Biography of Dr. Jesse J. Swan
Bristol County, MA Biographies

Swan, Jesse J., M. D. Caleb Swan. A. B., M. D., was born in Charlestown, Mass., September 22, 1793, and was the son of Caleb and Sarah (Semple) Swan, who trace their descent back to the Swan family who came to New England before 1685, on account of religious persecution, and settled near Boston, in Essex county, Mass. Caleb, father of Dr. Caleb, was a merchant of Charlestown and a large owner of real estate, in which he was quite active until 1816, about the time of his death. He lived in Charlestown Square when his house was burned at the battle of Bunker Hill. It will be noted that a leading characteristic of the family is that large real estate holdings have been prominently continued down to the present generation. Dr. Caleb Swan entered Harvard University in 1811 and graduated in 1814, among his classmates being Dr. James Walker (late president of the college) and William H. Prescott, the historian. At the age of twenty one Caleb Swan began the study of medicine under the instruction of Dr. Jonathan Wales, of Randolph, Mass., and after obtaining his degree, settled in Easton, in the year 1816, continuing here in the practice of medicine, never interrupted for more than a week or two by sickness or travel, for fifty four years. He was the most successful physician that ever lived in Bristol county, and his reputation extended largely outside of the county lines. He died March 18, 1870. He was one of the founders of the Bristol North District Medical Society in 1849, of which, March 10, 1852, he was made president for one year, and he also belonged to the Massachusetts Medical Society. His reputation drew many medical pupils into his office, and he became very early identified with various humanitarian enterprises. In the great temperance movement of 1826 he was a very active participant, encouraging it in every way, and making public addresses, which were characterized by vigor, point, and good sense. He was always interested in education and frequently spoke upon the topic, and while he steadily refused all other offices, he was willing to serve upon the Board of School Committee of Easton, for which he rendered efficient service for fourteen years. At one time Dr. Swan was interested and prominent in politics, being in 1840 an earnest supporter of the election of General Harrison, at the same time declaring that if Harrison was elected, he would join the Liberty party, afterwards known as the Free Soil party. This he did, and he became a prominent anti slavery man, and he was also a strong abolitionist and an intimate friend of Charles Sumner, John A. Andrew, and other prominent men. He was a candidate on the Free Soil ticket for member of congress, his principal opponent being Artemus Hale of Bridgewater. who in after elections was elected. Dr. Swan on the same party's ticket ran for governor against N. P. Banks, who was elected, but it is generally believed by those who knew both men well, that Caleb Swan was the greater of the two. In 1865, being chosen on the ticket of the Republican party, which had grown out of the Free Soil party, Dr. Swan served as representative in the State Legislature, and in 1867 was chosen as State senator. In his intercourse with others Dr. Swan was suave, genial, and an agreeable, companionable man and as welcome in a social as in a professional way, in the homes of those who knew him. But with all his suavity he never yielded a hair's breadth in discussion or action in matters of political principle. In religion he was a Swedenborgian: His brother inlaw, the late George W. Johnson of Buffalo, N. Y., under date of 1839, wrote of him as follows: "His heart is in his profession. Like most others of his profession, he possesses great knowledge of men and tact in managing their weaknesses. He possesses also a placable and generous temper, is fond of wit and humor, which he has displayed from a child, and has few or no enemies. His mind delights in the investigation and discovery of truth and he rejects no theory until he has sounded it and found it wanting, examining everything for himself, yet he is no visionary. His mind is characterized by activity, love of research, and caution, and I believe he had one of the best of hearts." Dr. Caleb Swan was three times married; first, to Ruth Barrell, of East Bridgewater, October 3, 1816, who died January 13, 1830, and he was again married, February 14, 1831, to Louisa S. Johnson, of Enfield, N. H, who died September 6, 1860. He had four children by his first marriage, seven by his second, and none by his last. Jesse Johnson Swan, M. D., son of Dr. Caleb and Louisa S. (Johnson) Swan, was born in Easton, December 14, 1849. He received an academic education at Bristol Academy, Taunton, Mass., and Stoughton Institute at Sharon, Mass., and then he studied medicine two years with his father and one year with his brother. He next took a two years' course at the Harvard Medical College in 1869-70 and one year's course at the Hahneruann Medical College of Chicago, from which he graduated in March, 1882. He began the practice of medicine at North Easton, in April, 1872, where he still resides. He is a member and the medical examiner of the Royal Society of Good Fellows, also a member of the United States Order of the Golden Cross, and a member of the Improved Order of Red Men of Brockton, and Council of Pocahontas, Brockton; member of Easton Lodge, Knights of Honor, also member and medical examiner of New England Order of Protection, Easton.

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.

Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies

Bristol County, MA Biographies

Names A to B
Names C to D
Names E to H
Names I to L
Names M to O
Names P to R
Names S
Names T to Z




New York

For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium

Family Tree Maker 2012