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Lewis SWAGLER--b. 1841--Switzerland > Missouri > Illinois
Posted by: Denise Zieroth (ID *****7922) Date: March 02, 2005 at 08:50:39
  of 6

Lewis SWAGLER was born November 16, 1841 in Lucerne, Switzerland and died July 8, 1915 in Illinois, probably Clinton County. We haven't been able to find anything on Lewis' parents, etc.

The story I have from a great aunt is: Lewis' mother died when he was quite small. His father was in the army and Lewis stayed with his grandfather (I have no idea which one). His grandfather kept him until he was 9 years old. He then sent Lewis to America -- to an uncle in St. Louis, Missouri in 1851. He came alone in the care of the ship's Captain.

When he arrived in St. Louis he found that his uncle had moved to California and he never located him. Lewis was on his own, so he worked as a cabin boy on a boat on the Mississippi River. (Ok, here I have visions of Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn -- it's actually conceivable he could have met Mark Twain, as Samuel Clemens of course). Then he worked for a grocer in St. Louis.

Later he moved to Lawrenceville, Lawrence County, Illinois and worked on a farm until he volunteered for service in the Civil War at the age of 19 years, 9 months. He joined at Lawrenceville and was sent to Cape Girardeau, Missouri on August 10, 1861 as a Private in Company G - 11th Regiment - Missouri Infantry for 3 years.

But he didn't serve for 3 years. He was wounded in the Battle of Iuka, Mississippi on September 19, 1862. He was in a hospital in Jackson, Tennessee September - December 1862 and was discharged at Jackson, Tennessee and returned home prior to January 1863. ("Certificate of Disability Report" showed him "Discharged November 16, 1862 at Jackson, Tennessee.")

Lewis returned to Lawrenceville, Illinois and married Louisa Duke on August 16, 1863. Children:
1) William SWAGLER b. 1865 Lawrenceville, IL
2) Charles SWAGLER b. 1869 Lawrenceville, IL

After Louisa died in April 1869, Lewis left his sons with his mother-in-law and went to Shattuc, Clinton County, Illinois {that same year}. He went to work on the farm of William H. Russell. At that time, the Russell farm comprised all of what would later be the lands of the Jensens, Swaglers, Treffents and Wiedles -- several thousand acres of fruit trees, farm land & large herds of cattle.

While working for William Russell, he met Catherine (BASSLER) ENS. They were married November 28, 1872 at Shattuc, IL.

Catherine BASSLER was born February 25, 1840 in Germany (there is a note that is very unclear which may say "Muschack/h"). Again, from a great aunt: She came to America at the age of 15 with her brother, Fred BASSLER, who left Germany to escape military service (not uncommon at that time). They arrived in New Orleans in 1855 and went to Trenton, IL where they had friends. She worked as a maid and her brother worked as a farm hand. Here she married Frank ENS on April 25, 1859 and they had 6 children before he died in 1870.

Children of Lewis SWAGLER & Catherine BASSLER:

1) Edward R. SWAGLER b. November 29, 1873 Shattuc, IL m. Mayme FLUETI

2) Matilda "Tiliie" SWAGLER b. February 12, 1877 Shattuc, IL -- m. Frederich William WIEDLE November 11, 1903 Marion Co., IL

3) Arnold SWAGLER b.March 27, 1878 Shattuc, IL died 1878

4) Julia SWAGLER b. March 27, 1878 Shattuc, IL died 1878

5) Benjamin SWAGLER b. March 12, 1880 Shattuc, IL m. Alvena Sophia WEDEKEMPER

On his Pension Paper - December 18, 1897 - he listed 5 living children:
William -- age 32
Charles -- age 30
Edward -- age 23
Tillie -- age 19
Benjamin -- age 17

The spelling of "SWAGLER" was probably changed. I've talked to a few people researching Swiss names and originally it was probably something like SCHWEG(G)LER / SCHWAG(G)LER, etc. I'd love to hear from anyone who is connected to these families. As I said, we haven't been able to go further back on Lewis' line. We haven't been able to find anything on Catherine BASSLER's line either.

My line is through Lewis & Catherine's daughter, "Tillie" who married Frederich William WIEDLE.


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