17th-19th Century books and documents
posted July 2005
source: University of Chicago Library

Helen Louise Swift (1869-1945)
Chicago, Priv. print. [The Lakeside press, R.R. Donnelley & sons company] 1937.

My Father and My Mother
Helen Swift

Ann Mariah (Higgins) Swift

Ann (Higgins) Swift, shortly after her marriage

* * *
Title page

Copyright 1937, by Helen Swift Neilson

* * *

    The world needs no introduction to my Father, Gustavus Franklin Swift. Much has been written concerning him and his life—notably "The Yankee of the Stock Yards" by his eldest son. Almost nothing has been written about my Mother, Ann (Higgins) Swift. Very few people realize how much they depended upon each other and how greatly she contributed to his success. It is my desire to make this clear especially to her descendants by describing the intimate happenings of our every-day life.

* * *

    I acknowledge my indebtedness to the Trustees of the University of Chicago for permission to use the quotations, numbered in the text, taken from Dr. Thomas W. Goodspeed's admirable book: "The University of Chicago Biographical Sketches" Volume I.




      SWIFT 159

      HIGGINS 160




Daguerrotype of Ann (Higgins) Swift  Frontispiece
parents of Gustavus Franklin Swift
    William Swift
    Sally (Crowell) Swift

Facing page 4
grandparents of Ann Higgins
reat-grandfather Cobb
    Great-grandmother Cobb
parents of Ann Higgins
    Joshua Higgins
    Mariah (Cobb) Higgins

Bone Hill, Barnstable 14
the farmstead, Clinton
Gustavus Franklin Swift and
Ann (Higgins) Swift about 1873
the Higgins home 36

the little old red school house, where Ann

Higgins taught before her marriage     

the original Swift homestead, remodelled,

West Sandwich
Gustavus Franklin Swift about 1880
Gustavus Franklin Swift and
Ann Higgins Swift
about 1900
the old Swift windmill, Cape Cod
the original Swyft homstead, Scusset, Massachusetts, built by William Swyft, 1636-7
The Crowell homestead, East Dennis, from which Sally Sears Crowell and William Swift were married 160
Rotherham Old Church, Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
tomb of Robert and Ann Swyft, Rotherham Old Church.
tomb of Reresby, daughter of Robert and Ann Swyft, in the environs of Rotherham.

My Father and My Mother

Chapter I
Cape Cod Early Days

William Swyft and Richard Higgins. Grandma and Grandpa Swift. The Swift Children. Selling the Hen. Borrowing $400 to Buy Pigs. Father Frees a Horse. Story of Ann Higgins. Description of Grandma Higgins. Joshua and Ann and the Lobster Pots. Arthur Cobb's Description of Mother. Mary Ryder's Description of Mother. Marriage of Gustavus and Ann.

    A LITTLE land of shifting white dunes, rolling surf, sparse meadows, tall pines and winding roads—a playground for the tourist, and a quiet haven for those jealous folk who call it home: this is the Cape Cod of today. What must it have been three hundred years ago? It was the first land to greet the eyes of weary voyagers—a friendly arm curved round the nucleus of a nation, to protect the little colony of Massachusetts from the march of the turbulent ocean.

    Imagine men and women of all classes and ages—probably farmers, artisans, workmen, a scholar or two, fishermen, certainly a clergyman, perhaps even a gentleman who had never known manual labor! What courage it required to risk their all—whether much or little—to cross the almost uncharted Atlantic and to start afresh in the wilds of an unknown country! Great courage was required of all these men, but far, far greater of the wives and mothers who accompanied them! They were a deeply religious people, seeking a new home where they hoped to escape intolerance and persecution.

    Land must have been a precious sight to them, not untouched by fear, and what they could wrest from this new land was the question each voyager put to himself. The pine forests would



supply dwellings, for, of course, they had brought their tools. The sea on every side would supply food to keep body and soul together. Guns they must have had and a small supply of ammunition. Yes, the forests might yield game for them. But pine woods are not very cheerful—perhaps wolves and bears and other predatory beasts roamed through their shadows. Let us hope that they arrived in the spring and were comfortably settled before the bleak New England winter descended upon them! It is easy to visualize these reverent emigre's falling upon their knees to praise the Lord for the sight of land; easy, too, to see them set to work making rude, temporary shelters for themselves, while the women unpacked, set up beds of sorts and cooked food. Perhaps they fell in with an earlier colony of Englishmen and accepted their temporary hospitality.

    As soon as protection from the elements could be assured, they must have turned to tilling and planting the seeds which they had brought from that far-off land, trapping and fishing, and felling timber for their homes and meeting house. They fought not only the elements but Indians, beasts of prey and snakes. Yet these Cape Codders stuck grimly to their tasks, through many tribulations, although the records show that a great proportion of the children died in their early years.

    As they became accustomed to the change and began to feel that New England was their home, they surely found much there to attract them. The pine woods must have given them grateful shade. The wild wintergreen, blueberries, huckleberries and raspberries were surely more plentiful then than now. Wild cranberries made the marshes gay and served for food. Asparagus, for which Cape Cod is famous, doubtless grew wild in those days. Nuts were abundant, and there were plenty of maple trees to yield sugar and syrup. Then, if these pioneers had time to rest


and observe what they might have called the external world, what beauty lay at their very feet! In the forest, the rose-colored lady-slippers wove a Persian pattern in the pine needles; phlox and pinks showed masses of color; the marshes must have been perfect mosaics of yellows, browns, reds and greens! Yes, for eight months of the year there was beauty to distract and comfort them, but what of the four months of winter when they dug their way through the snowdrifts from house to house, from house to forest and even from house to sea, which lay at their very feet! Such then was Cape Cod and such were Cape Codders—a Godly clan—geographically somewhat apart from their fellows, yet travelers and seafarers by very reason of their isolation—a frugal, independent, self-reliant people, hewers of wood, tillers of the soil, followers of the sea.

    The first William Swyft of whom we have record came to this country probably in 1630 or 1631, accompanied by his wife, Joane, their son, William, and at least two daughters. At any rate, he was recorded in the town of Sandwich as early as 1637 and lived there until his death about 1643. Here he owned the largest farm in Sandwich which was occupied by a descendant, Shadrack F. Swift, as late as 1887, at which time the house was destroyed by fire. We have no record of the death of the first William Swyft, but the Plymouth record says,

    "In Probate Office, Plymouth, William Swyft, Sandwich, 1643. Administration by Joane, his wife."

    About the same time—it might even have been on the same ship—Richard Higgins, our maternal ancestor, arrived. He was born in England, probably in Leominster. He is recorded in Plymouth in 1633 in which year he bought a home in that town and, later, qualified as a deputy. November 3rd, 1634, he mar-


ried Lydia Chandler of Duxbury and Scituate and, later, Mary Yates (Mrs. John) and, shortly afterward, settled at Eastham, where the family seems to have remained until comparatively recent years.

    The exact date of his death is also unknown, nor is there any record of a will, but there are records, dated 1677, which refer to his "widow Mary" and his "son Eliakim" as executors.

    From this background Gustavus Franklin Swift and Ann Higgins emerged—from six generations of pioneers they came— from men and women accustomed to privation and grief, men and women inured to discomfort and stint; people who literally put their trust in God. They were pioneers—yes, pioneers—not adventurers, as so many people have thought. Otherwise, they would have gone many miles to the south where Jamestown was open to them. It is hard to understand how historians have overlooked the fact that these people chose a strange, bleak, windswept land for their new home. There was no lure there for the adventurer.

    In those days the inhabitants of Cape Cod were, almost entirely, of English descent. Even when I was a child this was true. Many of the villagers—perhaps most—were related by ties of blood or marriage. Now all is changed. Few of the English names survive. Today one sees Irish, Italian, Portuguese and Russian names.

    My father, Gustavus Franklin, was the eighth child and fifth son in a family of twelve children. His father, William Swift, affectionately known to the neighbors as "Captain Bill," married, first, Aurelia Parker and, later, Sally Crowell, a descendant of Elder William Brewster.

    Grandpa Swift was, according to reports, a genial man who loved his joke and was especially fond of children. I remember

Swift parents


Grandma Swift very well but, of course, she was elderly then. She must have been rarely beautiful as a young woman. Her white waves were then golden curls and the deep blue eyes were violet—the old people told me. Even within my remembrance she was beautiful, her skin as shell-pink as any baby's.

    She was an ample person, tall and broadly built. She moved rather slowly, quietly and gently. There was a sort of rhythm to her movements which impressed me greatly even in my youth. My recollection of her is that she was quiet but merry, slow to reprove and quick to compliment. This estimate is well borne-out by facts which I have since learned. She gave Grandpa a large family, to his great delight. The first child was called Aurelia Parker for his first wife; the second was William, his father's namesake; the fourth was Noble Parker named for his first wife's father and her brother. Father has often told me that Grandpa would come in from the fields shortly before another child was expected, quietly nudge Grandma and say, with a smile, "Perhaps it will be twins this time. Eh, Sally?"

    Grandpa lived to be seventy-three years old. Father spoke of him rarely and then only in connection with some incidents of his youth. My eldest brother, Louis, is the only one of our generation who can recall him, and only vaguely.

    Father and his brothers were fond of the sea and accustomed to rowing and fishing. In this large family one of the boys, at thirteen years of age, ran away to sea and was never heard of again. I can recall seven of my grandparents' children, all unusually good-looking. The neighbors have told me that the three daughters were called "The Belles of Cape Cod." I can readily believe it—all fair, violet-eyed and golden-haired.


    Although tall and ungainly as a boy and, later, a robust man, Father was never very strong. I remember one of those rare moments when he spoke to me of his boyhood. He told me he spent most of his time, when not in school, working on the farm. In those days, the neighbors pitched in and helped each other during the ploughing and haying season. He said:

    "When dinner time came—noon on Cape Cod—and the other boys threw their caps in the air and dashed off for food, I was so tired that all I could think about was that now I could sit down and rest my weary knees. They felt as if they would break."

    He did not crave food. The noon hour was all too short to rest his tired body.

    Father has been thus described:

    "Stave was a solemn young man, tall and lean. He had very dark blue eyes and thick, wavy hair. He didn't talk much, but when he did talk, he said something, and when he made up his mind to do something, he did it, no matter how long it took."

    He must have looked forward, during his early boyhood, to a life not spent upon a farm. Before he entered his teens, he commenced trading and, with true New England thrift, put aside his profits, penny by penny. He bought and sold a few chickens, a pig or two and, finally, became the proud possessor of a heifer. It has been said that this was a gift from his father, perhaps as a start in business—that was the story on Cape Cod years ago—but it is more likely that he borrowed the money from his Uncle Paul, returned it later and made a few dollars profit. Even in those days he had established a reputation for honesty and reliability.

    ". . . . A cousin, Mr. E. W. Ellis, brought up in the same neighborhood and in mature life in Mr. Swift's employ in Chicago,


tells me many interesting things of his early and later life, among other things the following: 'I well remember I was at grandfather Crowell's one day when Gustavus came in. He did not notice me, but said, "Grandpa, I will give you forty cents for that old white hen." He got the hen and was soon gone. I said, "Grandma, isn't that new business for Stave, buying hens?" "Why," she said, "he is here most every day for one. He finds a customer somewhere. Seems to get enough out of the transaction to pay him." Thus he started early in life,' continues Mr. Ellis, 'only nine years old, but ambitious.'" 1

    He was apprenticed—probably, to his elder brother Noble who, at this time, had a fairly prosperous business, farming, buying, selling and slaughtering livestock. At any rate, some arrangement was made whereby he bought his release by paying one thousand dollars. This payment must have been spread over a number of years, for it was a big sum then, especially for a young man wholly dependent upon himself.

    By the time he was sixteen, the urge to fend for himself could no longer be resisted. Again, I am indebted to E. W. Ellis for the following:

    "He called on Uncle Paul Crowell (son of Grandfather Crowell and village storekeeper). I obtained this information a few days after from Uncle Paul himself. Stave said, 'I want to borrow some money. Will you lend it to me?' 'Oh,' said Uncle Paul, 'how much do you want?' 'Four hundred dollars,' said Stave. 'Whew, said Uncle Paul, 'what you going to do with it?' 'I want to go to Brighton stockyards and buy some pigs.' 'Why, that will be quite an undertaking for a boy.' 'Yes,' said Uncle Paul to me, 'I could but admire his ambition.' Brighton Yards, located northwest of Boston, sixty miles distant! Just imagine it! The worst kind of sandy crooked roads. . . . Well, in about ten days, he, with his drove, hove in sight at my father's home. He had sold some, but about 35 shoats were still with


him. I looked over his outfit, which consisted of an old horse and a democrat wagon in which a few tired or lame pigs were enjoying a ride and a rest with their legs tied together. With him was another lad as helper, who was trying to keep the shoats from straying. There was Stave, a tall, lank youth, with a rope and steelyards on his shoulder, also a short pole he carried in his hand that might do duty from which to suspend the squealers and steelyards between his shoulders and those of the customer. Father had made his selection and purchase, and, going to the house, said, 'There is a good exhibition of ambition. Gustavus Swift will make a success in whatever business he undertakes. For he has the right make up.' Gustavus made several such trips to Brighton for pigs, spring and fall, for two or three years. Several years later I had learned he was in business in Barnstable. While on the train from Boston to Scusset (West Sandwich or Sagamore) I noticed a man riding on the car platform all the way. Finally I recognized him as G. F. Swift. I went out and learned he was on his way home. He had been doing some business in Brighton. I could not prevail on him to come into the car. He was not dressed up."2

    From other old-timers I gleaned the following:

    "He stopped wherever night overtook him, paying his way as he went (shelter for his hogs cost seventy-five cents a night). He was a welcome guest at the simple Cape Cod homes, and not a little of his success was due to his friendliness and his quickly-established reputation for honesty and sobriety. He who took G. F.'s word for the weight of a hog on the hoof usually found that he had received a little more than he had paid for. He who questioned, saw the hog tossed into the burlap bag, heard the weight read off as it hung on the steelyards and, invariably, paid to the last fraction of an ounce."

    Eastham, a town farther down on the Cape, must have impressed Father for, shortly afterward, he and his brother Nathaniel, two years his senior, made this their headquarters.



    Whether Father and his brother Noble had had a quarrel or not, I can not say—perhaps only a quiet discussion. At any rate, it seems to have been decided that Father's trading interfered with Uncle Noble's, so the former took himself off to new fields. Here they sold dressed beef and mutton from a covered wagon in the Cape Cod villages. Such industry left little time for play. Father's business ability, well-developed by his early experience as a trader, made him appear older than his years and he found no pleasure in the simple vices of the place and times. Naturally serious, he was a regular attendant at the little Methodist church (I think all the churches were Methodist there) and he took his recreation in the same solemn manner as his elders. A cousin of Mother's describes him thus:

    "I remember your father as smooth-faced, hair slightly curly, strong, masculine-looking, and a pleasant personality. He and his brother Nathaniel came to Eastham and lived about two miles from your Grandmother. I remember one day Mr. Swift was at my Grandfather's, with a drove of pigs. A horse in the barn had placed his fore legs in such a fix that he was likely to break his legs by his struggle to get free. I felt it was a problem to release the horse. Mr. Swift asked for a saw and he sawed away the partition and allowed the horse to free himself easily. I have often thought of that incident as it made an impression on me and as showing Mr. Swift's ability to take the lead in an emergency."

    Eastham was only a stone's throw from North Eastham: indeed, those New England towns rambled so carelessly into each other that it was difficult to judge where one left off and another began. Here a little girl, the daughter of Joshua and Mariah Higgins, was growing up, with her brother Joshua. She was born in this village August 13th, 1843. We know very little of her father, as he died at forty years of age, when she was only


nine years old. The only likeness which I have ever seen of him is a silhouette, which shows a smooth-faced, pleasant-looking man in white collar and broad white stock, reminding one of the pictures of young English squires. He was a fisherman and, from Mother's few remarks concerning him, must have been a rather easy-going man, in direct contrast to his wife, who knew what she wanted and usually managed to get it.

    Grandma Higgins was five years her husband's senior and an energetic woman. One of the old Cape Cod residents describes her thus: "Aunt Maria was very jolly, a lover of fun and jokes. Everyone enjoyed her company and her loving Christian spirit was a constant guide for her two fatherless children—Joshua and Ann." The grandmother whom I knew was quite different. I see her now just as this photograph portrays her—a short, slender woman, complexion rather sallow, piercing black eyes and iron-grey hair parted in the middle and brushed primly back. Primly is just the word—she was prim in speech, manner and appearance. She never seemed older or younger. Her eyes, however, always remained young and keen. She was much respected and looked up to by the neighbors, was an excellent nurse, and was often called upon when the villagers were ill. But it seemed to me that all children regarded her with respectful awe. I recall her always—summer and winter—dressed in dark clothes. Indoors she wore a little black lace cap. On Sundays, she dressed in dark plaid silk, purple with lighter lines running through the material or, occasionally, a heavy black silk, and a little black bonnet, which tied under her chin—probably very like the one that she put on as a young bride.

    Joshua, the only son, was brought up to help his father with the fishing. He and Mother were devoted to each other all their lives and she loved to be with him at his tasks, but Grandma


had strict ideas as to a girl's rôle in life, and her only daughter was not always allowed to do as she pleased. Mother told me that Grandpa used to set his lobster-pots late in the afternoon and send Joshua out as early as daylight permitted, to bring them in. Joshua would rap very lightly on Mother's bedroom door (she had probably been awake for an hour, awaiting the signal), then she would slip out of bed and into her clothes, join her brother and away they would go in the rowboat, returning with the lobster-pots before Grandma was up. This happened many times, to Mother's delight, before her mother learned of it. Afterward, she was not allowed to do so, as Grandma said it "wasn't suitable for a little girl."

    Their home was a cottage on the seashore, which was afterward moved into the village. Mother lived there until her marriage, and Grandma lived there until her death. I have spent many weeks in this house, although, at the time I remember it, it had been moved into the village.

    From an old daguerreotype which I have of Mother and her brother, when she was eight and he twelve, she was a plump, round-faced girl, with black hair and intense black eyes. A cousin of Mother's, Arthur Cobb, was the one to whom I first turned in my quest for information. We exchanged some letters and, finally, I sent a friend to him to glean what she could. In the summer of 1931, I was in Boston and made every effort to get into personal touch with him. He had grown old, and had moved to another locality and, just as I was leaving for the train, I received word from him saying he would like to see me. Alas, it was too late for me to change my plans— and he died within a few months. Thus I lost the opportunity to talk with one of the last friends who remembered Mother as a girl.


    The following is from a letter I received from him, dated December 1st, 1927:

    "Was pleased to receive your letter, and shall be more than happy if I may in any way help you to visualize something of the early life of your parents.

    "I cannot tell just how old your Mother was when I first knew her, I was a child, old enough to be left in care of your Grandmother while my mother visited her parents in Boston. So I should say your Mother would have been twelve to fifteen years. You may imagine my cousin Annie was like a young mother to me then. She was a strong healthy girl, cheeks a little colored, quiet, not over serious, sometimes merry, always the same even disposition.

    "She ranked high in school. When they had (as was the custom) spelling matches, she stood up the last having 'spelled down' all the others. I must have been some six years of age when she led me by the hand to school. I can see that picture now quite plainly. We trudged along across the fields, to the little red school house—District No. 4. As I was but ten years old at the time of the wedding I don't seem to remember anything about it. Don't think I could have been present. I have no photograph of your Mother."

    As Mother taught in the village school for a year, she was probably Arthur's teacher as well.

    As a young girl, I remember visiting Mother's aunt and Uncle (Mr. and Mrs. Abijah Mayo) who lived a few miles away from Grandma. Their daughter Mary, now Mrs. Ryder, remembered Mother very well. She said:

    "I used to visit your Mother long before she was married. She and her brother lived at home with Aunt Maria until your parents were married. This was while the house was down at the Brook, near the seashore about a mile below the Eastham Old Campground. I used to have a splendid time there and,

Parents of Ann Higgins


for a while, we boarded with them. It seemed to me she had a lot of toys and dolls. My cousin Annie was nine years older than I was, but she played with me almost like a child my age. She was so kind and just and had a beautiful disposition. She was a beautiful girl too—plump, with rosy cheeks, black hair and eyes and such a lovely smile. I can remember the house by the Brook so well. It had quite a large sitting room, with windows east and west. No stoves in the house—they burned logs in the fireplaces, except in the kitchen. There, they had a large brick oven. Aunt Maria was a famous cook. Her cakes and pies would almost melt in your mouth. She put brandy in her mince pies."

    I wish I knew how my parents met. It must have been shortly after Father settled in Eastham. Perhaps Ann stood in the doorway beside her mother as she bargained for her meat. Perhaps Ann's black eyes, rosy cheeks and petite figure fascinated Gustavus who had come from a family of generously built blondes. At any rate, Father's thoughts seemed to have turned at this time to marriage. A home of his own must have been an appealing thought, because he had been moving from one end of the Cape to the other for several years and his parents' home must have been only an occasional stopping place. It is said that Father asked an old friend who (he thought) was the nicest girl around and old Peter Higgins replied without hesitation that he knew of none better than Ann Higgins. Evidently Father thought so too. Grandma Higgins must have known Father and have observed him carefully for some time. Unless she had approved of him, I feel certain that the courtship would not have run smoothly.

    January 3rd, 1861 Gustavus Franklin Swift and Ann Higgins were married.

Chapter II
Cape Cod Later Days

Louis' Birth. Birth of Edward, Lincoln, Annie May and Helen. "Bone Hill." Description of Mother and Father. Moved to Clinton and Lancaster. Charles' Birth. Description of Clinton House. Timothy Smith. Kissing the Strange Man. Story of Missing Lambs. Re-visiting Clinton After My Marriage.

    SHORTLY after their marriage, Father and Mother moved to West Sandwich and there their first child, Louis Franklin, was born in the same room in which his father had been born twenty-two years earlier: according to accounts in the original Swift homestead. "In 1730, among one hundred and thirty six heads of families (in West Sandwich) ten were Swifts."3

    Father's brother Nathaniel remained in Eastham. Mother, at this time, was eighteen years of age. They lived at West Sandwich only a short time and then moved to Barnstable, probably because Father's business again seemed to interfere with his brother Noble's. In Barnstable Edward Foster, Lincoln Foster, who died at two years of age, Annie May and I were born. Strangely enough, while writing this, I received a newspaper clipping, stating that the old Swift house at Barnstable was being demolished.

    Naturally, I have no recollection of this home. About ten years ago, when motoring on the Cape, I stopped at an open air shop to buy some weather vanes, and inquired of the Yankee proprietor if he had lived there a long time.

    "Yes, I guess so—all my life."

    "Did you know G. F. Swift?"


Bone Hill


    "No, but I heered tell a lot of him. I was only a kid when he left here."

    "Can you tell us where he lived?"

    "Yes, come here."

    We stepped outside and he pointed to a grey shingled cottage about a hundred yards away and said, "That's it. See the hill behind the house?"

    I did see a little hummock, bearing the sign "Bone Hill," and he continued, "That's where G. F. buried the bones when he killed his critters."

    I often wondered what Father thought of that, years later, when he discovered that there was little, if any, profit in meat —that the profit came from the by-products.

    At this time I visited every one I could find who might be able to give me information regarding my parents, but with scant success. However, Mary Ryder, after repeated inquiries, wrote me thus:

    "I knew your father a long time before he was married, as he used to drive his pigs down on the Cape, and always took dinner with my folks. Your mother and her brother Joshua often came there, too, and Gustavus was always joking with her. I used to visit your folks in Barnstable. Your mother had a woman to help her with the housework. Your father kept several men who had their meals in the house and your mother worked very hard but was always kind and cheerful. She had a large family to do for, but was always ready to help your father in any way she could. If ever there was a happy couple, it was your parents. She was his bookkeeper in Barnstable and she did so much to help him along."

    While I was still a mite, the family moved again to Clinton and Lancaster, and here Charles Henry was born. My first


vague recollections were associated with Clinton. I can recall the house—small but rather rambling, with a porch on one side. Some distance away, and to the back, stood a big country barn on the slope of the hill. The side toward the road was one story high and here the horses, wagons and carriages were kept. The ground fell away so abruptly that, at the rear, there was a large space below for cattle and hogs. The huge hay loft fascinated me. I spent much time climbing the loose hay and jumping or rolling down. At that time Father had two brothers working for him, Asa and Timothy Smith, who were my great delight. Holding the hand of one of these men I would toddle about the place or, when wearied, ride upon the shoulders of one or the other. Close to the side of the house was what seemed to me a huge orchard, although I am now convinced that there were not more than four or five fruit trees. There was a rope swing on an apple tree and my sister, Annie May, and I used to delight in this. Occasionally one of these men would push the swing for a few moments. I can vividly remember the day when Timothy (my favorite, and I never presumed to call him "Tim"), pushed me so high that my feet touched a pear tree and I kicked a pear onto the ground. Thereafter, I must have developed into a perfect tease. I felt as if the only thing worth while in my young life was to swing so high that I could pick a pear. Probably, I made life unendurable for the entire family, although that thought did not enter my head at the tender age of three. Fortunately, Timothy was as fond of me as I was of him, and gave me hope and assistance. One day, he pushed and pushed the swing, and I grasped a pear (really running the risk of killing myself, for I nearly fell). But, at that time (and I fear for many years after) death would have counted as a small matter to me if I had accomplished some particular feat upon which my heart was set.


    One other incident is still vivid in my memory. My brothers and sisters will need no reminder of Mother's gentleness and quiet. To those who come after—her grandchildren and great Grandchildren—I want to say that, although a gentle woman, she was by no means a meek one. She could, when occasion demanded, completely annihilate the presumptuous. Mother and I were at a railway station; where we were going I do not know—to Boston, very likely, for the day. It must have been for the day only, for Mother once told me that she had been married twenty-one years before she ever left her children over night. Mother kept close hold of my hand, for I loved to explore every nook and corner. Suddenly, I saw—as I supposed— Timothy (who had been away for a few days and whom I had grievously missed) on his knees, fumbling at a satchel. Breaking away from Mother's hand, I rushed at him, jumped upon his back and exclaimed, "Timothy, Timothy, I'm so glad you're home!" I may even have kissed him upon the back of his neck. The next thing I knew I was roughly set upon the floor and given a severe shaking, and the man, in a harsh voice, called me all sorts of names I'd never heard before—probably "cheeky little brat," "saucy beggar." For once, I was speechless, for this was not my beloved Timothy, but a great ugly man with a roar like a bull. Mother, much chagrined, came up and took me by the hand, and the "roaring bull" turned upon her. I don't know what he said. I was too frightened and angry to listen, but I know I felt infinitely sorry for myself. I was soon roused to full consciousness by hearing my mother's voice— still gentle, but with an accent I had never heard—speaking to this man, and saying something like this: "Pardon me. You surely couldn't think that child would have approached you if she had known it was you. Impossible! She has been accustomed


to far different treatment. She mistook you for a dearly loved friend, and a gentleman. I scarcely think the rudeness rests with her."

    The man stood speechless and Mother walked away, I fairly dancing at her side. It was the first time I had ever seen Mother put a person "properly in his place" and I've rarely seen her do it since, but she could do it under sufficient provocation. Mother never reproved me for my mistake—indeed she seemed to feel sorry for me.

    Even at this age, I can not recall cither of my parents' appearances. I was only conscious that I had parents, whom I saw constantly. Louis is the only one who talks about these days. I think he often went about with Father—Edward being rather delicate, and my sister and I mere children. He tells an amusing story of these days:

    "Father always used to keep a few choice lambs but noticed one or two of them had disappeared. We started out one Sunday to find what was the trouble. In the woods we found a Negro, who had spent most of his life in the penitentiary, but he had been out about a month and he was skinning one of Father's lambs. Father asked him to explain. The Negro answered, 'Powerful glad to see you, Mr. Swift,' and wanted to evade the subject but finally he was compelled to say 'no lamb can bite me and live.' After that Father had him put back in the penitentiary and there was no more shortage of lambs."

    Imagine what Mother's life must have been in those days— the birth of five children in eight years, and the death of one about the time I was born. Mother told me that Edward was a delicate child and required constant care. His most contented days were baking days. She used to tie a bib about him and put him in a high chair close to the table, while she made bread and


pies. With a piece of dough, he would sit quietly for an hour— perfectly fascinated—removing it from one hand only to find that it stuck to the other. Wife, Mother, nurse, housekeeper, cook, bookkeeper! And I can well imagine that Mother was fresh and dainty and always had a smiling face when Father came in, tired from a hard day's work. She always had a smile for Father when I was a young girl: no matter how difficult the day had been, nor how trying we children—it all vanished in the background when Father appeared.

    During these Clinton days Father was often away from home, as he bought his livestock in Brighton.

    Edward was a great tease and, for years, filled me with humiliation by telling me that I was born in a barn stable. I was quite a big girl before I was clever enough to retort: "Well, you were born in a barn stable too!"

    Many years later, after I was married, I visited college friends, in a little New England village near Concord. These friends lived in the home of their birth, and their ancestors had occupied the house since it had been built two hundred and fifty odd years earlier. We motored over to Clinton. I had no idea how to find the place but I had heard my parents speak of a pond close by and I thought I recalled the appearance of the house. We found the pond, but no house that looked familiar to me. There was a house close by, where it seemed to me our house ought to have stood. Meeting a middle-aged man I inquired for the old Swift homestead.

    "There 'tis a lookin' straight at you."

    "But are you sure?" I asked. "The home of G. F. Swift?"

    "That's it."

    "Did you know Mr. Swift?"


    "Not G. F. I didn't, but I knew his brother Ed. He came here to live when G. F. went to other parts. Away out West, far's Chicager they say." He looked me over, from head to foot, and continued, "Say, did you ever know G. F.?"

    "Yes," I replied, "he's my Father."

    "Gee!" and his eyes turned to the automobile. "They do say he done right well out in Chicager. What's he doing now?"

    "Just the same," I replied, "slaughtering and selling meat."

    That evening my friends' brother asked where we had been during the day and, when he heard that we had been to Clinton to see the place where I lived as a child, said, "You must be very much attached to your childhood home."

    "Which one?" I asked. "I had six before I was six years old!" His look of astonishment was positively ludicrous.

    When I returned to Chicago, I told Mother about this visit.

    "The house," I said, "wasn't at all as I expected to find it."

    "In what way did it differ?"

    "Why, it's just a tiny house. Our big family couldn't have lived in it, I'm sure. I remember it as being much larger."

    Mother laughed. "You were scarcely more than a baby when we left there, dear. You probably only imagine that you remember it, and you've since been accustomed to large houses. It was a small house."

    I wasn't satisfied, but let the matter drop. A month or two later my friend sent me a snapshot of the house which she had taken that day, and which I had entirely forgotten. I showed it to Mother.

    "This isn't the house. Oh, yes it is," she said to herself. "Why, Helen, the porch has been removed and the wing. It's now about half the size it was when we lived in it."

Clinton farm

Chapter III


The Move to Brighton. Albany. Rolling Down Sandy Hill in Barrel. The Doll on My Fourth Birthday. Father Spanks Me. My Realization of My Parents' Appearances. Mother and the Drunken Man. The Candy Store. My First Day at School. Edward and I Kill a Chicken. Father Goes to Chicago in 1874.

    WHILE Charles was still a baby we moved again: this time to Brighton, close to Boston, where we remained only a short time. I have no recollection of it. Uncle Joshua—Mother's brother—and his wife came to Barnstable, and he carried on that end of the business.

    Father's ventures grew and grew, and he always saw greater opportunities looming ahead; the urge that took him away from the village of his birth was not yet satisfied and the next move was to be a far journey for a couple who had never been outside their native state. Indeed, their ancestors, from the seventeenth century, had remained, with very few exceptions, in Massachusetts. But Father was always pushing on toward the source of supplies, and Albany, New York, seemed to him the logical place, so the family moved.

    My next recollection is of Albany. (Although we lived at West Albany for a time, I—very likely—confuse the two places; so I shall write as though my recollections were all of Albany.) All that I can remember of the house itself is that there were two floors. There was a small stable at the back, where Father kept two or three horses. Here, my sister and I had a lamb and played with it on the small strip of lawn. Some distance back



of the house was a sandy hill. I went there often with my brothers and sister. I was a harum-scarum youngster, and my brothers delighted in teasing me. Many times they dared me to roll down this hill in an empty barrel which they had found. It was a task even for an intrepid youngster—one that I did not covet—but I suppose I became tired of hearing my brothers accuse me of being "scared," so I did it once, on the spur of the moment. I crawled out at the bottom of the hill, battered and shaken, sand-covered, sand in eyes, nose, ears, mouth and hair. My brothers had raced after me as fast as flying feet could carry them and were looking far more frightened than I felt. Poor boys! They had not imagined for a single moment that I would do such a rash thing. They were frightened nearly out of their wits and doubtless expected to see a barrel of broken bones at the foot of the hill. I, having survived, was triumphant and the boys very meek. Mother had to be told, of course, but I believe we all made rather light of it and I do not recall that it was ever again discussed.

    My fourth birthday spent here was a never-to-be-forgotten day. I had been promised a doll and had spent many happy days in anticipation of it. It was to be given to me at breakfast time, but there had been a delay in the delivery. Shops were some distance away and there were no telephones. I waited, as cheerfully as possible until noon. Then the doll did not arrive, and my poor, little heart was broken. After luncheon, Mother and Aunt Aura (Father's sister), who was visiting us, took me for a walk to distract my attention. We passed a little shop that had a doll in the window. I rushed in, demanded the doll and said my mother would pay for it. Then Mother appeared at the door and gently led me away. By this time I could restrain my tears no


longer. I wept and howled, and Mother could not pacify me. We passed a policeman, and Aunt Aura said to me, "Helen, you had better be quiet. Policemen take little screaming girls to jail."

    I was not frightened, but indignant. Looking up at the policeman, I said saucily, "I suppose you think I'm afraid of you, but I'm not!"

    At last we returned home, Mother heartily hoping that the doll would be there. Again, disappointment, and I think Mother was as much distressed as I. I don't believe I stopped crying all that afternoon. Anyway, I was hard at it when Father came home. Mother explained the cause and he said it was too bad, but the doll would surely come in the morning. I replied, "Well, it won't be my birthday, and it won't be a birthday present. And I want it now!" I always did, and still do, want things when I want them. Then Father tried raillery—I was a big girl now, too big to cry, a bad example for my little brother; —but no remonstrance could stop my grief, and finally Father commanded me to stop crying, saying that he did not work hard all day to come home to a screaming child. I said I couldn't, and he replied that if I didn't, he'd whip me. I answered that the more he whipped, the more I'd cry. He put me over his knee and did give me a good spanking, but my screams rose higher and higher. Finally, Father stopped and, turning to Mother, said in a rueful tone, in what he supposed was a whisper, though my keen cars caught it, "I'll never raise my hand against that child again. She's exactly like me." The battle was over and, from that day, I think we understood each other better. My parents never knew that 1 overheard that remark. I guarded my secret carefully but, subconsciously, I always counted upon it because I knew that, although I might be sent from the room or deprived of a pleasure, Father would


never again spank me. And he never did. This knowledge was of special importance later on when I was intermediary between Father and the younger children.

    I think that Father became that day a real personality to me. I can sec him now, as he bent over me—tall, slender, with heavy, curly, chestnut hair and very deep blue eyes, in which anger clearly showed. Mother, in all her beauty, was also revealed to me that day. I can close my eyes and see her now— rather short, a little plump, hair black as a raven's wing, parted in the center and brushed back, large dark eyes, cheeks like damask roses, and a sad little smile on her lips.

    During the years that we were at Albany, Father was frequently away on business. I believe he went to Buffalo to do some of his cattle buying, and I know he went to Boston. Mother told me that one winter night, when she was alone with the children and they were fast asleep, she heard pounding on the front door. It was bitterly cold and snowing heavily. Getting out of bed, and putting on a warm gown, she opened the window and looked down. There stood a man, alternately pulling his jacket about his shivering figure, for he had no overcoat, stamping his feet and pounding upon the door. Mother dared not go downstairs to open it, so she called from the window, asking who he was and what he wanted. He was drunk and pleaded to be let in.

    "Mary," the man whimpered, "you wouldn't let me freeze, would you? I know I was cross to you and I drank too much, but I'll never do it again. You wouldn't leave me out here to freeze, would you?"

    Of course she couldn't let him in. Vainly she looked up and down the street—not another human being abroad in this


storm. No telephones, no way to get in touch with a neighbor! She couldn't persuade him that she was not "Mary." She begged him to go away but heard only sobs, supplications and promises, as the poor creature pressed closer to the house for protection. This was repeated several times and Mother spent most of the night going from bed to window and from window to bed. She said it was one of the most agonizing experiences she had ever gone through. She feared that, by dawn, the man would be a frozen corpse on her doorstep but, fortunately, he had either gone away or some good friend had taken him off. She never heard of him again and never knew who he was.

    During these two years at Albany, Aunt Aura and her children, May and Edwin, visited us frequently. They were about the ages of Edward and Annie May and, at times, I was allowed to go about a little with them without my mother or a nurse-maid. During one of these visits, Edwin came down with scarlet fever, shortly after their arrival, and Mother had at least four of us ill on her hands—the cousins, Annie May and myself—one after the other.

    Father had to cross a bridge between the home and his work, and very often we children would meet him there and he would take us into his phaeton and drive us home. To our great delight, there was a candy store near this bridge where there was one counter of candies in the form of meats. My sister and I each had five cents a week to spend and once we saved it all and then spent a happy hour deciding what to buy with it.

    While we were at Albany, my sister went to a little private school and I begged so hard to go that Mother finally allowed me. The first day, a playmate and I were caught whispering


and were sent up to the platform. The teacher, a spinster of uncertain age and disposition, sent one of the boys out to cut a switch from the tree. She told Georgie, my friend, to hold out her hand, and I whispered, "Don't do it, Georgie, don't let her whip you." But she did—a few soft switches.

    Then the teacher turned to me and said, "Hold out your hand."

    "No," I replied, "you can't whip me. I won't let you."

    She grabbed me and, although I fought, gave me several sharp slashes across the palm. I was indignant and, as soon as possible, jerked the switch out of her hand and ran all the way home. I told the story to Mother, amidst sobs of anger—I wouldn't have cried from the pain—and I finished by saying, "I'll never go to that school again!"

    Mother replied quietly, "No, I'm sure you won't," bathed my swollen and inflamed hand and I was soon comforted. That evening she walked down and visited with the school mistress. What was said I do not know, but I was never reproved by Mother. I tell this incident just as an illustration of Mother's comprehension and her merciful sense of justice.

    I recall only one more incident at Albany—not a very pleasant one. Perhaps disagreeable experiences impress themselves more definitely than pleasant ones upon a child's memory. Evidently it was my brothers' job to kill and dress the chickens for the household. At any rate, Louis was not there and Edward was to do it. He asked Annie May if she would hold the chicken's legs while he chopped off the head. She indignantly refused. Trying to shame her into helping him, he told her she was a "scaredy-cat," and that even her little sister wouldn't be afraid to do that. "Would you, Helen?" he asked, turning to me.


    Quick as a flash, I answered "No," but was sorry the next moment.

    My sister's face lighted up. "Let her do it, then," she said For all my bragging, I couldn't bear to see suffering, and I felt that I couldn't go through with it—but I didn't know how to avoid it. I didn't want my brother to call me a "scaredy-cat." So with tightly closed eyes, which I hoped he did not see, I held the chicken while he chopped off the head and then rushed madly to the house, and hid myself from everybody.

    Two years passed at Albany and Father still felt the urge to be closer to the source of supplies. He had been buying western livestock in the Albany market and probably began to wonder why he should be middleman and promptly decided that he would not. In December 1874, shortly after the Great Fire, he went to Chicago. It must have been a sad sight which presented itself, but Father thought he saw great opportunities and the family again cast its moorings and joined him in Chicago in 1875. Nathaniel Swift came on from Clinton, looked after the business in Albany, and occupied the house which we left.

Chapter IV

The Trip to Chicago. Mother Gives up Father's Bookkeeping. Herbert Lincoln Born. Herbert's Baby Carnage Accident. 4500 Emerald Avenue. George, Gustavus, Ruth and Harold Born. Runaway Horse While Father is Visiting. Father's Pranks with Mother. "You owe me a hundred dollars." Our New England Manner of Dress and Speech. Mother and Her Friends.

    I WHO was nearly six, vaguely remember our trip to Chicago. Five young children ranging from two to thirteen years, and no maid! There was great excitement and interest, for it was the first long trip any of us had ever taken and, in those days, the trains were much slower. But there was no noise or quarrelling. I remember just how my sister and I were dressed—in black and white checked alpaca, pleated skirts, sailor blouses bound with black, black buttons with silver anchors. The boy, who passed through the car two or three times a day selling papers, fruit and candy, fascinated us, and Mother bought us a couple of oval boxes of dried figs, which cost a nickel apiece. The empty boxes were amongst our choicest possessions for years—the receptacles of pennies, buttons and pins. Always we spied new things and places from the windows, and Mother must have been completely worn out from our constant questions. Years afterwards I asked her how she managed that trip with so many young children, and she replied quietly, "In a large family, the older children help with the younger ones."

    We arrived in Chicago in the afternoon of a bleak January day and went immediately to the home that Father had rented




at 4363 Emerald Avenue. Some of our household effects had been sent ahead, but all had not arrived, and others could not be quickly sorted out from the mêlée of packing cases. A dear, old, fat German woman (our next door neighbor, Mrs. Peter Kern, as we afterwards learned), came over and offered us bedding and hot bricks. She and Mr. Kern proved excellent neighbors, and a very ready help in time of trouble. They kept a small dry-goods store near-by and we children were taught to treat them with every courtesy and consideration although, from their very German appearance and broken English speech, they were often the butt of other young folks' jokes.

    Father rode a tall, grey marc. I was usually at the gate watching for him on his return from the Yards. He would deliberately climb down, pick me up and set me on the steed's back, give it a slap with his hand, and off we would gallop, to the next street, and up the alley to the stable door, where it stopped so suddenly that I always clung to its mane. By that time, Father had reached the stable and was opening the door.

    I often wonder how Mother kept her brood so clean and neat. I was a perfect gamin and had to have at least three clean dresses a day. As my sister and I were always dressed alike—in contrasting colors—her existence must have been made miserable, having to change her dress simply because mine was soiled. No wonder that Mother could not keep up this practice after I was ten!

    Until April of that year, Mother had kept most of Father's books, and helped him with the details of the business, but now a cousin of Mother's, Ella Cobb, a comely woman, who strongly resembled Mother and was a few years her junior, came from


Albany and did this work under Father's direction. For some years following, she and Father often worked together for an hour or two in the evenings.

    Later in the month Herbert Lincoln was born. This was a wonderful experience—to me, at least. A baby in the house! I could not remember my brother Charles in his infancy. How proud I was when I was allowed to wheel this little blue-eyed baby up and down the wooden walk. Once a tragedy nearly occurred. High steps led up to the porch. Mother had put Bert in the carriage and had gone into the house for a moment. Whether I decided that I would be a real help to Mother and take the carriage down before she returned, or whether it was simply an accident, I do not know. However, the carriage with the baby in it began to bump down the twenty-odd steps. Faster and faster it went; a little six-year-old, frightened almost to death, but holding on—not daring to let go. We reached the bottom, slid through the open gate and the carriage tipped over, spilling the baby, wrapped in his blankets, softly on the sidewalk. He was unhurt, but I was a mass of bruises from head to feet. For once I was glad of the pain and felt that it was richly deserved.

    About this time Father decided to build a modern house, at Emerald Avenue and 45th Street, and we moved into it within a year, I think. This house was larger than any in the neighborhood, and was greatly admired. Being the first house, for miles around, to have a bath room and a furnace, of sorts, it was the subject of constant discussion. Here, at last, we had room enough for a growing family, and here George Hastings, Gustavus Franklin, Ruth May and Harold Higgins were all


born. (It is interesting to note that Father's seventh son was his namesake.) Both of these homes, on Emerald Avenue, were about half a mile from the stockyards where Father's business was located.

    Ours was open house, and we rarely sat at the table without guests—relatives and friends—companions of all the children, too. Mother made friends readily, although she was shy and quiet and, I think, never sought them. Her head was well-screwed onto her shoulders and she almost never lost her presence of mind. In times of trouble or illness, the neighbors wanted Mrs. Swift and there she was usually to be found.

    In this locality there were few good stores; that is, they were good as far as they went, but they did not go far enough. We drove long distances for everything except the necessaries of life. Our drugs were bought at Wabash Avenue and 18th Street. Our doctor lived north of 22nd Street. For all fruit, except bananas, oranges and apples, we drove to 22nd Street or into the heart of the city. There was a dry-goods store, kept by our old friends, Mr. and Mrs. Kern, but only the simplest things could be purchased there. School supplies and candies could be bought at a little shop close by. During these early years, Father had many supplies sent, in bulk, from the East— Poland water in huge hogs-heads, his favorite apples, cranberries from the bog which he and his brother Noble owned on Cape Cod, and oysters in barrels. A few of the neighbors were Eastern people and Father always shared with them.

    I could not have been more than seven when Father took me with him, one Sunday morning, to make a call on Prairie Avenue—probably upon Mr. Armour. He wrapped the reins around the whip socket and left me sitting outside, in the phaeton, while he went in. It was not long before the horse ambled


off, then broke into a brisk trot, turned a corner and went along 22nd Street, where there were street cars. I do not know whether the reins slipped down or whether I could not get them off the whip socket, but at any rate we had gone half a mile or more when a man stopped the horse and asked me who I was. I told him, and he wanted to know how I happened to be in the phaeton alone. I explained that my father had left me sitting there while he went into a house to see a man. But when my rescuer asked me who the man was and where he lived, I could not tell him. He said some very derogatory things about Father, and I told him that if he would turn the horse around, I thought maybe I could show him the street on which the man lived, and finally did guide him to the house. There was Father, walking up and down and peering all about. He was greatly relieved when he saw this strange man with me in the phaeton, but before he could say a word, the man climbed out—and such a tirade! He called Father an ignorant fool and a heartless man, and many other things that I can not recall, and blamed him severely for leaving such a "nice little girl" all alone. For once, Father was speechless and said nothing, but "Thank you," as we drove off.

    Mother was a slip of a girl when she was married, weighing only ninety-eight pounds. Although she grew plump in later years, I think she never seemed heavier to Father. He would pick her up and carry her about just as I am sure he did when she was a bride.

    In the dining room was a square refrigerator about five feet high. I have often seen Father pick Mother up as if she were a child and set her on the ice-box. She would blush a vivid crimson and say, "Gustavus, how can you? Don't be silly. Take me down!"


    "You know, Ann, I like the looks of you up there," Father would say, with a sly smile, and his strong hands held her.

    Finally, "Gustavus, if you don't let me down, I'll kick you!"

    "Then I'll just have to hold your feet."

    I do not know what happened if the children were not there but, when we were, Mother was always much embarrassed. He was a great tease in a very quiet way, and especially loved chaffing Mother. I have heard conversations such as this very often:

    "Gustavus, you owe me a hundred dollars."

    "A hundred dollars, Ann? How's that?"

    "Now, do be serious. You know you borrowed it from me last week."

    "Oh, so I did. Well, you know it's easier to owe than it is to pay," and Father would go off chuckling.

    Perhaps a week would pass, and Mother would again say, "Gustavus, you owe me a hundred dollars."

    "I owe you a hundred dollars, Ann?" in tones of mock surprise.

    "Yes, you know you do."

    "Why, how's that?"

"That hundred dollars that you borrowed a fortnight ago."

    "Oh, yes, that same hundred. Well, now, as long as I owe it, you'll always have something coming to you."

    Of course Mother was not worried. She knew that all she had to do was to send word to the office that she wanted money and that Father had no idea of depriving her, but he must have his little joke.

    Father worked hard all these years—travelling about and making his calls, on a horse most of the time, and often leaving the house at five in the morning, for he did his own buying until


Louis was able to relieve him. Perhaps that is the reason I remember him more as a personality (his arrival was an event); while Mother (almost always at home) seemed to me an all-pervading presence. He claimed that he went to bed to sleep and that, if not disturbed, would sleep until time to get up. Mother took the greatest care that the house should be kept quiet and the restrictions were often irksome to the children. However, Father made frequent trips East, and most of our "children's parties" were held at that time.

    Annie May must have started to school immediately after we reached Chicago. I, not being six, could not attend. I can remember swinging on the front gate, or walking along the railing, watching for her return. My sister and I were a source of great amusement to our playmates. We dressed as we had dressed in the East—short dresses, with round necks and short sleeves. Most of the children in this locality wore high-necked, long-sleeved, dark gingham aprons or white aprons made in the same style, if their parents were well-to-do.

    "Oh, look at the Swift girls," I have heard them say. "See how they're dressed!"

    "Dressed! They're undressed!"

    Our speech they found most amusing, too. Ida Butler, later my brother Louis' wife, told of the first time she remembered seeing me. She had known my sister for a few months, at school. Evidently I had just begun to attend. Annie May was the center of a crowd of young girls.

    "What do you call a young cow?" one asked.

    "Calf"—broad "a"—scries of giggles.

    "What do you do when you smile out loud?"

    "Why, laugh, of course."


    "What is a tiny road?"

    "Path"—all broad "a's." Shrieks of laughter.

    Then I appeared—a little replica of Annie May—dressed in blue instead of pink—eyes blazing, cheeks aflame. I tugged at my sister's sleeve and said: "Sister, don't you remember what Mother told us about those g-r-i-l-s!" serenely proud of my spelling. Evidently Mother had told us that our playmates were simply poking fun at us. It humiliated my sister but made me furious, and I think I affected an even broader pronunciation than was natural.

    About this time I heard a neighbor condoling with Mother.

    "It must be very hard for you, Mrs. Swift," she said, "to be so far away from all your friends. You must miss them dreadfully."

    Mother sighed and replied: "I think I miss my hills more than I do my friends."

    This was difficult for a little child to understand, but now I can comprehend it. Mother had spent all her life among the hills and valleys and rolling slopes of New England and New York and these great sweeps of treeless prairies must have seemed endless. For many years I wondered why, although she spoke often of her family, she rarely mentioned her friends. I recall only one—Helen Louise Crogman, for whom I was named. This little woman—I met her once years later—was deeply impressed upon my memory. When I was quite small, family and friends used to delight in asking me where I got my name. I replied at once, and all burst into peals of laughter. It bewildered me but, when I grew older, I realized that I had always said "Helen Louise Crocodile."

    I once said to Mother. "You seem to have lost touch with your old friends. I wonder why. I'm sure I never will."


    She replied, "My life has been a busy one, dear. My Mother, your Father and my children seemed to be my job. I hadn't time for much else." She paused and looked at me. "I used to feel as you do once. If you grow up and have a family, you'll not find much time for outside interests."

Higgins home

Chapter V

My Grandmothers

My Trips Back and Forth to Cape Cod. Experiences en route. Description of Grandma Higgins' House. My Escapades with Mab and Minnie. Gum-drop Purchase. Money Missing from Mother's Letters. My Knitting Lessons. Fresh Fruit from Father.

    I WAS supposed to be a delicate child. The doctor told Mother that, if I was to live to grow up, I must be sent to the seashore every year. So, from the time I was ten until I was sixteen, I spent my summers away from the family—the early years with Grandma Higgins and, as I grew older, part of the time with Grandma Swift, sometimes a week or so with Aunt Aura and my cousins in Boston.

    It was a puzzle how to get a lively child back and forth. Once or twice Father took me on his trips to Boston and, occasionally, I accompanied relatives or neighbors. Usually, when I went East with Grandma Higgins, she timed her return to travel with a friend or acquaintance as she did not like to go alone, or with a little one. A journey was a serious event to her. Once a Mr. Knowles, who I think was a distant relative, was on the train. At one of the stations he took me for a walk, up and down the platform. We came back to the train just in time to see it pull out. I could imagine Grandma's consternation. How it was arranged I do not know, but we joined Grandma on the train an hour or so later. Another time, Grandma gave the upper berth (where I was supposed to sleep) to a neighbor who was too timid to travel alone. About dawn I was awakened by a shriek from Grandma and saw Mrs. Holder looking down from the berth above.



    "Oh, I didn't mean to scare you, Mrs. Higgins. I wanted to ask you what time it was."

    "Well, you did scare me! I was dreaming about Garfield and when I saw your head I thought it was Guitteau's just falling from the block. ------And I don't know what time it is!" thoroughly annoyed. Another time I was in the berth with Grandma—I suppose she had again given mine away. Several times she reached over me, raised the shade and looked out. Finally I said: "Grandma, what is the matter? You have looked out of that window a dozen times."

    "Yes I know. Ashtabula is near here. That's where they had that dreadful accident. I will be glad when we have crossed the bridge."

    "Why, we crossed that about eight o'clock, while you were getting ready for bed!"

    "Oh, I wish I had known it before!" So did I.

    I can vaguely remember seeing somewhere a photograph of Grandma Higgins' home when it stood on Bay Shore. It seems to me that it was a very simple place with no pretense to architecture. Two steps led up to a narrow porch across the front of the two-storied house. But I remember it very well after I was ten. It had been moved into the little village about an eighth of a mile from the center of town, which then boasted a general store where feed, groceries, paints, hardware, stationery, pencils and candy and, I believe, patent medicines were sold. There was also a blacksmith shop. About half a mile from Grandma's house in the other direction was the Methodist Church, set in the midst of its graveyard. I frequently sat upon one of the graves, chatting with the children and studying the old epitaphs, after Sunday-School was over, while awaiting the arrival of my grandmother who took me into Church with her.


    Her house was charming at that time, and she occupied the dormer part which, I believe, had been added when it was moved, and Captain and Mrs. Savage, relatives to whom she had sold the house, occupied the remainder. An attractive porch had also been added at the side. The lawn in front of the house was green, with a few trees and, as I especially remember, several briar rose bushes, and a beech-nut tree.

    These were trying days for me. Living in a few small rooms, with an elderly grandmother, I found depressing in contrast to my life with many children and a large house in which to romp. Grandma was (or so she seemed to me) a strict disciplinarian. Fortunately, two girls near my age, spent their summers with Captain and Mrs. Savage, in the same house, and the older one had a room adjoining, but not connecting with, mine. Naturally, if I were sent on an errand I would call "Mab" or "Minnie, come down to the village with me!"

    "One's enough; two's too many; and three's enough to kill the old Harry," Grandma said to me one day, and sent me alone to the village. My young heart rose in rebellion and, that night after the lights were out, I leaned out of the window to talk to Mab.

    "Come over to my room," she said.

    Grabbing a dark gown, I climbed onto the roof of the side-porch, through Mab's window, and there I spent the night. I think I scarcely slept, for I knew I must be back before Grandma was stirring.

    Mother wrote me frequently and often tucked a dollar bill into her letter. If I received the letter first, I gave it to Grandma to read. If the letter came while I was out, Grandma opened it, read it and then gave it to me.


    Very often, when I was sent to the store, I purchased candy or crackers or little cakes with my spending money. Grandma thought this was a foolish extravagance, and the climax came when I once spent a whole quarter and bought a pound of gum-drops! I returned, opened the bag and put a generous part of the contents on a dish for her, but I received a long lecture. She didn't know where I had learned such extravagance— "certainly not from your mother. Ann wasn't brought up that way. Wasters, wantcrs." Of course her inference was that I had learned my extravagant ways from Father, although she never put the thought into words.

    Shortly after the episode of the gum-drops, I noticed that several letters arrived from Mother, and not one of them contained any money. It seemed strange and I reported it to Grandma, who said, "Oh, the money came, but I'll take care of it for you."

    "But, Grandma, you can't," I said, in my impetuous way. "It isn't your money, it's mine, and I want it."

    "Why, of course you'll have it," she replied. "You don't think I'd take anything that didn't belong to me, I hope. You shall have it all when you leave."

    "But that's not what Mother meant. If she wanted me to have it when I went home, she would have kept it for me herself. She meant me to do what I wanted with it, and I want the money."

    But Grandma didn't give it to me. I presume I wrote a rebellious letter to Mother and, in some way, she must have straightened the matter out with Grandma because, after a week or so, I received the money which she sent in her letters, but I am sure that Grandma thought that was the beginning of my downfall.

schoolhouse at Eastham


    I vividly remember one experience. Mother was getting me ready to spend the summer on Cape Cod, when I was about twelve. Some of my clothes had been sent to the laundry instead of being done at home as usual. One white dress was ruffled and all the ruffles were fluted, which I particularly disliked.

    "Oh, Mama, must I wear it like that?" I asked ruefully.

    "No indeed, it looks awful. Send it to the laundry when you arrive and have it properly done."

    I must have reached Grandma's the latter part of the week. She stood over me while I unpacked and put my things away. The following Sunday, she said:

    "Go up and dress for Sunday School. Put on the white dress with the ruffles."

    "But, Grandma, that dress was so badly ironed. Mama said I should have it laundered again before I wore it. We both hate fluting."

    "What! Send a clean dress to the laundry! Indeed not! It can be laundered when it is soiled. Not before! Go right upstairs and put it on."

    I knew arguments were useless, so I simply said "Mama said I needn't" and left the room. I returned just in time to hurry to Sunday School wearing another white dress.

    This scene was repeated every Sunday morning while I was there. Of course, it was stupid. I should have worn the dress that first Sunday and have seen that it did become soiled—but that did not occur to me. I returned home with the white dress, flutings and all, just as it was when I left home seven or eight weeks earlier.

    Occasionally I asked Grandma, before leaving the house, if I looked all right.


    "Handsome is as handsome does," was a frequent reply or (and I looked upon this as a begrudging compliment) "Humph, if you act as well as you look, it will be all right."

    "Children should be seen and not heard" and "Satan finds some mischief, still, for idle hands to do" seemed to be favorite maxims of Grandma's. I had never heard them at home, though our noise was often gently quelled. Grandma was never idle, nor was I lazy. I did my share of the little household tasks and gladly ran and fetched for her. It seemed to me that she sewed or knitted from morning till night (when she wasn't cooking)— patchwork quilts, warm mittens for her grandchildren and heavy woolen socks for the boys (which they loathed and never wore except, occasionally, during the winter when Grandma was there). I was soon taught to knit and I must have knit reins enough for my young brothers to last three generations. Then I sewed numberless squares of patchwork, which I rather enjoyed. This continued several summers, when Grandma decided that I should knit mittens. I struggled valiantly (meantime hearing joyous shouts from Mab and Minnie whom Captain Savage was pushing in the swing or taking for a drive.) At last a mitten was finished—all but the thumb! I just could not put that in—I really could not, though I believe Grandma thought it was sheer stubbornness. Day after day, I sat there, knitting and ripping, ripping and knitting! She said I could not go out to play until I had finished the mitten properly. And how I wanted to play! Many days passed, and I heard my young friends romping and laughing, and sometimes had a wave of the hand or a word from them. My small stock of patience was nearly exhausted, but still I struggled, hoping—by some happy chance—that it would come right. Finally Grandma said, for the hundredth time, it seemed to me: "Rip it out,


Helen. It's wrong." I ripped. Soon the thumb was gone. But I ripped and ripped. Grandma must have been astounded, for she watched me in silence. When all was unravelled, I wound the yarn, passed the ball to Grandma, said, "I'll never knit again as long as I live!" and left the room. I never have knitted since that day, and Grandma never again broached the subject to me.

    Years afterwards I told my little daughter some of these incidents, and Ruth looked up at me with big, puzzled eyes and said, "Why, Mother, you must have been a dreadful trial to your Grandmother." Strangely, I had never looked at that angle of it, but I am convinced now that I must have been a very great trial indeed.

    During the last few summers I spent on the Cape, Father seemed to realize that it was a bit of a hardship for me. He asked me if I'd like to have anything sent down to me, and told me to write Uncle Edwin in Boston, for anything I wanted. I replied that I missed fresh fruit, but didn't want anything else. Thereafter, a huge hamper of fruit reached me every Friday, whether I was at Eastham or at Sagamore. Grandma Higgins shook her head gravely and occasionally spoke of wasteful spending but, after all, she was, by this time, accustomed to my reckless ways, and I believe she enjoyed the fruit as much as I did.

    I was not, then, quite so well acquainted with Grandma Swift. When the first hamper arrived at her house, I arranged two bowls of fruit—one for her room and one for the dining room, and carried the rest off to my own room. Grandma made almost the same remark that Grandma Higgins had made: Helen, I don't know where you get your extravagant ways. Certainly, not from Gustavus. He wasn't brought up that way."


    I noticed that Grandma ate little of the fruit. The following Wednesday, she heard me remark, "Well, there will be another hamper on Friday." That noon, she urged us all to eat the fruit.

    "If more is coming, you'd better eat this up before it spoils," she said, in a resigned tone.

    When the next hamper did arrive, I said, "Now, Grandma, you must eat this while it's fresh. There will be more next week, you know." But she could not do it. For a few days, she simply looked at it (soliloquizing, I am sure, on such reckless spending) and, about Thursday, urged us to eat the fruit to save it. By that time there was scarcely a perfect piece of fruit on the dish.

    Perhaps these frequent visits to the Cape account for the fact that I have always felt myself a real New Englander. None of the other children visited the East for many years after we came to Chicago.

Swift homestead

Chapter VI
Emerald Avenue

Father's Abstemious Habits. Fourth of July Celebrations. Mother's Fear of Horses. Father at a Sick-bed. Grandma Higgins and Charles {Measle Story). George's Arithmetic. Brownie—My Pony. Herbert's Accident on Brownie. Charles' Accident.

    THESE days when my sister and I were growing up were happy ones for the young folks. Father and Mother were very religious and, largely through their efforts, the Union Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church was built. Heretofore religious services and social affairs had been held in the little red-brick school house. My parents were constant in their attendance and we were expected to attend Sunday School and, as we grew older, church. Mother, I am sure, never dreamed of questioning the faith or forms of the church, yet both parents were exceedingly tolerant of our beliefs or non-beliefs. When I was a child, the Methodist Church condemned the theatre, card-playing and practically all Sunday amusements. Some of the neighbors looked askance at Father when he took the family for a Sunday drive. I always thought that Mother went along because she reasoned: "If Gustavus does it, it can't be very wrong." We danced and played cards and, as we grew older, attended the theatre.

    Father, as I remember him in the early days, was not robust—rarely ill but frequently tired. In spite of his hard work, he took excellent care of himself and in this Mother aided him. He ate less than any man I have ever known, drank nothing, unless by doctor's orders, and never smoked. He insisted upon



at least nine hours rest—said that he went to bed to sleep and that he did sleep unless disturbed. Indeed, when travelling, he often had twelve or fourteen hours rest. He loved the water and made several trips to England, preferably on a slow boat, worked energetically there for three days (often being at the Market at four o'clock in the morning) and returned on the next boat, rested and refreshed.

    Mother was the leading spirit in the home. We went to her with our problems and requests. Usually she settled them all, but when one was very serious, she would say: "You must talk with your Father about that." Father was, in his way, a very strict disciplinarian, and we were loath to discuss our problems with him—perhaps because we were accustomed to hearing Mother say: "Your Father works hard, and is tired when he comes home—you're not to bother him." Of course, we never knew how much she and Father talked matters over during their few quiet hours. He disliked noise and excitement. I suppose Mother did, too, but she put up with it graciously. He thought fireworks "just plain foolish" yet we had great Fourth of July celebrations, which he oversaw personally. Under his supervision, a large post was securely placed at the street corner for the set pieces. The neighbors gathered in crowds, even before it grew dark. All available chairs were brought to the porch, and here the elders gathered. The lawn was crowded with people. Father seemed to be everywhere—certainly everywhere that danger might arise. He was, naturally, leisurely in speech and manner, unless excited or angry; yet, when necessary, he could move like chain-lightning. He stood guard until the last cracker had been set off.

    "Stand further back, Bert." "Give the pin-wheel a turn, Charlie." "Wait a minute, Gus, that rocket is upside down," we


frequently heard or, to the older boys: "See that George stands further away" or "Watch Harold that he doesn't get hurt." In this way, I think, he taught us a certain amount of caution. The excitement being over, we youngsters went reluctantly off to bed. Our parents seemed to breathe a sigh of relief, as if to say, "Thank goodness, the Fourth comes only once a year!"

    Even when we were quite small children and went to town with Mother, we did most of the driving. Of course, we all loved horses, and were proud to drive, but I wondered even then that she trusted us. It was many years later, when I was rearing my own children, that Mother told me she was frightened to death of horses and never drove one, if there was anyone else to do it. All these years, she had kept the knowledge from us. I suppose she wanted to give us every chance to grow up fearless.

    How often I look back and marvel that Father and Mother never lost their heads over our escapades, illnesses and accidents !

    I have mentioned that Mother was a joy at a sick-bed and that she often helped the neighbors when they were ill. But I have said nothing about Father in this connection. He, too, was a strong rock to rest upon. Some of my most vivid recollections center about him when my brothers and sisters were ill or recovering from accidents. Then, he had infinite patience. Unless they were very ill, they spent their days on the couch in the nursery on the first floor. Father probably carried the child downstairs in the morning, put him on the couch and arranged pillows and covering comfortably. After breakfast he would take a look at the patient's tray and coax or bribe him to eat or drink. Again at noon and upon his return in the afternoon, he


would come into the nursery, sit down and meticulously prepare an orange, removing every bit of the membrane, or scrape an apple and feed it a teaspoonful at a time. The children were never bribed to take medicine—that was understood. But I think Father realized how unpleasant it was to be obliged to eat when one had not an appetite. So he coaxed us in that particular.

    He looked after his employees very carefully when they were ill, visiting all those whom he knew personally—superintendent, managers, office force and so forth. I sometimes wonder if he was very welcome. He did not always agree with the doctor who had charge of the case, insisted upon consultations and sometimes even a change of doctor. He also had his own idea about diet. But the patients often admitted, after their recoveries, that "Mr. Swift did the trick." In those days, there seemed to be a fetish that doctors were always right and consultations were not at all common. Doctors were held in awe and most patients were afraid of hurting their feelings.

    Grandma Higgins was a good manager, and took pride in it. She visited us very often after we moved to Chicago, and would have liked to relieve Mother of all responsibility—manage the house and the children, though I never heard her intimate that she would like to manage Father. He was always gentle with her and considerate and, I believe, was very fond of her. He never criticized her, but often had his sly joke which I doubt if she quite comprehended. Our two grandmothers occasionally visited us at the same time. They were absolute contrasts in every way. Grandma Higgins was six months the younger, and she loved to wait upon Grandma Swift—always stood aside to see that "Mrs. Swift" entered the room, or the carriage, first,


offered her an easy chair and so forth. Grandma Swift would smile quietly in an amused, tolerant way, though she evidently was not particularly pleased.

    Once when Grandma Higgins was visiting us, Charles was ill with measles and his bed was brought down to the nursery, as that room could be kept warmer. He had been restless and irritable for a few nights and Grandma insisted upon looking after him and giving Mother "at least one night's rest." Mother remonstrated, said it wasn't necessary, that she wasn't tired, but Grandma was firm. Charlie's remonstrances were much more vociferous. He wanted Mother! However, Grandma worked upon his sympathies, told him that Mother was worn out, needed a night's rest, and finally won her point. Of course, what Grandma really wanted was to treat Charlie in her own way. She had not much use for "those new-fashioned doctors," who gave pills and powders. Hadn't she brought her two children through the measles without doctors, and hadn't she helped nurse the neighbor's children through all their illnesses! As soon as the house was quiet, Grandma tucked her patient up, turned the light low, and said: "Now, Charlie, lie quiet and I'll be back in a moment."

    She soon returned, her arms laden. She tucked a few bricks (which she had heated in the oven, for hot water bottles were unknown in those days) under the bed covers; then poured a steaming liquid from pitcher into cup, and said, "Here, dear, drink this."

    Charlie took one sip and pushed the cup away. "It's horrible!"

    "No, it isn't. It's good, wholesome herb tea."

    "I hate it! I want Mother."

    "Now, Charlie, it's just what you need—heat, inside and out. It will bring the rash to the surface and you'll be better in the


morning. Just think how happy your dear Mother will be when she comes down in the morning, after a good night's sleep and finds the fever gone and you nearly well!"

    Charles evidently did want to make his "dear Mother happy," for he manfully gulped it down, but soon began to move about restlessly. Grandma was observant and tucked the covering about him each time he tossed it off.

    "It's too hot," Charlie declared.

    "No, heat is just what you need to bring the rash out."

    "But I tell you, I'm burning up. I feel as if I'm on fire!"

    "That's splendid. The rash is coming out."

    "I am burning up!"

    Charlie, not the rash, came out! To Grandma's consternation, he bounded onto the floor with one leap and dashed into the hall! The bed clothes were on fire! His screams brought Mother and Father downstairs. Grandma, with her usual presence of mind, had beaten out the flames. Soon the bed was re-made, Charlie tucked into it and Grandma persuaded to go upstairs to rest. When I came down, next morning, my parents and Grandma were in the nursery. She was looking at a charred blanket, which had several holes.

"I just can't see through it," she said.

    Father chuckled and replied, "Well, Mother Higgins, if Charlie hadn't jumped out when he did, I guess the holes would have been big enough for you to see through."

    Of course, Charlie had a relapse, but I never heard Father or Mother mention the incident again.

    Swift and Company's Directors were mostly men of Father's age or older—Herbert Barnes, for whom our brother Bert was named, N. E. Hollis, D. W. Anthony and others. Uncle Edwin was younger. For the annual meeting, many of them—some-


times with their wives—stayed at Father's house. Father usually planned one evening's entertainment, often the Minstrels. Mother seemed to enjoy these visits, though it must have been a burden, with a house full of children, and few servants, but we all knew that going to the theatre was a real sacrifice for her. Indeed, I don't think she ever went willingly, except when Barbara, sister Ruth's daughter, was staying with her. I suppose Mother enjoyed Barbara's delight.

    Mr. Barnes had visited us many times and was fond of all the children. My brother George, even before he was six, could figure very well, and Father was exceedingly proud of him, although he tried not to let George know it. One day while Mr. Barnes was there, Father called George and asked him:

    "How many are four and three?"


    "Four and five?"


    "Nine and six?"


    "Seven and six?"


    "Eight and nine?"


    "Twelve and thirteen?"

    "I don't know."

    Imagine Father's chagrin, showing off a five-year-old son to an old friend!

    "Of course you know," impatiently. "Twelve and thirteen?"

    "I don't know, Father. That's too hard for a little boy."

    Father was non-plussed for a moment but soon started on another tack.


    "Now, George, listen. If you had twelve cents and I gave you thirteen cents more, how many would you have?"

    George's face brightened. "Oh, a quarter, of course! Why didn't you say you meant money?"

    Victory number one for Father! But he wasn't satisfied. "Yes, George, but how much is a quarter?"

    "Twenty-five cents. Didn't you know that?" and George walked away, quite disgusted, but Father beamed.

    At this time I had a pony whom I called Brownie—very clever and quick, but wild. He had a habit of running. I loved   the pony, was very proud of him and had never been thrown, but I always mounted in the stable and never appeared where my parents could see me until Brownie had had a good working and was ready to behave quietly. One day, Mr. Barnes asked me to ride my pony around the front of the house as he had only seen it in the stable. I was embarrassed but knew that I must do as I was told, so I slipped into my riding clothes, ordered the pony and mounted in the stable. I looked carefully at the bit and saw that it was tightened more than usual. Then, as I made my appearance, I whispered: "Now, Brownie, behave today—-just for a few moments until we are out of sight!"

    As Father and Mr. Barnes came down the steps, Brownie's front feet went into the air—down they came with a crash, and the hind feet went up. This was only a preliminary. He dashed down the street like a streak of lightning. At the end of a quarter of a mile, I managed to stop him and we returned slowly to the house. There was Father, a quiet smile creeping about his lips, and there was Mr. Barnes looking very much excited.

    "Docs he always act like that, Helen?"

    "Oh, no, not always, Mr. Barnes."


    "Aren't you afraid of riding him?"

    Before I could answer, Father replied, "That child hasn't sense enough to be afraid of anything."

    They turned to the steps, and I heard Mr. Barnes say, in a grave tone. "Well, I should think you would be afraid, Mr. Swift."

    One summer while I was away, my brother Bert, who could not have been more than eleven, rode my pony. He was a good horseman, but certainly had a wild pony to manage. Pulling up to watch a baseball game, a ball came out of bounds close to Brownie's head. He was startled and began to run. Bert could no more stop him than a fly could. If I had known he was going to ride him, I would have told him to keep him in the middle of the road and let him run until he was tired out. At last, in despair, Bert put all his strength on one rein and ran the pony into a barbed wire fence. He and the pony were dreadfully cut. Someone managed to get them home. Mother sent one of the boys for the doctor, (we had no telephone even at that time, and the doctor lived far away, so she told my brother that, if our regular physician was not at home, to get a certain younger doctor of whom she had heard). At the same time she sent someone else for Father, who was the first to arrive. Bert had been bathed and put to bed with compresses on his legs, which were badly torn from knee to ankle. Immediately Father called for slices of salt pork and bound them on to the legs. Of course the pain was terrific—the salt penetrating the raw flesh. Almost before Bert had quieted down, the young doctor arrived. He asked what Father had used and was indignant when he discovered that it was salt pork, and ordered it to be removed at once. Quietly Father leaned over Bert, removed the pork


which had been on less than half an hour and showed it to the young doctor. It was green, covered with the poison already drawn from the rusty wire-infected wounds. Then Father removed the napkin from a plate close by, took fresh salt pork and calmly put it on. Not another word was said. The doctor set to work to take Bert's temperature. Just then, a great commotion downstairs, and our old doctor came lumbering up and into the bedroom! He filled the doorway; a look of horror came over his face; he marched to the bed, snatched the thermometer from Bert's mouth, threw it onto the floor where it smashed, and turned indignantly to the young doctor.

    "What do you call yourself?" he asked. "A doctor? Well, I wouldn't call myself a doctor if I had to use one of those fool contrivances to know if a patient had a fever. Haven't you hands to feel his head? Haven't you lingers to take his pulse? You young doctors are just lazy fools! All sorts of contraptions to save yourselves work."

    Then he took over the patient. The pork remained on the wounds, being changed every half hour until there was no trace of poison upon it. Bert recovered with no evil after-effects.

    One day Charles had ridden to the Stock Yards. I think his pony must have slipped in a hollow near Mr. Nelson Morris' office. It fell and crushed Charles against a fence, injuring his leg quite badly. Mr. Morris either saw the accident or was told of it and, in the kindness of his heart, ordered his horse and phaeton, put Charlie into it and drove him home. Years afterwards, when Mr. Nelson Morris was my father-in-law, he told me the* story. He said that all the way from the office to Father's home, he was frightened and worried as to how he should break the news to Mrs. Swift. Mother met him at the door, as he was


half carrying and half dragging Charlie, and he said to her, "Oh, Mrs. Swift, don't get excited! I don't think our Charlie is badly hurt. Now don't get excited."

    To his surprise, she said, "That's all right, Mr. Morris. I saw you driving up, and the couch is ready in the nursery. Will you be kind enough to lift him onto it?"

    Mother told me that Mr. Nelson Morris was practically hysterical when he arrived—sobbing and trembling, absolutely incoherent.

    He never ceased to tell of Mother's calm: "Why, she never lost her head for a minute, and did the right thing in a jiffy," I've heard him say.

    Father rarely remarked about the children's appearances but I do remember that when we were rather young, he disliked short clothes. He would gladly have seen my sister and me in dresses half way below our knees when we were quite small; and as for the boys' short trousers, they were absolutely abhorrent to him.

    "Come here, Helen," he said to me one day. "I want to look at you."

    Such an unusual request from Father puzzled me but I went over and stood before him.

    "Just a little further back where I can see you plainly. Look here," he continued, "I think your mother picked that dress too soon. Ask her to plant it and let it grow awhile."

    Very frequently he said to one of the younger boys, "Now if I had some sugar, I would put it on your shoes. Perhaps it would coax your trousers down a little further."

    Just here I might speak of an incident that occurred when I was about fifteen. One of the younger brothers had scarlet fever


and my sister and I took the rest of the boys to a woods on the lake shore—not far from Oakwood Cemetery. We thought that, in this way, the house would be quieter for Mother and the sick brother. I rode Brownie and my sister drove, taking the boys with her. She was to ride the pony back and I was to drive. We were both in our riding habits. Before arranging the luncheon, I rode ray pony slowly into the woods, one of my younger brothers following. I was searching for wild flowers which I knew were plentiful there. George said, "Helen, I wish you'd take me on the pony with you."

    "Well, this pony is a little bit wild," I replied, "but if you will be very careful that you don't touch him with your feet, I'll lift you up."

    We had ridden double before but had always mounted in the stable. I lifted the little chap but he did touch Brownie and the pony reared. I saw a tree ahead of us and, of course, my only thought was to drop George safely to the ground, which I did. It seems that I did not escape the tree. My next recollection is the sound of my sister's voice. George had run and told her that I had been thrown and she had come into the woods to find me. There was no picnic that day. With difficulty she got me into the carriage and took me home, one of the boys holding the pony's bridle and leading it behind the carriage. I was not seriously injured—a few cuts on the scalp which had to be sewed up, a very lame back and a bruised face. I insisted that my nose was broken but Father looked at it carefully and said it was only bruised. I insisted vehemently: "I know it's broken!"

    "No, it's only a bruise," Father replied.

    Again I said, "It's broken, and I know it, but if you insist that it isn't we won't discuss it any more."


    Several months later, Father and I were seated not far apart, alone in the living room.

    "Helen," he said to me, apropos of nothing, "I never noticed before that you had a crooked nose."

    "Well, I didn't," I replied, "until I broke it."

    "Broke it? When was that?"

    "A few months ago when I was thrown from my pony."

    "Why didn't you speak about it?"

    "I did. I told you three times it was broken and I think three times ought to be enough to tell anybody."

    "Come over here and stand in the light. Let me look at it carefully." He passed his hand over my nose and said gravely, "I do believe it was broken."

    "Of course it was," I said. "I knew it all the time."

    "Well, we'll have a doctor out to see about it."

    The next day the doctor arrived, made minute examinations and decided it was broken. He said, "That nose must be set."

    "When?" was Father's query.

    "The sooner the better."

    "Can you do it now?"

    "Yes, if you like."

    "What do you think about it, Helen?" Father asked me.

    "Well," I said, "of course it ought to have been done when it was broken, but I suppose it is better now than later."

    The doctor broke the bone and set it. Father had far greater dread of an anesthetic than fear of pain. I know that I had no anesthetic for this operation and, to this day, I can hear the grinding of the bones as they were re-set.

Chapter VII
School Days

Louis' Marriage. Thanksgiving at Father's House. Father and the Card Game. Mother's "No" Meant No. Staying Home from School. Uncle Noble and the Swift Stock. Father and the Boys' Allowances. Edward and My Balloon. Lessons in Gratitude and Thrift. Handkerchief Episode.

    Louis had commenced work at an early age—first in the Yards with Father, learning to judge and buy livestock and, later, doing the actual buying, and was quickly followed by the younger boys in succession, although I believe none of them commenced work as early as Louis. This gave Father an opportunity to concentrate on the affairs of the office. He was very happy and, I think, proud, that the boys all loved the business and had no leaning toward any other—though, I am bound to admit that both he and Mother gave the boys every encouragement to remain at school.

    One would think that this would have been an inducement for Father to take life easy, and it did enable him to do less physical work. He no longer mounted his horse in the early morning and rode about the Yards, mounting, dismounting and doing his buying. On the contrary, he drove—stopping always for a chat with, or a word of advice to, his buyers; although this change seemed to release his mind from certain details, he worked as hard as ever.

    Just before Louis was nineteen he married Ida May Butler, who lived not far away. Louis and Ida were schoolmates and the families were well-acquainted. I can remember her, almost from the time that we moved to Chicago. These courtship days



were prosperous ones for me. Though only a chit of a child, I delivered many messages and notes and Louis usually gave me a nickel or a dime. Often, when "Lou" returned from work, I would jump onto my pony and bound across the prairie with a message for Ida. I remember one such errand particularly— and for two very good reasons: I rode a new pony which Father had given my sister and me. Crossing the prairie was a narrow, shallow ditch. My ponies had always slowed down and stepped across the ditch—this pony jumped it. Such excitement! I delivered the note and returned with an answer, jumping the ditch again, you may be sure. It must have been a very welcome one for "Lou" gave me a quarter—the first one I had ever earned! Louis and Ida took a house close by and soon built one only a few doors from us. The following year a son, Nathan, was born.

    While Edward was still a very young man, he took a house not far away on Emerald Avenue, and lived there with one of Father's office men and his wife.

    Thanksgiving was a great day for New Englanders and, as far back as I can remember, the entire family gathered at Mother's for the mid-day meal. Children, grandchildren, household servants and children's nurses! The house was overflowing! And always a few friends and relatives—usually New England boys who were far away from their families. I remember one Thanksgiving afternoon: Mother and Father were having a quiet rest, after the excitement of the family meal—the younger children and grandchildren were romping on the third floor— Louis, Ida, Edward, Annie May, a dear family friend from the East who had been in Father's employ since the early days, and


I were in the library, deep in a game of Six-Handed Euchre. The folding doors opened and Father appeared.

    "Mr. Foster has just come in and says there is a fire in the plant. I think you had better go over, Louis."

    Mr. Foster was the superintendent, and lived very near. Father "wouldn't be bothered with a telephone," so important messages were brought to him by Mr. Foster.

    Someone remarked: "Well, that's the end of a card game," and Father replied: "Not necessarily. Louis may not begone long and I guess 'the old man' can take a hand for a little while."

    We all looked at him in astonishment. Was this one of Father's jokes? He was smiling quietly. We had never seen either of our parents use a card and did not suppose they knew one from another. Mother had always seemed indifferent to them and Father had occasionally watched a game at home with an air of amused tolerance. Louis left, Father took his place, and the game went on. He asked no questions and played very well. He answered no questions, either.

    "Why, Father, where did you learn to play? Did you ever play before?" He only smiled and said:

    "Well, you know I can't let you children get ahead of me all the time."

    When we questioned Mother, she said she had never seen him play cards, and did not know that he could. She did not seem surprised, however. Indeed, I think Father seldom surprised her. She always felt that he could do anything that he desired!

    Looking back, it seems to me that Mother was very wise in training us. She said "Yes" to our requests, when principle and conditions permitted, but her "No" was decided, and we were

GF 1880


compelled to abide by it. I remember a picnic at Washington Park, probably a church affair. While the older folks were arranging luncheon on the lawn, many of the young folks went rowing. A schoolmate, Will Stern, invited me for a row, but 1 replied that I didn't think Mother would allow me to go. However, he persuaded me to ask her.

    "I'm sorry, dear, but I don't want you to go on the water," she replied.

    When I reported to Will, he said, "Oh, go back and tease her."

    "No use," decidedly.

    "Well, I'll go ask her."

    "No use either," I replied, "but you can try if you like."

    He approached Mother and I watched him, feeling that I could almost prophesy the result.

    "Mrs. Swift, won't you let Helen go rowing with me? I'll be very careful and I promise we won't move about in the boat. I can really row well," he hurried on.

    "No, Will, if I had been willing for Helen to go on the lake, I would have told her so with pleasure. There would have been no need for a second request."

    Poor Will! He looked a bit ill at ease when he returned.

    Often, one of the children complained that he wasn't well, and didn't want to go to school. Mother did not remonstrate; she usually said, "I'm sorry. Lie on the couch until the others are off." Then she always brought a glass of one of Father's favorite cures—Wormwood or Thoroughwort—or a pill, or capsule or, maybe a dose of soda. The child was kept quiet. Frequently, he announced, just as school was out: "I feel fine, Mother. Think I'll go out."


    "No," she would reply, gently, "I'm sure you need the rest. I want you to be able to go to school tomorrow. If you feel well enough, I may allow you to get up for supper."

    Thus, we early learned that we could not fool Mother, although she never appeared to realize that we were making excuses. On the other hand, we sometimes came to her frankly and said we didn't want to go to school that day. Usually, we went but, occasionally, we were indulged—and wisely, I think. I remember once, when I was about fourteen, I said to Mother, as we were getting ready for school:

    "I don't want to go to school today. I want to be outdoors. I just hate school!"

    She gave me a quiet look and replied: "Don't go. It wouldn't do you a bit of good today. What do you want to do?"


    "Yes, order your pony. You may go, as soon as you have helped me with the mending."

    A twenty mile ride through the park and woods and along the lake brought me home happy and contented.

    Speaking of mending: from the time I was ten, I helped Mother—usually for an hour or two Saturday morning—sewing on buttons and darning. I liked it, but I think the chief charm was the quiet and being with Mother alone (which rarely happened in this large family). I don't know what we talked about—my own pleasures and petty disappointments, probably, but I look back and marvel at my selfishness (the natural selfishness of youth, I suppose). What I would give now, if I had employed these hours learning something about Mother's life!

    I recall an incident which amused Father greatly. Swift and Company had increased their capital by issuing new stock.


    Father had written his brother, Noble, to whom he always seemed much attached, in a quiet undemonstrative way, that he had put aside the number of shares to which Uncle Noble was entitled and, if he wished to have them, he could send Father a check. The reply was characteristic:

    "Brother Gustavus,

    "Your letter received and contents noted. I do not care for any more Swift and Company stock. Do you remember when we were boys, that everybody on the coast fished? What has become of the fish now? Fished out! Where will Swift and Company be when the cattle are killed off? I don't want any more stock. Perhaps I have too much already.

    Your brother Noble."

    The affection between Father and his brothers and sisters must have been very deep and real—something probably difficult for the outside world to understand. They were exceedingly undemonstrative, but very considerate. I have frequently heard them differ with one another, and I have heard Father quietly reprove a sister, but I never heard a word of criticism of another.

    Ordinarily, Mother bought our clothes—what she thought we required. She also gave us our spending money. But occasionally when we were doing something rather unusual, we would go to Father and ask him for extra money. As I grew older, I was allowed sometimes to spend Friday night and Saturday with a schoolmate, and then I usually wanted a little more than my regular allowance.

    I would go to Father and explain to him where I was going and say, "Will you give me some extra money?"

    He often took a dollar or a dollar and a half out of his pocket and said, "Is that enough?"


    It looked large to me, but I was wily, so I always replied, "Yes, thank you, it's enough as long as it lasts."

    As George and Gus grew older, they formed the habit of frequently asking Father for money in the evening. He would put his hand in his pocket and bring out all his loose change and pass it over to the boys. The first time that this occurred, they divided it evenly and were about to pocket it all. Father looked at them gravely and said, "You wouldn't leave the old man without a cent in his pocket, would you?" This was a new point of view for the boys, but they rose to the test, recounted the money into three equal parts, returned one to Father and kept the remainder—a habit to which they clung for many years.

    I suppose all children are inclined to feel that the parents have a favorite. I am sure I felt, when I was young, that my brother Edward was Father's favorite. He was a perfect tease, as I have already said, and it was probably more fun teasing me, because I would lose my temper, than teasing my sister, who was nearer his age and was calm and quiet. He never lost an opportunity to play a joke on me, and I suppose I tried to get even with him when I could. Saturday mornings, a man always came around selling balloons, and they were my particular fascination. Indeed, to this day, they bring back my childhood to me, and I like nothing better than to buy them for my grandchildren. This man had five-cent balloons of all colors, which we children frequently bought. But he also had a few large white balloons that seemed, to me at least, the most beautiful thing on earth, and which I coveted for weeks or months. Finally, out of my spending money, I saved enough to buy the balloon. Edward came in, saw it, and immediately


commenced to tease me. He took a pin and said, "I'm going to puncture that balloon."

    "No, you can't. I won't let you," and I began to run with my cherished possession—he after me, pretending that he wanted to puncture it. Finally we came into close quarters and the pin came into direct contact with the balloon. It burst with a terrific noise! My heart was broken, too. I presume I wailed. At any rate, I was in a very indignant mood when Father arrived home for Saturday luncheon and inquired what the fuss was all about. We told him—Edward insisting that he was only teasing me and had not meant to do it (I am sure now that that was the case, but at that time it seemed impossible to me). Father was very calm and said, "Edward, how much money have you in your pocket?"

    "I don't know," was the reply.

    "Empty your pockets and let us see." So he emptied them and he had the fabulous sum of one dollar and five cents.

    "Give it to your sister," my father said.

    "But Father, that balloon only cost twenty-five cents. I'll give her the quarter."

    "No," Father said, "Give her all the money you have."

    "But then I won't have any myself, and besides I didn't mean to do it. You know I didn't. I only thought I'd tease Helen."

    "Well it's time you learned a lesson," Father said. "You give every penny of your money to your sister, and perhaps you won't let your teasing go so far next time."

    I don't remember feeling any compunction in taking all the money that my brother had. Indeed, it seemed to me quite a fortune, but I wasn't so sure afterward that Edward was Father's favorite.


    I often wondered how Mother could be so punctilious about little things—a large house, and a large family (the children following closely), many guests and a husband to whom she devoted much time. Frequently, when one of the younger children came running to show her what one of the elders had given him, she would say, "That's very nice. Did you thank your brother?"

    "Oh, I was so excited, I forgot!"

    "Go right back and thank him."

    I well remember one lesson I received—a bitter one, but I've been eternally grateful for it. I was fourteen or fifteen years old, and had received a pair of gloves for a Christmas present. A few days later I came into the nursery, dressed in my Sunday best, to ask Mother if it looked all right, before going out. She looked me over carefully and said, "Yes, I think everything is all right. Are those gloves your Christmas present?"

    "Yes. Aren't they nice?"

    "Very. Have you thanked for them?"

    "No—but I'll write tomorrow."

    "Go upstairs and put on another pair. You're not to use a present before it is acknowledged."

    I went—knowing that argument or coaxing would be useless.

    We were taught thrift in these early days. Each child had his savings bank and, when it was filled, Father deposited the contents in a savings account in the bank.

    From the time that Swift and Company first issued stock, Father saw to it that all the children had an interest in the business. Birthdays and Christmas days, he always brought us two shares of stock.

    "Here," he would say, "one share is a present. The other share you are to pay for out of your dividends and your savings."


    So we were kept constantly in debt. I suppose he thought it was good training for us and, although he gave us money from time to time, he never reduced our debt by a penny. I often think that my brothers are probably grateful for this training as a large business must be always more or less in debt. But, to me, to owe a penny is dreadful punishment.

    Mother tried to teach us orderliness and the difference between thine and mine. A tall high-boy stood in one corner of the nursery, and each child had half a drawer for his belongings— handkerchiefs, mittens, gloves, pocketbook, muffler, etc. It seems to me that we were always generous in lending to each other. Most of the boys were, more or less, color-blind. I used to be amused by the way their things were kept separate; for instance, handkerchiefs. For one boy, all white; for another, plain colored borders; for another, colored polka dot borders, stripes or checks. One day George rushed in.

    "Mother," he exclaimed indignantly, "Bert's using my handkerchiefs!"

    "Yes, he has a cold. He has used all of his. I must have them washed!"

"Well, I won't have him taking mine—so there!"

    "George," said Mother, "I wouldn't believe you could be so selfish. I should think you would be glad to let your brother use anything of yours that he needed."

    "Let? Yes, so I would. He can have all my handkerchiefs if he asks me for them, but I won't have him taking them."

    I can close my eyes and see, as if it were yesterday, the mantle-shelf in the nursery. At the left-hand corner was an oblong shell box—a relic of Mother's girlhood days—filled with the strangest assortment of articles: pieces of silver, which Mother kept handy for beggars and peddlers; nickels, dimes, quarters


wrapped in paper, with the children's names upon them (coins which we had given Mother to keep until we needed them); odd pins, cuff-links (which had been carelessly dropped and which someone had rescued); a key or two (though Mother was never one to lock things up; perhaps she thought there was nothing in our modest home that would tempt a thief). Back of this shell box stood a little limp red-covered book—Mother's own notebook. Each child had a separate page, showing how much, or little, we had paid Father for our stock, and how much money she was keeping for us. Here, also, were the servants' accounts, and the accounts of Mother's numerous pensioners. Usually it was filled to overflowing, with writing even along the margins. Of course, it was replaced, periodically, by a new book but, as we never saw the new one until it had many entries, we felt that Mother's notebook had lasted through our life time. I used to wonder how she could keep track of the items—but she had no trouble.

Chapter VIII

Fires and Horses

Father's Kindness Toward Relatives. Edwin's Recall from the West. De Wayne Hallett's Letter. Mrs. Dunnels' Letter. Aunt Addie's Weakness for Shopping. Stable on Fire. Fire in Father's Bedroom. Bunker Fire. Father's Habit of Eating Promptly. Father's Story of Spotted Apples. Father and Driving Horses.

    I HAVE always thought that Father deserved a place in heaven for his treatment of his own and Mother's relatives, if for nothing else. They all visited us—sometimes for months at a time—and were made welcome. As Father grew older, and his business prospered, he looked after the other members of both families. His two eldest brothers—William and Noble—were probably well-established. His three sisters were married, and had growing families, and he helped them as soon as he was able. The next elder brother, Nathaniel, had gone to Eastham with him, joined him later in Barnstable and afterwards carried on the branch in Albany when we came West. Six years later he, with his wife and daughters came to Chicago. Edwin, his youngest brother after an eventful career, looked after the Eastern end of the business.

    When my father set out to accomplish a purpose, he never thought of the opposition which might arise; he never considered the odds which might be against him. This was one of the most outstanding characteristics of his life. The execution of an ambition by my father was a tour de force. The following story is an apt illustration of this trait:

    ". . . . He (Gustavus F. Swift) saw that he needed a partner to care for the eastern end of the business, someone in whose



integrity and business ability he had confidence. His mind turned to his brother Edwin G. Swift, who was ten years his junior. Edwin had some time before gone to the Pacific Coast. Letters sent to his last address in San Francisco did not find him. They were returned. He had left San Francisco without directions for forwarding his mail. But Mr. Swift had set his mind on securing him as a partner, and he now did a characteristic thing. He called in one of his cousins who was in his employ, handed him a large sum of money, and said: 'Take this, you will need it. I want you to find Edwin. Last heard from he was in San Francisco. Where he went from there it is up to you to find out. But fail not to bring him to me. He may refuse and put up all kinds of objections, but fail not to bring him just the same.' The messenger spent a week in San Francisco without result. Finally he found the name he was after in a railroad contractor's office and learned that the gang Swift was with was several hundred miles away following the engineers across the Rocky Mountains. After weeks of travel and many adventures he found his man in charge of the gang with the engineers and explained to him his errand. Edwin said, 'What does G. F. want of me?' The cousin answered, 'I cannot tell. I know this. He wanted you enough to foot the expenses of this trip. He charged me, 'Bring him without fail.'' Edwin said, 'I am here bound by contract. I cannot go if I would; so do not bother me further.' But the cousin had the impressive and imperative charge of G. F. so impressed on his mind that he continued, as he says, 'to remind him of his duty,' daily saying to him, 'You must know G. F. would not have gone to this trouble and expense unless it meant something of great importance to you as well as to himself. You know Gustave. You know he would not have done all this without good reasons. I have been more than two months on this trip thus far and I will not return without you.' It took two weeks to part Edwin from his job and get him started for Chicago and the fortune his brother was offering him. An old horse was found, and they started through the


wilderness for Ogden, two hundred miles away, riding and walking alternately—the old-time method, perhaps, of 'ride and tie.' I regret that I do not know the story of the meeting of the brothers when the cousin delivered Edwin at the office of his older brother. Edwin was then twenty-nine and G. F. thirty-nine. Mr. Swift must have had a good deal of confidence in his young brother, for he made him his partner and sent him to represent the firm in the East, with headquarters in Boston. The business at the eastern end was done under the trade name of Swift Brothers, but the name of the company was G. F. Swift & Company." 4

    Mother's only brother, Joshua Higgins, who had taken up the work at Eastham, when Uncle Nathaniel left, had gone to Barnstable and, later, had charge of one of the Eastern branch houses.

    Grandma Swift never lacked for anything and Father looked after her comfort from his very early days and, later, Uncle Edwin shared the pleasure. They built for her a beautiful home near the house where they both were born. Grandma Higgins had—thanks to Mother and Father—far more than her simple tastes required. My parents did much for the towns of their births and put their mothers in a position to be very generous.

    The following letters will prove interesting in this connection. From De Wayne Hallett, son of Father's sister, Caroline:

    "Personally I know but little of those days of which you write, but when my mother's effects were being looked over, I came across your Father's letter written to her about a year or so after you moved to Chicago, and saying he had picked out a comfortable house that she could live in on Emerald Avenue, and urging her to persuade Josiah" (De Wayne's father) "to move out there from Clinton. But Mother had been 'West' three times before that—twice beyond the end of the railroad—and was fed up on the West and so took the opposite view. That


was the second mistake made by my family in connection with yours. The other was while the company was doing both a retail and wholesale business in Clinton and about Boston, Uncle Edwin being mostly in Boston, and Father at Clinton, with your father doing the buying of live cattle in Buffalo; they were hard-pressed for capital at eastern banks, and your father came East, called a conference and advocated the buying end as necessary at Chicago. Your father was the wiser one and had the broader outlook. Mine could not see it as other than too great a risk and drew out. However, it was your father that called my family back from a prairie farm in Nebraska, where we had lived only one winter, to be one in the business at Clinton, and otherwise I might have been one of those enjoying a farmer's holiday in capitals this past autumn."

    From Mrs. Dunnels, the daughter of Father's sister, Aurelia: "My recollections of dear uncle Gus and aunt Annie are indeed of long standing. The first picture in my mind is that of being taken by mother to Barnstable in uncle Edwin's chaise. A twelve mile ride in those days was an event. While there I saw you a young baby lying in your cradle. Later when I was seven we spent some time at the farm in Lancaster being there at the time uncle Gus was so ill from ivy poisoning. Then in the summer of 1874 we were again recipients of their generous bounty in Albany. When I look back I marvel at the kindness of uncle Gus and Aunt Annie towards Mother and us children. It must have been hard to have had two children besides their five to manage but there was never anything but loving kindness and whole-hearted generosity. Aunt Annie was always so serene and beautiful and uncle Gus so kind and, in those days, jolly and more carefree. I never go through Albany that I do not think of that happy summer and fall we spent there. Charlie was a baby and one of our favorite pastimes was a walk up to the railroad bridge at West Albany where we could look down on the trains. It must have been quite a procession of kids. Annie and you, Maggie the maid wheeling Charlie, and I.


    Occasionally we four older ones were allowed to take the horse car down to the city park for an afternoon. As the eldest I was given the money—so much for carfare and so much for ice cream, it was always a worry for fear there would not be enough to get us home. Later, in Chicago there were numberless happy days and my life is fuller and broader from having known and lived with two such wonderful people. Never have I known such a family nor a home where only love and kind consideration of others prevailed."

    Two of Father's sisters visited us frequently. They idolized Father and adored Mother. Neither of them was ever ready on time (with one exception—they never kept Father waiting), and Mother waited for them as patiently as possible.

    Aunt Addie was making us a long visit. Her favorite pastime was shopping—her idea, seemingly, to buy one day, and return the purchase the next. Mother's charge accounts proved a great convenience to her. Of course, she asked Mother's permission to use them—probably saying, "Sister Annie, I want to buy a few things at Field's. May I charge them to you? I'll pay you when the bills come in."

    Aunt Addie was an elderly woman but very fond of clothes and bright colors, although those were the days when flappers and grandmothers were not supposed to affect the same styles.

    One Saturday morning Mother and I were in the nursery, busily mending, when Aunt Addie appeared upon the scene, her arms piled high with shining white boxes.

    "Sister Annie, can you spare me a moment? I'd like your advice."

It was early summer, and a new style was in vogue—a sports suit of jersey in two contrasting colors. I was the proud possessor of one—white and navy, but I'd never seen a married woman


wear one, much less a grandmother. The boxes were opened (seven of them, I think)—one at a time—and the suits exhibited, Auntie expatiating upon the beauty and desirability of each. Mother was mute, unless a question was addressed to her.

    "Yes, those are pretty colors," she would say, or give some other non-committal answer. Finally the last box was opened and the suit carefully spread upon a chair. The piece de resistance! Black, with broad bands of orange around the skirt and blouse, and orange cuffs! I saw a look of horror on Mother's face.

    "Now this is the one I like best, Annie. What do you think of it?"

    "Why, I don't know when you could wear it," in a doubtful tone.

    "Oh, mornings, around the house, or to do an errand, or to run in to visit with a neighbor. I could wear it a great deal."

    "Not while you're visiting me, Addie," Mother replied quietly.

    Nothing more was said. Aunt Addie took the boxes and their contents to her room and, the following day, they were all returned.

    Early each month the bills came in and Mother had a hectic time straightening them out: so many things charged that she had never ordered; so many things credited that she had never seen. Finally she said, "I'm sorry, Addie, but I'll have to ask you not to charge anything more to my account. I simply cannot go through all these wearisome details every month."

    But relatives were not the only ones that profited by Father's kindness. Cape Cod boys, as well, were never refused a chance. They were given employment and many came to the house for


Sunday supper. Mother had infinite patience with them all. I often wondered how Father could put up with some of these young people but, aside from his kindness of heart, I think he remembered his youth and how he had had to make his own way with very few helping hands. So he gave a lift where he could. Probably many of them amused him, also.

    Accidents and illnesses were not the only catastrophes from which the family suffered. I remember a schoolmate was visiting me and, after the house was quiet, I was awakened by a gentle tap and the door opened.

    "Yes, Mother?"

    "I want you and Cora to get up immediately, dress and come downstairs as soon as possible."

    "Anything wrong?"

    "Yes, the stable is on fire; there's a strong wind and it will probably spread to the house. There's no danger at present. Keep quiet and come down quickly." Mother went off to warn the rest of the family.

    By this time, we could see the flames from the window. Mother soon had the brood around her. A crowd of neighbors was in the house and on the porch. The men had gone to help fight the fire but the women were proffering all kinds of assistance and advice:

    "Now, Mrs. Swift, the house is surely going. Let me help you move your things!"

    "We'll get the children safely away. I'll take two."

    "And I one."

    "I'll take two."

    "Mrs. Swift, you and the two little ones come to my house!"


    Mother was her usual calm self, although the flames lit the sky and we could hear the water from the fire-hose sizzling, and the roof and beams falling.

    "Thank you all," Mother said, "but I'll keep my children all together, and with me. Perhaps the house won't burn—they are turning the hose on that, too. Anyhow, Mr. Swift will send me word as soon as there is real danger."

    Father finally sent for one of the older boys whom he kept busy taking messages to Mother. The stable had been struck by lightning and had evidently been burning for some time before Father's superintendent discovered it. As we had no telephone, he dressed and came over to report, having first called the Fire Department. There was little chance of saving it from the first moment, so every effort was put upon saving the house and near-by buildings and on getting the horses out. This was difficult, for they were maddened by the smoke and flames. When Father sent word that all were out but my pony—my beloved Brownie—I begged Mother to let me go to the stable. She finally consented and I was put in the care of an older brother with strict injunctions as to what I should and should not do. Just as I arrived, a man rushed out with a blanket over his head.

    "I couldn't get him out," he spluttered. "I got him nearly to the door and he stampeded." Just then Father Dorney arrived. He seemed to sense the trouble in a moment. Into the blazing stable he rushed, pulling off his coat as he ran. He soon emerged, leading Brownie, quiet as a lamb. The pony's head was closely wrapped in Father Dorney's coat which was badly burned; so also were his coat and vest. Brownie was safe! I don't know whether I threw my arms around Father Dorney and kissed him or not—I would have been quite capable of it—but I know that I caressed Brownie and felt that I was the happiest girl in


the world. Thereafter, Father Dorney and I were staunch friends. The stable burned to the ground and the kitchen caught on fire and still we stayed there—waiting. However, the house was saved and we spent the latter part of the night quietly in our own beds.

    That reminds me of another fire story, which had less devastating results:

    One morning we youngsters discovered that there had been a fire in Father's bedroom during the night. Our questions met only with laughter from Mother, and Father looked sheepish and was not inclined to talk. However, we persisted and, finally, Father explained the occurrence. He "guessed" he must have been half asleep when he heard a "fool mosquito buzzing," and he got up and chased it. He killed it too—it wasn't going to spoil his night's slumber, nor bite him and poison his whole system! Well, he must have thrown the match on the floor before it burned out, gone back to bed and the mosquito netting caught fire and—well, that was just all there was to it! "But," he concluded, with a hint of a wink, "lucky I smelled the smoke before I went to sleep, or I don't know what would have happened to your Mother and you children!"

    I don't know when Father discovered the fire, but the netting, some of the bed-clothes and part of the rug and woodwork were badly burned. He and Mother, who heard every sound at night, had quietly extinguished it and none of the household was even aware of it.

    One more fire story comes to my mind: Father was driving home from the office one afternoon when he saw a crowd running into a side street. He turned his horse and followed. A neighbor's house was on fire, and family and friends were frantically throwing things from the upper windows. He reined up,


took a look at the house, decided it wasn't very serious and shouted, "Hold on! Don't throw anything more out! I'll insure the whole place for five dollars!"

    Annie May entered Northwestern University in 1885. About this time, Grandma Higgins had several severe illnesses and Mother made hurried trips to the Cape. Thus, being the eldest at home, much of the responsibility of the household and of the younger children devolved upon me. My hardest job was to see that the youngsters were in from play and ready for meals at the appointed hour. One evening Father and I were in the living room. I noticed that he looked several times at his watch.

    "About six o'clock, Helen. Isn't supper ready?"

    "Yes, it's ready, but the boys were a little late coming in. You're not hungry, are you?"

    "No, I'm not hungry, but it's time to eat. I'd like to get it off my mind and into my stomach."

    Father was fond of apples, especially Northern Spies. One Sunday afternoon he was slowly eating one, having peeled it most meticulously.

    "You seem to be enjoying your apple," I remarked.

    "Yes," smiling quietly, "I was just remembering that I never had a good apple until I made enough money to buy one."

    "That sounds like nonsense. Weren't you brought up on a farm, and didn't you have an orchard?"

    "Yes, that's just it: you see," chuckling, "we youngsters were only allowed to have the windfalls—guess Father and Mother did, too. The sound ones were barrelled and sold or stored for the winter."

    "Well, you had them in the winter, didn't you?"


"Oh, yes, we had them in the winter—but there were always a few beginning to get soft, and we had to eat those first and, when we had eaten those, the rest began to be specked, and that's what happened the winter through."

    How that took me back to my Cape Cod days!

    Father thought he knew all there was to know about horses and that none of his children could handle them half as well as he could. On the other hand, we knew that Father was a notoriously poor driver—not only his children knew it, but every one with whom he came in contact. His secretary and stenographer avoided driving with him as often as possible and, when unavoidable, they held onto the seat with both hands while the cart or phaeton careened around corners on two wheels or crossed railway tracks in a mad hurry.

    A nephew of Father's, who came to work for him in Chicago, was at the house a great deal. One Sunday he asked if he might borrow one of Father's horses and the phaeton.

    "Where do you want to go?"

    "I want to take one of Helen's friends for a drive."

    "Hm-m-m. Well, I guess so. You won't drive like the devil, I suppose, if you have a girl with you."

    "No, Uncle Gus. I'll be careful. Thank you."

    A few hours later, I was on the porch with my parents when Ed drove by and into the stable. He soon approached.

    "Uncle Gus," he said triumphantly, "the horse didn't turn a hair. You can see for yourself."

    "I did see. I suppose you drove so fast the horse didn't have time to sweat!"

Chapter IX
Annie May

Annie May's Attack of Typhoid Fever. My Part as Santa Claus. Edward's Marriage. I Enter Wellesley. Father's Advice About Money. The Bell-boy Helps Me to Dress. Leaving Wellesley and Annie May's Death. Mr. Nelson Morris and Whittling. Mr. Fitzgerald's Letter. My Business Training. My Engagement. Mr. Nelson Morris' Story of Father.

    MY sister's college work was soon interrupted by an attack of typhoid fever, and she never regained her health. Heretofore, she had always been well. I cannot remember that she had even had a headache. During this illness she had a trained nurse, the first I ever remember seeing.

    It was very difficult for her to lead an inactive life. She had a keen sense of humor, and we all came to her with stories of what we had seen and heard. The servants had been with us for many years and were all devoted to Annie May. The cook, a young Irish woman, used to slip on a clean apron each morning and go up to my sister's room.

    "Good morning" she would say, "isn't there something special you'd like me to make you today?"

    One morning, I remember, I had been telling my sister that the policeman on the beat had spent the evening in our kitchen. The cook arrived shortly after.

    "Celia, I wonder what Gallagher is doing in the kitchen so often."

    Celia lifted her apron, twisting it nervously round her finger, and replied: "Shure, Miss, he's got me bothered for I can't tell what his intinshuns might be."

    Of course, we had a good laugh after her departure.



    We rarely had a Christmas Tree at home, but all hung our stockings. The year of Annie May's illness, Mother was worried and much occupied, so I played the rôle of Santa Claus— buying the little gifts and filling the stockings. I enjoyed the work and, of course, my sister was our first consideration. I felt quite important when I stole downstairs, after the children were asleep, stuffed the stockings and hung Annie May's on her doorknob. On Christmas morning, it wasn't quite such fun, I confess, I being the only one that did not find a well-filled stocking. But I kept up the practice, until I was married.

    In 1886, Edward and Hortense Newcomer were married. Annie May was still an invalid and unable to go to Shannon to the wedding, but was able to join us in the evening, at the reception which my parents gave for the couple. I believe this was the last time she ever came downstairs.

    In 1888 I entered Wellesley. My parents could not quite understand why I chose that college in preference to the Northwestern University, but I had always liked New England— Boston especially—and my heart was set upon going there. When I left Chicago, my tuition was paid in advance, and I had a liberal supply of pocket money. I recall that Father gave me a good big extra before I left.

    "Have you everything you want, Helen?"

    "Oh yes, Father."

    "Plenty of money?"

    "Yes, thank you very much."

    "Well, remember your Uncle Edwin is close by, in Boston. If you want money or anything sent to you, call on him. Now, I have one suggestion to make: keep enough money on hand to bring you home. Nobody knows what may happen. You might


wish to get home in a hurry and you wouldn't want to have to wait to get the money from your uncle."

    "Yes, I'll try to," I replied, and then, and often afterward, I wondered just what could arise, that money in the pocket could be so important.

    Apparently, Mother was never ill. I thought, as I am sure my brothers and sisters did, that she had perfect health. But, during my Christmas vacation Tom Wellesley, I opened the door to her bedroom, which I had supposed was empty, and found her in a paroxysm of pain. I watched carefully after that and, when Mother was missing from the family, frequently searched her out and found that she was suffering from stomach disturbance. She always tried to hide her discomfort from us all. I wanted a doctor for her, of course, but she insisted that it was nothing important, probably a little indigestion and that she would be all right in a short time. She apparently was and, with the thoughtlessness of youth, I did not insist upon a doctor.

    I had an amusing experience the spring that I was at college. Late one afternoon I received a telegram from Father: "Meet me Adams House Boston six o'clock. Spend night." I hastened madly about to get permission to spend the night in Boston and had barely time to put a few things into a bag and catch a train which would bring me there at the specified hour. Well I knew that Father would not condone tardiness unless I had an absolutely valid excuse. I met Father and an old friend, Mr. Hollis, who was a Director of the Company. When the early dinner was over, we went to our sitting room and, after a little conversation about the family at home and myself, I listened while Father and Mr. Hollis discussed business affairs. These discus-


sions never bored me though I took no part in them. We retired early, according to Father's custom and, as he bade me good night, he said: "Will you breakfast with us at seven o'clock?"

    "Certainly," I replied. "I'd breakfast with you in any case, and I must be back at Wellesley at nine."

    As I prepared for bed I realized that I had on a dress that I could not possibly fasten. I had had no time to change after receiving Father's message and this dress buttoned down the back from a high collar. Still, I reflected, I could easily ring for the chambermaid and ask her to button it. At six thirty the following morning I was ready for breakfast except for fastening the dress, and I rang for the maid. No answer. I rang again and again. Still no answer and the moments were slipping away. With my finger on the bell I began to worry and to wonder what I would do if I could not rouse a maid. It never entered my head that I might ask Father's assistance. I felt instinctively that he would not have the least idea what to do, and would lose all patience if I tried to show him. Gould I ask Mr. Hollis, I wondered. He was a dear, and I felt that he would do anything possible to help me. But he was older than Father and his hands trembled badly. Still I decided I would ask him, if no other aid was forthcoming. Removing my finger from the bell, I opened the door and saw a little bell-boy running up the stairs. He stopped and, almost breathless, said:

    "You ringing for the maid?"

    "Yes, I've been ringing nearly half an hour."

    "Maids don't come on until seven thirty."

    I was non-plussed but, by that time, desperate.

    "Come in here," I said, shortly.

    He followed me in and I closed the door. Poor boy! He looked frightened.


    "Did you ever fasten a lady's dress?" I inquired.

    "No ma'am."

    "Do you think you could?" 'Oh, no ma'am. I couldn't."

    I took a shining silver dollar from my pocket. "See that?"

    "Yes ma'am."

    "Would you like to have it?"

    "Yes ma'am," decidedly.

    "Well, you'll have to earn it. I'll show you just exactly what to do, and you'll button every button on the dress, do you understand?" Silence fell upon us. "Well, can you do it?"

    "No ma'am. W-e-l-l, I'-l-l t-r-y."

    With my back to the glass and a mirror in my hand, my eye glancing momentarily at the clock, I instructed the little page: "See that button? Now this is the button hole that goes over it. Now the next one—no, not that—you've skipped one."

    So the lesson went on. Soon the anticipated knock came on my door.

    "Come in," I said, and Mr. Hollis, not Father, entered.

    "What in the world are you doing, Helen? Your Father is becoming very impatient."

    "Yes, I know, and so am I. I need all my breath to instruct this boy. I'll tell you about it on the way down."

    Mr. Hollis, a broad smile on his face and sometimes breaking into a quiet chuckle, stood and watched the operation which finally was finished. I gave the boy the dollar, put on my hat and we went downstairs. I told Mr. Hollis of my dilemma, and how barely he escaped the ordeal and we entered the breakfast room, both laughing, at exactly five minutes past seven.

    I did not blame Father for being annoyed. He said:


    "Couldn't you manage to be on time, Helen?" I felt a bit chagrined but replied: "I'm sorry but I really was ready on time. It was my dress—I couldn't button it and it wouldn't button itself, so that's what detained me."

    He looked as if he thought I had gone mad but said, resignedly: "Well, we'll have our breakfast now, or we'll all be late."

    It was during this term that I received my first and only letter written to me by Father.

    The following April I was very grateful for Father's good advice. I had been back at Wellesley only a short time after the spring vacation; had not felt well and had been unable to sleep. One Saturday evening I had a strange experience. Sitting on the stairs, with a crowd of students, listening to a musicale, I suddenly felt myself slipping. I fainted, I presume, for I have only vague recollections of people coming in and out of my room during the next day. Sunday evening, about the hour that the household retired, I became wide awake and alert. I had not had letters from home quite as frequently as usual and, although I had not been told that my sister was worse, I suddenly became panicky; felt that some dreadful catastrophe was hanging over us. I arose, looked up trains, hastily packed my clothes, roused a classmate to help me and to inform the President that I was going home. I took the first train leaving Welles-ley on Monday morning, and connected with a Chicago train. The Wellesley telegraph office had not been open Sunday, and did not open until I was well on my way Monday morning, so I could not wire my family until I reached Springfield. However, I left instructions with a friend to have any message, which might come for me, forwarded to the train. Just as the train was slowing up at Springfield, a messenger boy entered


the car calling: "Telegram for Helen Swift! Telegram for Helen Swift!" With trembling fingers, I opened it.


(signed) FATHER"

    I was brought to my senses by "Any answer, Miss?" and hastily scribbled a message saying that I was on my way home and telling when and where I would arrive. Then all realization of the present seemed to slip from me. I felt as if I were burning up, and went onto the platform. I tore the telegram to shreds—hateful thing! I could not get rid of it quickly enough. I do not know how long I stood there but a man followed me back to the car. He had been on the platform all the time I was there. Soon he came and spoke to me, "Are you in trouble? Can I do anything for you?"

    I looked up and saw an ordinary looking man, simply dressed —a travelling salesman, I thought.

    "I don't know," I replied dazedly. "I thought I received a telegram with bad news, but I can't find it. Perhaps I imagined it."

    "I saw you tear a telegram to pieces, out there on the platform," he said.

    "Oh yes!" and it all came back to me. "My sister is dead!"

    I should not know the man if I saw him again, but I shall not forget him. He never intruded, spoke very little but, when he asked me if I would not go into the dining car and eat something, and I shook my head, he sent the waiter to me with hot tea and toast. He rarely spoke to me but I felt his sympathy.

    I have wondered, since, if Father felt that this was the emergency which might arise.

    This was my first contact with death, and I recall so plainly the quiet, gentle manner of my parents. There was no excite-


ment in the house, no weeping or wailing, and all necessary things were quietly and quickly done. Both Father and Mother had been under a great strain, clearly indicated by their appearance, but their manners were not changed. Mother was so wonderful—so gentle and quiet, and Father so thoughtful for her comfort.

    I did not return to Wellesley, as Father and I both felt that my place was at home.

    About this time, a movement was on foot to have the Town of Lake, the district where we lived and which included the Union Stock Yards, incorporated into the City of Chicago. Sundays, or evenings, friends often came in to talk the matter over with Father. I remember, particularly, Mr. Nelson Morris and Mr. Richard Fitzgerald coming several times.

    I had seen and, very likely, spoken with Mr. Morris occasionally, but this is my first concrete recollection of him. He came to the house one Sunday morning and, as he drove up, Father saw him from the window and called to Herbert, "Bring me a piece of soft wood, Bert, and do it quickly."

    Bert was soon back and the wood, to my surprise, was laid on the mantle above the fireplace. Father met Mr. Morris at the door and they came into the living room. I was curious to know why Father wanted a stick of wood on a warm morning, when there was no fire lighted, and I confess that I passed the door shortly afterwards to see. Father and Mr. Morris were in deep conversation, Mr. Morris whittling at this piece of wood and carefully pushing all the shavings into the fireplace. When I asked Father about it later, he said that Mr. Morris always liked to whittle when he was talking, and somehow it seemed to make the conversation come easier. I was in the nursery opposite when Mr. Morris left, and Father called me. I remember


that Mr. Morris gave me such a hand clasp that my fingers ached for days afterward, but that was the beginning of a real friendship.

    Mr. Fitzgerald was a near neighbor and a friend beloved by the entire Swift tribe—the young and the less young. His wife and Hortense, my brother Edward's wife, were sisters and, many years later, his daughter, Marie, married my brother Gus. Many summer evenings, or Sunday afternoons, he spent an hour on the porch with Father (with or without the family).

    Father's personality seemed to leave a vivid impression upon all with whom he came in contact. I quote here from a letter I received from Richard Fitzgerald after my parents' death:

    "As you know, it was my privilege and good fortune to be intimately associated in business for many years with your father. But I know that you do not realize, nor does anyone else, the intense respect and admiration, amounting almost to worship, that I felt for him during all that time or the extent of the real and potent influence exerted by him upon my business career. That influence did not cease when I suffered the loss of this, my best and closest friend and adviser, but has continued to affect my life beneficially and uninterruptedly to this very day and will, I know, continue to do so as long as I live. . . .

    "I will not attempt to discuss your father's business genius and ability. These are too well known and too well recognized to need discussion and are enduringly typified in that wonderful mammoth business institution bearing his name, which he founded and which has been so well conducted and 'carried on' by his splendid sons, your own brothers, with whom it has likewise been my privilege to be quite intimately associated.

    ". . . . The lapse of time has but served to strengthen the conviction that was mine at the time when I had the good fortune of knowing your father and working with him, namely, that


he had the keenest mind, the shrewdest business foresight, the highest sense of justice and honor both in business and in his every day life, and the greatest degree of perseverance and will-to-do and accomplish things in the face of all obstacles, of any man I have ever met."

    The summer following my sister's death, Mother was not well and was, naturally, very sad. Father and I had many discussions about what I should do, whether I should have an allowance, or not, but it was finally decided that I should spend the summer quietly, with Mother and, in the autumn I should study typewriting and stenography and that Father would take me into his office when I had made sufficient progress. Meantime, I should think the matter over, talk with Mother about it and, the first of the year, should have an allowance.

    I commenced my studies and thoroughly enjoyed them. Father seemed interested and frequently asked me how I was getting on. "Sixty words a minute?" he would ask. I shook my head. "Well, stick to it. Nothing like being thorough," and he would smile his enigmatic smile. I used to wonder what that smile meant. I think it was partly amusement at the thought of having a daughter in the business. Sons—yes—that was to be expected, but the thought of a daughter had probably never entered his head. Perhaps he was wondering what he would do with me when he had me there. Meantime this problem solved itself, for, in December 1889 Edward Morris and I were engaged.

    Naturally I discontinued my studies and, when the subject of an allowance was broached, Father said: "It seems a poor time for you to go on an allowance, Helen. You're going to be married before long, and I hear," with a roguish twinkle, "girls find lots of ways to make the money fly at that time."


    Then, reverting to a serious tone, "I'd like you to feel at liberty to have anything you want—anything your Mother approves of."

    Mr. Nelson Morris, later my father-in-law, told me the following story one summer evening, as we were walking on their lawn. He began chuckling and, when I asked him what he found so amusing, said:

    "I'm even with Uncle Swift now." This was a term of affection.

    I must have looked surprised, for he continued:

    "Yes, he got ahead of me once. I was responsible for his coming to Chicago. Ever hear the story?"


    "Well, 'twas while he was in Albany. I shipped a load of cattle from Chicago to be sold there. Got a wire from my agent that he'd sold them for four and a quarter cents a pound. I was mad. They were good cattle—ought to have brought more. I wired the agent 'Cattle sold too cheap. Buy them back at a quarter of a cent profit.'"

    He laughed so hard he could scarcely continue:

    "What do you think that man wired?"

    "Can't imagine."

    "Well, he wired, 'Can't be done. Sold cattle to Swift. He knows a bargain as well as you do.'"

    "But how does that make you responsible for Father being here?" I asked.

    "Why, don't you see? Uncle Swift figured that, if cattle could be shipped from Chicago and sold in Albany for four and a quarter cents, that was the place money could be made, right on the ground floor." Then more gravely, "Yes, I always held it against him—a little. But now I'm even with him. I've got his daughter."

Chapter X
World's Fair Year

Father's Habit of Retiring Early. Caterwauling and Father's Shot. Mother and the Whiskey. Sister Ruth's Dog Bite. The Columbian Exposition. Financial Panic of 1893. Mr. Forgan's Story of Father's Loan. Banker Questions Father's Mote. Harold's Variant of this Story. Family Resemblance. Story of the Livery Man. Father's Hospitality to Iowa Teachers. Four-in-Hand Story. Story of Beggar and Raw Meat.

    I HAVE often thought of the short chat I had with my father about his early days and how glad he was when the dinner hour struck, so that he could have the chance to rest his weary knees. How he was able to bear up through all the strenuous activities of his life, with little or no sickness, was a miracle to me. Perhaps the habit he formed of taking all the rest he could get between business hours partially accounts for this fact. Nobody knew how grave the conflicts were that my father passed through, probably because he always presented a brave and cheerful front. Looking back, I realize that it was an Herculean effort of the spirit that achieved for him such a victory over his bodily weaknesses. At any rate, sleep was the balm he required and the great thing was that he knew it! I can not emphasize too strongly that it was Mother's care and cooperation that made this possible.

    Mother's room adjoined Father's and was at the head of the first flight of stairs, while his was at the foot of the second flight. Strategic points! I wonder if they were premeditated. If Father retired before the rest of the family as he often did, we passed his door on tip-toe. As the boys grew older, one by one they



were advanced to the third floor and, when they came in later than they were supposed to, I am sure they crept up the stairs. Mother, also, slept very lightly and I do not think she ever had a real sleep until she knew the whole household was within doors. She always kept her door ajar. Probably she contracted the habit when the children were small and might call her at any time. We had no electric light in that house—only gas. When Mother heard a soft step passing her door, she naturally wondered who was coming in, and what hour it was. But she never struck a match to sec, because she knew it would disturb Father.

    When I returned from my wedding trip, I brought her a repeater watch, little realizing what trouble I would get into with my young brothers. Now Mother could assure herself of the hour the boys came in.

    One could control the interior of the house, but many outside noises disturbed Father's slumbers. One winter night he was awakened by caterwauling below his window. He poked his head out and began to "Shoo, shoo, shoo!" The cat disappeared but returned just as Father had fallen asleep. The process was repeated. About the third time, he was thoroughly disgusted. Rising, he took from a drawer, a revolver which he always kept loaded, and shot close to the cat. Away it scampered and Father's rest was not disturbed again that night. I presume Mother went into his room to sec what the excitement was about—or perhaps she knew him so well that she understood. The following morning, as she was dressing in the grey twilight, she heard a wee voice crying, "Mama, Mama." Going to the foot of the stairs, she still heard the voice.

    "Yes, I'm here," she said. "I'm coming." She found one of the boys, white and trembling, peeping out of the bed-clothes. Before she could speak, the child said, "Oh, is Papa dead?"


    "No," Mother replied, "of course not. Your father is perfectly well."

    "But where is he?"

    "Why, he's in his room, just dressing. What made you think that there was anything wrong with him?"

    "Oh, I heard Papa and the burglar fighting at the foot of the stairs and then I heard the gun go off."

    "You poor child! Haven't you slept since you heard that shot?"

    "No, I was too frightened and I didn't dare to go downstairs because I thought maybe the burglar killed Papa. Did he kill the burglar?"

    "No, there hasn't been any burglar here tonight," Mother replied.

    "But I heard the shooting."

    "Yes, you did. I'm so sorry. I wish you had called me right away. Your father was shooting at a cat that was making a dreadful noise just underneath his window."

    The poor boy had lain there shivering for all those wretched hours!

    How well I remember a conversation Mother and I had, during my engagement.

    "Helen," she said, "no house has been built large enough for two families. Come home and visit. You and Edward will always be welcome, but have your own home, as soon as possible." I look back now and recall that, since my young girlhood days, she had very rarely given me advice.

    Evidently Mr. Edward Morris was of the same mind, for our future home on Michigan Avenue, at 45th Street, was well underway before we were married, October first, 1890.


    After our return from abroad, we spent part of the time with my parents until our own house was ready the latter part of 1891.

    At this time Father had a small cottage at Lake Bluff, where Mother often took the children and Father came for week-ends. Louis had the next cottage. His three eldest children—Nathan, Bess and Alden—were about the ages of Mother's three youngest—Gus, Ruth and Harold—and they were great pals. I spent part of the summer of 1891 there, going back and forth to town, when I was able, to select furnishings for our new home which was rapidly nearing completion.

    One day, Mother and I started out for Chicago. I was not feeling well. There was no parlor car on the train, so we sat, side by side, in the day coach—I next the window, at Mother's insistence. Soon I felt her fidgeting about, struggling with her hand-bag and looking in every direction. She was rosy-red. Finally she removed a little package and said:

    "Here, Helen, take this."

    "What is it?" I asked.

    "Sh-h-h. Don't say anything. Drink it quickly, and don't let anyone see you!"

    I removed the brown paper covering, saw the label WHISKEY, as obvious as a poison label, gulped down a big swallow and slyly returned the bottle to her bag. I suppose my pallor frightened Mother—but her blushes certainly gave color enough for two. I wondered where she obtained the whiskey, but never asked her, as I felt she would prefer it to remain a closed incident. Probably she begged it from Ida (Louis' wife).

    The following year, Father was abroad and Mother and the younger children at Lake Bluff. One day Mother had gone to


town and Sister Ruth, then a young girl, went with her nurse to play with the daughter of a near-by farmer. Some man had gone abroad and had left a beautiful St. Bernard dog in the farmer's care. This dog, although he had previously been friendly, rushed upon Ruth and bit her savagely—neck, shoulders and hands. Mother returned to find the cottage in great commotion. After assuring herself that everything possible had been done for Ruth's well-being, she got in touch with the farmer.

    "Whether the dog is mad or not, I cannot say. He has already bitten my daughter, and he's a public nuisance; and he must be killed!"

    The farmer, who was deeply attached to the family, was grief-stricken and agreed to kill the dog. The following morning Mother sent the coachman to the farm to find out if the dog had been killed or, if not, why not. He returned and reported that it had not been killed; that the farmer had reconsidered; that it was a very valuable dog; that it did not belong to him; and that he was afraid he would be held responsible for it if he killed it.

    That afternoon Mother sent her coachman and Louis' to the farm. She saw to it that they both had guns. Her instructions were terse and exact:

    "See Mr. A (the farmer)," she said. "Tell him that I said the dog is to be killed. If he will do it, while you are there—well and good. If not, tell him you have my orders to kill the dog—and don't you return until that dog is dead!"

    The summer dragged on and the owner returned. He demanded payment for the dog, which Mother refused. He threatened her that, if she did not pay before a certain time, he would bring suit against her. Then Mother was angry, and sent word that she would welcome a suit—that she thought it


was time to make certain whether a man could continue being a menace to the community by keeping a vicious dog who might kill the next person with whom it came in contact.

    Nothing further was ever heard of a law-suit.

    This incident illustrates Mother's characteristics. When Father was there, she expected him to take care of all but household matters but, when he was not there, she surprised most of her friends by doing these things herself, in a way quite as direct and fearless as Father or anyone else could have done them.

    1893 was a momentous year, in many ways. The Columbian Exposition (World's Fair) opened in May. For months workmen, promoters, speculators and stragglers had been coming into Chicago. There was a great boom in real estate. Vacant lots, close to the Fair Grounds were bought—often at extravagant prices—and mushroom buildings sprang up, almost over night: drinking places, lunch counters, boarding houses, even some so-called hotels. The buyers were sure they were going to make their fortunes—this time.

    Father had two houses that year, not far apart on Emerald Avenue. Both houses were filled with guests—relatives and friends, sometimes those not so well known. Father outdid himself keeping open-house, and Mother acquiesced. However, her health, at this time, was wretched. She suffered more than I had ever known her to. We had doctors, of course, and her trouble was diagnosed by various names—rheumatism, neuralgia of the stomach, indigestion. But Mother never gave up. A part of a day in bed, when the others were off at work or sight-seeing, was all she allowed herself. Mornings and evenings, family and guests found her, apparently, as usual.


    At this time, my husband and I were living in our own home at 4500 Michigan Avenue. My elder son, Nelson, was nearly two years old, and Edward was a baby. Mr. Edward Morris had a deep affection and a strong admiration for Father. Indeed, he often said he knew no man like him, and frequently repeated anecdotes of Father's keen judgment, and praised his presence of mind. Father, too, thought very highly of Edward Morris, often asked his opinion and treated him in every way as a contemporary, rather than as one of the younger generation.

    The financial panic of 1893 hit Swift and Company very hard. I remember one Saturday noon; when Mr. Edward Morris came home to luncheon, he said that he had an appointment with Father at three o'clock that afternoon and would like to have the house quiet so that they should be undisturbed. I had guests at the time, Helene Dresser, a friend of my college days and her mother. It was a hot summer afternoon, and I sent the little boys and their nurse out for a walk while my friends and I sat on the porch. Father usually drove around to the side door, but this particular day, he stopped at the front. The coachman was there to take his horse, and Father came up the steps. Meantime, Mr. Edward Morris had been walking up and down in a very nervous state—looking out, first at one door, then at the other, and at this particular moment stood expectantly at the front one. Father was very fond of my friend, Helene, who had visited me before, and he stopped for several moments to chat with us all, and then went into the house.

    "Hello, Edward, how are you?" he said.

    "Good afternoon, Mr. Swift. I am not feeling very well. I couldn't sleep all night."


    "Why, what's the matter?"

    "Well," he said, "I was worrying about you. I think you're having a hard time."

    "Now that's too bad," Father said. "I went to bed at ten and never woke till seven this morning."

    Apropos of this time, Mr. J. B. Forgan, President of the First National Bank, told me the following story:

    "In the summer of 1893, your father, G. F. Swift, came to the Bank to see me. As he entered the office, I said 'Good morning, Mr. Swift. Can I do anything for you?'

    " 'Yes,' he replied, 'you can lend me a million dollars.'

    " 'But Mr. Swift,' I said, 'I think that's scarcely possible. You owe us a good deal of money already, don't you?'

    " 'Yes, I do. But I want another million.'

    " 'Well, just wait a moment, and we'll get a memorandum of your accounts.'

    "Mr. Swift sat quietly, not saying a word until the clerk had brought the accounts and I had looked them over.

    '"Mr. Swift,' I said, 'the Bank can't do it. You already owe two and a half million.'

    " 'Yes,' Mr. Swift replied, 'and that's just exactly the reason you're going to loan me another million,—to protect what I already owe you.'

    "I didn't believe it possible, but he left the office a short time later with a million dollars."

    There is still another story of this period that I have heard. I can not quote my authority, and I can not vouch for its truth.

    A man arrived at Swift and Company's office in August of 1893 and demanded to see "old man Swift." He was passed from hand to hand because, of course, Father was too busy to see everyone that asked for him, but the man would not be put off and finally Father ordered him shown into his office.

    "Mr. Swift," the stranger said, "I have a note of yours."


    "Is that so? I'm afraid a good many people have," was Father's reply.

    "Yes, but I want this paid, and I want it paid now!"

    "Well, let's see," in Father's quiet way, "when is your note due?"

    "October 1st, this year."

    "Now I've been a lender as well as a borrower in my day, and I have always considered myself lucky if the notes were paid when they were due. I think you better leave your worrying until after October ist."

    "No," the man replied angrily. "I've been hearing rumors about Swift and Company, and I think they're going bankrupt, and I am going to have this note paid right now."

    "Very interesting," Father said. "I don't know how you're going to manage it. I hope that the Company will be able to pay your note October 1st, 1893, but I am very sure it will not pay it before."

    "I'll fix you," the man stormed. "Do you know what I am going to do?"

    "No," Father replied, "but I am rather interested. What are you going to do?"

    "Well," he said, "it's near noon, and I am going right out here in front of your office when the crowd is going to lunch, and I'll auction that note to the highest bidder."

    "A very good idea," Father replied, with a twinkle in his eye, "and if you have luck, I can probably find you a lot of people who would like to have theirs auctioned, too."

    Perhaps the same story as Harold told it to me is even more interesting:

    "One of the best reminiscences which I have is during the '93 panic when a drastic banker asked Father to pay a note


which wasn't yet due. Father replied that it took a good man to pay notes when they were due without trying to prepay them, and that he never failed to pay a note when it was due, and had never paid one in advance. The banker tried to threaten Father by telling him that if he didn't pay it within a week, he would come to Chicago and stand on the Courthouse steps and sell it to the highest bidder. To which Father replied,

    'Well, Mr., that's real neighborly. If you get anybody to bid on it, let me know and I'll go sell him some more.' You have doubtless heard this before; it was Julius Rosenwald's favorite. Nothing used to please Mr. Rosenwald more than to tell that to a group when I was present, and to end up with the query as to whether present day folks had as much stamina, looking always at me and grinning."

    Knowing Father as I did, either story could be true.

    Swift and Company weathered the storm—partly because of Father's stick-to-it-iveness and partly through the help of friends. Morris and Company or perhaps, Nelson Morris personally, paid for all of Swift and Company's purchases for a few days. Edward Morris and I bought Swift and Company stock in the open market, and Directors, employees, and others rose to the occasion and did their part and had the pleasure of seeing the stock rise a point or two.

    Father was slender and fair; Mother plump and dark. Of the ten children, five were blue-eyed and five brown-eyed. Still we were frequently recognized by our resemblance to a brother or sister. That there was a strong family resemblance among all the children is apparent from the following experience.

    Just outside the Fair grounds, some enterprising man had built a very good stable, in which he rented space, and supplied


care for horses. Father rented a generous portion and we all had carte blanche to use it. We enjoyed driving, although most of us had our own coachmen.

    I drove my pair over one day and said to the groom in charge, "Put them in number —, and have them ready in two hours"; I took my claim check and went into the grounds. When I returned, I gave the check to a middle-aged man, who looked at me and said, "You're Miss Swift, aren't you?" I took a second look at him, decided that I had never seen him before and that he did not know me, was simply taking my name for granted, because my horses were in the Swift stable and was, perhaps, trying to scrape up an acquaintance. I simply said, "No, I'm not Miss Swift." Off he went, returning in about five minutes with the rig. As he climbed out and passed me the reins, he quietly remarked, "Well, you look mighty like your Father, anyway." Imagine my surprise!

    Rather non-plussed, I asked, "Do you know Mr. Swift?"

    "Do I know Stave Swift! I guess I do. Went to school with him when we were boys."

    "Then I owe you an apology," I said. "I am Mr. Swift's daughter, but I am now Mrs. Edward Morris."

    The only response I recall was a begrudging "Humph, you'll never succeed in denying your Father!" As if I ever wanted to!

    Father's hospitality embraced not only relatives and friends but, sometimes, strangers. Mother had remained home from church one Sunday morning—perhaps she was not well or perhaps the household responsibilities were weighing heavily upon her. After the service, Father stopped to have a few words with the minister. When he reached the street he saw three strangers


—women of uncertain age. Approaching them he asked if he could be of any help.

    One replied, "We are strangers, from Iowa—school teachers. We've come to sec the Fair and came here to service this morning. Can you tell us if there is a hotel where we could get luncheon?"

    "Well, there is a hotel, but it's really a Stock Yards hotel. It will be full of men. I don't think it would be pleasant for three ladies. You'd better come home to dinner with me."

    They demurred, of course, saying they could not think of putting him to so much trouble.

    "That's all right," Father replied. "It's no trouble at all. Just to put three extra places on the table! Come along."

    They went, and lunched with the family and guests. I often wonder what Mother thought about it. Nobody ever knew— unless Father did. She may have told him.

    The packers used their Four and Six Horse teams more than usual this year. The trucks were re-painted, harnesses burnished and horses groomed to the highest degree. They were beautiful outfits and picturesque—the drivers and their assistants, dressed always in spotless white—and an excellent advertisement. Some one, probably one of my brothers suggested that they should get a sort of brake, which would hold six or eight people, use four horses, and take guests back and forth, occasionally, to and from the Fair. Father agreed and I believe my older brothers and, more often, Charles, drove.

    One day Father had important visitors—bankers, from the East, I think, who had come to sec him on business matters. He suggested that, the last day of their visit, they should make a tour of the Stock Yards and packing houses, lunch with him at the office, and he would attend to their reaching their trains


on time. All went as planned, and the Four-in-Hand awaited them at the door. There stood the driver, on the walk, holding the reins—his assistant at the horses' heads. A mad idea seized Father—no, on second thought, he had probably planned it all ahead. The guests were seated in the back and, to the astonishment of all, Father climbed into the driver's seat.

    "Give me the reins," reaching for them.

    "Why, Mr. Swift—"

    "Give me the reins—you heard what I said." The reins were reluctantly passed up to him.

    "But, don't you want me to drive?" asked the man.

    "No, I'm doing this driving," and, with a motion to the assistant, "You come up here. I'll want you to hold the horses while I'm in the station."

    Fortunately, the man was schooled to mount while the vehicle was in motion, for it was going at a lively pace, when he took his place beside Father.

    Swiftly they dashed through the Yards, turned two corners without slowing up, crossed a railway track, dodged in and out between streets cars on Root Street—grazing a wagon here, frightening pedestrians there—until Michigan Avenue was reached. The guests must have breathed a sigh of relief: here was a broad boulevard before them. If so, their relief was of short duration. Father turned the corner so quickly that he grazed the curb and gave them all a good shaking. His next contretemps was when he turned out for a carriage. This time he hit a lamp-post. A little further along, a man wheeling a barrow of apples crossed the street. Father yelled at him—just in time for him to escape with his life. The barrow was overturned and the apples scattered upon the road. Policemen shouted—women and children fled—Father drove on. Each


corner was cut so closely that the guests must have feared for their lives. But they reached the station—Father the only calm one in the crowd, the horses a lather of sweat. Alter he had seen his guests off, he said to the assistant, "I'm not going home just now. You take the team back."

    He went, instead, to the telephone booth and called up his secretary.

    "Hartwell, I'm at the Lake Shore Depot," he said. "Draw some money, follow me down here and pay for all the damage along the way."

    "But which way did you go, Mr. Swift?"

    "As soon as you get outside the Yards entrance, you'll see the signs."

    "How much money am I to draw?"

    "Plenty. You'll find plenty of damage," and Father chuckled. Mr. Hartwell had the temerity to ask:

    "How did it happen, Mr. Swift?"

    "Hartwell, you're taking instructions—not asking questions," was Father's reply, and he hung up the receiver and went home.

    Dick Fitzgerald told me this story one Thanksgiving Day, after the death of both my parents. I had never heard it. I wonder if Mother had.

    The Fair closed in October and Chicago was left in an appalling condition. The bubble had burst—as bubbles have a way of doing. The bottom had dropped out of the real-estate boom. Many who had invested their all in presentable buildings—or in shacks—and probably mortgaged them before they were completed, were down and out. The thriftier ones, who had worked hard and saved what money they could, went doggedly to work to recoup as best they could. The others became


the flotsam and jetsam of Chicago. Added to these were a great many ex-employees of the Fair, who had spent as fast as they had earned. In many cases, men from out of town had brought their families with them. The panic had caused trouble and retrenchment. The streets were full of beggars, and the papers full of petty crimes. One was hardly safe on the streets, after nightfall. Women, alighting from street cars, at dusk, were sure to be accosted: their hand-bags or furs snatched. One's mail was full of appeals from perfect strangers: women who claimed their husbands had died, begging for money to get them back to their homes; men and women who claimed they had worn out their summer clothes and were freezing for lack of a coat or shoes. One could scarcely open one's door without being accosted by a beggar or by a half-drunken man who, probably, thrust his foot within the door and frightened the maid half to death. We gave instructions, in our own household, that a ring, after dark, unless there was a man in the house, was to be disregarded.

    At this time Mother had an excellent cook, but one very difficult to manage. Father had given instructions that no money was to be given to beggars, but that no one was to be turned away from the door hungry. Just as Georgina was serving the Sunday dinner, the side door bell rang. There stood a disreputable looking man, who told a pitiful story and asked for a meal. She dared not turn him away, so said, ungraciously, "Sit down there and I'll give you something when the family is served "

    When the roast beef, which was always served rare, was returned to the kitchen, the cook put two huge pieces of it between slices of brown bread, which we considered delicious, and gave it to the beggar.


    Father, wishing no dessert, asked to be excused and was crossing the hall as the maid answered the front door bell, and heard her say, "Mr. Swift is at luncheon."

    A man's voice replied, "I'll wait. I want to see the old man."

    Father motioned the maid away, stepped to the door and saw a tattered, unkempt man.

    "Are you Mr. Swift?"

    "I'm Mr. Swift."

    "The old man?"

    "Yes, I guess I'm the old man."

    "Well, I want to show you something," and he thrust the sandwich into view. "I asks yer cook fer sumthin t' eat, and look whut she gives me—black bread and raw meat! I wouldn't feed it t' my dog!"

    "Well, now that's just too bad," Father replied. "I had that for my dinner, and I liked it. You'd better take your meals elsewhere hereafter."

Chapter XI
Tales for the Fireside

Science. Salvation Army Story. Gus' Tonsil Operation. Father and Mother Go Abroad. Ruth and Harold at Green Lake. Sister Ruth Nearly Drowns. Mother's Visit to Grey Rock. George and Gus at Sunday Night Suppers. The Boys' Allowances. Story of Father and Grover. Mother and the Poor—Mrs. S. The Packers' Prosecution. Story of the Office Boy. Original Sayings of Father. "Things Worth Asking For." George Schilling's Story of Father.

    WE were often at my parents' home during the years when our little ones were growing up. Frequently they and their nurses accompanied us for Sunday luncheon. They all adored their grandmother. Father was fond of children, especially from the time they could walk and prattle a bit, until about eight years of age. He was also proud of their exploits, while they were small, and enjoyed showing them off. He used to say:

    "Want some Science?" An enthusiastic assent; then he would take them—one by one, according to age, and carefully explain to them just what they were to do.

    "Give me your two hands." This being done, he clasped them in his left hand.

    "Now put your two feet on my other." This being satisfactorily accomplished—probably with many remarks from him, such as, "Now you're forgetting what I told you last week,"— "Put your feet close together on my hand. You know I haven't a hand as big as all out-doors!"—"Twice is enough to tell anyone your age," he would lift them close to an open door and


say, loosening his grip, "Touch the door—with one hand first—now with both!"

    The youngsters were delighted with their cleverness (not realizing that it was Grandpa's) and beamed down upon their elder audience. Sometimes, he lowered them to the floor, and took the next eldest but, occasionally, he said, "Now hold tight," and lifted them until, with one free hand, they could touch the ceiling. Then joy overflowed. He was rather stern with the child who fumbled, when he thought he had had experience enough, but had phenomenal patience with the beginner. My small boys loved this performance—as did all the other grandchildren—and before they could speak plainly, when we spoke of going to Grandma's, would cry, with one accord: "Hience?" (Science.)

    Here was the second generation playing the same game their parents had played!

    I was much amused when Harold told me the following story of about this time:

    "One day the whole family was leaving the house, after an early luncheon, to attend a funeral. At that moment a winsome Salvation Army lass appeared and said she wanted to see Father. He said: 'Sorry. We are just going to a funeral and are already late; can't wait.'

    'But it's about money,' she said.

    With rising inflection, Father replied: 'Well, you won't get a cent out of me today.'

'But I want to give you some money.'

    'Oh, come into the parlor,' said Father quickly, and in they went, while the rest of the family waited."

    I recall about the only time I ever knew Mother to give way.


    Gustavus was to have an operation on his throat—removal of tonsils, I believe. Father must have been away on a business trip, for he always stood by in every crisis. I drove over to the house quite early that morning and found Mother looking pale and wretched. There had been recent illness in the home and this may have been one of the days when she was suffering from pain.

    "Won't you go and lie down, Mother? I'll look after Gus."

    "Oh, no, I couldn't let you do that, dear. I'll stay with Gus, but you'll wait until it's over, won't you?"

    "Nonsense, I've been with my own children when they've had to undergo an operation, and I'll stay with Gus!"

    I expected vehement objections, but she looked at me gratefully and said, "Oh, Helen, would you? I don't think I could stand it!"

    "Of course—but on one condition. I'll see you comfortably on your bed and you're not to stir until I come and tell you it's all right."

    "I will," she said, "if you'll promise not to leave Gus."

    She kept her promise and I found her still lying on the bed, white and trembling, but I was able to assure her that the operation was successful and that, although Gus would be uncomfortable for a while, there was no danger. He was still under the influence of the anesthetic, so I took the doctor's instructions, returned to Gus, and Mother rested until he called for her a few hours later.

    Father travelled less in these days—having trustworthy people to attend to the details—but he made several trips abroad. He was eager to have Mother accompany him, now that the children were growing up. She, however, was not fond of the sea—indeed, she was ill as soon as she stepped onto the steamer


—and crossed only two or three times. I believe she was, also, afraid of the ocean though she never gave any indication of it to her children. I used to wonder how this could be—she had grown up on the seashore and used to spend much time with her father and brother in a boat. Very likely some friend or relative had been lost at sea.

    One year she reluctantly went abroad with him, and Ruth and Harold came to spend the summer with me at Green Lake. I had as much fun with them as they had with my two small boys—taught them to row and fish and attempted to teach them to swim. Mr. Edward Morris was abroad that summer, too.

    One Saturday we started out for a day's fishing. It was in August, and we were trolling—Ruth and I in one boat, with a young boy rowing—Harold and a neighbor in another boat, and two friends in the third—all within hailing distance. It was a dull day and we had our rain coats in the boats. Suddenly Sister Ruth stood up and began to pull in her line. I was almost as excited as she—thinking that she had caught a fish. Alas, the line had caught on a log and, in a second's time (it seemed to me), she was in the water. She had grabbed at her rubber coat, or it had become entangled in the line. At any rate, she was completely hidden by it. It seemed ages before the fisherman could reverse the boat (fortunately, he had been rowing slowly), and there was the poor child struggling in the water! I was a poor swimmer, and felt that, in the boat, I could be of more service to her than in the water. But I resolved, that very moment, that I should never face my parents if Ruth was not saved —I would drown with her.

    "Paddle like a dog, Ruthie!" I kept saying, "Paddle like a dog!" (That was about as far as she had progressed in her swim-


ming lessons.) She paddled valiantly, but sank. By this time our row boat was close to her. Almost miraculously, I caught a corner of the rain coat and pulled it free. "Paddle like a dog, darling!" She paddled as best she could, but sank again.

    My last chance, I thought. If I can't reach her this time, I'll jump in and get her, or we'll go together. I shall never understand how I did get her—probably owing to Ruth's presence of mind and her habit of obeying me as she had been taught to do during Mother's absences. I managed to pull her in and found the other two boats and their occupants, to which I had not given a single thought, close alongside. That was one of the happiest days of my life. Ruth seemed none the worse for her mishap. I understood then why Mother was loath to leave her children.

    The following year I urged my parents to visit us at Grey Rock. The house was old-fashioned, but large and comfortable. Father said, at once, that he could not get away, but wanted Mother to go. I knew it was just an excuse because he hated visiting, but later I persuaded Mother to come.

    "I'm sure you'll enjoy it," I said, "and there's a lovely suite of rooms for you overlooking the lake—a nice airy bedroom on the first floor, a little dressing room and a bath. No one will bother you."

    "The first floor?" A look of horror came over Mother's face. "I wouldn't sleep on the first floor, if you gave me my weight in gold. I'd be so frightened I couldn't sleep."

    "You're nothing but an old fraud," I said. "You've palmed yourself on us for years as a perfectly fearless woman," and we burst into laughter. She came to Grey Rock, but had her rooms on the floor above.


    The younger members of the family were much with us while they were growing up and lived on Emerald Avenue and we lived on Michigan Avenue. For them it was like having two homes. Edward Morris was fond of them and we thoroughly enjoyed their visits. Charles and Bert were almost always with us Sunday evenings. As soon as George and Gus were old enough to be trusted to drive at night, I was often called to the telephone and the conversation would be like this:

    "Ollie, (my pet name), are you going to be home tonight?"

    "Yes, dear."

    "Would you like Gus and me to come to supper?"

    "Very much. Do come."

    A second's hesitation—"How would you like to have beef steak and German pancakes?"

    A few years later, the younger boys thought they ought to have allowances. I agreed with them and they persuaded me to discuss it with Father. I made one condition: that they should be patient and let me take my time. I knew very well (though the boys had not yet learned this lesson) that I would have to choose the occasion. When I did broach the subject, all the arguments with which I had taxed my mind were useless. Father thought it would be "a very good idea." When I had recovered from my astonishment I said, "Well, that's fine, Father. The only question to discuss is how much it is to be."

    Here we were at variance. The sum that I suggested staggered Father. He thought he was fairly generous when he offered to give them half of what I wanted them to have. I simply could not persuade him that the boys had more than that sum now—counting what Mother paid for their clothes and the spending money which he and Mother gave them. Finally


    Father offered to compromise and give them three quarters of the sum I suggested.

    "No," I said, "I'll advise the boys not to take it. They won't be any worse off than they are now."

    The discussion had gone on intermittently for a week or more. I had talked with Mother about it, but she was non-committal. She never criticized Father before any of the children, and I never knew whether she discussed this question with him or not. The boys were becoming restless and impatient; so one evening, I said, "Look here, Father. I think you ought to settle definitely about the boys' allowances. You have brought us all up to be generous and to save something, too. The boys can't do either on the amount that you are willing to give them. I don't think you want to put them in the position of being either stingy or spending every cent they have, and that's what would happen on that sum unless they dressed in such a way as would not please Mother. Do give them more. I'm sure you won't disapprove of the way they spend it."

    "All right. Have it your own way!" and the question was settled.

    Father and Mother came over one summer evening to have dinner with us. About nine o'clock he was ready to go home, so the coachman brought his horse and phaeton to the side entrance. A few steps led down to the drive way and ended at about the height of the carriage body. We went to the door with them and I saw that Father was driving Grover, a beautiful little black horse which he had bought for Gus but which he said was "too wild" for the boys to drive. The coachman stood at the horse's head, holding the bridle. Father gathered up the reins and said, "Leave him alone! Don't touch him!"


    The coachman stepped back reluctantly but, as Mother put her foot out for the step and the horse jerked, he again grasped the bridle.

    "Leave him alone! Didn't you hear me tell you!" in an angry tone, and the man stepped to one side. Then Father turned to help Mother, and Grover started forward, then backed, and sidestepped. When this had occurred two or three times, I said,

    "Sam, hold that bridle!"

    "I told him not to," said Father.

    "Yes, but I told him to," I replied, "and Sam, you see that you do it."

    Father turned to me, very much surprised, and annoyed: "Helen, I won't have my horse held when I am driving."

    "No," I said, "not when you're driving. But you will have it held when you are putting Mother into the carriage here at this house. You don't seem to realize how much danger you expose her to, but you must realize that she is far too precious to us to have you run any risks. If you want to train your horse to stand, please do it when Mother isn't with you." Mother was embarrassed and Father very angry, as they drove away, and Mr. Edward Morris rather horrified.

    The next day I went over to the house. "Mother," I said, "I wish you wouldn't go with Father when he's driving Grover. He's a very unreliable horse and unsafe."

    And Mother replied, "Yes, Helen, he is, and I wouldn't drive behind him with anybody but your Father."

    Well, there was nothing left to say. I could not try to undermine her faith in Father, and I am sure I could not have succeeded if I had attempted it.

    Mother was very generous toward the poor and was, I am


sure, often imposed upon. I used to think that some of these people went to our church simply to make a good impression upon her. I remember one woman especially—Mrs. Swho came constantly, each time with a more pathetic story than the last one. Mother paid her rent for years, gave her clothing for her family and great baskets of food. I used to remonstrate with Mother, tell her the woman was simply imposing upon her, and, at last, partially persuaded her that this was true. Then she "laid down the law"; told Mrs. S that she should only come once a month, to get rent, clothing and anything else that Mother wanted to give her. For a month, Mrs. Sdid not come, but a week never passed that one of her numerous progeny did not stand at the door with a note for Mother:

    "Dere Missis Swift,

    My Jimmy couldn't go to skool today him havin no shoos to ware. Plese Missis Swift give him sum of yore boys ez they hev so meny. The other childern is hungry to.

Yore servent  

Mrs. S

    P.S. If you aint to home my Jimmy will come agin."

    Of course Jimmie never went away empty-handed though Mother sometimes sent a note to Mrs. Stelling her not to send him again. So then it was "my Ellin," or "my Sarah" or "my Henry" that came.

    A few years after my marriage, Mother and I were chatting in the nursery when I saw Mrs. S, a black shawl over her head, coming through the gate.

    "Your old impostor, Mother," I said laughingly.

    Mother looked out. "Now, what does she want! She was here last week and I told her she was not to come again for a month. I don't want to see her. What shall I do?"


    "Why, have the maid tell her to go away—that you won't see her."

    "That's too rude—and, besides, she'd come again tomorrow."

    Meantime, the doorbell had rung. I stopped the maid before she answered it.

    "Let the maid tell her you're not in," I suggested.

    Mother looked doubtful, for a second; then she smiled. "Wait half a minute before answering the bell," she said. Then turning to me, "Let me know when she's gone. I'll not be in. I will be out—on the back porch." She took up a scarf and away she hurried.

    Naturally, I can recall the Packers' Prosecution, although I prefer to call it the Packers' Persecution. I saw it extend through three generations—my father's, my husband's and my sons'.

    Mr. Edward Morris was a nervous, hypersensitive man—a man who, at the time of his death, was just learning not to brood over his worries. It was a trying time and, after a court session, Mr. Morris would return, completely worn out, unable to eat, unable to sleep; spending most of his time walking the floor, too weary to keep an evening engagement, if we had one.

    I recall one such day. After his return he sank wearily into a chair and roused himself only to bathe and dress for dinner—a dinner which was only a pretense. Shortly after, he suggested that we should go over to Father's. "It has been a hard day on him," he said. "He must be worn out."

    Father and the boys were discussing some extraneous subject and Father looked as "fresh as a daisy" as he came to greet us. We talked of this and that but soon Mr. Morris brought the subject back to the trial. Father turned to me. "Did Edward tell you about Mr. Allerton's testimony?" he asked.


    "No, Edd was too tired to tell me anything when he returned," I replied.

    Father smiled broadly. "Well, he ought to have told you this: Mr. Allerton was called to the stand and sworn, made to give his name and his age, tell where he was born, and so on. Then the lawyer turned to him and said, 'What is your business, Mr. Allerton?'

    " 'I'm a farmer,' he replied.

    " 'Oh, a farmer, are you?'

    " 'Yes, I'm a farmer.'

    "'Well, how long have you been a farmer?'

    " 'All my life.'

    " 'Been a farmer all your life, have you?'

    " 'Yes, all my life.'

    " 'Well,' and the lawyer beamed, 'what did you do the first two years of your life?'

    " 'My recollection doesn't go back that far,' Mr. Allerton replied, 'but, from what I've heard, I think I milked and spread manure.' "

    We all laughed heartily, even Mr. Morris joining. It was the first bit of humor he had grasped—he had looked only on the serious side. Samuel W. Allerton was both farmer and packer.

    One other incident of the trial comes to my mind: A man connected with Swartzchild and Sulzberger was on the stand. A question was put to him by the prosecuting attorney, to which he replied. It was repeated and the answer was the same.

    "You're positive about that?" the attorney asked.

    "Yes, I'm positive."

    The questioning continued. Finally the attorney asked the same question again, phrasing it differently, and the man answered it in the same way.


    "You're sure about that?"

    He hesitated a second and then replied, "Well, I'm positive but not quite sure."

    Again it was Father who told me this story, laughing as heartily as I did.

    Mr. Edward Morris told an amusing incident which happened about this time. A meeting was to be held in Mr. Armour's office. Some arrived early, to find the o/lice, apparently, empty. However, they had a rear view of someone leaning out of the window. One man went over, grabbed the person, set him violently upon his feet, in the room, and discovered it was the office-boy.

    "What are you doing, hanging out of the window like that?" he asked angrily. "Don't you know that you might have lost your balance, and gone crashing upon the pavement?"

    The office-boy, half choking from the cold and the force with which he had been removed, ejaculated, "Why-why there's a meeting here today and-and- Mr. Swift's coming and-and- he always makes a fuss and looks at the thermometer and-and-says it's too-too- hot and—" He stopped for breath and then continued: "And so I thought I'd put it out the window and get it low enough to suit him and—and" He proudly displayed the thermometer and gave one look around the room, espying Father who had been a silent spectator. With one long shrill "Oh-h-h" he darted from the room and was not again seen.

    They say that, as we grow older, we live more in the past. I know that my thoughts turn often to my childhood days. They were certainly happy ones. The only homes I can remember


were large ones where there was always room, not only for our parents' friends but for our own. There was an unusual camaraderie, I think, amongst the brothers and sisters. I can recall several instances when one child criticized another and I seem to hear Mother's quiet voice: "It seems to me that is your brother's affair—not yours. You can keep yourself busy regulating your own life."

    I, being one of the middle children, was particularly fortunate for I lived with them all. Of course Louis was married, and Edward away from home a great deal when George, Gus, Ruth and Harold were small.

    Scarcely a day passes that I do not recall some saying of Father's; probably because his speech was so terse and to the point. We seemed to be brought up on proverbs (quite a New England custom) and upon original remarks which soon became proverbs in the household.

    "The time that's spent crying over spilt milk should be used in filling new pitchers," we frequently heard.

    "If a thing's worth doing at all, it's worth doing well," and "A man who doesn't make mistakes doesn't accomplish anything," were two of his favorites.

    "I suppose your pride will keep you warm," he would say when he thought we were not warmly enough dressed.

    "Quick's the word and sharp's the motion," I've heard him say when he thought one of the boys dawdled over an errand.

    "That's good, but I know you can do better," was the encouragement which he freely gave to the young children.

    "He's a negative sort of a fellow" was his description of an easy-going person who did not accomplish much.

    "He don't know nothing and he always will," was probably his most scathing denunciation of a person with whom he was


absolutely disgusted. Every curse in the language was combined in his tone.

    "Experience is a hard teacher but fools will learn no other way," was often addressed to me.

    "It's easy to judge whether a man's spending his own money or his employer's. His own would be sacred."

    "Make your head save your feet" was advice which all the children heard from their earliest infancy.

    I have recently heard two incidents which refer to a favorite saying of Father's. A schoolmate of mine worked in Swift and Company's office. She made good progress but, at the end of six months, had had no increase in pay. She went to the head of that department and said: "Miss Hdon't you think I am worth more than I am receiving?"

    "Yes," was the prompt response. "I certainly do."

    "Well then, why don't I get it?"

    "I'll tell you," Miss H replied. "I spoke to Mr. Swift about a raise more than a month ago. He asked me if you had mentioned it and I said 'No.' Then he said, 'Don't do a thing about it until she asks for it.'"

    "Well, I'll ask all right," said Mae and she immediately wrote a request for higher pay. A few days later she received a message—"Mr. Swift would like to see Miss Mae in his office." When she entered, Father said, "Well Mae I hear you have asked for more pay."

    "Yes, I have, Mr. Swift," she replied, "and Miss Hsays I'm worth it."

    "I don't doubt but what you are, and you shall have it, but Mae," he continued, "don't you know that, if a thing is worth having, it's worth asking for?"


    "I know it now, Mr. Swift," she replied, "and thank you for teaching me. I'll remember it, too." They both smiled and parted.

    The following story was told by George Schilling, who was the leader of the Eight Hours Movement in Chicago:

    "Another man and I went to the offices and asked Mr. Swift for an interview. It was granted and we were cordially received. We stated our case for the Eight Hour Day, and hoped that Mr. Swift would give the question his consideration. He listened patiently and good humoredly to what we had to say, looked at each of us, rather quizzically and asked, 'Either of you men work for me?' I answered, 'No, Mr. Swift—neither of us.' A long pause, then Mr. Swift asked, 'Have any of the men who work for me asked you to come and see me about this matter?' 'No,' I replied. 'Well, I can only attend to my own business. It takes me all day long to do that and, just at present, I am having the greatest difficulty in finding employment for numbers who come here wanting jobs. Now if the men who work for me want eight hours, and if they want eight hours as badly as you think they do, I feel sure I shall hear about it. Good morning.'"

    Mr. Schilling said the whole incident passed off good-humoredly and, when he and his colleague got outside and considered what had taken place, they both agreed that Father was "attending to his own business."

Chapter XII
Ellis Avenue

New Home on Ellis Avenue. Draperies. Thanksgiving in the New House. My Parents' Activities in St. James' Church. The Head of the Anti-Cigarette League. Father and the Peacock. Zack and Father at Green Lake.

    ABOUT 1897 Father began to talk about a new home, on the East side of the city. For several years he had taken a deep interest in the Methodist Episcopal Church which was to be built on Ellis Avenue.

    Rather to our surprise, Mother did not enthuse as much as Father desired, and probably expected. I do not recall that she offered any especial objections. She was probably weary of moving, and willing to "stay put" for the remainder of her life. But spacious grounds were bought at the corner of Ellis Avenue and Forty-ninth Street and building was commenced in the spring of 1898. Father was determined to be in residence for Thanksgiving—an impossible feat it seemed to architect, contractors and family—with one exception. Mother felt sure that "if Gustavus' heart is set upon it, it will be accomplished," for "with him difficulties seemed to have been made only to be overcome."5 He never gave way. He hurried the architect, hurried the workmen and even hurried Mother. The house progressed with incredible speed.

    "Come, Ann," he said, early in the summer, "don't you think you'd better commence to order the fixings for the new house? We'll be in for Thanksgiving, you know."

    Mother began to look about, and tried to get Father to pass judgment on the things she liked.



"Get what you want, and have them good. Guess you need new things for a new house." He looked about the room. It was typical of the whole house—good substantial furniture, colors harmonious and subdued; while not exactly shabby, it showed marks of long and constant use.

    "I don't want to be bothered looking at them," was all that Father would say. However, she did prevail upon him to go down town once to see some of the assembled furniture.

    "All right with me, Ann" was all he said and the incident was closed. But he frequently reminded her that they were moving in November, and asked if everything would be ready. Early in the autumn she replied to one of these questions:

    "Yes, Gustavus, everything is ordered except the draperies and laces."

    "Draperies and laces?" in a puzzled tone.

    "Yes, draperies for the doors and windows and lace curtains for the windows."

    "We're not going to have any of those fool things at the windows!"

    "I think we are."

    "But—why Ann, I hate curtains."

    "Yes, I know you do."

    "Well, I won't have them in my house and that's that!"

    A second's pause, then Mother's gentle voice: "Well, I think you'll have to find some one else to live with you in your new house—and that's that!"

    Father looked at her, perplexed. "What do you mean?"

    "Just what I say. I've lived thirty odd years in houses that were as you liked them, Gustavus—or at least, not as I liked them. If I move again, the furnishings will be as I want them."


    "Oh, very well," Father replied meekly. "I don't have to have them in my bedroom, do I?"

    "No, you needn't have anything that you don't want in your bedroom."

    There was no more to be said.

    The family was in the new home for Thanksgiving—the house in order, including curtains and draperies. I recall that day so well: the entire family was there for the mid-day meal— the children with their husbands or wives and the grandchildren—twenty-eight in all. My daughter Ruth was six months old. Father had arranged for a photographer to be there, and insisted upon a group picture. Of course, it was awful! Father seemed that day, prouder, happier and jollier than I ever remember him, and it seemed to me that he grew younger there.

    Although Father was in the prime of life at this time, he looked older than his years; rapidly turning grey, rather stooped, very serious in mien. Mother, only four years his junior, looked infinitely younger. Still plump, her eyes and hair were as dark as ever and her checks still like damask roses. Many of the new neighbors asked Ida and Hortense which were Mrs. Swift's children and which were the children of Mr. Swift's "first wife." When they were told they were all the children of the present Mrs. Swift who was the "first wife," they shrugged their shoulders incredulously or said, "Oh, we know all about the Swift loyalty. It seems to extend to the in-laws, too."

    Mother soon became well-acquainted in her new surroundings and she and Father were active in the church work— though they never neglected the church on Union Avenue.



    They were constant attendants and all the children at home went regularly. They had a pew well toward the front and always arrived early for the services. Father soon became an interesting personage. He often left his seat during a hymn, walked to the rear of the church, looked at the thermometer, opened a door or a window, and returned to his seat. He was laughingly referred to as "the ventilating committee."

    On Emerald Avenue, when the children were growing up, and there were few servants, I fear that Father got into bad habits. As I have said, he ate little, and wanted very little variety. Naturally, however, he wanted everything right. Mother labored with each new cook and taught her to make Father's food exactly as he liked it. There were failures occasionally and sometimes Father's patience became exhausted.

    "Send Georgina in here," he would say to the maid. The cook would appear, rubbing her hands upon her clean apron, and looking very frightened.

    "If you hadn't been taught to cook correctly, I could understand it. But you know how and you've done it, and there's no excuse for food like this." With a severe look, he continued: "Now go, and see that it doesn't happen again!"

    The cook retreated, very much frightened and it didn't "happen again"—for a long time at least.

    The following incident I give in Harold's own words:

    "Perhaps the most striking impression I have of Father and Mother jointly is the fact that when he got forceful, she was attentive and cooperative, and usually let him have his way. But once or twice when she decided differently, he knew when to back down. My clearest recollection was when we moved in the new house and, after we had been there three or four days,


he didn't like the way the brown bread was mixed and told the waitress to tell the cook to come in the dining room so he could have an 'understanding' with her. Mother said, 'No, Emma, you need not tell Belle to come into the dining room.' Father looked at Mother and said, 'Did you hear what I said?' Mother said, 'Yes, Gustavus, I heard what you said. Did you hear what I said? We are doing things differently in the new house. You are no longer to send for the cook to come into the dining room.' And, according to my best recollection, he never did again."

    Although always active, Father took life a little easier and devoted a great deal of time to the church. His was still open-house. Guests came and went, and some of the married children, with their youngsters, were usually there for Sunday dinner or supper. I recall one Sunday afternoon that we were there. Father was talking with someone in the library and we were chatting with Mother. About six o'clock he appeared. After welcoming us, he said, "Helen, a friend of mine is here. Shall I ask her to stay to supper?"

    She was head of the Anti-cigarette League and was very determined and not particularly pleasant in her zeal for this work. I was not very fond of her myself, and I knew that my brothers were not. Still, I saw no reason why Father should not have anyone whom he wished in his own home, so I replied, "Certainly, if you like."

    That morning, oddly enough, there had been an article, written by her, in the paper. She had gone to some theatre and had written a tirade against the play. We went into supper, probably twelve or fourteen of us, and she immediately waxed eloquent upon her subject. She suggested that I should join the Anti-cigarette League on behalf of my children, and


pledge that they would not smoke before they were twenty-one. I was rather non-committal and spoke of other things, but she was so insistent that I finally said, "No, I wouldn't do such a thing as that! I don't think it would be fair to my children. I don't know why I should pledge what they would do for years ahead."

    "Do you want them to smoke?" she asked in a horrified tone.

    "No," I replied, "I'm not keen about it. I would quite as soon they wouldn't, but I can think of many worse things, and I think that children should be trained as far as possible in the way which you want them to go, but that their lives should not be mapped out for them."

    "Well, what do you think of my article in the paper this morning?" she demanded.

    Again I tried not to discuss the question, but she persisted and I replied: "I didn't like your article. I think one reading of it showed that you went to this play and wrote just exactly what you were paid for writing."

    (Under the table quiet clappings from my brothers.)

    "Did you see the play?" she asked.

    "Yes, I saw it."

    "Well, what did you think of it?"

    "It wasn't a play that amused me," I said. "I think there was a great deal to be criticized. Still, it had some good points. I have seen many better, but I have also seen many worse." (More suppressed clappings from under the table.)

    I was sorry to speak so frankly at my parents' table, but there seemed nothing left for me to do, and Father did not look very reprovingly at me either.

    Father loved company, but did not like visiting. He and Mother rarely spent a night away from home. Once I recall,


they were visiting Louis—at Lake Forest. Lou and Ida were startled by hearing a shot ring out during the night. They investigated but could not discover whence it came. It was the subject of conversation at the breakfast table.

    "Did you hear a shot in the night, Father?" Louis asked.

    "Yes, I heard it," with a sly smile at Mother.

    "I can't imagine where it came from. I've asked everybody."

    "Haven't asked me."

    "You?" in surprise. "Do you know anything about it?"

    "Guess I do. I shot at one of your peacocks that was making life hideous with its noise."

    Silence for a second, and then an astonished "Why—Father!" from Ida.

    "Well, Ida, I said 'shot at,' didn't say I 'shot it'—never aimed to do that—-just wanted to make it stop its noise."

    "And did you?"

    "I think so—didn't stay awake to hear."

    The year that my daughter Ruth was born, we bought Grey Rock, which we had rented for a couple of years, and built a large comfortable home. Mother made us a few short visits but Father, for years was "too busy to get away," whenever I broached the subject to him. However, he finally decided to spend a week end with us there. In those days most of the family visited us some time during the summer. On Saturdays we always fished and had what was known as a Fish Fry lunch— that is, the guides cooked the fish, salt pork, bacon and potatoes, boiled the corn and made the coffee over a bonfire. We sat at a long board table, and usually ended our luncheon with watermelon or fruit and cake. The guides were young men, whom we had known since they were children—all natives,


shrewd and, sometimes, witty. One, in particular, whom I shall call Zack, was not only an excellent fisherman but an amusing and interesting person. He was absolutely uneducated, but unusually observant. He had an impediment in his speech, which baffled description and there were certain words (especially those that contained the letter "s") which he could not pronounce. Father and I fished with him that morning. I chose him because of his good nature and cheerfulness. I thought he would amuse Father. We steamed up to the head of the lake, where the fishing grounds were, and then went off in flat-bottomed row boats. As soon as we anchored, Zack baited my hook with a live minnow and said, "Now Mitta Hwipt, I'll bait yers," which he proceeded to do—Father watching him carefully.

    "Where's the bob, Zack?"

    "Th' whut?"

    "The bob—the float."

    "Oh, y' mean cork. Don't use 'em up here. Now, Mitta Hwipt, I'll cast fer ye."

    "No, I'll do my own casting. Did that before you were born." And he cast—but not successfully. The bait fell flat on the water.

    "Humph, dead minner, ye'll hev t' hev 'nuther."

    Father pulled it in, looking rather crestfallen, reached over and took off the "dead minner," extracted another from the box, baited the hook and stood up to cast, but was arrested by Zack, who said, "Better take yer feet off'n the line 'er ye'll hev 'nuther dead'un."

    A dignified silence ensued, but Father did remove his feet and cast so well that Zack could not suppress a delighted, "Fine!"


    Soon a tug on Father's line. Zack was greatly excited. "Gotta fish, Mitta Hwipt. That's fish shure! Give 'm th' line. Let 'm run! Play 'm now!"

    Father continued to pull the line steadily.

    "Ye're goin' to lose 'im if ye do that-a way! Let 'm run. Play 'm!"

    Father never moved, but remarked, over his shoulder, "I didn't come out for racing, nor for playing. I came for fishing!" and he pulled in his line—minus bait. The fish had escaped with it!

    Suddenly he became excited and pulled his line in vigorously. Zack gave one look: "Weeds, Mitta Hwipt—nuthin' but weeds!"

    In scornful silence, Father continued pulling. Zack removed a huge bunch of weeds—for once without comment—and passed the line to Father to re-bait.

    Undeterred, he baited and cast again. I had caught a fish or two, and those in the other row boats had been fairly lucky, but he fished until noon—and caught nothing. We rowed to shore —all disappointed: we had wanted him to make a good haul. I thought, though, that I caught a little smile hovering around Zack's lips and, while the fishermen were bending over the bonfire, they indulged in some quiet laughter. Probably Zack had told his experiences. I did not think Father very gracious when Zack passed him the delicious hot fish, saying: "This 'ere piece, Mitta Hwipt, it's tail—ain't no bones in't."

    Luncheon finished, we sat about and chatted while the guides ate and packed. Father approached me. "Suppose I can have a boat this afternoon, Helen?"

    "Why, of course, and a fisherman, too!"

    "Don't want a fisherman. Can do my own fishing."


    "But let one of the men row for you."

    "No, I can do my own rowing, too. They think they know everything. Why, I rowed and fished before they were born!"

    "As you will, Father, but don't get too hot and tired."

    He left me, lifted the anchor into the row boat, stepped in and rowed off. What a contrast to the way the native fishermen set out! They picked up the heavy anchor, threw it into the boat and climbed in, the boat rocking from side to side. Then they stood up and shoved off, lurching with each movement, picked up the oars with a great splash and started away. Father did not waste a motion. As soon as he was in the boat, he took an oar and shoved off from shore; then sat down, quietly lifted the other oar and rowed away, creating scarcely a ripple. The rest of the party, with fishermen, were soon in the row boats, and Father did deign to be told where to anchor. All the row boats were within hailing distance of each other. Then the fishing began. Again, I was with Zack, who was looking a bit morose at having lost the other occupant of the boat. I confess fishing did not interest me much that afternoon. I was watching Father and devoutly hoping that he would get at least one little fish.

    The afternoon wore on. Father baited, cast, and pulled in, but an occasional bunch of weeds was all that rewarded him. He became warm in the broiling sun, and looked despondent. At half past four, Zack raised his oars and said, "Time t' be gettin' in, if ye want t' get back 'n time fer supper t'night."

    As he turned to pull in the anchor, his eyes rested upon Father, and he said, "Look, Look! Mitta Hwipt gotta fish. But he won't land 'm that-a way."

    I said, "Hush, Zack, don't say a word. Let him land it or lose it."


    "But it's a big 'un."

    "Never mind! Keep quiet!"

    He flopped back into his seat with so much vigor that he nearly threw me in the lake. Then he looked earnestly at me and said, "Say, can't I jes' tell 'm whut t' do?"

    "Don't tell him a thing!"

    "But he'll lose 'm shure."

    To which I responded, seriously, "Zack, Father would rather lose a fish in his own way than to catch it in somebody else's. Now, let him have a little fun!"

    Father was pulling the line in, without cessation, and Zack, in stage whispers, kept saying, "Lemme tell him whut t' do. Please lemme tell 'm whut t' do."

    "No, Zack, you're to keep absolutely quiet."

    Suddenly, at some distance from the boat, the fish broke out of water. Zack could no longer restrain himself. In what was meant to be a whisper, but was loud enough to be heard by all the fishermen, he said, "It's a big 'un. It'll be a shame 'f he loses that picker'l. He orter let 'm run."

    "Hush, Zack. Sit down and keep quiet. I won't have you advising Father."

    Father pulled steadily in, oblivious of everything and everyone about him, and managed to get the fish up to the boat. Then he gave it one vigorous jerk; the fish flew high in the air and landed in the bottom of the boat.

    "Humph, never seen nuthin' like that," said Zack.

    "Sh-h-h," was my only reply.

    But the fish was not caught yet. It gave one jump, almost out of the boat, but Father was too quick for it. He caught it in midair with his two hands and laid it on the floor; then it commenced flopping and floundering and jumping and sliding. Once it was


in a fair way to go over the side of the boat, but Father hit it with an oar and it landed flat and stunned upon the floor. Father had not looked to the right or left during this episode, and now he grabbed the fish in his two hands to remove the hook and bait. But the fish soon slithered and finally he clutched it, held it firmly between his knees, removed the bait and threw the pickerel into the fish box. Then he looked quietly around at the assembled boats as if to say, "I did it, and I did it alone."

    Zack was jubilant and excited. "Gee, that's whopper. Never seen no fish ketched that-a way in this here lake."

    I called across to Father, "That's a dandy, Father, but pull up your anchor now, we must be going home."

    He stepped to the bow, raised the anchor easily, dropped it quietly into the boat, picked up his oars and rowed to the launch. He was the first to arrive, and I a moment later.

    "That was a lovely fish you caught," I said.

    A pleased smile swept over his face. "It wasn't bad, was it? These boys thought they could teach the old man, but I guess I know something about fishing. Did it long before they were born."

    "Well," I said, "you caught the best fish that has been caught today."

    Just then Zack arrived, having tied the row boat to the rear of the launch and, I presume, having taken a good look at Father's fish. He came stumbling along, and I saw a frown cross Father's face and expected there would be a bit of an explosion. Zack came right up to him and said, "Gee, Mitta Hwipt, that's the bes' fish I seen caught up here fer long time. I'd-a ruthcr hed yer fish 'n all the rest whut was caught. You done a good job."


    Father's frown quickly changed to a look of pleasure. Good old Zack was so genuine that no one could be annoyed with him long.

    Father was completely disarmed. What could one say in answer to such admiration? He smiled, and was contented. His pickerel was a beauty of fourteen pounds, without scar or blemish. Zack exhibited it with pride as great as if it had been his own catch. Father had risen immensely in Zack's opinion and, for years, Zack told the story always ending: "An' nobody could-a ketched it that-a way 'ceptin' Mitta Hwipt."

Chapter XIII
Fool Contraptions

Muriel's Birth—Ideal Family. Sister Ruth's Electric Car. Uncle Edwin's Ride in Ruth's Automobile. Uncle Noble's Letter. Uncle Noble's Chicken House. The Boys and Smoking. George's Broken Knee.

    IN 1901 my daughter Muriel was born. Two brothers and a sister had preceded her. One afternoon Mother was visiting with me. I was resting on the couch and the baby was in the little bassinet at the other side of the room. Mother leaned over the bassinet, regarded the baby for a few moments, and returned to her chair near me.

    "Helen," she said, "you have a lovely family now. I hope you won't have any more children."

    "Just now," I replied a bit ruefully, "I'm inclined to agree with you."

    She remained silent for a moment and then continued—more as if speaking to herself than to me.

    "Yes, a perfect family—two boys and two girls. That was always my ideal."

    With a whimsical smile, she turned to me. "Yes, and after you were born, I was quite certain I had my ideal family."

    We both laughed. Poor Mother! The longest interval in her child-bearing occurred after my birth. Charles did not arrive until nearly four years later—the others were about two years apart. After Charles, came Herbert, George, Gustavus, Ruth and Harold!

    But I must say that the younger ones brought her joy and comfort. I don't know how she could have managed without them during her later years.



    Soon after the family moved to Ellis Avenue, electric automobiles came into vogue. I had a phaeton which I drove and enjoyed very much. Frequently my sister Ruth went about with me, and I taught her to drive it. When she was about sixteen, she said to me:

    "Helen, I wish I could have an electric car."

    "I don't see why you shouldn't. Ask Father for one."

    "I did, but he won't let me have one."

    "Why not?"

    "Oh, you know Father—he says there are plenty of horses and he hates automobiles."

    "I'll talk to him about it when I have a chance," I replied.

    A few days later, I found Father in the library. I entered, chatted a few minutes and then said: "Father, Ruth wants an electric car."

    "I know she does."

    "Well, why not get her one? I've taught her to drive mine and she does it nicely. She's dependable, and I'm sure she'd be careful."

    "The stable is full of horses. She can have all she wants."

    "Yes, but that's not what she wants. She wants a car."

    "Well, she can't have it."

    I was annoyed—I thought Father unreasonable—so I replied, "Yes, she can have it. I'll buy her one if you won't."

    Father stared at me as if he thought I'd lost my wits.

    "You'll buy her one?"

    "Yes, I will. I can afford to, and will be glad to do so."

    He was silent for a moment and looked not too happy, but finally said, curtly: "Well, I guess I can't prevent you from buying it for her if your heart is set on it."


    "No, you can't prevent it, but think a minute. How's it going to look, if it gets about that G. F. Swift wouldn't buy his daughter an electric car—that her sister (or they might even say her brother-in-law) had to buy it?"

    Father's face fell.

    I continued, "I should never say I bought it for her, naturally. I would much prefer that people think you gave it to her. But such things have a way of leaking out and neighbors will talk."

    Then Father was mad! Was his conscience pricking him? He said, angrily: "Well, I won't have it in my stable. So there!"

    I fear I partly lost my temper, too.

    "That's all right," I said. "Our stable is large and, thank God, I have a husband who loves Ruth and would be pleased to do what he could to make us both happy. I'll buy Ruth a car, and she'll keep it in our stable. We'll send it back and forth and we'll look after the repairs and supply the electricity. It shan't cost you a single cent! The neighbors will be sure to wonder and probably will find out. Won't they love it! But I can't help that."

    I rose but, before I reached the door, Father called me.

    "Helen, come here. I'll buy Ruth a car and she'll keep it here. Do you understand!"

    "Yes, Father, thank you very much. Ruth will be happy— you'll be happier too, I think."

    Unfortunately Father did not buy her as good a car as she ought to have had. He knew nothing about automobiles and very little about machinery. I suppose he thought all cars were much alike, so he picked a good looking one. It was kept in his stable and Ruth had a great deal of pleasure from it. Father pretended to ignore it.


    One Sunday morning while Uncle Edwin was visiting there, Father said, "Edwin, I want to take you for a ride."

    Imagine Uncle's surprise when he saw an automobile drawn up to the curb—the car Father bought for Ruth. Silently, he climbed in and, silently, Father took the driver's seat beside him. Father immediately put on top speed and away they flew —up Ellis Avenue to 51st Street, across into the park, around curves and corners, with no slackening of speed. Drivers pulled their horses to one side; equestrians stopped to watch; men, women, children and nurses scampered out of their way—or stopped, stunned, in their tracks, and Father swerved and went on. Miracle of miracles! He didn't hit a person or a thing! After a breathless half hour—still on top speed he reached the house, drove straight into the curb and shouted, "Whoa!" The car whoa-ed. It could not do otherwise—-jammed tightly against the curb. There was a creaking and cracking amidst which Father climbed out and gave his first look at his brother. Edwin was a large, fine-looking man, weighing three hundred pounds: a man very immaculate in appearance. There he sat on his side of the seat which had sunk about five inches, his face purple with excitement. The springs were broken—either from Uncle's weight or the impact of the curb. Probably both. Speaking of it afterward, Uncle said he had never had such a wild experience in his life. "It didn't surprise me so much that Gustavus got back alive—that's his way—but I can't figure out why he didn't kill a hundred people, smash a dozen houses and hit every tree in the park. I'll never be able to understand that."

    Later on, I said to Father, in what I hoped was a grave tone, "I hear you drove Ruth's automobile."

    "Fool contraption! I always said it was," was the only reply vouchsafed me, and he turned and walked out of the room.


Another Sunday we lunched with my parents and, again there was a large table. I sat rather near Mother and a long way down the table from Father. Suddenly, he put his hand in his pocket, took out a letter, passed it to one of the boys and said, "Give this to your sister."

    I looked at Father but, as he gave me no signal, I opened the letter and commenced to read it to myself.

    "Louder!" from the head of the table. And I read aloud.

"Brother Gustavus:

"Your letter received and contents noted. I have put the invitation away for future acceptance. The reason I can not accept now is that I was coming from the depot with a led horse. The horse took fright, overturned my buggy, threw me out, and injured my left forequarter.

    Your Brother Noble."

    Father enjoyed the reading of it quite as much as his children did, and my little boys thought it the funniest thing they had ever heard.

    Uncle Noble was certainly a character. During the years that I recall him, he changed very little except to grow greyer. He was rather tall—heavy but not fat—ruddy complexion, red hair and beard—blue eyes. He had a keen sense of humor but was a man of few words. His remarks were apt to be a bit cryptic, leaving you to figure just exactly what he meant. In this respect Father somewhat resembled him.

    As a child, he attended the Methodist church with his parents and, later, became a member. I can well remember the small white church, probably little changed from the time it was built. It stood on the corner, a short distance from Grandma's house, set well back. A bit of lawn lay between it and the streets. Back of it a winding road led to several open sheds.


    Farmers drove in to church, and left their horses and carriages there while they attended service.

    While Uncle was a young man, he had the temerity to attend a dance. When this came to the ears of the deacons, consternation reigned. A conference was called—the heinous sin laid bare, and punishment discussed. Finally it was decided to call young Noble Swift before the Board of the church. Noble came but didn't agree with the deacons that he had committed an almost unforgivable misdemeanor, and was on the way to perdition. When they told him he could not be a member of the church until he repented of his evil ways, he was furious and remained just long enough to tell the deacons what he thought of them and their pious airs, and then stormed out of the church, throwing over his shoulder:

    "I don't repent! I'm glad I went! You needn't bother to put me out of the church! I'll put myself out! I'll never step inside this church as long as I live! You'll never see me here again, and you'll never see a cent of my money!"

    Uncle Noble had built a charming cottage opposite the church. Soon he fenced the place and built his barns and outhouses. He took especial pleasure in building one of these—oblong in shape and with a gable roof. The neighbors were curious about it, but Uncle vouchsafed no information. Finally it was put into place, near the road, close to the path that led to his house. A miniature replica of the church, complete with steeple and belfry! Another day was spent painting it white and, by Sunday, the chicken house was ready to receive its occupants. About the time that the farmers began to arrive for service and the villagers were coming from all directions, Uncle Noble went out to drive the chickens in.

    "Chut, chut, chut," he called. "Sh-h-h, get in there! Don't



you know it is Sunday and everybody going to church? Sh-h-h, keep quiet! Don't make such a racket! Get in! You mustn't disturb the services!"

    Every time that a chicken really tried to get in, he put his foot before the door, and barred its progress, or he quietly pushed it away with his hand; at the same time vocally admonishing them all to go in. Somehow, it took a long time to pen them—so long that Uncle's voice and the clattering of the poultry came distinctly through the windows and did disturb the services. Perhaps some of the congregation were charitable and said:

    "Well, Mr. Swift only just finished the chicken house and, of course, he'd have trouble getting the chickens in the first time."

    If so, they must have started off to church very happily the following Sunday, for peace had reigned all week about the chicken house. But this Sunday was no exception: the poultry became incredibly vociferous, just about church-time, and in spite of all of Uncle's coaxings, the service was well under way before the poultry quieted down—probably not until Uncle was tired out by his surreptitious pushing and shoving and barricading.

    Neighbors tried to discuss and remonstrate with him but he was silent. This went on, at intervals, for years. I remember seeing it many times.

    I believe that Uncle Noble never did enter the church until the death of one of his parents.

    One year when Father, Mother, George and Gus went abroad, Father evidently felt that the boys were smoking too much.

    "Look here, boys," he said, "I'll give you each a thousand dollars if you will not smoke for a year."


    "May we have a little time to think it over?"

    "Yes, any reasonable time."

    A few days later, the boys came with their answer.

    "We've decided not to accept, Father," and Gus continued: "I don't need the money badly enough just now."

    Upon their return, Father told the story to Louis' eldest son.

    "What would you have done, Nathan, if your father had made you that offer?"

    "Why, I'd accept so quickly he wouldn't have time to change his mind!"

    "Well, I'll make the offer to you. Will you accept it?"

    "Yes, I will, and thank you very much. Gee! A thousand dollars!"

    A year or two later, Father, George, Gus and Nathan went abroad. George, unfortunately, broke his knee on shipboard and had an exceedingly uncomfortable time before he was able to return home. Even then, he suffered severely. One afternoon, the time hanging heavily upon their hands, they amused themselves by trying to break a cigar box which each, in turn, held before his chest. Nathan, with one powerful blow, smashed the box which George held, and George fell limp upon the floor.

    Naturally excited he screamed, "Grandma, come quick! I've killed George! Oh, what have I done? I didn't mean to! You know I didn't mean to!"

    Mother, arriving quickly upon the scene, turned sternly to Nathan, "No, whatever you've done, I know you didn't mean to. But stop acting like a crazy fool! Get your wits about you. Go over to the hospital" (not far away) "and bring a doctor. Run!"


    "Yes, Grandma, I'll run," and he was off like a streak of lightning. Mother's sharp tones, which he had never before heard, were just the tonic he needed.

    The knee was broken but, after many tiresome weeks in bed, during which Nathan was deeply devoted, he emerged with a fairly good leg.

    During this time both Herbert and Ruth were married and moved into homes not far away.

Chapter XIV
Father Passes Away

Father's Illness and Death. Mother's Attack of Gallstones and Operation. Mother's Charities. Strike at the Yards. Boys Amuse Mother with Funny Stories. Mother's Life Becomes Quieter. Castle Hot Springs. Mother's Independence. Mother's Sixty-Ninth Birthday. Mother's First Vote.

    ALAS, Father did not live to enjoy his home very long. In 1903, after an operation, he passed away. He had convalesced satisfactorily; indeed, after a fortnight the doctors had said he was out of danger, and needed only quiet and good nursing. He chafed under the restrictions placed upon him, and keenly resented his dependence. He had been so accustomed not only to looking after himself but others as well. Of course the children were expected to fetch and carry for him and to run errands, but he wanted no personal attentions. Mother often had to remonstrate gently with him, to prevent his exerting himself to "make it easier for the nurses." She spent long hours at his bedside, reading to him. It took me back to my childhood days when Mother read to him Sunday afternoons or quiet evenings. Then it was always poetry that he asked for—simple ballads, usually. Occasionally, when Mother could not spare the time, he would ask Annie May or me to read, but we never pleased him as well as Mother did. No wonder! Mother spoke so distinctly and her voice was clear and gentle.

    Naturally we children spent most of the time at Father's home during his illness and we had just begun to breathe easily when the end came. I recall so vividly the preceding evening.



    Edward, Hortense, Edd and I decided that we would celebrate by going to the theatre. I saw Father at six o'clock and told him that we were going. His face lighted up and he said: "That's fine, Helen. Hope you will enjoy it."

    We left the number of our seats, and arranged to be telephoned if there should be any change, also that the nurse should telephone our house when Father had settled down for the night. We returned, found a message marked 10:30 P.M., saying that Father had had a good evening and was sleeping quietly. We retired, very happy, and had our first good night's sleep. At eight o'clock Sunday morning, on our way down to breakfast, I said, "I feel so refreshed that, if necessary (which God forbid!), I could stand another fortnight's anxiety."

    The telephone rang—"Would Mr. and Mrs. Morris come directly to Mrs. Swift's?"

    Only a few moments elapsed before we arrived but Father had passed beyond.

    Dear Mother.' Even in this great shock, worn out by constant nursing and worry, she was her old, calm, gentle self. She told me about it later. Father had had a splendid night—woke about six thirty, had been bathed, his bed arranged, and had seemed to enjoy his light breakfast. He had been more averse to being waited upon than usual, and had insisted upon moving a little, instead of depending on the nurse to help him. He was half-reclining in bed. Soon after he turned to Mother.

    "Have you had a bit of breakfast, Ann?"

    "Yes, I've breakfasted."

    "How would you like to read to me a little while?"

    "Certainly, I'll be glad to."

    She picked up a book of poems, and commenced to read to him. She faced the window and presently stopped reading and


said, "Gustavus, Dr. is just arriving. Shall the nurse tell him to come upstairs?"

    "Why no, let him wait until Dr. comes. I like to hear you read."

    Mother never knew if Father had made a little extra exertion in trying to look out the window, as she spoke, or not. But, with those words, he fell back and passed away just as the other doctor came in the front door. It was as Father would have liked to go, and I think Mother felt that, too. A more unhappy man than Father to linger and suffer could not be imagined.

    Mother said that one thing seemed providential. The two doctors were due each morning at eight o'clock and usually arrived within five minutes of the hour. On this particular morning one of them arrived ten or fifteen minutes earlier. When Father's attack came, this doctor was in the room within a minute. Although there was nothing that he could do, Mother was very grateful and said that, if there had been no doctor there, she should always have felt that his life might have been saved.

    Father was less than sixty-four years old at the time of his death. I think we all considered him a rather old man. He was tall and stooped: his hair and beard were almost white and thinner and more closely cut than formerly: his eyes were still very blue, although the deep violet tone had faded: his face very grave, although often lighted by a smile. Never had he admitted himself vanquished but his determination, during his later years, had acquired a gentler quality.

    No truer word has ever been written of Father than "His was not the face of a typical business man but that of a scholar or a poet, or an artist. It looked like the face of a man who might sec visions and dream dreams."6


    All these years Harold had lived at home. I have always felt that there never was a moment, after Father's death, that Mother would not have been glad to go, although she never said anything to give her children that impression. She became more of a recluse than ever, was always glad to have her children and their families come to see her—but crowds tired her greatly. Three months later, she suffered from a severe attack of gallstones and was obliged to have the same operation that Father had had. I shall always think that she had suffered from these attacks for many years—these attacks to which the doctors had given various names. She had a slow convalescence but gradually regained her strength, and was an acquiescent patient. These were anxious weeks, and her children spent many hours at the house. Harold was a strong rock to lean upon and he and I took over the housekeeping and looked after Mother's mail. Ever since Father's death begging letters had been coming in, sometimes as many as a hundred in one day. Mother had looked them over personally, replied to many of them, helped many of the writers and asked her children's advice about others. Of course, she was imposed upon. We often told her so, but the work and the doing for others kept her mind busy, and was probably good for her. She couldn't have replied favorably to a tenth of them, without giving away far, far more than Father had ever possessed. At the time of her illness these letters were still arriving daily. Harold and I took care of them as best we could: sending curt refusals to many (for that was the only way to deal with them); relegating many to the waste-basket, and investigating others. We only mentioned to Mother, later, a few which we felt might be worthy of help.

    We were obliged, more or less, to dip into her personal affairs and found, tucked away in her desk, a little red limp leather


notebook, kept identically as the old ones had been kept; no index; margins closely written; names of servants, salaries and payments; names of pensioners, and how much she paid them weekly; lists of loans which she had made, and repayments noted; lists of larger charities, her pledges and payments. With considerable difficulty, we were able to get a bird's-eye view of the demands made upon Mother, and to see that no one suffered financially by her illness. One day we came upon a little notation made by Mother. It gave the date, and said "Thirteen at dinner." The list of names followed. Harold and I looked at each other in astonishment.

    "Do you suppose Mother was superstitious after all?"

    "It's hard to believe, but we only found out after we were grown that she was timid about horses."

    "Yes, but you remember what she said when Bert and his wife were coming to dinner one Sunday. You reminded her that there were to be thirteen and that Berenice was superstitious."

    " 'Yes', she said, 'If Berenice is to have any peace and comfort in this family, the sooner she gets over her superstitions, the happier she will be.'"

    We spoke of it several times, but mentioned it to no one else. When Mother had recovered, we laughingly taxed her with it but she replied indignantly, "No such thing! Your Aunt Flora was there and she made quite a fuss when she discovered, near the close of the meal, that there were thirteen. I made a note of it and at the end of the year all were alive and well. I wrote Flora about it."

    The boys used to think up their funniest stories to repeat to Mother and try to distract her, or to win a smile. Just at this time there was a strike at the Stock Yards. The packers had


great difficulty in getting their fresh meats loaded and shipped. My brothers were all over the place where there was work to be done—on the killing floor—in the refrigerators, on the loading platforms. They returned home weary—but never too tired to joke with Mother. I remember Gus telling this story:

    "I was overlooking a gang of colored men, loading a train of refrigerator cars with quarters of beef. The boss of the gang was colored, too. One man came slouching along with a quarter on his shoulder. He stopped and said,

    '"Say, boss, I'se a quitting.'

    "'Quittin, is ye? Fer why?'

    " I'se a-weary, a-luggin' this beef. I got a weariness in m'feet; I got a weariness in m' shoulder luggin' this beef. I'se a goin' t'quit.'

    " 'Look here, you fool nigger. When Swift an' Comp'ny hired you, he hired both shoulders. Jes' you shift that beef an' get right along fer 'nuther quarter.'"

    Mother joined in the laughter but motioned me to come close to her bed. "Send Gus out of the room," she whispered. "It hurts me so to laugh that I can't stand it."

    Her recovery was slow and, afterward, life went on in much the same way, except that she was more reluctant than ever to go about although she soon resumed attendance at the Symphony Concerts. She seemed to shrink from new acquaintances, but to become more deeply attached to her old friends. There were no more Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in the home. We all visited her, but in twos or threes or fours. She leaned more and more upon the boys.

    I well remember one morning when Mother and I were visiting in her sitting room.

    "What do you think of E?" she asked.

    "Well, I think he's just a damn fool!"


    The word slipped out unconsciously—a word that I rarely-used, and would never willingly have used before Mother. I was filled with confusion.

    "Oh, Mother, do forgive me! I'm so sorry I spoke that way. But it's the only word that came into my mind to express my opinion of him."

    A second's quiet look and—"Well, I don't know but what you are right," from Mother.

    Later she spent most of her winters in a warmer clime. She kept up her charitable interests, even increased them. The household was run much as usual—no stinting in any way.

    A few years later, George and Lucile Casey and Gustavus and Marie Fitzgerald were married. As I look back, these seem to have been the only two occasions that Mother really ventured into large gatherings of people. She was very fond of her two new daughters but I believe that her attendance at the weddings and receptions was a real trial to her. George lived in Boston where he had charge of the Eastern end of the business and Gus settled down in his own home in Chicago.

    Charles came home to live, which was a great pleasure and relief to us all. His friends and Harold's were in and out of the house and Mother, in her quiet way, enjoyed them and became deeply attached to two or three.

    Sister Ruth soon moved to New York and Mother and I were together a great deal. She spoke more often of her childhood. One of her remarks astonished me. I believe I had said something about her calm and poise.

    "Well, if I am calm, I deserve no credit for it," she said. "When I married your Father, I was a bundle of nerves. But


one couldn't live with him very long without gaining some self-restraint."

    Another time, in the autumn, we were discussing where she should spend the winter. She had been at Castle Hot Springs, Arizona, the previous year. Charles and Harold thought it had benefited her and had suggested that she go again.

    "What do you think about it, Mother? Would you like to go there?" I asked.

    "No, I wouldn't," vehemently. "I hate the place! I felt like a prisoner there, with those mountains shutting me in. I won't go there again, unless I'm carried feet first!"

    "Why, of course you won't go. We wouldn't think of your going anywhere you didn't want to. Why didn't you tell the boys?"

    She looked a little shamefaced, and replied: "Oh, Helen, the boys are so good, so kind and thoughtful. They think I was benefited there and perhaps I was. I hate to be childish and disappoint them!"

    "They won't be disappointed. They want you to be not only well but happy. We must find another place."

    Until the last few years, Mother was very independent and waited upon herself. When she dressed, she would ring the bell for the maid, and then hurry downstairs. Meeting the maid in the hall, she would say blushingly, "Tillie, I'm afraid I can't fasten these few hooks. Will you do it for me?"

    I often came into her room as she was dressing. "Sit down, dear," I would say. "I'll button your shoes."

    Flushing rosily she would reply, "That's not necessary. I can do it."

    "Of course, you can, but I like to. Down you go," and I would probably push her gently into a chair. But she was


always embarrassed to ask anyone, even her children to wait on her.

    I remember the winter after she was sixty-nine. Mother and her companion, Mr. Edward Morris, Muriel and I were at Santa Barbara. Mother's hair was only beginning to grey; her eyes were bright and her checks still like damask roses. One evening a mutual friend asked me Mother's age.

    "She'll be seventy in August," I replied.

    "It's incredible. She looks like a woman of fifty-five."

    "Yes, doesn't she. Neighbors won't believe she's my mother, much less Lou's and Edward's."

    "Naturally not."

    The next morning I was visiting with Mother in her room. Apropos of nothing at all, she said, "Helen, I'm not seventy years old."

    "Of course you aren't. Who ever said you were?"

    "I heard you tell Mr. S I'd be seventy in August. I'm sixty-nine until the thirteenth day of next August."

    "Did you hear his reply?"

    "No, I didn't."

    "Well, he said it was incredible; that you didn't look more than fifty-five and that it was hard to believe you were my mother!"

    Blushing, she said, "Don't be silly! But I'm not seventy!"

    "Of course you aren't. I beg your pardon."

    A moment's silence. "I'm not going to have any more birthdays either!"

    "A fine idea!"

    "I wish everybody would realize it."

    "Well, I'll do my part. I'll send word to the family; 'No more birthdays for Mother.'"


    When her next birthday arrived, flowers and presents poured in, but the cards read, "Merry Christmas," "Happy New Year," "Riotous Fourth of July." Mother was much amused.

    That reminds me—Mother had never been politically-minded and had never voted. When Woodrow Wilson was candidate for re-election, she said, "Helen, I think I'd like to vote."

    "Do, dear," I replied, "I'll go with you to register."

    "Are you going to vote?" she asked.

    "No, I don't think so. I never have."

    "I wish you would. I'm going to vote for Wilson because I'm sure he will keep us out of war. I want you to vote for him, too."

    "Certainly I will, if it will give you pleasure," I replied, though I did not feel nearly as certain as she did.

    We were in the same precinct, so Mother and I set out to register. We gave our names and a man showed Mother to her polling booth. Returning he said, "Come this way, dear."

    I was indignant, and did not hesitate to show it.

    " 'Dear?'" I said, "what right have you to address me in that way? If such familiarity is the penalty for voting, I prefer not to vote."

    "Oh, come on!" said the man, but I refused to "come on," waited for Mother and left the polling place with her.

    War days came—even though Mother voted—and Charles and Harold were in service—first here and then abroad. They were sad, lonely days for Mother in spite of all that the rest of us could do for her. Harold arranged for a professor from the University to have a room, and to sleep at Mother's home. So, at least, her fears were allayed.

Chapter XV
Mother's Last Years

Mother's Gifts and Pledges. Mother's Health Fails in 1921. Her Gentleness. The Law of Compensation. The Subject of Money in the Home.

    MOTHER lived nineteen years after Father's death.

    She had quite good health for several years but often complained that her head was tired. Why not? Certainly her brain had been active all these years! She had looked so carefully after husband, children, household, charities, pensioners—impossible to say what. Looking back, I wonder if it was partly because she felt there was no longer the necessity to concentrate and work as conscientiously as she had formerly done. My brothers relieved her of many of her business responsibilities and advised with her, when she desired it, about philanthropies. We were all eager to relieve her of as much of the routine of life as possible.

    She talked with me very often about her charities: told me that she should make no more pledges but should give what she desired to give wherever she was interested. She said that she did not wish her children to feel obligated to contribute to any charities simply because she and Father had been interested in them: that she thought we probably had enough of our own to look after and that they would increase in number as the years went by. I do know that, at this time, she spent approximately one-eighth of her income for the household and herself and seven-eighths for gifts or charities.

    Father's will left bequests to certain charities, in addition to which it left a sum to Mother, explaining that she knew his view



regarding benevolences and he trusted to her judgment. This was an added responsibility but she carried it out faithfully.

    During Mother's later years we were much together. Sister Ruth had gone to New York to live, and George was in Boston. Louis lived in Lake Forest, Edward on the North Side. My home was on Drexel Boulevard, hardly a quarter of a mile from Mother's. Charles and Harold lived at home. Probably I came to know and appreciate Mother then, as I never had before. My children were growing up, had their own interests and did not require such constant care. There came a time when she rarely went out except for a drive, or to the Symphony or to my home.

    In 1921, her health failed perceptibly and she suffered from neuritis and dizziness but, not until late that year, did she give up. Then she and the family were forced to consider her an invalid. She suffered intensely—both physically and mentally and passed away in May, 1922, at the age of seventy-eight.

    Her attending doctors spoke to us frequently of her gentleness and her cooperation. The younger one said this to me, with tears in his eyes:

    "I don't think that any of us ever had such a patient as your Mother. We all really loved her. I never knew a patient who so willingly and gladly did what the doctors thought best for her. One morning we all met here and, after seeing your Mother, decided that she ought to have a stimulant. The seniors left, asking me to speak to your Mother about it. It was not an easy task. I knew that your Mother never took liquor, and didn't approve of it, but I returned to her room, and explained that the doctors thought she should take a glass of sherry three times a day, to conserve her strength. I shouldn't have been surprised


if she had said, 'Oh, I couldn't do that.' Instead she looked at me a moment, her gentle dark eyes searching my face, and replied, 'Well, Doctor, I'm your patient and it's my duty to cooperate with you, and I will—even to the extent of drinking sherry!'"

    One hears so much of the Law of Compensation. I have never felt that one is, or should expect to be, compensated for spiritual things. But it does seem as though a person who has obeyed the laws of health, never over-eaten or over-drunk, never dissipated strength by late hours, or riotous living, is entitled to slip quietly away, without the suffering that poor Mother endured.

    Mother and Father never showed any sentimentality about their children. Mother commended us when she thought we deserved it, and Father commended us, occasionally. My parents rarely reproved or criticized one of the children in the presence of another and I can scarcely ever remember hearing them criticize a neighbor.

    We never heard money or wealth discussed, though we were trained to thrift. Father certainly made a success of business, but "he was enamored not of money, but of achievement. . . . The accumulation of wealth was by no means his supreme aim in life."7 Indeed, as far as his personal desires were concerned, he would not have known what to do with more than a very modest sum. Though Mother was simple in her tastes, Father was almost puritanical. Wealth was certainly a symbol of commercial success, and a necessary part of an expanding business but, aside from that, I think my parents' only interest in money was the comfort which a small part of it brought to them and their family. As for the rest certainly through the last half of their lives the larger part was used mainly for the purpose of making others happy.

Swyft homestead





    Born in England, married Joan . Came to America about 1630. Died at Sandwich about 1643.


    Born in England, and accompanied his father to America. Married Ruth . Died at Sandwich, January 1705 or 1706.


    Born August 28, 1654. Married Elizabeth . Died at Sandwich, April or May, 1701.


    Born November 1687 at Sandwich. Married, first, to Mercy ; then Mrs. Rebecca Morton.


    The son of Joseph and Rebecca. Date of birth unknown. Married Abigail Phillips, November 15, 1752 at Sandwich. Died at Sandwich, 1803.


    Born December 31, 1764. Married Elizabeth Ellis of Plymouth, November 24, 1785 at Sandwich. Died at Sandwich March 25, 1843.


    Born September 20, 1795. Married Aurelia Parker and, later Sally Sears Crowell, at Sandwich. Died 1868.


    Son of William and Sally Swift. Born, June 24, 1839, at West Sandwich. Married Ann Higgins January 3, 1861, at Eastham. Died March 29, 1903, in Chicago.




    Born in England. Married Lydia Chandler after he came to America and, later, Mrs. Mary Yates. Died 1677 or earlier.


    Born in 1640 at Plymouth. Married Lydia Bangs. Died at Eastham, March 14, 1690 or 1691. Prominent in King Philip's War.


    Born November 14, 1662 at Eastham. Married Melatiah Hamblin. Died at Eastham June 1, 1728.


    Born April 15, 1701 at Eastham. Married first, Abigail Cole; second, Content Handing; and, third, Mrs. Phoebe Snow. Died at Eastham, probably in 1788 or 1789.


    Born November 12, 1729 at Eastham. Son of Abigail Cole. Married Sarah Knowles. Died at Eastham November 4, 1815.


    Born October 15, 1775 at Eastham. Married Mrs. Mercy (Mayo) Gill. Died at Eastham, April 25, 1845.


    Born February 16, 1812. Married Mariah Holmes Cobb, daughter of Scotto and Phoebe Cobb. Died November 1, 1852.


    Only daughter and second child of Joshua and Mariah (Holmes) Cobb. Born at Eastham, August 13, 1843. Married Gustavus Franklin Swift January 3, 1861, at Eastham. Died May 19, 1922, in Chicago.





    Elder William Brewster of the May/lower.

II. PATIENCE BREWSTER Married Thomas Prence.


    Born at Plymouth about 1631; married John Freeman, 1649-1650; died at Eastham 1711.


    Born at Eastham, 1653; married Rebecca Sparrow, 1673; died at Harwich, 1715-1716.


    Born at Eastham, 1674; married Paul Sears, 1693; died at Harwich, 1747.


    Born at Yarmouth, 1712; married Hannah Crowell, 1743; died at Harwich, 1796.


    Born at Yarmouth, 1743-1744; married Hannah Taylor, 1771; died at Brewster, 1832


    Born at Yarmouth, 1780; married Paul Crowell, 1797; died at West Sandwich, 1861.


    Born at Dennis, 1804; married Capt. William Swift, 1822; died at West Sandwich, 1885.


    Born at West Sandwich, 1839; married Ann Mariah Higgins, 1861; died at Chicago, 1903.



    ONE of the delightful recollections of my visits to England is the pleasant hours which I spent with Canon Morgan of Rotherham, and his charming family. He was full of the love of his Old Church, and had long admired the Swyft Tomb and Brass, which are outstanding examples of the curious workmanship of that time. To him I am indebted for the photographs of the tombs as well as the genealogical material, concerning the Swift family, hereunder set forth:

    "In the north chancel is the monument of the first of the Swyfts, who was mercer at Rotherham. It is a copy of that of Archbishop Rokeby at Sandal; and consists of an altar-tomb placed in an arched recess, ornamented with quatrefoils, within which is a square plate of brass, and engraven thereon the effigies of Robert Swyft, Ann his wife, and his four children, Robert, William, Ann, and Margaret. The father is represented in a furred gown, his hair formally cut, his hands joined as in prayer. The lady a square head-dress, her hands uplifted but not joined. From the mouth of Swyft proceeds a scroll, with these words inscribed on it:

'Christ is ouer lyfe,
And death is o'r advantage.'

    Three shields in front of the tomb have been removed, but two remain, within the recess, having the arms of Swyft, a chevron vaire between three roebucks Courant, in which the vaire is represented by what, according to the present nomenclature, would be described barry nebulee.

    "The inscription reads as follows:

'Here under this tombe are placyd and buried the bodyes of ROBERTE SWIFTE, esquier, and ANNE his fyrste wyfe, who lyvyde manye yeares in this towne of Rotherh'm in vertuous fame, grett wellthe and good woorship. They were pytyfulle to the poore and relevyd them lyberally, and to their friends no less faythfulle than bountyfulle. Trulye they fearyd God, who plentiuslye powryed His blessings upon them. The sayd Anne dyed in the moneth of June, in the yere of o Lorde God 1539, in the 67 year of her age; and the sayd Robarte dep'tyd y viii. day August in the yere of o Lorde God 1561 in the 84 yeare of his age. On whose sowlles, with all Chrysten sowlles, th'omnipotent Lorde have mercy. Amen.' "


Robert Swyft of Rotherham 163

    The following account of this family is principally from Hunter. He disposes of the statement of their having been originally of Durham, by shewing that a number of brothers of Robert Swyft were living at and about Sheffield, Tinsley, and Rotherham at an early period, the will of Henry Swyft, of Sheffield, being dated 1521, in which he makes his brother, Robert Swyft, executor, with Nicholas Thompson, his brother-in-law.

    Robert Swyft, of Rotherham, who may be considered as the great advancer of the family, was born in 1478, and died in 1561. He was a mercer. His first wife is said, in some accounts of Yorkshire families, to have been, when he married her, the widow of a brewer in London, who had left her great wealth. I have seen nothing to prove or disprove this statement. The family to which by birth she belonged were at that time people of some consideration at Sheffield. Peculiar respect seems to have been on some account paid to her; for the monument at Rotherham is erected to her memory as well as that of her husband; and it is said of them that "they lived many years in the town of Rotherham, in virtuous fame, great wealth, and good worship. They were pitiful to the poor and relieved them, and to their friends no less faithful than bountiful. Truly they feared God, who plentifully poured His blessings upon them." The second wife is entirely passed over in the inscription. Her name was Agnes, and not Catherine, as the received accounts of this family represent it; neither is there tolerable evidence of what they state, that she was a daughter of Richard Bosvile, of Gunthwaite. The visitation of 1563, which contains the earliest authentic account of this family, takes no notice of any second wife. This Robert Swyft made his will 11 Feb., 1559, in which he mentions his nephews Henry and Francis Swyft, of Sheffield; Henry Swyft and Alice his sister, of North Leach in Gloucestershire, his late sister Wright, his son William and wife Agnes, and his daughter Reresby, to whom he gives "a standing cup with a cover all gilt." This will was proved 2 Dec., 1561.

    The four children of Swyft were all married in his lifetime into families of great consideration. The Reresbys of Thribergh, and the Watertons of Walton, were two of the most potent families in the Riding; and the heiress of the ancient house of Wickersley of Wickersley, brought to his eldest son land and wealth in abundance. That

*"South Yorkshire," Vol II, pp. 205, 206.

164 Robert Swyft of Rotherham

son died before his father. He was much employed in the service of the earls of Shrewsbury, residing at Broomhall, a part of his wife's inheritance. He left only daughters, among whom his estate, which was very considerable, was divided.

    William Swyft, the younger son, survived his father, and continued to reside at Rotherham. His will bears the date 20 August, 1568, in which he directs that a substantial honest dinner shall be provided on the day of his funeral for his worshipful and honest friends. Every poor man, woman, and child, shall have their dinner and a penny in silver. His wife and children to be clothed in black, after the ancient custom of this realm. To his son Robert, who he desires may follow in the steps of his late grandfather, he gives a chain of fine gold of 24 oz. weight, and two rings of gold, graven with his arms and cognizance. He desires that Margaret his wife and Robert his son shall solemnize a marriage between Ralph Beiston, now his ward, and one of his two daughters, which he shall like best. To his servant and cousin, Alexander Swyft, he gives an annuity of £4 from his farm at Wood Lathes, and mentions his cousin, Henry Swyft, father of the said Alexander. Mentions his father-in-law Mr. Wirral, his wife's daughter, Dorothy Ricard, and several other relations. Makes his son Robert executor, and Sir Thomas Gargrave the supervisor, to whom he gives a sovereign, value 30 shillings. The will was proved by his said executor.

    Robert Swyft, his only son, was aged seventeen years and nine months at the time of his father's decease. He resided more at Don-caster and Streetthorpe than at the seats of his family in the more western parts of the wapentake, and had the honour of entertaining the Prince Henry at his house at Streetthorpe. He was high sheriff of Yorkshire (42 Elizabeth and sixteen James I), and received the honour of knighthood from king James I. at York, as his majesty was on his way to take possession of the throne of England. Queen Elizabeth is said to have given him the title of cavalier, and he is in consequence sometimes spoken of as Cavaliero Swyft by his contemporaries. There is still a kind of remembrance of his existing in the country in which he lived, and a punning story is told from mouth to mouth of a strife between him and a trespasser on the chase whose name was Slack, which De la Pryme, and a century later Mr. Drummond, heard from the people of Hatfield, with such

165 Robert Swyft of Rotherham

variations as a century may be supposed to have occasioned. His first wife was a co-heiress of one of the most ancient houses in the deanery, the Hastings of Fenwick; and his second wife, cousin-german to the wife of the great Sir Francis Bacon.

    On 15 Sept., 1617, he made a settlement of his estates, both those which were the inheritance of his first wife and those which were his own inheritance, his eldest son, sir Edward Swyft, being then dead, on Barnham Swyft, then his eldest son and heirs male; remainder to Darcy Swyft, his second son; remainder to his own issue male, if more sons; remainder to his eldest daughter Mary, then the wife of Sir Robert Anstruther; remainder to his other daughters Ursula, Ann, Penelope, and Rosamond; whence it may be concluded that his daughter Elisabeth died in her infancy. He died at Doncaster 14 March, 1625.

    Sir Edward Swyft was knighted at Belvoir by king James I., on his way to London. He left no issue. His only sister of the whole blood married Robert Rither, Esq. of Harwood, of the ancient house of that place. She was divorced, and he married again while she was still living. A nuncupative will of hers was proved at York 23 Oct., 1631, in which she is described as Marie Rider, alias Swyft, of Arm-thorpe, late wife of Robert Rider, Esq. and daughter of Sir Robert Swyft, knt. late of Doncaster. She gives a few articles of wearing apparel to Elisabeth Hill, of Misen, and the rest to her friend Francis Gresham, of Armthorpe, whom she makes executor.

    Barnham Swyft, the eldest surviving son and heir, was created by king Charles I, viscount CGarlingford of the kingdom of Ireland. But the honour did not long exist, for he died in the tenth year of that reign, and having no male issue the honour expired with him. He died beyond sea. His lady was the daughter of the earl of Dumfries, and sister to the earl of Dumfries who married Penelope Swyft, and whose name has several times been mentioned under his second title of viscount Air. The Dumfries family appear at this period to have resided occasionally at Doncaster, where two children of the earl, named Robert and Mary, were baptized.

    The Inquisition after the death of Lord Carlingford, 12 August, 12 Car. I., contains a view of a noble estate possessed by him.

    In this long list of properties in several counties, "Forty Messuages, &c, at Rotherham" are named.

166 Robert Swyft of Rotherham

    Robert Swyft became possessed of a considerable part of the property of Rotherham College and Chantries at the Dissolution.

    The daughter of Lord Carlingford, in whom centred the estates of the Swyft family, married one of the gay profligates of the court of King Charles, of the name of Fielding, a "hansome Fielding," who outlived them and the lady too.

    Mr. Edmund Lenthall Swyfte favoured me, in October, 1875, then in his ninety-ninth year, with considerable extracts from his grandfather's MS. notices of his family. The following one is given entire. I believe the venerable writer died in the course of a few months, if not weeks, after its being written.

    "From my grandfather's MS. notices of his family, dated 1774, and referring for fuller memoranda to his 'Life of the Dean of St. Patrick,' published in 1734.

    "The family of Swift was ancient in Yorkshire. I am not quite certain whether Barnham Swift, Esq. or Sir Edmund Swift,"* was the elder branch of that family, but he (Barnham) was created Viscount Carlingford by Charles X., I think about the year 1628. He left two daughters, one of whom was married to a son of the Earl of Denbigh; the other to the Earl of Eglingtoune.

    "Thomas Swift, a younger branch of the same family, much about the time of the Reformation, took Holy Orders, and had the living of St. Andrews, in Canterbury, wherein he was succeeded by his son William,** who married the daughter and heiress of Philpot, Esq., of Goderich, in Herefordshire. Their only son, Thomas, was invested, by Bishop Godwin, with the rectories of Goderich and of Bristow in that county. He aided King Charles I. with three hundred broad pieces, and was pillaged by the Roundheads, to his utter ruin. He had married Elisabeth, the daughter of Sir Erasmus Dryden, and aunt of the poet. They had six sons—Godwin, William, Thomas, Dryden, Jonathan, and Adam. About the time of the Reformation, Godwin went to Ireland, where he married a relation of the Duchess of Ormond, and had been appointed Attorney-General of the Palatinate in Ireland, and made a large fortune at the Bar.

    "Godwin was four times married. In 1673, he married Hannah,

*Sir Edmund Swift is mentioned m some old records as resident in Hereford among the gifted personages of that city, in the middle of the 17th century.

**They were both buried there, as their monument testifies (1625), after a lapse of fifty-five years.


Robert Swyft of Rotherham 167

a daughter of Admiral Deane, the associate of General Monk, under the Commonwealth. Their son Deane, in 1704, married Elisabeth, the daughter of Francis Lenthall, Esq., and great grand-daughter of Sir Edmund Lenthall (the fifteenth knight in regular descent), whose second son was William, the speaker of the House of Commons, temp. Charles I. His son Deane (my grandfather Deane, born 1706, died 1783) married, in 1739, Martha, the grand-daughter of Adam Swift (the sixth of Godwin's brothers and daughter of his only child) the wife of Theophilus Harrison, dean of Clonmacnoise, on whose decease she married Captain Whiteway; after whose death, in 1728, she gave all her care, during her later years, to her cousin, the Dean of St. Patrick's.

    "Godwin's fifth brother, Jonathan, married Abigail Eric, the descendant of Eric the forester, and Heptarchic King of Kent. Their only child was the dean of St. Patrick's.

    "Here closes the genealogic memoir of my beloved and honoured grandfather, who died in 1783; my grandmother Mary Harrison, died in 1789; my father Theophilus, died in 1815; my elder brother Deane in 1858; and at this moment nearing on my ninety-ninth year, I am the representative of Godwin's third branch."

        Mr. Edmund Lenthall Swyfte, who frequently contributed to "Notes and Queries" on family history, also refers me to the following notices, which to some readers may not be without interest: 2nd S., v., 24, 28, 69, 77, 119, 138. 3rd S.,vi., 70, 117, xii. 350. 4th S. v.,66, 135, 159, 211, 305, 410 5th S. vii., 33, 333, 416.

The following is one of the contributions referred to. It is an ampliphication of the extract from the grandfather's MS. notices above given but so crowded with grand alliances, and incedents which outvie romance, even to his last personal and pardonable glorification of "being now in my ninety-ninth year, but with children, grandchildren, and great-grand-children enough to secure the third branch to the 'crack of doom,' so as to make it to Rotherham, which it connects with Dean Swift, one of its strangest and brightest historic pages."*

* There is an interesting paper on Sir Robert Swyft, in the "Yorkshire Archaeological Journal" with engravings of seal, Vol. IV., p. 39, by Charles Jackson, Esq. of Doncaster.