B. A. Swope, who is living in North English, having retired from activity as an agriculturist, was born on the
7th of December, 1846, a son of William and Polly (Harvey) Swope, both natives of Virginia. At an early day in
the history of the Hoosier state they settled there and in 1856 continued their journey westward, taking up their
abode in Iowa county, Iowa, in the fall of that year. The father purchased land in Fillmore township and both he
and his wife resided there during the remainder of their lives. Four of their children who numbered ten survive:
J. L. and J. W., both residents of Nebraska; Jemimah K., the wife of A. J. Burns; of Colorado; and B. A.
The last named resided at home and passed his time much as did other boys upon Iowa farms until the beginning of
the Civil war, when, like so many other young men of this state, he joined the Union army, enlisting in Company
G, Eighth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He served with that command until the close of the conflict and was mustered
out at Selma, Alabama, after which he returned to this county and continued to assist with the work of the homestead.
At length he purchased a farm in Fillmore township and lived upon that place for many years, devoting his time
to its cultivation until 1912, when he removed to North English. He purchased a fine residence here and is one
of the valued citizens of the town. He still owns a part of his farm, which comprised two hundred and forty acres
on section 31, Fillmore township. It is excellently improved and yields him a good income. Recently he sold forty
acres of this tract to his daughter, Mrs. G. W. Knipfer.
Mr. Swope was married in 1881 to Miss Laura E. McKinstry, a native of Mercer county, Illinois. Her parents, Alexander
and Rebecca (Backus) McKinstry, were both born in Pennsylvania but in 1850 settled in Mercer county, Illinois.
Six years later they removed to Kansas but in 1860 returned to Illinois, locating, however, in Warren county. In
1866 they took up their residence in Fillmore township, Iowa county, Iowa, and both passed away here. Five of their
seven children still survive. Mrs. Swope taught school for ten years, entering that profession when a girl of seventeen
years of age. She was successful in that work, proving both efficient and popular. By her marriage she is the mother
of four children. Rose Millicent, who was born on the 12th of June, 1882, graduated from the local high school
and was for two years a teacher. She is now the wife of G. W. Knipfer, who is operating a part of the Swope homestead.
Arthur H., born on the 22d of December, 1884, is now living in Wyoming, as is also Ross E., whose birth occurred
on the 31st of August, 1886. Martha R., born February 3, 1891, attended Cotner University at Lincoln, Nebraska,
and for two years taught school. She is now the wife of Rev. E. Molloy, of Howard Lake, Minnesota.
Mr. Swope is a democrat and has held a number of local offices, having been trustee for ten years and having also
served as assessor and as a member of the school board. He and his wife are influential members of the Christian
church, of which he is an elder and trustee, and both do all in their power to spread the influence of that organization.
They have many friends in North English and hold in full measure the respect of the community.
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Iowa County, IA
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