Family History Notebook

Joseph Albert Swindle

Son of George Swindle and Mary Magdalena Witzig, born 24 July 1878 in Monroe, Sevier, Utah

Married Luie Etta Hodges on 11 June 1901 in Monroe, Sevier, Utah


    Norma, born 27 January 1902 in Monroe, Sevier, Utah
    Dan J., born 10 November 1903 in Monroe, Sevier, Utah
    and three other surviving sons.

Died 30 August 1937 in Salt Lake City, Utah and buried 4 September 1937 in Monroe, Sevier, Utah



a)    Ancestral Files


Written by his son Dan J. Swindle, February 1975

Contributed to Family Search by johnston suzanne1 20 February 2014 Reproduced by permission

Joseph Albert Swindle was born 24 July 1878 in Monroe, Utah, the son of George Swindle and Mary Magdalena Witzig. His mother was born in Horgen, Switzerland and on 29 May 1862, she was married to Johann Martin Diggleman, who was a fisherman by trade. On one of his trips at sea, her husband was lost and never heard from again. She was converted to the church and was baptized on 4 March 1867. Her parents had recently died, so with no close family ties left, her great desire was to come to Utah. She didn't have the money to pay the way for all of them to come to Utah, so she sent two of the children with some of the Saints and after she earned some money she came and brought the other child with her. She lived in Manti for a while and then went to Gunnison. There she met George Swindle Jr. and on 4 March 1872, she became the plural wife of George Swindle Jr. Four children were born to them, Annie, Heber, Joseph and Ellen. My grandfather was nineteen years older than my grandmother and had four children by his other wife. His oldest son Charles was the first white child born in Sevier County.

My grandfather died when my father was four years of age. He had only a faint remembrance of his father. My grandmother had the full support of her seven children. She was living on the homestead farm, which she had to do to prove the ownership. My grandfather's first family took the land and the possessions, which my grandmother had homesteaded and her children received nothing.

When my father was seven years of age he went to live with John Ephraim Magleby, who was a prominent man in the Church and had filled several missions. He established the first New Zealand Mission and was president of that mission two different times. He was a man of foresight and owned a lot of land and livestock. He also left many landmarks in the valley and mountains in the area, for which my father was responsible for a big part.

My father lived with the Magleby family and was treated like a son. He was dearly loved by the family and still is, by those who are living today. The older members of the Magleby children used to tell me how happy they were when my father would come home from the sheepherd, where he might have been for some weeks at a time. No matter how late it was in the night when he arrived home, he would go to everyone in the house and give them a love and a kiss, which showed his fondness of them. From the time he was a small boy, he carried on the duties of a grown man. He would stay at the sheep camp for weeks all by himself, and drive teams in the mountains with hardly any roads. When he was eleven years of age in 1889, Mr. Magleby sent him to Cedar City all alone to get a mule, a distance of 125 miles, with very few roads and over mountains, and with all types of people on the road, including Indians and other dangerous characters. He had to travel two days each way and camped out at night, but he got the mule and returned to Monroe. This is an example of how he work and lived, and the responsibilities he had. Mrs. Magleby, or Aunt Jennie as we all called her, was like a mother to him. Some of the children said their parents thought as much or more of him than they did their own children.

Mr. Magleby, being a church man, Bishop and Stake President, often used experiences of my father to describe honesty and responsibility. He told a story once in Stake Conference about the time he went to the sheep herd where my father was, to inspect the sheep and the camp. As they were walking around the sheep, he said, "That one sheep is a little lame Joseph ." My father said, "Yes, I threw a stick at it the other day and hit it on the leg." He said, "Joseph, you wouldn't have had to tell me that." My father said, "No, but it wouldn't have helped the sheep's leg any, would it." Mr. Magleby always praised father for the manner in which he did things. He kept the yards clean and neat and made sure no hay was wasted. He said many times that father was the best judge of livestock he had ever seen. Father lived and worked with the Magleby's until he got married, and for some time after that.

 In those days, they were too busy to go to school very long at a time, but when he got older he managed for a short time to go to Snow College and then to B.Y.U. He grew up in the times when everyone had to learn to do everything themselves, such as butcher and preserve their own meat, and of all the things such as these, it seemed to me he knew how to do it a little better than anyone else. He was a very hard worker from early in the morning until late at night. He was an expert with horses and animals of any kind. He was quiet by nature, but I think he was the most fearless man I ever knew when he thought he was right.

My father and mother were married 11 June 1901 in Monroe, Utah. Five children were born to them, Norma, Dan, Dwight, Brose and Ward. They lived in a red brick home in the west part of town. My first remembrance of anything in my life was of my father and mother. I was only two or three years old when I went every place with my father, to the farms or wherever he went. I was with him in the wagon, on the plough, or riding horses. He always had the finest horses and equipment in town. I was so proud to go with him. He treated me as a man from the time I was an infant. All types of transportation were by horse in those days. When we would stop at some business place or wherever there were people, he expected me to act like a gentleman. It was just a few years ago when I talked to an old friend from Monroe, who said he remembered me as a s mall boy, always with my father, and that I did act like a gentleman and how proud my father was of me. I loved to be around older men, friends of my father. When I was of school age, I could hardly wait to get home from school to be with my father and do things with him.

When I was six years old, we moved to Grass Valley, Piute County, south of Koosharem. We went to a one room school house, one teacher, eight grades and one stove in the middle of the room. It was very cold then, sometimes thirty degrees below zero. In the winter, my sister Norma and myself would ride a horse to school, which was four miles from our home. My mother would bundle us up in warm clothing and cover our faces with scarves. We didn't consider it a hardship, but just a normal way of life. Back at the ranch at night we had a lot of cows to milk and cattle to feed, which all seemed to be fun, even as cold as it was. Everyone had their heart in it and we worked together. In the wintertime, at night, we had to have a fire in the stove in each room in order to keep warm. My father would read to us each evening and we looked forward to that. I had poor health at that time because of food allergies and nothing was known about diets or allergies. I could not tolerate milk, but tea agreed with me; also beef steaks and bottled fruit. Many times my father would get coals in the cook stove and go out to the Meat House with a lantern and saw off steaks and cook over the coals. This seemed the most wonderful thing to me. My allergies developed into malnutrition and I had Rickets and St. Vitas Dance for years. The doctor used to predict that I would not live long, but due to the tender care of my father and mother, I survived these allergies.

In the spring, summer, and fall, everything was beautiful. It was called Grass Valley because of the abundance of grass, beautiful meadows and flowers. There were so many birds of every variety. I was the oldest son and the only one who could go with my father. In the summertime, we put up a lot of hay and would run the range cattle on the mountain, which was one of my jobs, even as a small boy, to take them up there and look after them. I loved this very much and it was one of the most enjoyable times of my life. My father always saw to it that I took care of all of our equipment. He always said there was a right place for everything and he expected it to be there, a trait, which has pretty much stayed with me all of my life.

When I was six years of age, my father gave me a young calf and told me if I would keep this calf, it would increase in value and in the number of cattle. In a few years, I had approximately thirty head of cattle from the one calf. Had it gone on that way, it would have put my father out of business because he was selling part of his cattle to support the family and the business. He talked it over with me and explained it to me, saying, "Maybe we will have to make an adjustment some way ." He suggested that eventually I would want an education so we would put my cattle in with his and I would have an interest in the business. In this way I would know what we were earning and what our expenses were. He suggested that I have access to his checking account and as long as I used good judgment and understanding all of the circumstances, we would continue on this way, which we did until the time I finished my dental education. I remember him saying that I had done a good job. When he was on his death bed, he held my hand, praised my wife, and said the money he spent on me was the best money he had ever spent in his life. I have always been grateful to him for being such a wonderful father and teacher. He and my mother were generous to a fault. I can never remember of any of the family asking them to do something for us or help us when they said they were too tired or didn't have time.

We lived in Koosharem for about five years and then moved back to Monroe. He bought more farming land and had some cattle and sheep. Our home was always open to any of our friends or family in need. My Uncle Arthur Hodges, my mother's brother, related the summer that he and his wife were married. They had no place to live, so my father invited them to come and live in part of our house, which they did for about two years. He said there was never a time when they weren't made to feel welcome and my father would not accept one penny for rent.

My father's brother Charles lost his wife, leaving him with two children. He then remarried and his wife had children of her own, so sometimes when things weren't going good for them, his son Emil would come and say, "Uncle Joe can I come stay with you?" He did this many times, and in fact, he seemed like a brother to me. There were other members in the family under similar circumstances who did the same thing. My father's sister Mary Swain, had a daughter Vera who had one son and her husband died when the son was just a baby. She had to work to support herself and child so she was invited to come live with us. My father said, "Where there is heart room there is house room." She lived with us for about two years.

There was just one other church in Monroe besides the L.D.S. Church and that was the Presbyterian Church run by two Lowry sisters. They had very few members and very little to live on. They had two Jersey cows and a garden, which was almost their full support. In the summer, my father would say, "Take a load of hay to the Lowry sisters." In the fall when we harvested potatoes, he would have us take some sacks of potatoes to them.

My father believed in people working hard, but he also believed that recreation was necessary. He would tell us to get up early and get our work done and then we would have time for play and recreation, which we would enjoy more if we had done our work first. He was a very good farmer and always raised good crops. Later in his life, he was in the dairy business and improved the stock with breeding until he had one of the finest herds of dairy cows in the area. He was always a hard worker, working from early morning until late at night.

On 23 May 1923, my father and mother went to the Manti Temple and received their endowments and were sealed for time and eternity. The family went with them and we were all sealed to our mother and father. Soon after that, my father was called into the Superintendency of the South Ward Sunday School and my mother was made a First Counselor in the Relief Society. We always had family prayers in the morning. Father always showed a lot of love and affection for his family. Norma was the first married and had five children and he was so proud of them and showed much love for them. The next grandchild was Suzanne, who was born the spring before he died. He was at our home, he held her in his arms and was so happy that we had a baby.

Father became ill very suddenly and was operated on in the Richfield Hospital. They found he had a ruptured appendix and peritonitis had set in. At that time there was nothing to combat infections. He recovered from the operation, but the incision didn't heal and they brought him to Salt Lake after a few months and he was operated on again, but the infection was so great and he died on 30 August 1937, at fifty eight years of age.