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Researched and contributed by Ron Kurz

The Ethel May Kurz Swaim Family

Ethel May Kurz Swaim 

John Burl Swaim
Ron Kurz collection

The following family history was written by Jacob & Rosa Kurz’s daughter Ethel Swaim in 1980
and is posted in the original form with her children’s permission.
It was first published by the
Comanche County Historical Society
410 South Baltimore, Box 177

Swaim, John and Ethel

John Swaim was born in Green County, Iowa.  His family left Iowa and went to Wisconsin where they had a farm.  They were originally from Ireland they left their homeland because of the potato famine.  His mother Mattie and his aunt Hattie Dickey encouraged them to come to Kansas, as the Dickeys had bought a farm in Mead County.  They came to farm the English land which Gene Gates farms now.  They went on a vacation to Missouri and purchased a farm in Missouri and sold their farm in Comanche County.  At that time the family moved to Missouri.

John finished his high school in Seneca, Missouri and went to Meade County to earn money to go on to college.  At this time the depression was in full swing and he worked on the Bob Maple ranch for some years and never went on to college.  At this time he came to Comanche County and went to work for Jake Kurz and continued to live there the rest of his life except for 6 months that he moved to Texas.

He married Ethel May Kurz.  To this marriage were born two boys John and Robert and one daughter Faren.  He started his ranch with a herd of Hereford cattle and changed to Angus, establishing the first Angus cowherd in Comanche County.

Ethel still resides at the Pioneer Lodge in Coldwater. John lives with his wife and three children in Pittsburg, Texas Robert is living is the Cushing, Oklahoma area.  Faren is married to Roger Baldwin and they live with their three children in Wichita, KS. Ethel Swaim

 Swaim Family Collection
Ethel, Rosa and Jacob Kurz

The John and Ethel Kurz Swaim Family

Swaim Family Collection

At the John & Ethel Swaim Angus Ranch

John Swaim

Prize Registered Angus Bull at the Swaim Ranch

Swaim Family Collection

Obituary of John Burl Swaim

John Burl Swaim, 61 died Monday at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita after surgery.

John was born in Green County, Iowa on March 18, 1910, Son of John A. and Mattie Swaim.  He is survived by three brothers, Richard, Galena, KS, Merril, Tulsa, OK, and Raymond of Ontario, CA, sister Grace, Miami, OK.  He was preceded by his mother, and father, one brother and one sister.

John came to Coldwater, KS in August of 1916 and went to Sunnyvale.  In 1922 the family moved to Seneca, MO, where John graduated from high school in 1927.  After graduating from high school he came back to Kansas to work on a ranch.  This remained his life interest.  His great love was cattle.

On July 30, 1939, he was united in marriage with Ethel May Kurz.  Three children were born to this marriage John Jacob, Dekalk, TX, Robert Dean, Midland, TX and Faren Ann Bennett, Wichita, KS and four grand children Michelle, Mitchelle, Michaelyn Bennett and Sheryl Kay Swaim.  He especially enjoyed his grandchildren.

John was active in church, a member of the Presbyterian Church and a member of the trustees and elders.  He was proud of helping remodel the church.

He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Wichita Consistory, and Midian Shrine.

In April of this year the Swaims moved to Mount Pleasant, Texas.

Obituary of Ethel M. Swaim

Ethel May Swaim, 69, died May 19, 1982 at Comanche County Hospital, Coldwater, after a long illness.

Born Ethel Kurz May 10, 1913 at Coldwater, she married John Swaim July 29, 1939 at Coldwater.  He died Aug. 9, 1971.  She was a lifetime resident of Coldwater and a member of the Presbyterian Church of Coldwater.

Survivors include sons, John Jacob, Pittsburg, Texas and Robert, Oklahoma City; daughter, Faren Bennett of Wichita, sister, Rosa Bannick, Coldwater; six grandchildren.

Funeral was at 10 a.m. Friday, May 21, 1982 at Hatfield-Prusa Funeral Home, Coldwater with Rev. Ray Meester officiating.  Burial was in Crown Hill Cemetery, Coldwater.

Crown Hill Cemetery, Coldwater, KS
Photo by Jerry Eagan

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