Swords left a mark on many lives

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Dottie Saffold is in the hospital at Madison. She was last week and this week. I hope that you will be better very soon Dottie! The Buckhead Baptist Church honored the graduates Sunday in the service. There were the pictures of the lives of each one shown. They received a Bible and a check. The parents gave a reception after church. Congratulations to each of you! The Lake Oconee Baptist Youth had charge of the Sunday service. There were two that are graduating this year. The youth are under the direction of Teresa Wallace, as youth director. They did a good job in the service. A fellowship luncheon was served after the service. Marvin and Betty Inglesbe visited Betty and Macon Moore Sunday afternoon. Monday afternoon John Walter Wright and his wife Susan visited Macon and Betty Moore.

They are from Bridgewater, New Jersey. He gave my husband a book that he had written on John Buck Swords and the community of Swords. The Bicentennial marker that was placed at Swords says that it was named in honor of the family who contributed substantially to the economic success of the community. It goes on to say that the community has roots in the early manufacture of whiskey and was a contemporary to Jack Daniels’ Distillery. Swords was located near Blue Springs, which was one of the earliest Morgan County communities.

Blue Springs had natural healthy water sources so that was where its name came from. It was a natural resource for the Swords distillery. Mr. Swords purchased about 4000 acres of land. There were plenty of laborers available to work cotton before the boll weevil. Mr. Swords needed a cotton gin to gin all of that cotton. They processed about 1600 bales a year before the boll weevil. He had the first diesel-powered gin in Morgan County. He also had a grist mill, syrup mill and two blacksmith shops. He constructed a dam across the Apalachee River with a catchment so as to catch fish to have some to eat and to sell at the Swords Supply Store.

He also had a depot built so that he could ship timber and whiskey to Jacksonville, Florida and Chattanooga. Among other things he had a sawmill and a bank. He built homes that some of which you see in the community now that was for his children. Then to take care of all other needs he got a school built near where I-20 is now. Another need was for the religious life of the community.

So several got together, thereby getting the Swords United Methodist Church formed. Indeed John Buck Swords left a mark on many lives as he passed through this life. This you can’t deny. With the coming of the boll weevil many people left the vast farm land. There was no way to make a living. So one of John Buck’s industries went by the wayside, one by one. Finally things dribbled on away until it was all gone. What a great day that he had for a time!

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