Carroll Lawrence Swarts, judge of the Nineteenth judicial district court at Winfield, Kan., was born Oct. 12, 1852, in Canton, Fulton county, Illinois, and is a son of Rev. Benjamin Swarts. His father was a native of Illinois, a Methodist minister, and spent the earlier part of his career in ministerial service in northern Illinois. At Lincoln's call for troops in 1861 Benjamin Swarts promptly responded and was made first lieutenant of Company K, Fifty-fifth Illinois infantry, but later he became chaplain of the Forty-first Illinois infantry. At Fort Donelson the Forty-first was on the extreme right, next to the backwater of the Cumberland river, and was the first regiment engaged in the desperate struggle when the Confederate army attempted to cut its way out. In this battle Lieutenant Swarts was captured but he made his escape the first night of his captivity and rejoined his regiment, which also participated in the desperate battle of Shiloh and Pittsburg Landing, forming the left of what the Confederates called the "Hornets' Nest." In the first day's fight it was under fire fully six hours and formed part of the last line of defense, assisting in repulsing the Confederate forces, driving them beyond the reach of the Union gunboats. Thus it closed its work on the first day at the battle of Shiloh. Lieutenant Swarts received his honorable discharge before the close of the war and returned to his Illinois home. In 1870 he removed to Kansas and became a well known minister in the southern part of the state. He was a Republican in politics and took an active interest in the work of his party. He was married in Illinois to Mrs. Mary Allison, nee Patrick, a native of Illinois and a daughter of Samuel Patrick, who was born in Kentucky but removed to McDonough county, Illinois, in an early day, and resided there until his death. Rev. Benjamin and Mary J. Swarts reared nine children, of whom Judge Swarts of this review was the eldest son. Both parents are deceased, the father's death having occurred at Arkansas City, Cowley county, Kansas, in 1907. Abraham D. Swarts, the grandfather of Judge Swarts, was born and reared in Abingdon, Md., and married in his native state. He came to Illinois in a very early day, making the journey by boat down the Ohio river, locating in Jefferson county and later in Knox county in the northwestern part of the state. There he laid out the town of Abingdon, which he named in honor of his old home town in Maryland. He was a farmer by occupation, a Methodist in church membership, and resided in Illinois until his death.
Judge Carroll L. Swarts received his education in the common schools of Knox county, Illinois, and one term in Hedding College, Cowley county, Kansas, and taught five or six terms of school before taking up the study of law with his brother-in-law, Clinton R. Mitchell, at Arkansas City. He was admitted to the bar in 1881 by Judge William P. Campbell and began the practice of law in Arkansas City, where he was thus engaged until 1886. In that year he was appointed county attorney of Cowley county and served in all two terms and one year in that office before resuming the private practice of law in Arkansas City. In 1902 he was elected as a Republican judge of the court in the Nineteenth judicial district and has been elected to that office twice since then, the last time in the fall of 1910. He had the usual experience of the novitiate in professional life and by experience is familiar with all the discouragements that beset the young lawyer. Energy and perseverance are two of his characteristics, however, and slowly but surely he ascended the ladder toward professional success. He is a Republican and active in the work of his party.
In 1883 Judge Swarts married Miss Susie L. Hunt, a daughter of Dr. William Hunt, a well known physician employed in the Indian service. Dr. Hunt came to Council Grove, Kan., from Indiana and acted as physician for the Kaw Indians a number of years. Later he removed to Texas and died in Plainview in 1897. Judge and Mrs. Swarts have two daughters: Lelia M., who is attending the Southwestern College at Winfield, and Mildred A., who is a graduate of the Winfield High School and is now studying music. Judge Swarts and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is a Mason and has served as senior warden and junior warden of his lodge. Mrs. Swarts and her daughters are identified with the best social life of Winfield.Pages 1531-1533 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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