HENRY B. SWETTART. This prosperous and well-known manufacturer of spring wagons, carriages and buggies at Chapin, needs but little in the way of an introduction to the people of Morgan County, who have long known him as one of the much valued citizens of this community. He is a native of Hanover, Germany, where he was born on the 13th of December, 1837. He is a son of Benjamin and Mary Swettart, natives of the same place. His parents gave him a as good an education as they were able in the schools of Hanover, and, being quite fond of reading, and having become well acquainted with English, he is able to take his place among the well-informed English-speaking people of the county.
Mr. Swettart emigrated to this county, in 1855, from Bremen, crossing the Atlantic in a sailing-vessel, the voyage lasting forty-nine days. He landed at New Orleans, where he remained about six months; at the end of that time he went to Memphis, and subsequently to Louisville, where he made his home for three years, working at wagonmaking - having begun the same in New Orleans. His settlement in Morgan County dates from the year 1859. He first worked for Mr. John Webb in the village of Bethel, continuing to follow his trade until August, 1862, when he enlisted in Company 101st Illinois Infantry, as a private. Subsequently he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, which position he held at the time of his honorable discharge at the close of the war, on the 7th of June, 1865. He was present as an active combatant in the battles of Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Peachtree Creek, and Newhope Church; was one of the men to accompany Sherman in his famous march; he also fought throughout the entire Atlanta campaign, and finished his experiences in the ranks at the grand review at Washington. He was captured at Holly Springs, Miss., and, after being held about four hours, was paroled. This was his only experience as a prisoner-of-war.
At the close of the war Mr. Swettart returned to Morgan County, and began business for himself in Bethel, where he continued until 1882, when he removed to Chapin, where he still resides. His business has grown most satisfactorily, and consists of two departments - the one, that of his manufactory of various vehicles, and the other, that of the sales of all kinds of farming implements and machinery, of which, although not a manufacturer, he handles quite a large quantity.
The first marriage of Mr. Swettart was celebrated in July, 1865, with Lucinda Sullins, by whom he became the father of one son, who received the name of William R. On the 3d of June, 1877, he contracted a second matrimonial alliance with Mary Plamer. To them was born a daughter, who received the name of Lena. In the community this family is held in high regard, our subject commanding the respect of his fellow-citizens, both in a business and social way. He is a member of the G.A.R. Post at Chapin, and is at present the Quartermaster of the Post. He is also identified with the I.O.O.F. and the A.O.U.W. Religiously, he is connected with the Christian Church, and in matters political is a Republican. He is one of the Board of Trustees of Chapin, of which he has served as President.