This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Celia Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Henry Swannell

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois," by J. O. Cunningham, 1905


HENRY SWANNELL was born in London, England, in 1837, a son of John and Sarah (LOUND) SWANNELL, the latter having been born at Norwich, England, in 1803, and the former in Huntingtonshire, in 1800. The father served an apprenticeship of seven years in the dry-goods business, later establishing a shop for himself in Cambridge, where he remained until 1832, then removing to London, where he continued in business until his death in 1844. His son Henry has the indenture of his apprenticeship, drawn in 1815, the special license for the marriage of his parents, in 1831, together with the card and a picture of the dissenting Chapel where they attended divine service, and in which the son was baptized. The grandfather was a member of the Episcopal Church of England, while his parents attended the Scotch Presbyterian Church at London.

Henry Swannell was fifth in a family of five sons and two daughters, namely: William G., deceased; Frederick, now living at Kankakee, Ill.; John, who was killed at Fort Donelson; Alfred, deceased; Henry; Eliza, who resides at Danville, Ill.; and Marie, deceased. The family came to Illinois from London shortly after the father's death, and located at Danville. There Henry worked for two years on various farms, and was then engaged as clerk for his brother Frederick, at St. Louis. In 1857 he entered his brother's drug store at Kankakee, in order to learn the business, and remained there three years. In 1860 he opened a drug store on his own account on the opposite corner, in the old Gazette building, and in 1861 purchased the drug store of Smith Brothers, where Mr. Tucker is now located, continuing the two stores until 1865. In that year he removed the entire stock of both stores to his present location, which is conceded to be the best site in town. In 1898 his son, Dan G., became associated with him in business, and they have built up a large and excellent business.

In 1866 Mr. Swannell was united in marriage to Miss Emily GARDNER, a daughter of Dan G. and May (HODGERS) GARDNER, a native of Ohio. Her parents were natives of Connecticut, and are both deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Swannell are the parents of two children, namely: Mary S. who married J. W. TAYLOR, deceased, and Dan G. In religion, the family are affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church. Socially, Mr. Swannell is a member of the Golf Club. He was elected Alderman on the Democratic ticket for two years, and was a member of the School Board for thirteen years.

Return to Links Page

Return to Main Page