dairying and owns a number of thoroughbred Holstein cows.
Mr. Swantz was married in September, 1889, to Miss Elizabeth Myers, who was born in Paris Township, Kenosha County, and is a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Lemand) Myers, natives of Germany. In 1854 they immigrated to the United States and purchased a farm in Paris Township, where they resided for many years. They are now residents of the city of Racine. They became the parents of seven children, of whom five survive, namely: Jacob; Mrs. Swantz; Peter; Maggie, the wife of Charles Drinkwater; and Catherine, the wife of William Crilly. Mr. and Mrs. Swantz are the parents of two children: Herbert H., who married Miss Emma Erb and is now farming in Paris Township, Kenosha County; and Alfred W., at home.
Mr. Swantz supports the Republican Party at the polls and has served as a member of the school hoard and as justice of the peace for a number of years, his record in office being creditable alike to his ability and conscientiousness. He is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America and in religious faith is a Congregationalist. He has accumulated more than a competence as a result of his enterprise, his business acumen and his good management, and is one of the substantial residents of his Township, while as a representative of one of the pioneer families of the County he has ably carried on the work begun by his father.