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John R. Swift

John R. Swift, editor and publisher of the Cleveland County Democrat, Kingsland, Ark.

Under the efficient management of Mr. Swift, the Democrat has come to be regarded as one of the representative papers of this part of the country, and although it has only been established since 1888, he has proven himself to be a man of judgment in directing the editorial policy of the paper. He has ever been an earnest advocate of all public enterprises calculated to benefit Cleveland County, and through the columns of his paper, has wielded no slight influence in directing the proper steps to be taken for worthy movements.

Mr. Swift owes his nativity to Newton County, Ga., where his birth occurred in 1833, and is the son of John T. and Mahala (Pullin) Swift, natives of North Carolina. The parents were married in Georgia, and in 1835 removed to Mississippi, where the mother died in 1885, and the father in 1887. Both were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Of the eight children born to their union, John R. was the fourth in order of birth.

He was early taught the duties of farm life by his father, and received a fair education in the common schools. In 1856 he came to Phillips County, and a few years later to Monticello, from there to Chicot County, thence to Warren, and finally, in 1886, to Kingsland, Cleveland County. He spent the principal part of his life engaged in merchandising at different places until he came to Kingsland, when he took his first lesson in journalism.

In 1861 he joined Company I, First Arkansas Infantry, and operated the first year in Virginia. He participated in the first battle of Bull Run. He was afterward in the Army of the Tennessee until the close of the war. He was in the battles of Shiloh. and Murfreesboro, and after that was on detached service in the Post-office Department. He was at Raleigh, N. C., when Gen. Lee surrendered, and soon after returned to Arkansas.

He was married in Chicot County, Ark., in 1871, to Miss Agnes, a native of Louisiana, and the daughter of Samuel and Lucy Smith, natives of Maryland. Her parents resided in Louisiana for many years, and about 1868 came to Arkansas, and both died in Chicot County.

To Mr. and Mrs. Swift was born one child, a son.  In politics Mr. Swift has been a Democrat all his life.  Mrs. Swift is a member of the Catholic Church.  


Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas
Copyright 1890
Published by The Goodspeed Publishing Co.; Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis