James J. Swofford was born in Franklin County,
Illinois, August 25, 1852. His boyhood days were spent on a
farm, and what education he received was in the district schools and
in the public schools of Benton, Ill., where the family moved from the
country. His father died when the boy was only eight years old,
leaving a wife and four children. The young John went to work in
a dry goods store when thirteen, and has ever been engaged in that
business ever since. At the age of twenty-three, having saved up
what money he could, he and his brother, B. S. Swofford, went into
business for themselves in Shawneetown, Ill., $1,600 being the amount
of their capital. Ten years they remained there, and then they
came to Kansas City. In 1897 the Swofford Bros. Dry Goods
Company was incorporated, and to-day the capitalization is for
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Mr. Swofford was appointed a member of the
Park Board in April, 1901, is chairman of the Finance Committee to
erect a home for the Manufacturers' Association, and was chairman of
the committee that secured the Democratic National Convention.
He is a director in the Commercial Club, belongs to the Evanston Golf
Club, is a director in the Bank of Commerce, and is also a Mason, a
Knight Templar, and a Shriner.
He married Miss Fay R. Powell in Shawneetown
October 2, 1877. They have three children, Ralph P., Helen, and
J. J. Jr.