ALBERTUS P. SWIFT
ALBERTUS P. SWIFT, who was formerly engaged in the grocery business in the village of Kalamo, is a representative of the third generation of the family in Eaton county, which has been his home from the time of his birth. He was born on the homestead farm, a portion of which he still owns, in Kalamo township, April 26, 1863, and is a son of Lemuel P. and Maria Jane (Brooks) Swift, the former having been in Wayne county, New York, July 30, 1828, and having died on the old home place in Kalamo township April 3, 1887; his wife, who was born in the state of New York, November 20, 1886, died on the home farm May 11, 1886. Reuben Swift, father of Lemuel P., was born in Connecticut and passed his last days in Kalamo township, having been one of the sterling pioneers of Eaton county. In 1837 he removed from the state of New York to Michigan and located in Saline, Washtenaw county, where he remained the first summer, and then to Kalamazoo, where he remained until the spring of 1839. He then came to Eaton county and located in Bellevue township, having previously purchased eighty acres of wild land in section 1. He built a primitive log house on the place and reclaimed a considerable portion of the land, which, after a number of years he sold. He then purchased eighty acres of partly improved land in section 26, Kalamo township, and he continued the development of this property, having passed the last years of his life in the home of his son Lemuel. About 1850 the latter purchased eighty acres of timbered land in Bellevue township, building a shanty on the place and installing his family in this little domicile before it had been equipped with either windows or doors. He later exchanged this place for eighty acres in section 26, Kalamo township, where he developed a valuable farm, erecting good buildings, and continuing to reside on this homestead until his death. In the early days Reuben Swift was compelled to go to Marshall to have his grain ground, that place having the nearest mill. He was a carpenter and assisted in erecting the first grist mill in the village of Bellevue. Of his eight children, Lemuel P. was the eldest, all having become resident of Eaton county and all being now deceased, except three -- Susan, who is the wife of Thomas Gould, and Theoda, who is the wife of Lemuel Tiech, and James Swift, who resides on section 25, Kalamo township. Those deceased, besides Lemuel P., are Clinton, Charles, Nancy and Alice. the mother of the subject of this review was the eldest in a family of seven children. Louisa, who married Daniel Townsend, is deceased; Melissa is the wife of Joseph Bradley; Anna is the wife of Harvey Estes, and Benjamin, David and Elias are deceased. Zimri Brooks, maternal grandfather of Mr. Swift, came to Eaton county about 1848, purchasing land in Kalamo township and thereafter having bought and sold several different places in the county, both he and his wife continuing resident of the county until death. Lemuel P. and Maria J. Swift became the parents of three children, of whom Albertus P., of this sketch, was the third in order of birth. Alden B., born January 30, 1855, is a landowner and hardware merchant in the state of Kansas. he married Hattie Babcock, who is now deceased and who is survived by two children. Elmer C., born November 19, 1856, is a resident of Nashville, Barry county. He married Amelia Brace and they have two children. The father was a Republican in his political proclivities, and the mother was a devoted member of the Christian or Disciples' church. Albertus P. Swift was reared on the home farm and was afforded the advantages of the public schools. He was associated in the operation of the home farm until the death of his parents. His father at one time owned two hundred and forty acres of land, but had divided one hundred and forty acres among his children, his homestead comprising one hundred acres at the time of his demise. In the final division of the estate Albertus P. purchased a portion of the interest of the other heirs, and he now owns one hundred and twenty acres of the old homestead, which is one of the well-improved and valuable farms in Kalamo township. He continued to reside on the farm until 1896, when he removed to the village of Kalamo, where he engaged in the grocery business, in which line of enterprise he has since continued, having a representative patronage. He also owns an attractive residence in the village, being one of the well known and popular citizens of the township. He is a stalwart in the local camp of the Republican party and is now serving his tenth term as township clerk. In a fraternal way he is identified with the Knights of the Macabees. April 9, 1885, Mr. Swift was united in marriage to Miss Ella A. Williamson, who was born and reared in this county, and who died December 23, 1891, being survived by her only child, Zoa E., born June 8, 1890. She was a daughter of William B. Williamson, who come from Oswego, New York, to Eaton county about 1860, becoming a prosperous farmer of Bellevue township at the time of his death. Of his four children only one is living, William, a resident of Walton township. January 22, 1895, Mr. Swift wedded Miss Myrta B. Chase, a daughter of Alfred Chase, who was born in Ohio, whence he removed to Hillsdale county, Michigan, where he remained until 1873, when he came to Eaton county, becoming a representative farmer of Kalamo township. He has sold his farm and is now living in the village of Kalamo. Of his three children, Mrs. Swift is the eldest, and others being Gay and Ray.