Milton Mills’ Dr. John L. Swinerton (1805-1882)

By Muriel Bristol | November 29, 2020

John Langdon Swinerton was born in Newfield, ME, June 28, 1805, son of John and Lydia (Dunnell) Swinerton (both born Salem, MA).

John Langdon Swinerton’s birth occurred in Newfield, Maine, June 28, 1805, and it was in that little town that he spent childish years. He was the recipient of an excellent education, the preparatory portion being obtained in the public schools of his native place, after which he took a course in Bowdoin College from which he graduated with the class of 1829. He then entered the profession of teaching, going at times to Danvers, Peabody and Salem, Massachusetts, and to Milton, New Hampshire. He was a member of the Congregational church and a man of strong domestic instincts, as was his father before him (Genealogical Publishing, 1915).

Dr. John L. Swinerton was active in Wolfeborough, NH, in 1831, “remaining but a few years” (Parker, 1901). (He would seem to have been replaced by 1834 by Dr. Jeremiah F. Hall, who practiced there until about 1840).

John L. Swinerton married in Wakefield, NH, April 25, 1832, Ann A. Robinson, both of Wolfeboro, NH. Rev. Samuel Nichols performed the ceremony. She was born in Greenland, NH, June 15 1803, daughter of Ebenezer C. and Anna (Avery) Robinson. (Her family resided in Bow, NH, in 1810, Newmarket, NH, in 1820, Stratham, NH, in 1830, and Wakefield, NH, in 1840).

He married April 25, 1832, Anna A. Robinson, born June 15, 1803, a daughter of Ebenezer and Anna (Avery) Robinson of Wakefield, New Hampshire, where he [Ebenezer] died November 17, 1849. To Mr. and Mrs. John, whose deaths both occurred in 1882 [SIC], there were born three children, as follows: Charles E., born August 12, 1834, died August 3, 1903, resided in Massachusetts, and married Abbie C. Wentworth, who bore him one son, Charles A. Swinerton; Ann Frances, born January 12, 1838, married Albert F. Wentworth, and became the mother of two children, Millie R. and Flora R.; [and] John Robinson [born December 16, 1840] of whom further (Genealogical Publishing, 1915).

John L. Swinerton of Milton, NH, appeared among Bowdoin College’s medical students in the February-May term of 1835. (His studies there would seem to have been interrupted for a time after this).

The Federal government discontinued the Milton Mills post office, February 20, 1838, displacing the postmaster, John Nutter, but soon reestablished it and him, March 27, 1838. John L. Swinerton replaced Nutter as postmaster at Milton Mills near the end of that same year, December 13, 1838. Such appointments were generally political sinecures, so we might assume that both Nutter and Swinerton were Democrats, at least to some degree, as was then-president Martin Van Buren.

Bowdoin College listed John L. Swinerton of Milton, NH, among its medical students in the February-May term of 1839. He was attending his first course of lectures. John L. Swinerton of Milton, NH, appeared also among its medical students in the February-May term of 1840. He was attending then his second course of lectures. (Rufus K. Pearl of Farmington, NH, Ebenezer Jenness of Rochester, NH, William L. Guptil, Orin Quinby, and William G. Smith, all of Somersworth, NH, were among his classmates).

The NH directory of 1840 identified John Hayes as physician at Chestnut Hills, i.e., South Milton, Stephen Drew at Milton, and J.L. Swinerton at Milton Mills. Drew and Swinerton were also justices-of-the-peace (McFarland and Jenks, 1840).

John L. Swinerton headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 30-39 years [himself], one female aged 30-39 years [Ann A. Swinerton], one male aged 5-9 years [Charles E. Swinerton], and one female aged under-5 years [Ann F. Swinerton]. One member of his household was employed in the learned professions. His household appeared in the enumeration between the households of Asa Fox [and Bray U. Simes] and Alpheus Goodwin.

John L. Swinerton of Milton, NH, appeared also among Bowdoin College’s medical students in the February-May term of 1841. He was attending then his third course of lectures.

John Nutter resumed the office of Milton Mills postmaster, May 12, 1841, under Whig president John Tyler (“Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”). (President William H. Harrison (“Tippecanoe”) had died in office after only a month’s tenure).

John L. Swinnerton, a physician, aged forty-five years (b. ME), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills P.O.”) household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Ann A. Swinnerton, aged forty-seven years (b. NH), Annie F. Swinnerton, aged twelve years (b. NH), and John R. Swinnerton, a physician, aged ten years (b. NH). John L. Swinnerton had real estate valued at $800. His household followed that of Bray U. Simes in the enumeration.

Swinerton, Dr JL - 1851
Milton Mills in 1851. Dr. J.L. Swinerton’s house (marked in red) appeared in what would be termed later Central Square, across the road to Acton from Bray U. Simes’ store (just above the Tailor’s Shop), and across the Main street from Asa Fox’s house and store. Swinerton’s house was on or near the lot that would become the Central House hotel.

Democrat president Franklin Pierce appointed John L. Swinerton as postmaster at Milton Mills, July 6, 1853. Swinerton replaced Gilman Jewett in that office and would be replaced in turn by John Townsend, June 22, 1860.

John L. Swinerton appeared in the NH register of 1854, as a Milton justice-of-the-peace. In the same register, Milton’s physicians were Stephen Drew, John L. Swinerton, and D.E. Palmer (Lyon, 1854).

Milton – The School House – A good school-house is of paramount importance. On this point there needs to be a thorough reform. Nearly all the school-houses in town require more or less expenditure. Some should be rebuilt, others remodeled, improved within and perhaps without. If parents will candidly look into this matter, they will be surprised to think they have been content to confine their children so many hours a day, through a large part of the severest and most trying season of the year, in houses so ill constructed, so badly ventilated, so imperfectly warmed, so dirty, so repugnant to all habits of neatness, thought, taste, or purity. If possible, the school-house should be built upon an elevated plot of ground, with a pleasant and healthful prospect around. – D.E. Palmer, Geo. C. Colbath, John L. Swinerton, Committee (NH State Board of Education, 1854).

Mrs. Sophia ((Cushing) Hayes) Wyatt – a former Milton teacher – described Dr. Swindleton, i.e., Dr. Swinerton, in her 1854 memoir as being “… useful in his profession, and popular.”

Son Charles E. Swinerton received an appointment as postmaster at Union village, Wakefield, NH, January 31, 1857. (He was replaced by John Tredick, April 13, 1861).

John L. Swinerton, a physician, aged fifty-five years (b. NH [SIC]), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills P.O.”) household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Ann A. Swinerton, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH), Charles E. Swinerton, a physician [a ditto mark below his father’s occupation], aged twenty-six years (b. NH), Annie F. Swinerton, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), and John R.L. Swinerton, a physician [a ditto mark below his brother’s ditto mark], aged nineteen years (b. NH). John L. Swinerton had real estate valued at $1,000 and personal estate valued at $100.

Charles Robinson of Cambridgeport, MA, applied for a U.S. patent on his “improved clothes dryer” invention, February 19, 1861. John L. Swinerton and [his son] C.E. Swinerton signed as witnesses (U.S. Patent Office, 1861). Charles Robinson would seem to have been a relation of Ann A. (Robinson) Swinerton. He was an inventor, aged forty-five years (b. NH), heading a Cambridge (“Cambridgeport P.O.”), MA, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Sarah Robinson, keeping house, aged forty-four years (b. NH).

John L. Swinerton of Wakefield, NH, paid a $6.67 tax on his physician’s license in the US. Excise Tax of 1863. He was more particularly of Union village in Wakefield, NH, when he paid a $10.00 tax on his physician’s license in the US Excise Tax of 1864 and that of 1865.

Daughter Ann F. Swinerton married in Farmington, NH, June 17, 1864, Albert F. Wentworth, both of Wakefield, NH. She was engaged in needlework, aged twenty-five years (born Milton), and he was in the shoe business, age thirty years (born Wakefield, NH). Rev. Roger M. Sargent performed the ceremony. Wentworth was born in Wakefield, NH, April 30, 1834, son of Albra and Rhoda (Cook) Wentworth.

Son Charles E. Wentworth married in Wakefield, NH, October 23, 1864, Abigail C. “Abby” Wentworth. Nathaniel Barker performed the ceremony. She was born circa 1838, daughter of Nathaniel and Sarah (Paul) Wentworth. (She died circa 1870-79).

Swinerton, CE - NEF680516
“In 1865 [son John R. Swinerton] formed with his brother a partnership under the firm name Charles E. Swinerton & Company to deal in grain” (Genealogical Publishing, 1915). Their advertisement above from the New England Farmer, May 16, 1868

John L. Swinerton appeared in the Milton business directory of 1867, as a physician at Milton Mills. He appeared as a Wakefield, NH, justice-of-the-peace in the NE business directory of 1868.

John L. Swinerton, a physician, aged sixty-four years (b. ME), headed a Wakefield (“Union P.O.”), NH, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Ann A. Swinerton, keeping house, aged sixty-six years (b. VT [SIC]). John L. Swinerton had real estate valued at $1,000 and personal estate valued at $300. His household appeared in the enumeration between those of Hosea Reynolds, a shop worker, aged fifty years (b. ME), and Mary Moulton, keeping house, aged sixty-nine years (b. NH).

John Swinerton appeared in the NH business directory of 1874, as a physician at Union, Wakefield, NH.

John L. Swinerton was an original incorporator of the Unity Lodge of Free Masons at Union village in Wakefield, NH, June 30, 1875, HIs son, Charles E. Swinerton, as well as Milton residents Bard B. Plummer and John U. Simes were also incorporators (NH Secretary of State, 1875).

John L. Swinerton, a physician, aged seventy-four years (b. ME), headed a Wakefield, NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Anna A. Swinerton, keeping house, aged seventy-six years (b. NH [SIC]), his sons, Charles E. Swinerton, a tea salesman, aged forty-four years (b. NH), and John R. Swinerton, a hotel clerk, aged thirty-nine years (b. NH), and grandsons, Charles A. Swinerton, at school, aged fourteen years (b. NH), and John L. Swinerton, at school, aged ten years (b. NH).

Ann A. (Robinson) Swinerton died September 11,  1880. John L. Swinerton died of dropsy [i.e., edema,] in Wakefield, NH, November 2, 1882, aged seventy-seven years.

[Bowdoin College] Class of 1841. John Langdon Swinerton, b. 28 June, 1805, Newfield. Physician, Milton, N.H., 1832-60; Wakefield, N.H., 1860-82; d. 2 Sept, 1882 (Bowdoin College, 1912).

Dr. John Langdon Swinerton was born at Newfield, Maine, 1805; graduated from medical school of Bowdoin, 1841; a member of Strafford Medical Society in 1845; practised the medical profession during nearly fifty years at Brookfield, Wolfeborough, Milton Mills, and Union, where he died in the fall of 1882, November 2, at the age of seventy-nine [seventy-seven], regretted by all who knew him as a kind friend, a safe counselor, a good physician to the sick and suffering (Merrill, 1889).


References:

Bowdoin College. (1912). General Catalogue of Bowdoin College and the Medical School of Maine, 1794-1912. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=DjZJAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA341

Find a Grave. (2012, February 20). John Robinson Swinerton. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/85239766/john-robinson-swinerton

Genealogical Publishing. (1915). Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=qYZ0qtJfGJwC&pg=PA950

Little, George T. (1894). General Catalogue of Bowdoin College and the Medical School of Maine, 1794-1894: Including a Historical Sketch of the Institution During Its First Century. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=oq8TAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA116

Lyon, G. Parker. (1854). NH Annual Register, 1854. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=l-cWAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA103

Merrill, Georgia D. (1889). History of Carroll County, New Hampshire. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=xmMKyZxlU5MC&pg=PA519

Mitchell-Cony. (1908). The Town Register: Farmington, Milton, Wakefield, Middleton, Brookfield, 1907-8. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=qXwUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA188

NH Secretary of State. (1875). Laws of the State of New Hampshire Passed June Session, 1875. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=K5pGAQAAIAAJ&pg=RA1-PA491

NH State Board of Education. (1854). Report of the State Board of Education. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=qYQ-AQAAMAAJ&pg=PR8

Parker, Benjamin F. (1901). History of Wolfeborough (New Hampshire). Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=tObqwKRR5yMC&pg=PA462-IA3

U.S. Patent Office. (1861). Letters Patent. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=ELxAAAAAcAAJ&pg=PP512

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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