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Thomas W. Swinney

Thomas W. Swinney was born Nov. 3, 1803 in Piketon, Ohio. He came to Ft. Wayne in the early 1820's when Ft. Wayne consisted of a small settlement centered around the old fort. Swinney purchased a large amount of wilderness land along the east bank of the St. Mary's River. After purchasing large amounts of land in the area, he married Lucy Taber in December of 1827. He acquired the land where the homestead and East Swinney park are now, from his wife. He acquired what is now West Swinney Park from his wife's brother, Cyrus Taber. Swinney had three children, Margaret, Caroline, and Frances E.

Swinney became very influential in the Allen County area and a strong advocate of the Republican Party. Swinney served as justice of the peace, overseer of the poor, and 2 terms as Allen County treasurer. His tribute to the city of Ft. Wayne was Swinney Park, which was to become a part of the city once his 2 daughters, Caroline and Frances, passed away. These daughters resided in the Swinney Homestead, built by Thomas, for 70 years. The homestead became the museum of the Allen County - Ft. Wayne Historical Society and was later restored by Ft. Wayne residents. It is currently owned by the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department. He died Jan. 20, 1875.

Thanks to George Beckett

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