Text: 1900 Census, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Birth also recorded by St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Waupun, Wisconsin, LDS Film # 1872153
Text: Mach Funeral Chapel, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Text: Family record
Text: Marriage Certificate
Note: N65 Source: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Commonwealth Reporter, Saturday, July 20, 1935
H. E. SWETT SUCCUMBS TO LONG ILLNESS
Veteran Attorney, Political Leader; Expires At Farm Cottage Career Is Marked By Activity In Civic, Lodge and Bar Circles
Herbert E. Swett, 70, widely known as an attorney, court commissioner and grand lodge officer of the Knights of Pythias, died at 10 p.m. Friday at his cottage on the Forest avenue road, two miles west of the city, to which he had retired in May because of failing health.
The immediate cause of death was pneumonia induced by a combination of ailments. On Thursday Mr. Swett was about the house and had used the telephone communicating with his downtown office on business matters. At noon Friday he lapsed into a comatose state.
Reluctantly giving up his work at his office, Mr. Swett presided for the last time as court commissioner on April 26. At that time he was stricken with an attack of angina pectoris, which recurred at intervals after he went to the country cottage.
Mr. Swett's life was one of unusual activity and leadership expressed in law, civic and lodge circles. He practiced law in this city since 1894 following his graduation from the law school at the University of Wisconsin. He was elected district attorney that year and was re-elected in 1896. His practice was of a general nature including corporation law, probate law and to a large extent criminal law during the earlier years of his career.
Over a long span of years, Mr. Swett was identified with the Knights of Pythias, serving in all of the chairs in Fidelity Lodge 19 and for many terms as its chancellor commander. He was grand chancellor of the Domain of Wisconsin and grand lodge representative to the supreme lodge, being elected to that office in 1931. In 1932 he attended the supreme lodge session in Kansas City, Mo., as the supreme representative for Wisconsin. He served as chairman of the committee on civic education for the supreme lodge.
Active in Politics
Few men in the city have been more staunch than Mr. Swett was in the advocacy of the principles of the Republican party, and none more outspoken in supporting the Constitution. Many years ago, Mr. Swett organized a "First Voters" club among young members of the party. He served repeatedly as chairman of the county Republican organization and gave much of his time in public speaking in support of the Republican ticket, both state and national. Early in the spring Mr. Swett spoke at various meetings in the city deploring the trend of present day politics in the experimental and untried fields created by the new deal.
His position on strict conformity to the tenets of the Constitution was predicated upon an intense patriotism. Although long past the military age of acceptance, Mr. Swett offered his services to the government at the outbreak of the World war. Rejected, despite his enthusiasm, he turned to civic activities in support of the cause, being one of the organizers of the Fond du Lac County Council of Defense. He gave his services in the sale of Liberty bonds and gave patriotic addresses throughout the state. In more recent years Mr. Swett was active in the organization of Citizens Military Training camps.
His fraternal relations outside of the Knights of Pythias included the Elks and Masons. He was a member and former exalted ruler of Fond du Lac Lodge 57 B.P.O.E. and of Fond du Lac Lodge 140 A.F. and A.M. He was entitled by certificate to take part in deliberations of the grand lodge, Elks, and was also a member of the Twilight club.
Mr. Swett was born Sept. 9, 1864 on the old Swett homestead in the Town of Empire on land which his grandfather, Benjamin Swett, had taken up from the government in 1844 . Educated in the country schools Mr. Swett, when a young man, went to North Dakota in search of work and finally secured a position as teacher in a rural school.
He remained in North Dakota two years and then returned to this city to enter the Oshkosh Normal school by examination, never having finished the high school course. He was graduated with honors at the Normal school and for six months served as a member of the faculty. He taught at the Read school in Oshkosh for one year and later in Fair Water, and then entered the University of Wisconsin from which he was graduated in 1894. During that summer he went to Oregon City, Ore., where he practiced law for six months and then decided to return to this city to become a candidate for district attorney. His father was Franklin Swett, who was born in Round Prairie and who came to Fond du Lac county with his father, Benjamin Swett, in 1844 . His mother was Sarah Hopkins.
Concluding his public duties Mr. Swett began the private practice of law, being associated with various members of the Fond du Lac Bar during his career as a lawyer. Among them were the late O. H. Ecke, Clarence P. Keck, Judge L. E. Lurvey, J. E. Richter, and at the present time, S. Richard Heath.
On July 18, 1892 [28 July 1894], Mr. Swett was married to Miss Winifred Siggelko, who died Sept. 2, 1902. Married for the second time [23 March 1934], Mr. Swett took for his bride Marcia H. Fadner. The widow survives together with one son, Herbert Benjamin [known as Ben Herbert]; two sisters, Mrs. H. S. O'Neil of Oshkosh, Miss Nettie Swett, teacher in the Milwaukee public schools; a niece, Miriam S. Inglis, teacher in the Oshkosh public schools; two cousins, Maurice E. and Vera C. Hopkins, of this city.
Plans for the funeral were formulated today by officers of Fidelity Lodge 19, Knights of Pythias. The body will remain at the Candlish chapel until 10 a.m. Tuesday when it will be removed to the Knights of Pythias lodge rooms. At 2 p. m. services will be conducted under Knights of Pythias auspices. Burial will be in Empire cemetery.
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