Swaringuin, Capt. Thomas A. (1831-1908) was born on
December 15, 1831, in Illinois, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Shepherd
Swearingen. (Thomas' name and that of other members of the family is sometimes
listed as Swearingen or Swearengen.) T. A.'s father was born in Pennsylvania,
but the family moved to Adams County, Ohio, before migrating to Illinois. Capt.
Swaringuin married Mary Ann Hartswell on August 31, 1851, in Menard County,
Illinois. Thomas A. “Swearingen” is listed in the 1860 as being a plasterer,
living in Athens with his wife Mary and three children. Their children and
spouses were: John Thomas (Alvira Dyer), Clarentine “Clara” (Eugene O. Holland),
Joseph (died as an infant), and Chauncey (Martha Elvira “Ella” Stone).
Thomas A. Swaringuin was enrolled as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company T. 28th Regular
Illinois Volunteer Infantry on August 2, 1861. The regiment, fought in the
battles of Shiloh, and Corinth. Thomas, as First Lieutenant, at age 29, was
promoted to Captain in 1863 and was later was promoted to Major of the 28th Reg.
when it consolidated with another regiment. He mustered out as Captain on March
15, 1866, at Brownsville, Texas, having served four years and seven months.
Capt. Swaringuin’s first wife died only months after he returned to Athens,
leaving him to raise their three young children. Thomas married Martha Hall
England, the widow of William Banks England (killed 1863 at the Battle of
Chickamauga) on September 07, 1868, in Athens. She was the daughter of James
Wesley and Catherine Claypool Hall, and granddaughter of Abner and Jane
Overstreet Hall. Capt. T. A. and Martha had his three children, her three
children: Laura F. (Jeremiah “Judd” Casey), Hettie Ann (Michael Christian “Cal”
Jensen), and William Henry (Clara M. Sprouse), and Martha’s brother Charles Hall
living them in Athens in 1870. He and Martha had a daughter, Kitte Daisy, who
died at age nineteen in 1890.
Capt. Swaringuin was a partner in a wagon and carriage shop, opened the first
lumber yard in Athens, and owned 26 rental houses, mostly in east Athens. At
various times, Thomas also farmed and operated a small factory which built
chicken coups. After living on Main Street since the mid-1860s, Thomas
Swaringuin built a large home on the southeast corner of Wood and Hargrave
Streets in east Athens in the late 1880s or early 1890s. Martha Hall Swaringuin
died in 1902. Capt. Swaringuin died at the home of his eldest son, John Thomas,
in Springfield, Illinois, on May 12, 1908. He is buried in Hall Cemetery in
Athens in a plot that includes the remains of both of his wives and daughter,
Barbara Shannon Cox