BENJAMIN F. SWATMAN
History of Idaho, Volume 2, by Hiram T. French, M.S.
The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago and New York 1914, Page 780-781
This name has been identified with the business interests of New Plymouth, Idaho, for eight years, Mr. Swatman having landed here in the spring of 1904, and shortly afterward having established the drug business in which he has since been engaged. He arrived here in time to get in on the "ground floor." His drug store was the first one opened in the town, and so successfully has it been conducted that up to this writing he has never had any competition. He erected and owns the building he occupies, a modern, one-story, brick building, equipped with the latest and most approved fixture to be found in the up-to-date drug store.
Mr. Swatman is a native of Iowa. He was born in Page county, that state, February 13, 1861, youngest of the four children of Benjamin F. and Lydia (Gibbs) Swatman. Benjamin F. Swatman, when a child, left his native land, England, and accompanied his parents to this country. During the Civil war he tendered his services to the Union army, and as a member of the Fourth Iowa Infantry gave brave and faithful service in the field of war. He met his death from camp dysentery, contracted during his service, and passed away at Helena, Arkansas, in October, 1862. By trade he was a carpenter. The greater part of his life, however, was spent in agricultural pursuits. His wife, Lydia (Gibbs) Swatman, was born in Vermont in 1829 and died near Grangeville, Idaho, about 1907, at the age of seventy-eight years.
The subject of this sketch was born on a farm. Several years of his early life were spent in South Dakota, where he was engaged in farming. Returning to Iowa, he there pursued a course of study in pharmacy, and in due time, in 1891, registered in that state as a pharmacist. Since that date his whole time and attention have been given to the drug business, and since April, 1904, he has been a resident of Idaho.
Politically, Mr. Swatman was rocked in an Abolition cradle. He has maintained allegiance with the Republican party and in the recent campaign identified himself with the Progressive branch of that organization. He has always been active in local politics, and in local matters generally - in fact, in everything pertaining to the growth and development of his community. He was a member of the first town council of New Plymouth, and he served two terms. He is identified, fraternally, with various organizations, including the M. W. A. and K. of P., being a past grand officer in the Knights of Pythias lodge at New Plymouth. Also he is a member of the Commercial Club here. His religious faith is that of the Congregational church, in which organization he is a trustee.
March 3, 1886, at Tabor, Iowa, Benjamin F. Swatman and Miss Josephine Weatherhead were united in marriage, and to them have been given four children namely: Agnes, wife of Fred. W. Harper, who resides on a ranch three miles from New Plymouth; and Lillian, Charlotte and Elmer, at home. Mrs. Swatman is a native of Clinton, Iowa, and was born July 4, 1863, daughter of John Weatherhead.