John P. & Sarah Catherine Swartz Fund

TYPE OF FUND:  Field of Interest

DATE ESTABLISHED:   Initiated June 1993            Established 2001 

PURPOSE:  To promote music education in Tucker County schools. 

DISTRIBUTION:  Upon the recommendation by the Grants Committee and approval by the full Board of Directors of TCF. 

VARIANCE POWER:  If, in the judgment of the TCF Board of Directors, the restrictions and conditions of the fund become unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community, the TCF Board of Directors maintains the right to modify the terms of this fund.

FUNDING:  From family and friends in memory of John Phillip Swartz and Sarah Catherine White Swartz.

BACKGROUND:  John Phillip Swartz was born in Lonaconing, Maryland, April 3, 1872, and married Sarah Catherine White, born in Harman, WV, May 30, 1882 in 1897.  John worked on the railroad for many years in various jobs.  He was a self-educated musician and an accomplished violinist.  He taught others to play other instruments, especially horns.  John and Sarah’s home also contained many string instruments and an upright grand piano.  John conducted the Hendricks Orchestra for several years and was the mayor Hendricks from 1912-1913.

Sarah was a homemaker and although she didn’t play musical instruments, she loved to sing and initiated the love and appreciation of music in their children and encouraged their participation and knowledge in musical events.

Sarah and John were the parents of eight children:  Vanyla, born February 8, 1901; Lakey, July 30, 1902; Beatrice, February 29, 1904; Evelyn, April 10, 1906; John, March 10, 1908; Helen, January 27, 1910; Ruth, January 21, 1912; and Robert, September 1, 1915.

Vanyla and Evelyn played piano for silent films until they married.  Lakey was a music teacher in Hendricks and Hamrick for many years.  John “Buss” was skilled on string instruments.  He played the guitar, steel guitar and bass fiddle.  Robert “Snook” was employed by a Cumberland, Maryland radio station with his own band and program until his death.

The other children retained their love of music.  Although they did not always play instruments, they loved to sing and harmonize and sang in church choirs.  Many of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren are very talented in various musical abilities.