Source: North Manchester Journal, February 16, 1905

Mrs. Abigal Swank Dies Tuesday From Heart Trouble.

Sometime between one and five o'clock Tuesday morning, Death called for Mrs. Abigal Swank, and she passed peacefully away, her son, Owen, on going to call her in the morning finding that her spirit had taken its flight. About midnight Mrs. Swank got up and went to the stove. Her son heard her and got up also and she told him she felt cold. He got her to go back to bed and he put a hot iron to her feet. Then she said that she felt much better, and for him to go to bed. He did so, and he heard her breathing until about one o'clock, and at that time he went to asleep and did not awaken until five o'clock. Then he got up, and when his mother did not respond to his call, he went to the room, and found her dead. She was in exactly the same position in the bed as when he had left her, and it is probable she had not moved at all. Dr. Leila Andrews was called but Mrs. Swank was beyond all earthly help, her death having probably resulted from heart trouble.

The funeral services will be held at the Brethren church on North Walnut street, Thursday at 1:30, conducted by Rev. Albert Wright, and the burial will be had in the Swank cemetery, northeast of town.

In the death of Mrs. Swank, North Manchester loses one of its earliest settlers, she having come to this place in the spring of 1837, when but six years old. In life she often told experiences of the trip from Montgomery county, Ohio, and of life in what was then the very western pioneer of civilization. She tells that when they arrived at the home of Peter Ogan, several miles southeast of here, they were compelled to stop and wait for several days for the water in Eel river to get low enough for them to cross. Their first home was on a quarter of a section of land about a mile and a half northwest of town. There were then less than half a dozen stores in the town, one of them being run by Asa Beauchamp. Her first schooling was received in a little log school house that stood on Third street, but there was not such a thing thought of her then as streets and the school house stood among the woods and hazel thickets. In coming to the school they would mark their way by propping sticks against trees so they would not lose their way in returning home. She would often remark to those about her, "our young people ought to be thankful for the schools they have to attend. They are so much better than we used to have." Mrs. Swank remembered the first burial that was had in what is now called the old cemetery. It was that of a daughter of Allen Halderman, a sister to Ed Halderman, who lives in the north part of town.

Abigal Harter was born April 8, 1831, and died February 14, 1905, aged 73 years, 10 months and 6 days. In 1849 she was married to Jeremiah Swank, and to them were born five children, one dying in infancy. Those living today are Israel, Silas and Owen and Mrs. Henry Bolinger. Mrs. Swank and her husband united with the Brethren church about the time of her marriage, and she has lived a consistent christian life ever since. Her husband died in 1871.