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 Seventh Generation American SWOPE : James Donald SWOPE  "Don" "JD"  [Dewey to friends and family in adulthood]

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1 James Donald  "Donald"  or ÓDeweyÓ SWOPE 1, 3

Birth: 18 Jul 1881, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania1, 4
Death: 23 Mar 1950, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania4
Burial: Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania
Father: Hon Samuel McCurdy SWOPE (1850-1931)1, 3
Mother: Anna Kate (Annie)   žNanaÓ STAIR (1856-1932)
Census Data for 1910, showing him in the home of his father
Occupation: Attorney in practise with his father.
Alias: Went by Donald; A friend during playful argument once suggested he "thought he was Admiral Dewey" and the nickname Dewey stuck
Notes on James Donald Swope:
James Donald [JD] Swope was born to the Attorney Samuel McCurdy Swope 13 years before the father was elected President Judge. JD's youth was spent in Gettysburg, in the home on Baltimore Street pertaining to his parents until their deaths, and located next to the present site of the Presbyterian Church and used as office space by that entity. On marriage in 1910 he had his own home built for his bride.  Like his father he graduated from Gettysburg College  (need to check year) . His father moved for his admission to the bar, and he practised with his father. JD would  later recommend his son for the same and they then would practise together, Dewey's father Samuel McCurdy Swope dying in 1931 in time to see his grandson finishing college and planning for law school but before three generations were seen practising together.  Known as Don and JD, he was nicknamed Dewey when during an argument with a friend, the friend protested that JD "thought he was Admiral Dewey!".  Dewey ran for unsuccesful bid for Judge of Adams County against the winning contender Judge Sheely, who was put up to run against him by John Keith, the then owner of the Gettysburg Times and his brother in law in an unfortunate family incident that left more scars on JDs wife than JD himself.  Dewey developed heart problems which caused their son to opt for education also at Gettysburg College, where he could easily assist his father primarily with the "loading of coal" into the furnace of their home.  A stroke suffered in the 1940s  left Dewey unable to further practice and he was eventually confined to a wheelchair. The family business continued with Dewey's son, and later son in law.  Dewey met his wife Ruth, daughter of our most recent German immigrant,  because of Ruth's frequent  girlhood trips back to the home of her mother, she being of a long line of Adams Countians on both her sides present since the earliest white settlement of   the region and pertaining largely to the northern aspect of the county, and entirely Germanic in ascendancy. Dewey himself was of the Swope line present in Gettysburg proper since its inception, but including the Scotch Irish immigration into the region of the former  Manor of Maske by at least 1780.  In the year that Dewey and Ruth married, the last year in which he appears in census in the home of his father and mother on Baltimore Street, Dewey had built for his bride the home on Broadway that later pertained to his own son and grandchildren , and with Ruth, had two children. It was the first home built on former farmland at the far northern border of the town, pertaining to the first days battle, and its pleasant aspects would lead to further development, yielding the street of Broadway we know today. in the 1980s, Sterling Musselman, a close friend of the Swope family and then member of the Borough Council, assured that the alley behind the homes would recognize the first "in home" towns built on the land of its most commodious street, and moved succesfully that  the Alley be called Swope Alley [two civil war era farmhomes exist on the most western and eastern borders of that street and predated the Swope home] .  Dewey died in 1950 leaving his wife to live on without him for  an additional 38 years without him beyond the 40 they had spent together.  In total, Dewey and Ruth had 9 grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren are also the current members of this family.
Alias: Donald in professional and social life. Dewey to his closest friends and family.
Spouse: Hazel Ruth  REINECKE 2 [žRuth / Billie/ BamieÓ ]
  • Birth: 18 Aug 1888, Washington, DC [although born in Washington, her mother was of a long line of Adams County, Penna, the frequent vists to which with her mother led to her meeting of Ruth's future husband ]2
  • Death: 30 May 1985, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania2, 4
  • Burial: Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania
  • Alias: Billie to her friends and husband, Bamie to her grandchildren
  • Father: Otto Charles Louis REINECKE (1851-1928)

  • Mother: Ella Blanche ÓWahneÓ MEALS (1859-1937)

Marr: 20 Dec 1910, Jersey City, New Jersey [Ruth's parent's place of residence at the time]
Children: [7th Generation America SWOPE]

Census Data:

1910 Census
He appears in the 1910 census Borough of Gettysburg, Adams County, Penna with his family-later that year he would marry and move his bride into the home he had built for her on Broadway.

Samuel Mc C Swope› Age: 59 State: PA
Color: W
Enumeration District: 0011
Birth Place: Pennsylvania Visit: 0343
County:  Adams, Gettysburg
Relation:  Head of Household
Other Residents: Wife Annie K 53, Pennsylvania
Son J Donald 28, Pennsylvania
Daughter Mary S 24, Pennsylvania
Daughter Amy Mc C 17, Pennsylvania
NR Bertie Horner 32, Pennsylvania
NR Marie 15, Pennsylvania

He also appears as adult head of househole in the 1920 and 1930 Census' of Adams County as Head of Household in Cumberland Twp, Adams County, the twp pertaining to Gettysburg's region of  Broadway at the time of his residence.

D M [5 children, 2 grandchildren]
E. R.  [4 children, 11 grandchildren]


1. Gilbert Ernest Swope, The Swope Family 1676-1896, T.B. & H.B Cochran, Publishers, 68, page 124.
2. Known Personally to Writer, or spouse known personally to writer
3. Census Data, Gettysburg,  Adams County, Pennsylvania.
4. Gravestone, Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania