(My apologies for being absent so long. I've been sick, busy at school, and occupied with the Caddo website. This week will be better. Promise!)
Caddo’s history is filled with interesting people. Many former leaders of Caddo were businessmen who were also active in local politics and civic groups. They were devoted family men and strong church members. One such citizen was Samuel Emmet Swinney. Most of the following history can be attributed to the Chronicles of Oklahoma. You can also follow much of Mr. Swinney’s career by a careful reading of the Caddo, Bennington, and Durant newspapers.
Samuel Emmet Swinney, was born to John James Swinney and Wilhelmina (Lyle) near Whiteside, Missouri, on June 16, 1877. When Samuel was two his father moved the family from Missouri to Texas, settling on a farm near Long Branch in Fannin County. Samuel eventually attended schools at Long Branch, then Savoy College, and the Normal School at Denton, Texas. In 1891 he went to the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, registering in the School of Pharmacy and taking two courses.
At intervals between college and pharmacy classes he taught school. He also acted as a Deputy County Clerk for Fannin County, at Bonham, Texas. After he returned from the University of the South he went to Madill, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, where he was a pharmacist clerk in a drug store. After that he moved to Caddo and entered into the drug business with the late Ira Smith under the name of Smith & Swinney, Druggists. Later this business was sold to the late W. F. Dodd with Sam Swinney continuing for a while as a pharmacist.
On January 6, 1906 he was married to Miss Soulie Pate of Caddo. They later had a daughter, Francile.
In 1907 Mr. Swinney became a candidate on the Democratic ticket for County Clerk of Bryan County, Oklahoma, and was elected. In 1910 he was re-elected and served until January, 1913. Beginning in the early part of 1913 he became an Assistant State Examiner and Inspector and so continued until 1916 when he was appointed and confirmed as Postmaster at Durant, Oklahoma, and continued as such until 1920.
Mr. Swinney was affiliated with the Democratic party and served as Congressional committeeman for the Third Congressional District and as chairman of the Bryan County committee. He was also an active member of the Christian Church.
From 1920 to 1929 he was associated with his brother Dan Swinney in the drug business at Durant under the name of Swinney Drug Company. In 1929 he took the lead in the promotion, organization, and construction of the Hotel Bryan in Durant. In 1933 he was appointed and served as Inspector for the Home Owners' Loan Corporation until July 16, 1934, when he was appointed and confirmed as United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, holding that office until his death on December 16, 1936. He is buried at Highland Cemetery, Durant, Oklahoma..