SWAIN CEMETERY (SITE)

SWAIN CEMETERY (SITE)

street:
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
1840
/ Modified in
1842
,
1862
,
1867
,
1868
/ Demolished in
1869-1874
Neighborhood: 

 

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Last updated

  • Tue, 05/04/2021 - 1:50pm by SteveR

Comments

street:
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
1840
/ Modified in
1842
,
1862
,
1867
,
1868
/ Demolished in
1869-1874
Object Type: 
Object Subtype: 
Neighborhood: 

 

What could be called the Swain cemetery was behind what is known as the "Second President's House" (i.e. the president of UNC), built circa 1812 on town lot 19, which burned in 1886. In 1835, David Lowry Swain, Sr. was elected president of UNC and in circa 1838 moved into the house with his family (Swain was the 26th governor of North Carolina, serving from 1832-1835); he served as the fourth UNC president until his death in 1868. The house site roughly is between what is known as the (current) "President's House" (built in 1906, located at 402 East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill) and the "Love House" (built in 1887, located at 410 East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill).
 
The Swains were initially buried at this location "in the garden under the cedar trees" (as per Annie Swain's wishes), but were reinterred in Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh either in December 1869 (according to a letter from Cornelia Phillips Spencer to Eleanor Swain) or August 17, 1874 (according to a newspaper account, see below), after Eleanor Hope Swain (David's wife) moved to Raleigh in late 1868 after her husband's death.
 
Family friend Cornelia Phillips Spencer was apparently outraged to learn, after the graves were exhumed, that they were stored in a local barn overnight instead of a more dignified indoors location such as in a UNC building.
 
David Jr.'s and Susan's original gravemarkers were transferred to Raleigh and utilized; a new combination gravemarker/monument was made and erected to mark the graves of David Sr., Eleanor, and Ella.
 
 
Known burials:
 
Swain, Annie/Anne Caroline (b. 09 Oct 1829 - d. 25 Mar 1867)
 
Swain, David Lowery, Sr. (b. 04 Jan 1801 d. 29 Aug 1868)
 
Swain, David Lowery, Jr. (b. 12 Dec 1834 - d. 15 Oct 1840)
 
Swain, Eleanor "Ella" (b. 12 Jan 1842 - d. 13 Oct 1842)
 
Swain, Susan E. Burt (b. 07 Sept 1839 - d. 21 Apr 1862)
 
 
 
David Swain, Jr.'s grave that was moved to Raleigh (via CemeteryCensus.com)
 
Susan Swain's grave that was moved to Raleigh (via CemeteryCensus.com)
 
Excerpt from August 17, 1874 The Southern Home (newspaper); via Robin Simonton of Historic Oakwood Cemetery

 

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