Local History Collections

Collection ID: LH-341
Location: LH-341

(Description ID: 595621)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

Swinehart-Peffly Families


Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

The Swinehart-Peffly Collection was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in 2004 by Marian Diedrich.

Biographical Sketch
The marriage of Florence Leonora Swinehart and Arthur Hugh Peffly October 10, 1906 united two families with deep roots in Ohio and strong ties to the Lutheran Church.  Nicholas Peffly arrived in Pennsylvania in 1729; Jurg Schweinhardt arrived in Philadelphia in 1732.  Both men had emigrated from Germany.  The Peffly family moved to the Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio area in 1826.  The Swinehart family settled in Perry County, Ohio in 1804.

Florence Swinehart (1880-1943) was one of three children born to the Reverend Peter S. Swinehart.  The other children were the Reverend Albert Loy Swinehart (1882-1916) and Sarah Margaret Swinehart (1884-1980). Albert Swinehart and Arthur Peffly were classmates at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio.

Peter S. Swinehart was one of several children of Samuel Swinehart and Margaret Poorman.  He was born December 5, 1847 in Hopewell Township, Perry County, Ohio.  He graduated from Capital University in 1873.  Founded by the Lutheran Church June 9, 1830, Capital University stressed preparing students for the ministry.  Peter Swinehart became a Lutheran pastor, serving congregations in Perry County, Ohio; Piqua, Ohio, where he organized the congregation of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church; and Sandusky, Ohio.

Peter Swinehart married Mary Elizabeth Biggs in her home town, Junction, City, Ohio, October 30, 1879.  The Biggs family also had strong ties to the Lutheran Church.  Mary’s brother James Albert Biggs was a founding member of the first Lutheran Church in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, where he lived from 1886 until his death. Peter Swinehart died January 20, 1898 in Sandusky, Ohio.  He was buried in St. Paul’s Church Cemetery, Glenford, Perry County, Ohio.

The Reverend Arthur Hugh Peffly, husband of Florence Swinehart, was born to Francis and Mary Havermale Peffly of Farmersville, Montgomery County, Ohio September 23, 1882.  He graduated from Capital University Seminary in 1906 and was ordained the same year at the Lutheran Church in Farmersville, Ohio.  He served congregations in Saginaw, Riga, and Detroit, Michigan; and Attica, Lima, and Fremont, Ohio. Arthur Peffly married Florence Swinehart October 10, 1906.  Three children were born to the couple: Paul, Robert, and Ruth.  Arthur Peffly died December 25, 1954 at Toledo, Ohio.

Scope and Content
The Swinehart-Peffly Collection includes photographs, documents, and clippings relating to members of both families.  Items date from the 1873 to 1984.  The bulk of the collection is photographs, only some of which have subjects identified.  The documents include diplomas and baptismal certificates for members of the Swinehart family.  Clippings of obituaries provide biographical information for members of both families.

Ac. 5674
½ linear ft.

Box 1

1 Peter Swinehart family: Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1940;
   cabinet card images of Rev. Peter and Mary Swinehart; Swinehart family data; 1897 letter by Peter Swinehart;
   black and white print of “Grandma Swinehart;” unidentified black and white prints; albumen prints (2)
   of Peter Swinehart family (?) before residences  

2 Cabinet card images of Albert Loy Swinehart; Images of Albert Loy Swinehart with perhaps New Lexington,
   Ohio Sunday School class (?)

3 Sarah Margaret Swinehart images; sympathy cards

4 Sarah Swinehart funeral book

5 Mary Elizabeth Biggs (Swinehart) family, including 1929 letter from James A. Biggs; Image and obituary
   of James A. Biggs

6 Cabinet card images of Mrs. Arthur Hugh (Florence Swinehart) Peffly; image of Paul Peffly, 1909;
   Obituary and typed transcription of memorial dedication service for Florence Swinehart Peffly;
   Obituary of Rev. Arthur Hugh Peffly

Box 2

1 Women – unidentified photos
2 Children – unidentified photos
3 Men – unidentified photos
4 Couples and families – unidentified photos
5 Groups – unidentified photos
6 Structures and scenes – unidentified photos
7 Paul Mechling: Wal-Mec Farm Bed and Breakfast (1984) – correspondence
8 Miscellaneous – documents and clippings


1 Diploma from Capital University, Columbus, Ohio – Peter S. Swinehart, 1873
2 Certificate of Baptism – Albert Loy Swinehart, 1883
3 Diploma from Capital University – Albert Loy Swinehart, 1906
4 Diploma from Evangelical Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio – Albert Swinehart,1906
5 Vocation [call] from the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Immanuel Congregation,
   Phillipsburg, Ohio to the Reverend Albert Swinehart, 1914
6 Certificate of Baptism – Sarah Margaret Swinehart, 1884
7 Certificate of Confirmation – Sarah Swinehart, 1890
8. Photograph – World War II Army Air Corps squadron