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Victor Swartz
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VICTOR WARREN SWARTZ

Victor Warren Swartz
Victor Warren Swartz.

Victor Warren Swartz was my father's father. I knew him affectionately as "grandpa". I do not recall that he was a large man, although he may have been larger when he was younger age has a way of shrinking you.

The first census information I have about him is the 1900 census which shows him living with his mother, Maggie, and father, Anton. His birthday is listed as February, 1887. Thus, he is shown as being 13 years old and "at school". Also, living with them were his sister, Estella, age 15, and his brother, Glen, age 9. Their address was 521 East 8th Street in Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Both Anton and Maggie are in the 1880 census as husband and wife living in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, so I suspect that Victor was born in Cerro Gordo. I do not know how far he got in school and do not know if he graduated from high school.

The 1910 census, however, shows him being 23 years old, single and living in Kansas City, Missiouri. He appears to have lived with a family as a lodger. Listed with him are Alvin Remay, Alvin's wife, Lola, three children and another lodger. Victor's occupation appears to be that of a rubberer or rubberier for Scale or, perhaps, Serle Supply. Alvin who I presume is his landlord appears to have worked for the same company and in the same capacity. The quality of the census data is not very good and is in long hand, so I am not sure that I am giving you accurate information. You can link to the relevant portion of the census page by clicking here and you can make your own judgments of what it says.

I do not know what motivated him to come to Kansas City, although the evidence is strong that his parents died between 1900 and 1910 and the children went several directions. Only Glen stayed in Mason City.

The census of 1920 finds Victor living with his wife Charlotte B. Swartz, his daughter, Marguerite, age 5, and his son, Warren A, age 2 5/12 at 3207 East 24th Street in Kansas City, Missouri. I do not know when he met and married my grandmother, but it is obvious that the seven years between the 1910 census and the birth of my father were eventful years for Victor. His job in 1920 was in the candy department of a factory. The name of the factory is not listed.

Over the years, it appears that Victor had several jobs, mostly of a laboring type. Until doing this research, the only job I knew he had was in maintenance for the Kansas City Public Schools. According to my mother that job was more than the sweeping up type maintenance, as he was responsible for maintaining the school's boiler and that sort of thing more of an engineering type job. Growing up, I remember we had several books that had the Kansas City School District stamped in them. I was told that Victor bought them from the school district when they were trying to get rid of them.

After he retired from the school district, my grandparents moved back to Mason City, Iowa, where Victor worked for his brother, Glen, on his farms and in his creamery.

I knew very little of him as a child, since we usually did not live near him except for a few occasions. We lived with him and Grandma Blanche when I was about 7, I believe. That was on a farm owned by his brother, Glen, outside of Mason City. I attended second grade at a nearby country school and my brother attended kindergarten there. I believe that he and my father were working at Glen's creamery at the time and I really saw very little of him.

I think that the most vivid memories that I have of him are from after they had moved from the farm to a house outside of Mason City, Iowa. I became a teenager there. That would have been in August of 1955, but I think I had been there from time to time before that. Grandpa would always get up early and drink his coffee, listen to the radio (weather and farm news mostly) and smoke his cigarettes. He usually sat at the kitchen table, but his chair would face into the dining room.

He always had some sort of wise crack or pun to tell I think I get my humor from him, such as it is. Here is an example: "I want to die with my boots on!" Why? "Because, I don't want to hurt my big toe when I kick the bucket."

I was in college when I learned of his death, so that occurred sometime between 1960 and 1965 based on other events, my guess is that it was about 1963.

I have written a little about Victor's siblings. If interested, click here to link to stories about Victor's siblings.

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