Ralph Ernest Swartz, a real estate and insurance dealer of White City, Kan., was born near the present town of Dwight, Morris county, Kansas, April 21, 1878, the second son of George J. and Lavinia Sarah (Amsbury) Swartz, and is descended from German stock. His grandfather was a German who emigrated from the Old Country and settled in Ohio, where George J. Swartz was born Jan. 2, 1847. His father died when he was only four years of age, and after acquiring what education he could the boy began to work as a street car conductor in Cincinnati. At the call for volunteers for the Civil war he enlisted in an Ohio regiment and served until mustered out. After peace was effected he returned to Cincinnati and worked for the street railway company until 1866, when he came to Kansas and took up a homestead of eighty acres in Morris county, near the present town of Dwight. He remained on this farm until 1886, when he was elected sheriff of Morris county on the Republican ticket, serving in that capacity two years. At the expiration of his term of office Mr. Swartz returned to his farm and bought other tracts until his holdings aggregated a three-quarter section. While a resident of Morris county he held the office of justice of the peace and other minor positions. In 1868 he married Lavina Amsbury, the daughter of William Amsbury, a pioneer settler of Morris county, who was born in Pekin, Ohio. He owned considerable land in Morris county, which he preëmpted in the early days. Mr. Amsbury served in the army during the Civil war, and began farming at its close and accumulated a comfortable fortune. Eight children came to brighten the Swartz home: Myrtle M., born in 1872, now the wife of Solomon Montz, a farmer of Morris county; Dorreth, born in 1874, now a railroad man at Wichita, Kan.; Ralph Ernest, born in 1876; William Garfield, born March 11, 1881, who farms the original homestead; Olive May, born May 5, 1883, the wife of Henry Peters, a farmer of Montana; George W., born Sept. 25, 1885, a farmer in Morris county; Dollie May, born June 11, 1891, at home with her father; Gladys Irene, born Aug. 22, 1893, died Sept. 20, 1905. Ralph attended the public schools of Morris county and then took a business course in the Strickler Business College, Topeka. After leaving school he went to Christian county, Missouri, bought land and farmed four years. He disposed of his holdings in that state in 1904 and returned to Kansas, where he managed a hotel at Havensville, Pottawatomie county, for a year; selling this he went to Iola and, conducted a general mercantile store for a year, then became the general manager of the People's Mutual Telephone Company at White City. After two years he resigned to engage in the real estate and insurance business. Mr. Swartz has marked business ability and has built up a profitable and successful business since coming to White City, being progressive and modern in methods. He served as deputy sheriff of Morris county from April, 1907, to May, 1911; as marshal of White City, in 1908-09, and is now (1911) constable of Rolling Prairie township. His political affiliations are with the Republican party, of which he is a stanch supporter. Fraternally he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen of America and American Nobles.
On July 15, 1899, Mr. Swartz married Elizabeth, the daughter of Charles E. Homans, a well known farmer of Dwight, Kan. They are members of the Christian church.Pages 1498-1499 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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