HARDY M. SWIFT, M. D.—
The present mayor of Mount Vernon is one of those rare beings who find it possible to combine the exacting duties of a busy representative of the medical profession with those of an active participant in the administration of municipal affairs. Previous to his election to the mayoralty, Dr. Swift was prominent in every good work calculated to contribute to the betterment of civic conditions, and in his profession, in his interests in financial and real estate enterprises of the city and county, and his concern for the public welfare he is regarded as one of the first men of his city.
Dr. Hardy M. Swift was born August 29, 1871, in Jefferson county. He is the son of James M. Swift, a farmer and merchant of Southern Illinois, and the grandson of Alfred Swift, who was a native of Tennessee and one of the pioneer settlers of Jefferson county. James M. Swift was reared in Mount Vernon and at one time had a mercantile business at Ham's Grove, which later was destroyed by fire, and in his young manhood became engaged in the mercantile business on his own responsibility in Mount Vernon, where he continued for several years, and later was associated with a number of prominent firms in this city. He is a veteran of the Civil war, having seen active service through the greater part of the rebellion as a member of Company A, Twentieth Illinois Infantry, being transferred later to the One Hundred and Tenth, after the Twentieth Illinois has been practically annihilated at Lookout Mountain and Chickamauga. He participated in the battle of Missionary Ridge and also of Chattanooga, and took part in the Atlanta campaign and was in the “March to the Sea” with General Sherman, being mustered out at the close of the conflict at Washington. He married Drucilla Jane Maxey, the daughter of Charles Hardy Maxey, a prominent pioneer settler of Mount Vernon. Charles Hardy Maxey was born in Tennessee and moved into Jefferson county in the spring of 1818. He was always a prominent figure in Jefferson county, and particularly in Mount Vernon, in which place he erected the first building on what is now the public square. His sturdy, pioneer life in Jefferson county was filled with incidents of peculiar interest.
Of the union of James M. Swift with Drucilla Jane Maxey, nine children were born, eight of whom are now living. They are: Alfred Ettis, engaged in the real estate business at Brookings, South Dakota; Hardy M., mayor of Mount Vernon and a practicing physician at that place; Mrs. Lulu Gilmore, living in Mount Vernon; Mrs. Carrie Estella Westcott, resident of Mount Vernon; Bertie May, wife of Fred E. Percy; Sarah C., the wife of Hall Anderson, a telegraph operator of McGhee Arkansas; William W., superintendent of streets in Mount Vernon; and Alva R., who is engaged in farming in Jefferson county. The father is still living in Mount Vernon, aged sixty-eight years. Hardy M. Swift as a boy and youth was a regular attendant at the
public schools of Mount Vernon. He was graduated from the high school of his home town and entered Ewing College. Finishing his course in that place, he entered the Physio-Medical College of Chicago in 1891, passing two years in close and careful application to his studies there. In 1893 he entered Physio-Medical College in Indianapolis, graduating therefrom in the spring of 1895, with his well earned degree of M. D. He began practice immediately, choosing Opdyke, Illinois, as a point of location, and he remained there in active practice for eleven years, removing in 1906 to Mount Vernon, taking the superintendency of the Mount Vernon hospital, which he held until 1908, at which time the hospital was destroyed by fire. Dr. Swift sold his interest in the institution and withdrew from the superintendency, becoming absorbed in private practice immediately. Since that time he has conducted an ever-growing general practice, and his fortunes have steadily mounted higher with the flight of time. Dr. Swift is a holder of considerable real estate in Mount Vernon, which includes nine pieces of fine residence property. He recently traded a splendid farm of one hundred and sixty acres for a prosperous grocery business in Mount Vernon, and his realty holdings are steadily increasing. Dr. Swift is also a stock-holder in the Ham National Bank, as well as a member of the directorate of that institution. Always interested in the correct administration of civic affairs, he has been active in municipal-circles, although he never was committed to any public office until the spring of 1911, when he was elected mayor of Mount Vernon on the Democratic ticket, which office he is filling creditably to himself and his constituents. In his fraternal affiliations he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Mount Vernon, the Modern Woodmen and the Court of Honor. As an aid to his professional interests, the Doctor is a member of the Jefferson County, Southern Illinois, American and Illinois State Medical Associations, being prominent and active in all of them.
In 1894 Dr. Swift married Mary A. Moss, the daughter of T. C. Moss, of Mount Vernon. Two children have been born to them; Harry Monroe, a student in the Mount Vernon High School, and Thelma Blanche.