Family of Leander Jehu Swindell

(1859 - 1935)
1st Child of James H. Swindell
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Leander Jehu Swindell
Photo Taken Unknown
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Leander Swindell was the first child born to James H. and Mehetable Swindell on 12 November 1859 in Newark, Licking County, Ohio.
Nothing is known of his life from 1880 until about 1890 where we found he had a Shooting Gallery at 818 Liberty Avenue, and was living at 532 Grant Ave, both in Pittsburgh, PA. according to the 1888-1892 city directory. It also shows Leander (Lee) having a paperhanging business, bicycle shop, and another business in the area. His father, James also was listed with him at the Shooting Gallery, and on Grant Street. According to Leander's daughter, he did some artist work, and taught country school (grades 1-8) with just a few children per grade in the class.

Leander met Olive Idessa (Odessa?) Michaels in the area. They were married in 1898 in the Brownsville, Pennsylvania area. At this time, Leander was already 40 years old. It is unknown if he was married before this time, or if he had any children prior to his marriage to her.

Olive was born on 05 Sept. 1858 in Brownsville. Her father was born in New York and her mother was born in Pennsylvania. Olive was married first to Jessie Twigg. They had five children, one boy and four girls. Jessie got sick with typhoid pneumonia in late spring of 1896.
Their son, Frank, who was born in 1880 was age 16 at the time. He left home to join the Calvary during the Spanish-American War.
When he returned home a few years later, he learned Olive had placed all five girls in an orphanage. More information on the Twigg children can be found here, since they are half-siblings of Olive and Leander's children.

Leander and Olive lived in the Boro of West Liberty, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in June of 1900 with their daughter Mary Elizabeth who was born in January of that year. Records show they were only married for two years at this time. Leander's career as a paperhanger allowed him to work all year. The family rented the home they lived in.

By 1910 Leander moved his family, which added a son named James Leon, to Akron, Summit County, Ohio and was living within the city limits. On Sept 05, 1912 Leander left home with his son, James, telling his wife their marriage was over. According to the family, Leander and James were headed for Detroit, but we are not sure why.
Olive took Mary Elizabeth (known as Lib) and went back to Pennsylvania where they stayed with her son, Frank Twigg. They were not there long before returning to Akron, Ohio. Olive did not see or hear from Leander again. It was not until 1917 when her son James showed back up at her doorstep. This information was found in a letter written from Lib to James' wife several years later. A copy of this letter can be found here.

Leander attended his dad's funeral in Newark, Ohio. We do not know how long James and Leander were in Detroit, but believe Leander and his son were living in the Pittsburgh area for the three years that James was gone from home with his dad. We suspect that James road with his father as far as Akron, and Leander continued on to Newark for his father's funeral, however this is just speculation.

Leander is found in Birmingham, Alabama from 1928 until his death in Nov of 1935. During this time he was married to a lady named Pearl.

The Children born to Leander and Olive Idessa (Odessa?) are as follows:

  1. Mary Elizabeth born 24 Jan 1900 in Brownsville or Beaver Falls, PA
  2. James Leon born on 12 Feb 1902 in Brownsville, PA.

- Ms. Karen Ruth Swindell Bosecker -