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Donated to Jennings County Public Library - October 23, 2013
by Joyce Shaffer

Joyce tells how she received this old bible - "A few years ago, I received an e mail from a lady named Connie Price who had gotten my name from a person I had traded information with on "". This is the story she had for me.

In 1970, her soon to be husband was working his way through college by selling bibles in the summertime. He was working in Vernon, Indiana (he was from Ohio), and he sold a new bible to a lady in Vernon who didn't have enough money, but she had an old bible to trade for the new one plus the cash she had.

This young man made the deal, took the bible, and for the next 40 or so years, he and his wife moved it, along with their possessions to at least 5 states. When they retired, Connie put the disposal of this bible on her 'to do' list and went to work on her computer. By putting in the name of J.B. Swincher she discovered his daughter-in-law was Sarah Thomas Swincher, thus putting her on the trail of the Thomases. Sarah was my mother's aunt, and married to J.B.'s son John, and lived in Vernon, IN. As John and Sarah (Sade) had no children, and apparently John had no siblings, the trail came to an end with me.

Connie wanted me to have it or she was going to get rid of it........So I took it.

My mother, (Lois Thomas Whitcomb) her brother and older sister (Glenna) had lived with Aunt Sade and Uncle John several years after their mother had died in 1910. Tucked inside the bible was a child's art work on which someone (I think it was probably Aunt Sade) had written the little artists name......Glenna.

Aunt Sade died about 1915 (John was already dead). I never knew what happened to their belongings, but my mother did not have them, although she was the only survivor by 1970. This bible had been somewhere in Vernon all of the time.

Connie Price's husband does not remember the person he got it from, nor the house it came from. We will never know I guess.....

    I was so excited to see this old bible (published in 1832). When it was Joyce's turn to find a home for the bible I am thrilled that she thought of the Jennings County Library as a home for it. The condition is very fragile but I have scanned (with a hand held scanner), the center pages on the Swincher family and the bible will be stored in our archives in a acid free enviorment.
    James Barlow Swincher was an early Baptist minister who was involved in founding and preaching at most of the early Baptist churches here in southeastern Indiana. Below is his Biography from "The Coffee Creek Baptist Association" by J.C. Tibbits.

    Elder James B. Swincher was born in Frankfort Ky., October 29, 1803, and died at Vernon, Ind., September 9, 1879; consequently was a little less than seventy-six years old.
    He came when a lad with his parents to Jefferson County, and resided with them, assisting his father in opening and cultivating a farm, until twenty-one years of age, when he married and commenced farming for himself in the immediate vicinity. Bethany Church was constituted at his fathers house in 1838, and not long after the subject of this sketch was received into membership by experience and baptism. He soon took part in social meetings, and erelong engaged earnestly in exhorting sinners to embrace the Savior, and accept salvation on the terms of the gospel.
    In January, 1842, the church recognized his talent by granting him license to preach, and in the fall of the same year he was ordained to the ministry and immediately called to the pastorate, in which relation he continued until his removal to Vernon, a period of sixteen years. He also held pastorates with many other churches, unually having the care of three or four at the same time, and was quite successful in his work. He was for a number of years, Clerk of the Association and always manifested a deep interest in its proceedings, and in all other branches of Christian duty.
    After moving to Vernon he actively persued his ministerial calling, preaching extensively in the bounds of Madison Association, and still continuing pastoral relations with several churches in his old neighborhood. As a general rule his pastorates were long and attended with success.
With a fair education and a willingness to cheerfully do his full share in all departments of church work, he held a prominent position in the denomination, and was always reliable. In all business transaction he was prompt; in all his apointments, punctual; of even temper, never being highly elated or unduly depressed, he ever manifested, what in reality he was, a true Christian gentleman.
    Elder Swincher was three times married. His last wife, formerly Miss Ward, and a son of his second wife are all the family he left.

Pictures of the center part of the Bible

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