Morton D. Swift, the subject of this sketch was born June 24th 1833 at Warren in the County of Herkimer, State of New York. He died at Polo, Illinois, July 24th 1893, aged 60 years and 1 month. His early childhood, as is usual with our American boys of energy, ambition and pluck, was spent in obtaining an education, first in our common schools and finally at the Fairfield Academy in his native county. In these days the Academy was a greater factor in scholarship than it is today and here Col. Swift laid the foundation of success in after life, by obtaining a thorough English education. He seems to have laid the foundation ____ and deep and have ______ throughout his career.
He came west in October 1856, and settled at Polo, which place has since been his home. At that time he was a tall, slim young man, but possessing courage of conviction, earnestness of purpose and a determination to carve out for himself a career in life and win an honorable name. A short time after settling here he entered the law office of Campbell and Carpenter and was admitted to the bar in 1860. In the spring of 1861, when the flag of our Country was fired on at Sumpter and President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers, Col. Swift enlisted and was chosen Captain of Co. H. 15th Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry. This call was for three months, but the quota of three months men being full, the regiment after serving the State eleven days mustered in the service of the United States for three years. It was a noble regiment, one of the first to enter the service, and one of the last to be mustered out, and no regiment ever did better or more valiant service. As Captain of Co. H. Col. Swift was ever ready to do all in his power for his comrades in arms. He was ever generous and faithful, would share with them the last morsel of rations or the last dollar at his command. He went where his regiment and company went and never faltered. In January, 1863, he resigned his commission and came home but re-enlisted again in June, 1864, and was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the 142d Regiment in which I believe he served until the regiment was finally mustered out. In 1863 he was married to Miss Hattie Aplington, who died in 1872. One son, John Z., remains to cherish their memory and mourn their loss. Col. Swift was always a warm hearted generous comrade, ever ready to do all in his power for the old soldiers, among whom he was proud to be numbered. He was a member of the G. A. R., which order he respected and loved, and has often expressed to the writer the desire to be laid to rest by his comrades in arms. As a politician Col. Swift has always been a Republican. He was a good organizer and a hard worker. He did nothing by halves. If he took hold to help a friend, that friend had reason to rejoice and in victory or defeat he stood manfully by his colors. He never surrendered. He received a few but not many of the honors of political life, but many a man has profited by his work. Perhaps - like many another - he did too much for others to be rewarded himself. _______________
As a lawyer he was always ready and always a worker. He was quick to see a good point and tenacious in holding on He was calm in debate and logical in his reasoning. As an orator he was not as wordy as some, but was especially happy in his allusions, his fine points, and his expression of sentiment. He has left us. Who will fill his place. His funeral will be held at the Town Hall today, Wednesday, June 26th, at 2:30 p.m. The sermon will be by Rev. J. H. More. The obsequies will be under the immediate supervision of Dixon Commandery No. 21 Knights Templar. Buffalo Grove Garrison No. 3, Knights of the Globe, and Polo Post NO. 84, Grand Army of the Republic, of which societies Col. Swift was an honored member, will follow his remains to Fairmount Cemetery, and all old soldiers are invited to turn out with the Post.
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