Wednesday, September 25, 2013



My paternal great-grandmother was Finis Louise Swain (1857 – 1937), who married Samuel William Leach (1851 – 1918) in 1874. They lived their entire lives in Ohio County and had four children (Henry Oscar, Harney Leslie, Clyde Fielding, and Chester Finis).

Her obituary is as follows:

Venerated Woman Dies at Beaver Dam.  Mrs. Finis Leona Leach, 79 years of age, died at her home in Beaver Dam at 4:15 p.m., Wednesday, April 21, after having been ill for a number of years and bedfast for the last two years.  Her death was attributed to a complication of diseases.  Mrs. Leach was a native of Ohio County, born near Cromwell, a daughter of the late Allen and Lyda Morton Swain.  She was the widow of Samuel William Leach, who preceded her in death a number of years ago.  She was an admirable woman and a member of the Baptist church.  Surviving relatives are three sons, Oscar, of Cincinnati, Clyde, of Lexington, Chester, of Owensboro, eight grandchildren; a sister, Mrs. Frank Cooper, and two brothers, Sip and Harper Swain, Ohio County.  Funeral services were conducted at the home at 1:00 p.m. last Thursday, and also a short service at the Leach cemetery, near Rob Roy, where commitment was made.  Services were in charge of the Rev. J. L. Sullivan, pastor of Beaver Dam Baptist church.  Ohio County News, April 30, 1937.

A brother of my great-grandmother was Percipal Aurthine Swain, who was called “Uncle Sip.”  The following is taken from my notes on him:

Uncle Sip Swain told his barber one autumn day in 1888 that this was his last haircut until a Democratic President was elected. He wanted a Democrat in office to help obtain post office service. Grover Cleveland was soon thereafter defeated, and Uncle Sip wore his hair long for four years. He was determined that his neighbors should have mail service, so for a full year he walked nine miles each way to town twice a week to carry the mail himself. He was the object of such Republican ribaldry as changing a popular song, "Johnny, Get Your Hair Cut" to "Sippy, Get Your Hair Cut." When Cleveland was elected in 1892, Ohio County held a parade led by a brass band and a huge wagon converted into a float and escorted Uncle Sip to Beaver Dam for his haircut which was watched by 3,000 Democrats. A blue ribbon was tied around a lock of his hair and sent to Grover Cleveland. He served as the Postmaster for Prentiss, KY for more than 40 years.

Parcipial Authine "Sip" Swain died on 07 March 1951 in Beaver Dam, Ohio County, Kentucky, at age 97. His obituary stated that he was a sterling citizen of quaint individuality and would be remembered for his dapper manner, long locks of hair, and friendly jollity. He was an accomplished fiddler and maker of fiddles, a horse racing devotee and hiking enthusiast. He was a farmer, merchant, blacksmith, and postmaster, living most of his life in the Prentiss community. He was buried in Slaty Creek Cemetery, Ohio County, Kentucky.

In addition to Uncle Sip, my great-grandmother had eight other brothers and sisters, i.e  Mary Frances, Peridope, Peyton Timoleon, Laura Lelah, Jefferson Davis, Ellis Harper, John Wilkes Booth, and Elida Quantrilla. All born between 1851 and 1871 in Ohio County. Most of the foregoing lived out their lives in Ohio County, although one or two moved to neighboring counties.

Their parents were Henry Allen Swain (1827 – 1878) and Elizabeth Jane Garner Morton (1829 – 1901) who also lived their entire lives in Ohio County.

            Obit from Jerry Long.  Died of pneumonia near Cromwell last Sunday.  Published 3 Apr 1878.

Hartford newspaper April 24,1901: MRS. ELIZA G. SWAIN died on the 19th at Prentiss, Ky.  Wife of ALLEN SWAIN, who died 23 years ago, she was called AUNT LIDA.

Henry Allen’s father was also named Henry (1780 – 1856) who moved to Ohio County about 1824. He was married to Mary Howell (1790 – 1843) and they had nine children: Peyton T., James H., Nancy, Mary D., Martha, Elizabeth, Henry Allen, Rhoden Burgoyne, and Homer C. (all born between 1810 and 1837).
The following is taken from my notes on Henry Allen:

Henry volunteered at Hartford, Ohio County, Kentucky, on 19 August 1813 as a private for 3 months on the expedition to Canada and served with Capt. James Tyler's Company, 10th Regiment Kentucky Mounted Volunteer Militia in the War of 1812. He served until 20 September 1813 and was paid for 1 month, 2 days in the amount of 8 dollars, 51 cents. He was paid 13 dollars, 20 cents for the use of his horse at 40 cents per day.

Henry "Harry" Swain died on 07 February 1856 in Ohio County, Kentucky, at age 75. He was buried in Swain Cemetery, Ohio County, Kentucky. The cemetery [also called the Hudnall Cemetery] is located above Green River at the mouth of the Thoroughfare on Highway 169 below Prentiss and Schultztown.

Some members of the Swain family have tried to locate a Swain Cemetery in Ohio County.  I have two saved emails discussing the cemetery (although it appears that the Hudnall Cemetery is probably the same as the Swain Cemetery).

Date:    Tue, 11 Dec 2001
From:   "Swain, Ed"

Charles, I just ran across this message in my files and am passing it on. Doug, my brother, was looking for the cemetery that had Henry and Polly Swain and we had not found out that it was on the farm or where the farm was located.

From:     Doug Swain
Sent:       Sunday, March 29, 1998
To:          Swain, Ed
Subject:  Ohio County

       I went to Ohio County today looking for the Swain Cemetery. I don't  know if I found it or not. The first cemetery I went to was south of  Schultztown. There was one stone with Swain on it. It was of the young  daughter of P.T. and L.E. Swain, named Premley E., born Nov 21  1883 died Aug 7 1884. There were a few graves with just rough sandstone  rocks for markers, with no names.
       The second cemetery I went to was in the area called Schultztown. It  was the Schultz Cemetery. There were no markers in this cemetery with  Swain on them.
       The third cemetery was between Prentiss and Schultztown called Slaty Creek. There were a number of Swains in this  cemetery. I didn't write them down, just took pictures. I will let you  know the complete details when I get the pictures back. Some names I can  remember are Mittie, Willie, and Leonard.
       I talked to a couple of people in the area and they did not know of  a cemetery named Swain. It could be possible that the first cemetery or  the last might have been the Swain Cemetery. The second cemetery was the  Schultz cemetery and it had some very old Schultz stones in it, so it is  doubtful that it is the Swain Cemetery, and there were no Swains there  either.

Email from Glenda Price:

I have these dates:
        Henry Allen Swain, born March 26, 1827 in Ohio (or Butler) County, KY, married on February 20, 1851 in Ohio County, KY to Eliza Garner Morton, born October 21, 1829 in Kentucky, and died April 19, 1901 in Ohio County, KY.  Henry Allen Swain died in 1878. 
            I have copied information from an Ohio County Will book that says:  "p. 435, Will of ELIZA G. SWAIN, gives to son ELLIS H. SWAIN the farm on which she now resides, about 25 acres, to be his for as long as he lives and then to descend to his heirs.  Should he die without children, then said land to descend to his brothers and sisters or their heirs.  To other children or their heirs, she gives farm lying on Green River, about 118 acres, which farm is to be sold and the proceeds divided equally.  This bequest to P. A. SWAIN, P. T. SWAIN, F. L. LEACH for LELAH BUCKLEY, dec'd, J. D. SWAIN, J. B. SWAIN, ELIDA COOPER, and ORPHA BUCKLEY, granddaughter, daughter of Lelah Buckley.  What goes to Orpha Buckley is to be held in trust for her until she reaches the age of 21 years or marries, with JAMES READ as trustee.  All of the personal property to go to her children and grandchild, said property to be sold and proceeds equally distributed.  Said personal property not to include certain articles of household and kitchen furniture which Ellis H. Swain, her son, owns in his own right and which articles he shall be allowed to select.  Appoints James Read, son-in-law, as sole executor.  April 15, 1901.  ALLEN GENTRY and H. B. TAYLOR, both of Prentis, Kentucky, witnesses,  Probated May 6, 1901."

I also have a listing of graves at the Swain farm, which I believe to be the 116 acres mentioned above.  Martha Leach, 1876-1917 is there. Henry and his wife Mary "Polly" Howell is there.  According to one reference, there are also 16 unmarked graves and evidence of more graves there. 

Here is what I have for Henry Allen SWAIN and Eliza Garner MORTON's children: 
Mary Frances SWAIN, b. 1851, Ohio Co, KY, m. James R. READ 
Parcipial Authine "Sip" SWAIN (1853-1951), b. Prentiss, Ohio Co., KY, m. Willelmina Elminia "Willie" ANGLE;
Peyton Timoleon SWAIN, b. 1855 in KY, m. Laura E. TURNS
Finis Leona SWAIN , b. 1857, KY, m. Samuel W. LEACH
Laura Lelah SWAIN, b. 1860, Ohio Co., KY, m. John S. BUCKLEY
Jefferson Davis SWAIN, b. 1863, KY
Ellis Harper SWAIN, b. 1865, KY
John Wilkes Booth SWAIN, b. 1868, KY, m. Iona CARTER
Elida Quantrilla SWAIN, b. 1871, KY
(I love these names--very unusual!)
This information came from a direct descendant of Parcipial's.

I agree that the Swain farm and cemetery are in the Prentiss vicinity.  The descendant I referred to above gave me a picture of the house in which he was born in Prentiss.  Yesterday I ran across this notation that the Hudnall cemetery (which is sometimes called the Swain cemetery and is where Henry Swain and Mary Howell are buried) is located on the north bank of the Green River at the lower mouth of the Thoroughfare at Hudnall's Landing.  (Hudnall owned the land, at least some of it, after the Swain's.)  Now, if I could just figure out which is the lower mouth of the Thoroughfare as it looks like both ends of the river meet the Green River.   Another description says that HudnaIl's Landing is just below the mouth of the Thoroughfare and up river from Rochester. I have been told that there is nothing left there any more due to damage by the cows. 

Maps showing the approximate location of the Swain farm and possibly the cemetery. Note: These two maps show the same location - the scale changes with the second map.

1 comment:

  1. The SWAINs Henry and More are buried on the side of the hill at the family Farm. You go past the barn, past the little cemetery inside of the fence, to the trees on the hill that overlook the green river. You must brush away leaves to find the stones. They are the kind that you lay over the graves. There is a treasure of information there.
    Jim Swain, Frankfort, KY