OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE
DESCRIPTIVE AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF
PREPARED AND PUBLISHED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF
FALL RIVER NEWS
WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF
HON. ALANSON BORDEN
OF NEW BEDFORD
THE BOSTON HISTORY COMPANY, PUBLISHERS
Retyped for the web by Stephanie Anderson
Swansea. - This was the fourth town formed in Bristol county, and was originally a part of Rehoboth,
and also a part of the Indian lands called Wannamoisett, which extended over the Rhode Island line. The incorporation
of the town took place March 5, 1668, when it included the territory of the present town of Somerset, the town
of Barrington and the greater part of Warren in Rhode Island. On July 5, 1669, a neck of land called Papasquash
Neck, excepting one hundred acres, was annexed to the town. On August 11, 1670, the bounds between Swansea and
Rehoboth were established. On February 20, 1790, somerset was set off, leaving Swansea with its present area. The
town is bounded on the north by Seekonk, Rehoboth and Dighton, and on the east by Dighton and Somerset, on the
south by Somerset and Mt. Hope Bay, and on the west by Rhode Island. The census of 1895 gives the population as
1,627, and the number of registered voters in 1897 was 353. The town forms a part of the Thirteenth Congressional
District, and with Somerset and Wards 8 and 9 of Fall River constitutes the Eleventh Representative District, with
6,827 legal voters, entitling the districts to three representatives. There are five post-offices in Swansea, namely
Swansea, North Swansea, South Swansea, Hortonville and Swansea Center. The town supports ten schools.
Swansea village is pleasantly situated on the southern border of the town and has a population of 590. It contains
three stores, a blacksmith shop, a wagon shop, a shoemaker shop, and newspaper, the Swansea Record, which is one
of a number, all published in this county, started in 1885 by Samuel E. Fiske, the heading and local matter being
different in each, while the same general matter is used in all. A half mile from the village is a bleachery and
dye works on the site of a former paper mill. James Lloyd Wellington, M. D., practices medicine here and has during
the past fifty-five years- a professional career that probably is not equaled in length by any other in the county.
A new town hall, built of rough stone work, was erected in 1800, on the site of the former Union church; it was
a gift of Frank Shaw Stevens, a sketch of whose life is given in another part of this work.
Barneysville is a hamlet in the extreme northeastern part of the town on Warren River, where there has always been
a large fishing industry. In early years considerable shipbuilding was carried on here by Mason Barney. A jewelry
manufactory is located here nd one store and post-office (Hortonville). North Somerset is a hamlet that is practically
one with Barneysville. It has a Baptist church and the post-office.
Hortonville is situated in the northern part of the town, where a post-office was procured by Nathaniel B. Horton.
It has a Universalist church, three stores and a wagon maker.
Swansea Center is a hamlet with post-office, two stores and the Fist Christian church. South Swansea is a small
settlement where there is a post-office and a store. Considerable gardening is done in this town for Fall River
and Providence markets, and milk is produced and sold in Fall River. Much of the land in the northern part is poor
and stony and large tracts are covered with trees and undergrowth. The southern part is very fertile. Among prominent
farmers are E. C. Gardiner, Job Gardiner, jr., Frank S. Stevens, James Easterbrook, James Eddy, Job Gardiner, sr.,
Samuel Gardiner, James Newhall, Leland Gardiner, Frank G. Arnold, Philip Manchester. A large Portuguese element
has come into the town, settling chiefly in the northern part. A large business is done in growing hot-house products
for the Boston market. The village population according to the last census for North Swansea, 273; South Swansea,
162; Swansea Center, 313; Swansea village, 590.