04 January 2011

Sensitive Subject - Insanity in Williams County, Ohio - Swisher

Sensitive Subject - Insanity in Williams County, Ohio - Swisher

By Pamela Pattison Lash 

Bryan Democrat, 6 Oct 1908 p1
Another Insanity Case
John Swisher, 62 years old, living near West Unity, was adjudged insane in probate court last week and committed to the state hospital at Toledo.  The physician’s certificate in the case says that at times Swisher tears up his bed clothes and scattered them about the room and also tries to run away from home.  Mr. Swisher is the fifth insane patient committed to the state hospital from this county within two weeks.

John Andrew Swisher (2 Apr 1846 Crawford Co, OH - 7 May 1909 Toledo, Lucas Co, OH @62Y; buried at West Unity, OH – no cemetery found; single)

Williams Co, OH Probate – John A. Swisher, 2 October 1908, case number #5115 misc; this would be the “sealed” case file of John’s commitment to the Toledo State Hospital.

John Swisher was the son of William Alfred Swisher and wife, Rebecca Knisely.
William Swisher was born on 8 May 1819 Cumberland Co, PA; he died on 7 Dec 1906 Brady Twp, Williams Co, OH (Deaths V3 p127); he married Rebecca Knisely on 6 Oct 1840 Crawford Co, OH.  Rebecca was born on 14 Feb 1820 Tuscarawas Co, OH and died on 10 Aug 1910 Brady Twp, Williams Co, OH.

The couple with their children moved from Crawford Co, OH to Williams Co, OH c1865.

1. Samuel Knisely Swisher 24 July 1844 – 5 Jan 1923 Bryan; mar Susan Kunkle, 15 Oct 1867 – 1st public auctioneer in Williams Co, OH; CW Vet
2. John Andrew (see above)
3. Mary Elizabeth 20 July 1847 – 14 Sept 1909; mar William Clark
4. William Alfred 30 Jan 1850 – 11 Mar 1927; mar Abigale Strawswell 1876 MN
5. Joseph Urey 1 June 1851 – 12 Feb 1914; mar Mary Burns
6. Adolphus Irving 10 May 1853 – 1933 Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, MI; mar Julia Hungerford, 1880 Paola, Miami, KS
7. James Oliver 12 July 1855 – 9 Oct 1921 Archbold, Fulton Co, OH; mar Ida Jane Spencer, 25 Oct 1882 – (see Fern Beatrice Acker write-up)
8. Rose Eugenia 16 June 1860 – 10 July 1942; mar Laurel D. Gotshall, 21 Sept 1880
9. Jackson Theodore 2 June 1863 – 13 July 1940; mar Mary Ann DeGroff, 3 July 1884

1850 Sandusky, Crawford, Ohio; Roll: M432_671; Page: 391B; Image: 150.
h/h 907/921 Swisher, William 30 PA farmer
Rebecca 29 OH
Samuel K 5 OH
John 4 OH
Mary E 2 OH
William A 6/12 OH
Moneysmith, Ann 22 PA

1860 Sandusky, Crawford, Ohio; Roll: M653_951; Page: 348; Image: 352; Family History Library Film: 803951.
h/h 23/23 Swisher, William 48 PA farmer
Rebecca 39 OH
Samuel K 16 OH
John A 14 OH
Mary E 12 OH
Cole, Rebecca 19 OH servant

1870 Brady, Williams, Ohio; Roll: M593_1282; Page: 14B; Image: 32; Family History Library Film: 552781.
h/h 217/222 Swisher, William 50 farmer PA
Rebecca 49 OH
John 23 farm laborer OH
William 20 farm laborer OH
Joseph 18 farm laborer OH
Adolphus 16 OH
Oliver 14 OH
Rosa E 12 OH
Jackson 6 OH

1874  Williams Co, OH Atlas, William Swisher, Jefferson Twp Sec 13

Note I could not find John A. Swisher in either the 1880 or 1900 federal census.

1894 Williams Co, OH Atlas, William Swisher, Jefferson Twp Sec 13

1904 Williams Co, OH Plat Map, William Swisher, Jefferson Twp Sec 13

After establishing a time line for the family, I checked other records and found the following:

John A. Swisher/Sarah A. Barnhart were the parents of a son, John Howard, born 27 Apr 1874, Jefferson Twp, Williams Co, OH (Births V1 p66).  Note Sarah A. Barnhart was married to Thomas A. Moore in Williams Co, OH on 4 Feb 1877 (Marriage V4 p505); she appears to be the daughter of Abraham and Eve McVicker Barnhart, residents of Jefferson Twp according to the 1860 and 1870 federal census records.  There was a Howard Moore with a slightly different birth date, 28  Apr 1875, Williams Co, OH, who died in Toledo, Lucas Co, OH, 4 Apr 1943.  On his death certificate his parents were listed as Thomas Moore and Sarah A. Barnhart.  In 1900 Howard (Apr 1874) lived in Mark Twp, Defiance Co, OH; in 1920 and 1930 he lived in Pike Twp, Fulton Co, OH according to the federal census records. More research needs to be done to determine if this Howard was the son of John A. Swisher.

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