Dr. McSwain

Paris Couple Wedded Sixty Years

From a Paris, TN newspaper dated 11/20/1928, The only part of the name I can see says The Parisian

This is a continuation from the first page. Unfortunately, I don’t have the first part.

. . . doing general practice and head of the McSwain Clinic; and Arch Dale McSwain engaged in the business of finishing and developing photographs at the drug store.

Of the three girls, Sarah Grace, died in infancy. The living are Lily Louise, who married J. S. Foreman and lives in Latonia, KY, her husband being a railroad man; and Ruby May, who married Joe Oakley, foreman in the shops of the Tennessee Central at Nashville.

Proud of their Family

The veteran doctor and his good wife are proud of their children. “The children,” owe their good qualities to their mother, which is a natural consequence. It makes little difference if the father is of no use, so long as children have a good mother,” is a part of his quaint philosophy.

Thus it is that this couple can look back with pleasure and satisfaction upon three score years of married life. They are happy in their achievements. They have lived the useful life. They have reared a family of children of which they are proud; and they have served the community and their fellow man. All the children are members of the Methodist church as was the family of Dr. McSwain. Mrs. McSwain’s people were members of the Christian church at old Blood River.

Dr. McSwain practiced medicine in Henry county for a half century, attending the sick, the rich and the poor alike, never highly paid and sometimes not paid at all. He recalls that he never drove off the farm the last horse or cow nor took anything from the house or barn to enforce payment of a doctor bill. He never went to law to collect a bill but once, and in that instance, he says, the man was able to pay but would not until sued. “That,” says the now 83-year-old doctor, “is the extent of my experience in court, civil or otherwise.”

The Doctor attended his first medical lectures at Louisville University at Louisville University in 1866-67. He was graduated later from Vanderbilt University, shortly after his marriage. He began practice of his profession in rural Henry County, living near Buchanan, known then as the Bethel school community. After 20 years of this he moved to Paris where he continued active practice until some ten years ago when an illness left him physically unfit to continue the arduous tasks of the country doctor. He felt, too, he says, that it was time for him to quit because of the great responsibility that rests with the physician who takes into his hands the lives and welfare of those who employ him. Dr. McSwain took his profession seriously and now recalls many pathetic as well as many laughable incidents occurring during his active life. He believes that to fulfill his true mission, the physician must be a Christian man, for it is he who first must first receive the innocent babe on this mundane sphere, watches and attends him through life and stands by the bedside of saint and sinner as death closes this mortal existence.

Dr. McSwain has stood high in the councils of the medical profession throughout the years. He has served as president of the State Medical Association and of the Tri-State Medical Society, which is composed of Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. He has been secretary of the West Tennessee Medical Association for more than thirty years, an association that he organized in 1892.

Natives of Henry County

Both Dr. and Mrs. McSwain were born in Henry County, the Doctor on December 4, 1845. He was one of nine children, 2 boys and 7 girls, all the children of David McSwain who had married Miss Nettie Randle and who lived in Henry county, near what is now Buchanan when Dr. Isaac A. was born. Dr. McSwain’s grandfather was George McSwain, who had married a Miss Jones, to which union four sons and twelve daughters were born. George McSwain, Dr. Isaac’s grandfather, was a direct descendant of old David McSwain, who came from Scotland 200 years ago and settled in Old North Carolina. It was this old Scotchman, who spelled his name “Macswain,” who was the progenitor of what Dr. Isaac calls the whole McSwain tribe.

Mrs. McSwain, who was Miss Margaret Dale, was born August 29, 1852, and is of English descent. Her father was Isaac Dale, one of three brothers who came from England. One of these brothers settled in Pennsylvania, another in Virginia, and Isaac Dale came to West Kentucky and thence to Tennessee, settling near the old Blood River church. He was a tobacconist, buying leaf tobacco, prizing it and peddling it down South. Before moving to Tennessee he had married Nancy Janes Fancher, in old Kentucky.

Isaac and Nancy Janes Dale were parents of nine children, three sons and six daughters. Only three are now living, Mrs. McSwain, Mrs. Lura Brown and Miss Julia Dale. But many grandchildren of Isaac Dale now live in Henry county and occupy prominent positions in the community.

Thus, descendants of these pioneer families have the satisfaction of knowing that they come of good lineage, and this couple, married sixty years, can look back upon a life well spent and one not lived in vain.