One of the 3 original founders of Seguin, Texas.
Location of grave is now under investigation.
Story from KWED1580.com:
By Cindy Aguirre-Herrera
(Seguin) -- Research by a father-daughter book writing team is digging up more than just the facts.
Dr. Brice Mandaville, along with his daughter Lauren Mandaville, say they are working to not only tell the story but also help determine the final resting place of Arthur Swift, one of the three original shareholders of the city of Seguin in 1838.
According to Dr. Mandaville, Swift, an assistant county surveyor for Bexar County, represented Gonzales County in the first state legislature following annexation and was the individual who introduced the bill to create Guadalupe County and make Seguin the county seat.
Pinpointing his exact resting place has evolved well beyond just writing the book for Dr. Mandaville's daughter Lauren. Lauren, a Seguin High School student, is extending the research into her science project. According to Lauren she is working to determine Swift's gravesite in the old Vaughn Cemetery located on Prexy Street just across from Texas Lutheran University. She says historical probate, deed research and a 1951 book written by Willie Mae Weinert all support that the Vaughn Cemetery is where Swift is buried.
"He is supposed to be buried right over here in the corner of the cemetery. So we're trying to find his grave, but to do that we have to figure out if the ground penetrating radar we are using will find graves that old. So that is actually my science project for this year," said Lauren. "We wanted to find his grave for a while because nobody really knew where it was, and so we wanted to know where it was, and then I needed a good science fair project. Who else is doing finding dead bodies with ground penetrating radar?" said Lauren.
Lauren says she recently was privileged to have combed the gravesite with Cindy Burton, a professional geologist from Austin. Burton says she was eager to assist the student with helping to map the underground of many of those graves that no longer are identified with tombstones. She says there's currently only a couple of places in the United States that individuals can rent such ground penetrating radar equipment and Austin happens to be one of them.
"I do training in ground penetrating radar. It's kind of a tricky technology, so I told Lauren for the fun of just coming out and seeing if we can find some very historic landmarks that that would help her learning curve - help her get up to speed with ground penetrating radar," said Burton.
"Ground penetrating radar is a technology where it's sensing changes in geophysical properties of whatever is under the ground. So the specific properties it senses is dielectrics. So what that means is if there's something buried down there then it creates a significant reflection, a significant signature and anomaly in the data and that can indicate wow, there's something out of the ordinary there," said Burton.
Although Lauren's science project will be the one to unveil the official findings, Burton says she is honored to be able to help Lauren not only obtain a grade but also perhaps provide a gift to the Seguin community
"Most of the time archaeologists, historians they don't want to dig. They don't want to disturb it, but if we find signatures, and we're fairly confident that something is buried there, it could protect that area for him and his family and for the people of Seguin so no one else buries over it," said Burton.
Dr. Mandaville says he is proud of his daughter for assuming the project. He says with his love for history and her talent in writing, the two hope to complete their book on the founding of Seguin. He says in the end, he hopes residents of Guadalupe County will come to better appreciate the area's history.
"When I came to Seguin nine years - I'm the pastor of First Baptist Church - they didn't know who the founder of the church was, so I did research and found out that Arthur Swift was the founder of the church and then in researching him, I found out that we was also one of the three original founders of Seguin and probably the most influential of the three. In 1837, there was a bank failure and nationally over half the banks closed and he went out of business in Tennessee and so he got a group of men and walked from Tennessee to Texas including the King brother -- who was the first mayor Seguin -- so they founded the town of Seguin and so I got interested in early Seguin history and started doing more research on his life and then on Matthew Caldwell and Jim Campbell who are the other two founders," said Dr. Mandaville.
In 1855, it is said that Swift married the daughter of Gail Borden (founder of Borden Dairies) and went on a month-long honeymoon. Upon returning from his honeymoon, he was struck with fever and died 10 days later leaving his grave unmarked for the last 60 years.
Created by: Cassandrea Martinez
Record added: Sep 23, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59088670
Arthur was apparently my great-great grandfather's cousin. He was born in Hanover County, Virginia. He was also the cousin of Hugh Montgomery Swift who came to Texas with his brother Richard Mercer Swift (also buried in Seguin). Hugh fought with Sam Houst...(Read more)|
Added: Dec. 15, 2012
Arthur Swift was born in 1812. Thank you for your part in the founding of Seguin. May you rest in peace.|
Beverly Ackermann Jobe
Added: Nov. 11, 2011
Arthur's 1st wife died around 1853 and in February 1855, Arthur married: Philadelphia Borden, the daughter of Gail Borden,Jr.(U.S. inventor, surveyor, and publisher, and was the inventor of condensed milk in 1853. Gail Borden was the surveyor who plotted ...(Read more)|
Added: Oct. 10, 2011
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