Biography of Rev. Joseph S. Swaim
Bristol County, MA Biographies

Swaim, Rev. Joseph S., pastor of the First Baptist Church of New Bedford, is the son of Rev. Samuel Budd Swaim, D.D., and Aurora D. Skinner, his wife, and a grandson of Judge Thomas Swaim a native of Staten Island, N. Y., where the family first settled. Judge Swaim spent most of his life in Pemberton, N. J., serving for many years as a judge of the Court of Common Pleas. Rev. Samuel Budd Swaim was graduated from Brown University in 1830 and from the Newton. Theological Seminary in 1833, was ordained to the Baptist ministry at Haverhill, Mass., November 7, 1833, and spent two years as a professor in the old Granville Theological Seminary, Ohio, after which he was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Worcester for sixteen years. He subsequently went to West Cambridge (flow Arlington), Mass., and filled a pastorate for eight years, and died in Cambridge in 1865. His wife's father, Parry C. Skinner, was a drummer in the war of 1812, and her grandfather, Benjamin Skinner, served as a drummer in the Revolution at Bunker Hill. Rev. Joseph S. Swaim, only surviving son of Dr. Samuel B., was born in Worcester, Mass, May 2, 1851, received his early education in the public and high schools of Cambridge, and was graduated from Harvard College with the degree of A B. in 1873. He then spent a year in Europe and the East, and on his return entered the Newton Theological Seminary, from which he was graduated in 1877, being ordained to the ministry in the old Cambridge Baptist Church the same year. He was pastor of the First Baptist Church of Claremont, N. H., from 1877 to 1883, pastor of the Union Baptist Church of Providence, R. I., from the spring of 1883 to 1887, and pastor of the First Baptist Church of Binghamton, N. Y., from the spring of 1887 to 1890 In the spring of 1890 he came to New Bedford as pastor of the First Baptist Church on William street, which position he still holds. Mr. Swaim is an able, eloquent, and convincing preacher, a scholar, and a man of culture and high attainments. He was a member of the executive board of the New Hampshire Baptist Convention and is now a member of the executive board of the Massachusetts Baptist Convention. In January, 1898, he was elected president of the Newton Alumni Association and is a member of the board of Newton Theological Seminary. In November, 1877, he married Caroline Tiffany Dyer, daughter of Ezra Cornish Dyer importer of Boston and resident of Cambridge, Mass., and of Caroline Elizabeth Tiffany, his wife, daughter of Lyman Tiffany, merchant of Boston, and s:ster of the late Dr. Ezra Dyer, the well known oculist of Philadelphia and Newport. Her ancestors were prominent in the early history of Massachusetts, one of them, Asa Dyer, being commissioned, May 19. 1775. a lieutenant in Col. William Heath's regiment; several others also served in the Colonial and Revolutionary wars. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. They have three sons: Roger D., a gtudent at Harvard College, class of 1900, Loring T. and Stanley B.

Our county and its people
A descriptive and biographical history of
Bristol County, Massachusetts
Prepaired and published under the auspices of
The Fall River News and The Taunton Gasette
With assistance of Hon. Alanson Borden
The Boston History Company, Publishers, 1899.

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