Carroll County Biographies

Benjamin F. Sword
Lanark, Carroll Co. IL

There is something in the nature of every man that makes him proud to be able to trace his family back through a long line of honorable ancestry, and Benjamin F. Sword of Lanark is no exception to this rule. He has every reason to be proud of his family tree which is exceedingly interesting and did space permit, its insertion in these pages would be of value. The family is traced back to Henry Sword, the great-great-grandfather, who had the following family: Jacob, Philip, Peter, Conrad, John and Daniel. Of these, Peter Sword became the great-grandfather of Benjamin F. Sword, and his children were: Washington, Monroe and John. The grandfather John Sword had these children: Samuel, David, Jacob, John, Mary, and Betsy.

The father, Jacob Sword, was born in 1815, and his wife who bore the maiden name of Sarah Reed, was born December 25, 1820. She survives, and is in excellent health considering her advanced years. In 1865, they came to Illinois and located one and one-half miles north of Lanark, on a farm which they continued to operate until the death of the father, which occurred February 24, 1886. While he was engaged in agricultural pursuits for many years, he was a cabinetmaker by trade. The children born to him and his excellent wife were: Mrs. Lydia A. Hicks; Mrs. Mary Miller; Mrs. Will Wingart and Benjamin F., who was born June 7, 1848; Elizabeth Fry; Newton; Sarah, who is deceased; David M., who lives at Georgetown, Ill.; Mrs. Emma Jane Ewing; Mrs. Alice Brown, who lives in Virginia; and Calvin, who lives at Mt. Carroll. Being interested in securing good educational advantages for his children, Jacob Sword served as a school director during the earlier years of his life, and was a good citizen and useful man.

Benjamin F. Sword was born in Washington County, Md., and was about seventeen years old when the family migrated to Carroll county. He had attended school in his native place, and completed his education in Carroll County, remaining with his father until he was twenty-four years old, and rendering him an affectionate and useful service. On December 7, 1871, Mr. Sword was married to Miss Elizabeth Boyd, the daughter of Otho and Ann (Pfoutz) Boyd, all being natives of Washington county, Md. Mrs. Sword was born in Cherry Grove, November 16, 1854. She was one of the following family: Mrs. Sarah Rowland; Mrs. Sword; George W. Boyd; and Mrs. Emma Sword, while she has a half brother, Charles who lives at Washington, D.C., being in the employ of the government in its life saving service. Mr. and Mrs. Sword had one daughter, Carrie May Champion, who was born September 18, 1876, and died September 7, 1902.

For one term Mr. Sword served as tax collector of Cherry Grove Township, being elected on the Democratic ticket, he having always espoused the principles advocated by that party. He is a consistent member of the Brethren Church of Lanark and takes a great deal of interest in its growth and prosperity. After his marriage, Mr. Sword began farming for himself and owned a tract of ninety-five acres in Cherry Grove township, but in 1884 sold his property and came to Lanark. It not being in his nature to remain inactive, he embarked in a meat business as a partner of Harry Strickler, continuing to conduct it for a year, and then for the following three years he was in a grocery business in partnership with William Clemmer. Following this he operated a grocery, restaurant and bakery combined for nine years, being by himself for seven years of this time, after which he took Howard Puterbaugh into partnership, dissolving that connection after a year to form one with M.M. Musselman which continued for another year. At present Mr. Sword is acting as sexton of the Lanark cemetery, and distributor of samples, circulars, booklets, almanacs, pamphlets and packages. His service is guaranteed by the Will A. Molton Distributing Agency of Cleveland, Ohio, and he is often called upon, for those who have patronized him know of his efficiency, accuracy and faithfulness. (pg. 909-910)

Contributed by Carol Parrish from The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and the History of Carroll County, Vol. II published 1913 by Munsell Publishing Company, Chicago, IL

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