BIOGRAPHY OF WILLIAM FREDERICK SCHWIND
1865 - 1940
Nebraska State Historical Society
The picture at left is believed to be
William F. Schwind, a native of Missouri, was born in 1865. His wife,
Laura, also a Missouri-native, was a school friend of Mary (Baird)
Bryan. According to family history, the Schwinds accompanied the Bryans
to Nebraska in the late 1880s and both families settled in Lincoln.
Upon their arrival in Lincoln, W.F. Schwind undertook the study of law
in Bryan's law office. When Bryan entered congress in 1891, Schwind was
appointed as his secretary. Schwind also assisted in Bryan's campaign
for the presidency in 1896.
During the Spanish-American War, Schwind served under Col. W. J. Bryan
in the 3rd Nebraska Regiment. Commissioned as captain, Schwind served as
quartermaster to the regiment. He resigned his commission on the same
day that Bryan quit military service.
During the next several years, Schwind concentrated on his law practice
in Lincoln. Around 1913, however, he became heavily involved in
colonization efforts in Texas. With John G. Maher, he organized the
Valley Fruit Farm and Garden Company. Through the efforts of this
company and Schwind, some 2750 Nebraskans were resettled on 60,000 acres
of land at Francitas, Texas. Schwind was personally responsible for
relocating hundreds of Nebraska farmers on Texas land that had
previously been used as cattle range.
Bryan, meanwhile, ascended to the position of Secretary of State in
1913. After three different men served as his private secretary during a
two year period, Bryan appointed his old friend Schwind to that position
on May 7, 1915. At the time of his appointment, Schwind had been serving
as the president of the lst State Bank of Francitas.
Schwind's tenure as Bryan's private secretary did not last long--he was
appointed as secretary on a temporary basis, until the permanent
appointee could accept the position a few months later--and Schwind
afterwards returned to Texas to look after his business interests.
However, he and his wife, Laura, remained among the closet friends of
the Bryans. The affection continued among their children as well as
Helen Schwind and Grace Bryan were lifelong friends and correspondents.
Perhaps the degree of the Bryans' special esteem for the Schwinds was
expressed best when Bryan wrote to W.F. Schwind in a July 3, 1925
letter, "It is not often that we find a family where Mrs. Bryan thinks
as much of the wife as I do of the husband." Laura Schwind died in
Francitas, Texas in 1939. William F. Schwind died there in 1940.
[Note: According to Mr. Schwind's obituary included
below, he died in Nacogdoches, Texas.]
The picture above is also believed to be Mr. Schwind in
his Spanish American War uniform.
OBITUARY OF W. F. SCHWIND FORMER C. W. C. STUDENT
William Frederick Schwind passed away at the Memorial Hospital,
Nacogdoches, Texas, early Saturday morning, October 25, 1940. He had
been seriously ill less than three weeks, first in his hotel room in
Houston, then his daughter, Faith, took him to her home at Nacogdoches.
When his case was diagnosed as acute myologenous leukemia, he was
removed to the hospital, where his daughter, Faith, and niece, Mary
Young, were at his bedside. He was conscious up to a few hours before
Mr. Schwind was born at Canton, Mo., October 1, 1864, one of a family of
eight children, son of a German Methodist minister. His father was born
at Baden, Germany, and his mother at Basel, Switzerland. He was
graduated at Central Wesleyan College at Warrenton in the class if 1884
with a B. S. degree and received an M. S. degree in 1887. He was a
member of the first class in law graduating from the University of
Nebraska in 1889. Thomas S. Allen, a lawyer still practicing in Lincoln,
brother-in-law of the late W. J. Bryan, was also a member of this class.
In January, 1889, after establishing a home in Lincoln, Will came back
to Missouri for his bride, Laura E. Strother, her mother and niece, Mary
Young. The Dryden, Parker and Strother families lived in the early days
on the hill north of the Warrenton depot. He and his family resided in
Lincoln until 1913, when Mr. Schwind founded the town of Francitas,
Texas, and built his home on Lakeland Farm, where he lived until his
Funeral services for Mr. Schwind were held at the Branch Patton Funeral
Home at Nacogdoches, Texas, Saturday afternoon, October 26, Faith's
pastor, Brother Crawford of the First Presbyterian Church, officiating.
His daughter, Faith and husband, J. H. Summers, accompanied the body to
Washington, D. C., where they were met by his eldest daughter, Helen.
Interment took place in Arlington National Cemetery at 10 a.m., October
29, with full military honors. He was laid to rest beside his wife, who
preceded him in death January 8, 1939.
There was a close friendship between the Bryan and Schwind families
which continued until the passing of Mr. and Mrs. Bryan. Mr. Schwind
served as Mr. Bryan's secretary in the campaigns of 1896 and 1900, as
quartermaster in the Third Nebraska Regiment of which Mr. Bryan was
colonel in the Spanish-American War. He was also secretary of Mr. Bryan
at the time he resigned his position as Secretary of State under
President Wilson. Mr. Schwind was an active, energetic and optimistic
citizen, always working for the good of his community. He was an ardent
reader and a student of politics. He had a wonderful gift of
story-telling and always had an appropriate story for every occasion.
Mr. Schwind was survived by two daughters, Mrs. Allen P. Cowgill, 519
Allen Street, Syracuse, New York and Mrs. J. H. Summers, 815 Raguet
Street, Nacogdoches, Texas; three grandchildren, Mary Allen, Louise and
William Cowgill, also of Syracuse; one niece, Miss Mary C. Young, 5906
Grand Avenue, Kansas City, Mo.; three brothers, Dr. W. E. Schwind,
Evanston, Ill., Milton Schwind, Kansas City, Mo., and John Schwind, St.
Louis, Mo.; also two sisters, Mrs. Thomas J. Hudson and Mrs. Joseph of
St. Louis, Mo.--Contributed
Warrenton (Mo.) Banner, November 15, 1940
Marker photo courtesy of
W. F. Schwind
News came to Palacios Saturday of the death of Wm. F.
Schwind at the home of his daughter, in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Mr. Schwind was known throughout this section as one
of the promoters and founders of Francitas in Jackson county, in 1910,
and has been actively engaged in business in South Texas ever since.
No particulars as to cause of his death has reached
us, neither when and where funeral services were held.
He is survived by two daughters and several grand
Palacios Beacon, October 31, 1940
Additional Biographical Information From
The Francitas Bee
Mrs. Laura Schwind Dies At
Mrs. Laura E. Schwind, age 77 years,
eight months, and five days, passed away at the family
residence in Francitas at 1:30 Sunday morning after an
illness of some duration.
She is survived by her husband, two
daughters, Mrs. Allen P. Corogill [Cowgill] , Syracuse, N.
Y., and Mrs. J. H. Summers, Nacogdoches; three
grandchildren, Mary Ellen, Louise, and William of Syracuse;
a niece, Miss Mary C. Young, Kansas City, Mo. one brother,
Henry M. Strother, Bowling Green, Mo.
Mrs. Schwind was a member of the
Presbyterian Church. Funeral services were held this
afternoon at 3 o’clock at Taylor Brothers’ Chapel, with the
Rev. R. E. Connell of the First Methodist Church
The body will be shipped to Washington,
D. C., for burial in Arlington Cemetery. Taylor Bros. were
in charge of the funeral arrangements.
The Daily Tribune, January 9, 1939
Mrs. Will Schwind Dead
Former Lincoln Woman Close Friend Mrs. W. J. Bryan
was received here Monday night of the death of Mrs. Will F. Schwind,
about 68, formerly of Lincoln, at Francitas, Tex., Sunday. She had been
in ill health for several years.
Schwind was a classmate and close friend of Mrs. William Jennings Bryan,
and Mr. Schwind, who survives, assisted Mr. Bryan following his first
presidential campaign. He was a graduate of the law college and
practiced here until 1910 when the family removed to Texas.
Surviving, in addition to the husband, are three daughters, Mrs. J. H.
Summers, Nacogdoches, Tex., Mrs. Allen Cowgill, Syracuse, N. Y., and
Mary Young, Kansas City, adopted. Funeral services will be held at
Arlington national cemetery, Washington on Thursday.
Nebraska State Journal, January 10, 1939
Laura E. Schwind
Mrs. Laura F. Schwind, age 77
years, 8 months and 5 days, expired Jan. 8th. Funeral services were
conducted by Rev. R. E. Connell under the direction of Taylor Brothers.
The following survive: her
husband, Wm. F. Schwind; two daughters, Mrs. Allen P. Cowgill of
Syracuse, N. Y., and Mrs. J. H. Summers of Nacogdoches; three
grandchildren, Mary Ellen, Louise and William Cowgill of Syracuse, N.
Y., one brother, Henry M. Strothers, of Bowling Green, Mo., and one
niece, Mary c. Young, of Kansas City.
The Herald extends
The Edna Herald, January 12, 1939
Mrs. Laura Schwind Dies at Francitas
Mrs. Laura E. Schwind, age 77 years, eight months, and five days, passed
away at the family residence in Francitas at 1:30 Sunday morning after
an illness of some duration.
Mrs. Schwind moved from Lincoln, Nebraska, with her family to Francitas
when that town was first started. She was a member of the Presbyterian
Church, but took an active part in all church activities.
She lent a willing hand, along with her loyal support to all civic work
and was deeply interested in everything that was being done for the
betterment of the community in which she resided. She has been an
invalid for a number of years and her many friends will be glad to know
she is at rest.
Following funeral services Monday at 3 o'clock at Taylor Brother's
Chapel in Bay City, conducted by Rev. R. E. Connell, of the Methodist
Church, the remains were shipped to Washington, D. C., for burial at
Mrs. Schwind is survived by her husband, Wm. F. Schwind, two daughters,
Mrs. Allen Cowgill, of Syracuse, N. Y., and Mrs. J. H. Summers of
Nacogdoches; three grandchildren, Mary Ellen, Louise and William Cowgill
of Syracuse, N. Y., a niece, Miss Mary Young, of Kansas City, Mo.., and
one brother, Henry M. Strother, of Bowling Green, Mo. To these we extend
our heartfelt sympathy.
Palacios Beacon, January 12, 1939
and Mrs. W. F. Schwind of Francitas, Texas, announce the
engagement of their daughter, Helen Mary, to Lieut. Allen
Parker Cowgill of Company E, corps of engineers, U. S. A.
Both the prospective bride and groom are well known in
Lincoln. Miss Schwind was born in Lincoln and lived here
until her parents removed to Francitas. She graduated from
the Lincoln school in 1908, after which she attended the
Nebraska university two years. She is a member of the Delta
Delta Delta sorority. She later attended Glen Eden, a
finishing school at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., from which she was
graduated in 1912. Lieut. Cowgill is the older son of Dr.
and Mrs. Warwick M. Cowgill of this city. He graduated from
the high school in 1907, after which he attended the
Nebraska university two years. He was just entering upon his
junior year when he received an appointment to West Point
from Senator E. J. Burkett. He was graduated from West Point
in June, 1914. The fourth of last March he was promoted to
the rank of first lieutenant. He is now stationed at Fort
Crockett, at Galveston, Texas, in company E. U. S.
engineering corps, under Captain U. S. Grant III. He has
been ordered to the Washington barracks at Washington, D.
C., which is a special school for officers of the
engineering corps. He will report at Washington September
The wedding date has been set for
September 1. The event will take place at the bride's home
Lincoln Sunday Star,
Lincoln Nebraska, July 25, 1915
Cowgill - Schwind Wedding
Charming environments, with military
appointments adding a special dignity, characterized the
celebration of the nuptials of Miss Helen Mary Schwind of
Francitas, Tex. and Lieut. Allen Parker Cowgill of Fort
Crocket, U. S. A., September 1, at Lakeland Farm, the home
of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. William F. Schwind.
The marriage service of the Episcopal
Faith was impressively read by Chaplain Fleming of the
Fourth U. S. Infantry, Fort Crocket, Galveston. The wedding
ring was an army ring which had been worn by the groom's
grandmother, Mrs. William B. Parker, the wife of Col.
Parker, known in her girlhood days as the beautiful Mary
Allen of St. Louis, who was married in 1859. The groom was
given the family name of Allen Parker, and as a coincidence,
the bride's name is Mary. The only attendant was the bride's
sister, Miss Faith Schwind.
The bride wore a white French gown, and
her only adornment was a pendant of pearls and diamonds set
in platinum, the gift of the groom. She carried her mother's
wedding handkerchief of point lace. The bridal bouquet was a
shower of white roses. Miss Faith Schwind wore a white
lingerie gown and carried pink roses. The bridegroom wore
his military uniform. Miss Ella Morrison of Lincoln
played the Mendelssohn "Wedding March."
The hour of the wedding was high noon,
and as the time arrived for the ceremony, the bride
descended the stairway, preceded by her sister. She was met
at the foot of the stairs by her father and passed through
an aisle of white ribbons held in place by six little boys,
members of the bride's Sunday School Class.
The Schwind home was elaborately
decorated, and transformed into a veritable flower garden
for the event. The walls and ceiling of the reception room,
hall and stairway were embowered with southern smilax. The
bridal party met before an archway of greenery on either
side of which stood tall pedestals surmounted with vases
overflowing with Shasta daisies.
Pink and white was the color motif for
elaboration in the dining room. The wedding cake was in the
center of the table, ornamented with a miniature bride.
Bouquets of pink roses ornamented the table and buffet and
were placed throughout the room. The bride cut the wedding
cake with the groom's sabre. Miss Mary Young of Kansas City,
cousin of the bride, drew the piece with the ring, Nile
Hemple received the thimble, Byron Williamson of Prairie
View ranch drew the wishbone. Mrs. Vernon Phelps, formerly
Miss Beth Boynton of Lincoln, received the dime. An
elegantly appointed wedding breakfast followed the ceremony.
The following ladies assisted in the
dining room, Mrs. Ralph Young, Mrs. Bowers, Mrs. Ellis.
Those doing the honors in the living room were Mrs. George
J. Phelps and the Misses Williamson of Prairie View Ranch.
Lieut. Floyd Randall Walz, who was Lieut.
Cowgill's roommate four years at West Point, was to have
been best man at the wedding, but was on duty at stormswept
Galveston and could not be present.
The bride is well known in Lincoln,
having spent her girlhood days here. Before she went to an
eastern school, she attended the Nebraska university and is
a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. The groom is the
older son of Dr. and Mrs.. Warrick M. Cowgill of this city.
He attended the Nebraska university two years before he went
to West Point. He and his bride will make their home in
Washington, D. C., where Lieut. Cowgill will enter the U. S.
school for army engineers at Washington barracks. The young
couple were remembered with a large number of wedding gifts
representing wealth and great beauty.
After the wedding, Lieut. and Mrs.
Cowgill left at 3 o'clock for Galveston, where they will
remain at the Hotel Galvez until September 18, when they
will sail for New York on the steamer San Jacinto.
After spending a few days there they will go on to
Washington. The bride's going away gown was a midnight blue
silk jacket suit with which she wore a chic black velvet hat
faced with white.
Just before starting on the wedding
journey, Mrs. Cowgill threw her bouquet which was caught by
Miss Belle Williamson.
Lincoln Sunday Star, September 5,
Maj. Allen Cowgill Dies, Retired Army Officer
Maj. Allen Parker Cowgill, 64, U. S. Army
Retired, died suddenly at his home, 519 Allen St., early
yesterday morning of cerebral hemorrhage.
He was born in
Paducah, Ky., and moved to Lincoln, Neb., where he attended
the University of Nebraska. He was appointed to the United
States Military Academy from Nebraska and was graduated 11th
in his class of 1914. He celebrated his 40th reunion last
He served on the
Mexican border at West Point in the department of
mathematics, and in the Philippines in charge of the
department engineers' office as an officer in the Corps of
He was graduated from
the Engineer School, Washington, D. C., and was retired as a
major for disability in the line of duty as a result of
wartime service and Philippine duty.
Maj. Cowgill served as
a councilman and superintendent of streets and public
improvements in Lincoln, Neb. He returned to the University
of Nebraska and was awarded the degree of master of arts in
mathematics and astronomy in 1930 and doctor of philosophy
in mathematics and civil engineering in 1935.
He was a member of
Sigma Xi Society, Pi Mu Epsilon and the American
Mathematical Society. He was head of the department of
mathematics at Indiana Technical College, Fort Wayne, Ind.,
from 1935 to 1938, coming to Syracuse where he taught
engineering mathematics in the College of Applied Science at
Syracuse University from 1938 to 1947.
He is survived by his
wife, Helen M. Cowgill; two daughters, Mary Allen Cowgill,
Oneonta, and Louise Cowgill, Cooperstown; a son, William P.
Cowgill, Pittsford, and four grandchildren, Jody, William
Parker Jr., Molly and Peter, all of Pittsford; a brother,
William W. Cowgill, of Fairfield, Conn., and Washington, D.
He was a member of St.
Paul's Episcopal Church, the Technology Club of Syracuse,
the Association of Gradates of USMA, Army Athletic
Association, Constitution Island Association.
Services will be held
in the Old Cadet Chapel at the United States Military
Academy at West Point Tuesday morning. Interment will be in
West Point Post Cemetery.
Syracuse, New York, February 28, 1955
Allen Parker Cowgill
Husband of Helen Schwind Cowgill
Photo courtesy of
Cowgill Find A Grave Page
WWI Honor Roll, Lancaster Co., Nebraska
Faith Schwind Summers and Jesse Hubbard Summers
Sunset Memorial Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County, Texas
Marker photos courtesy of Deb in Angelina
A telegram from Lieutenant Cowgill, received by his parents, Dr. and
Mrs. Warwick M. Cowgill, at midnight Thursday, read, "All is well, but
all clothes and all personal effect are lost." The said to be the first
telegram of a private nature to reach Lincoln from Galveston. Lieutenant
Cowgill had equipment with him worth from $1,500 to $2000, including a
valuable horse, all the books collected during a four years' course at
West Point and new uniforms, civilian clothes and other personal effects
purchased recently, preparatory to his marriage on September 1. He had
been stationed for the last month at Fort Crockett, which was situated
only about one hundred yards from the Galveston sea wall.
John G. Maher sent a telegram to inquire into the safety of William F.
Schwind and family who are living at Francitas, Tex. Mr. Maher, however,
believes that there was little danger of any serious storm at Francitas
as the place is located some sixty miles from the coast and about 120
miles from Houston. Miss Ella Morrison of this city is also at the
Schwind home having gone there to attend the wedding of Miss Helen
Schwind and Lieutenant Cowgill which will take place September 1.
Lincoln Evening Journal, August 20, 1915
Louise Reynolds Strother
Seeing we have no correspondent from Francitas, we wish to state that
death has visited our quiet town. The writer [W. C. H. Marshall] was
called upon Sunday, Sept. 9, to conduct a short Scriptural lesson and
prayer at the home of our honorable W. F. Schwind, as Mrs. Schwind's
mother had passed to the great beyond.
Mary Louise Reynolds was born in Newfield, New York, December 10, 1834.
From early youth she has been a member of the Presbyterian Church. She
came with her parents to Illinois in the early days, and there she was
Churchill Strother in 1851. Surviving are one son and one
daughter, H. M. Strother of Bowling Green, Mo., and Mrs. W. F. Schwind
of Francitas. There are also five grandchildren and eleven
great-grandchildren. She was known to everyone as "Grandma Strother;" a
fine Christian woman and a patient sufferer for many years, and was
ready to go home to rest. The remains were taken to the old home in
Warrenton, Missouri, and placed beside those of husband and children.
Palacios Beacon, September 21, 1923