The Kemp Sketch
SWISHER, HENRY H. -- Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1797, a son of Henry and Annie Gibson Swisher. With his brother James Gibson Swisher, and his brother's family, he came to Texas in the winter of 1833 and settled in the colony of Sterling C. Robertson, probably at Viesco. Early in the year 1834 the Swishers moved to Tenoxtitlan, in what is now Burleson County, five or six miles below Nashville, Milam County. Tenoxtitlan was established in 1831 as a Mexican fort.
Tenoxtitlan was the early home for brief periods of many men who later became prominent in the history of Texas. There lived Francis W. Johnson, who commanded the Texans at the Storming and Capture of San Antonio after the death of Benjamin H. Milam, December 7, 1835; Francisco Ruiz, who in 1831 was in command of the Mexican garrison there, but who later as a delegate from Bexar Municipality signed the Texas Declaration of Independence; James G. Swisher, army officer and a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence; William H. Smith who commanded a company of cavalry at San Jacinto; Robert Barr, Postmaster General of the Republic; and John Graham, H. H. Swisher and John M. Swisher, who fought at San Jacinto. Local celebrities included John Teal, Jehu Furnash, "Picayune" Smith and Michael Boring.
In the fall of 1834 the Swishers moved to Gay Hill in Washington County and from there Mr. H. H. Swisher enlisted in the army. Mrs. R. E. Pennington of Brenham had in her possession an original roll of Captain William W. Hill's Company at Muster April, 1836. A photostatic copy of the roll was made for the Archives, Texas State Library, Austin. The following information about Mr. Swisher is shown in the roll: He was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1797. He was described as being five feet, ten inches in height; of dark complexion, with black eyes and black hair. He was enlisted at the home of Asa Mitchell by Captain Joseph P. Lynch.
At San Jacinto Mr. Swisher was first lieutenant of Captain Hill's Company. On May 11, 1841, he was issued Donation Certificate No. 1159 for 530 acres of land for having participated in the battle. He received Bounty Certificate No. 1495 for 320 acres of land for having served in the army from March 1 to May 30, 1836.
The following additional information concerning Mr. Swisher is contained in Service Record No. 2106; He was promoted to First Lieutenant April 3, 1836. At San Jacinto a roan horse with split ears belonging to him and valued at $40.00 was lost.
Mr. Swisher was married prior to January 12, 1838, as is stated in Headright Certificate No. 310 issued to him on that date for a league and labor of land by the Washington County Board. In the certificate it is simply stated that he came to Texas prior to May 2, 1835. In the certificate issued to James C. Swisher, however, it is stated that he arrived in Texas in 1833.
Mr. Swisher was living in Washington County August 17, 1838, when he sold Bounty Certificate No. 1495 to Thomas Gay. He was alive in 1847 when he patented 640 acres of land in Nueces County surveyed by virtue of Donation Certificate No. 1159. The compiler does not know when and where he died.
Mary Ann Swisher, daughter of H. H. Swisher, was married to Edward Fontaine in Washington County, November 23, 1840. Mr. and Mrs. Fontaine, A. P. Swisher and E. O. Swisher were the sole heirs of Mr. Swisher. On January 1, 1855, they made affidavits that they were the owners of the land in Nueces County that had formerly belonged to Mr. Swisher.
Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.
- Died in Battle: No
- Rank: First Lieutenant
- Company: Lieut. Robert Stevenson
- Date of Birth: 1797
- Birthplace: Tennessee, Knoxville
- Came to Texas: 1833 winter
- Bounty Certificate: 1495
- Donation Certificate: 1159
- Children: Mary Ann Swisher Fontaine; A. P. Swisher; E. O Swisher
- Family at San Jacinto: Nephew John Milton Swisher fought at San Jacinto.