For you Swain buffs, here's a tidbit from the March 29, 1895 Purcell Register:
"Ex-United States Marshal J.J. Dickerson of Paris, Texas, has received notice that his claim against the government for $11,000 has at last been approved, after being unpaid for several years. This will be good news for Deputy Marshal Matt Cook and Mrs. John Swain, as the claim gives Mrs. Swain between $900 and $1000, and Matt Cook between $400 and $500.
There is a picture of Swain and Cook standing together with their weapons in my new book on Bass Reeves, Black Gun, Silver Star.
I just discovered the photo of John Swain and
Matt Cook in the February 2007 Wild West and
wondered if there is more information out there
on John as he might be a half-brother to my
great-grandfather, William Riley Swaim(or Swain)
as it was spelled both ways. William went to the
Indian Territory sometime during the 1890's and
owned at least 1 general store in the area of
Hanson or Red Lands and was a "constable" at
times as our family has the old store ledgers
and some receipts.
William Swaim had a half-brother, John (no middle name or initial available) born in 1863
and we have no information of a wife or children.
I just happen to be working on Swain now. The best information available has him being born in 1863 in Missouri. That is based on his obit found in the Purcell Register for January 11, 1895. He was 33 years, 28 days of age when he died. He was married twice, no known issue from either marriage. If you're interested I will email you what I have worked up on him.
Yes, I'm interested and would appreciate any
info that you are willing to share that might
help us determine if he is a link to our family.
The OK Historical Society used to have on display a statue of Swain[standing about 4 feet tall] that was originally in place on his grave and was commissioned by his widow. It was removed by his widow and donated to OHS for fear that it would be vandalized. While OHS was at its old location, they had the statue on display in a hallway. I have not seen it at the new location. Swain's holster and gunbelt are on display in a small museum in Anadarko. I believe these photos are posted on this website under "announcements"
On the Trail
Secretary, Oklahombres Inc.
The last I knew of the 600 lb mortuary statue is that was being used as a part of a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit honoring the U. S. Marshal's service. Amusingly, on August 16, 1988, it was placed on a U. S. Marshal's Service prisoner plane and escorted a group of Federal prisoners to the nation's capitol.
I believe the statue is currently with the items to be displayed with the U.S. Marshals Museum. It may be on loan to the U.S. Marshals. When the museum was in Laramie, I believe I remember the statue being part of the exhibit. As everyone knows the new museum will be in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It is my best assumption the statue will be part of the exhibit.
I thought Tower would enjoy this item from the New York Times, July 7, 1889:
Telegraphic Brevities. Telegraphic Brevities
"Deputy Marshal Swayne [Swain] arrived in Fort Smith, Ark., from Chickasaw Mountains, with fourteen prisoners, two dead men, and one nearly dead. One of the dead men was Cornelius Walker. He was approached by the officer near Pauls Valley in the Chickasaw Nation, but resisted and shot one of the posse named Williams who died next day. Swayne at one returned the fire, shooting Walker thirteen times before he fell dead."
John Swain is one of the deputies that more research should be done on. I feel he was one of the bravest deputies of the I.T. It is interesting to see he was taking prisoners to Fort Smith. I only thought he had a relationship with the Paris court.
Thanks Art, I'm within weeks of completing my biography of Swain, book form. I've discovered Swain had a lot of stories told on him which were half true, sorta true, and down right wrong. It's been a fascinating journey...
Hello Tower - I see that this post is seven years old, but you mentioned you were within weeks of completing your biography on Swain. Is it available? I would like to buy a copy.
It's being reviewed by the OU Press at the moment. Hopefully, they'll accept it, but with the economy the way it is, who knows?
Tower, if OU has problems with the manuscript. You should check out Eakin Press in Waco, Texas.
The statue of John Swain is in the collections of the Oklahoma Museum of History at the Oklahoma History Center. It has been since we moved it from the Wiley post Building in '06.
Finest statue I have ever seen of a deputy U.S. marshal that was privately financed. Look forward to Tower's book.
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