Page 499-501, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


J. R. Switzer.—While the building of cities and towns, and the erection of magnificent buildings is, in a general way, brought about by the concerted action of communities, it requires a certain individual genius to carry out the plans and erect, in material and finished form and develop the ideals of others. J. R. Switzer, whose name introduces this review, is one of the few whose mastery of the art of building has played no small part in the construction of some of the most important buildings of Butler county, as well as elsewhere. Mr. Switzer is a native


of Perrysville, Ind., and a son of W. P. and Ella (Rabb) Switzer, natives of Indiana, who were the parents of three children, as follows: Lou, Augusta; Alfred, Spring Ranch, Iowa, and J. R.

J. R. Switzer received his education in the public schools of Indiana and La Cygne, Kans., graduating from the high school of the latter place when nineteen years of age. He then learned the mason's trade. He then followed superintendent of construction work for a time in the southern States, and in 1889 came to Augusta, Kans., and since that time has been active in construction work as a contractor and superintendent. He built the Peckham building, postoffice building, telephone building and the High School Building at Augusta and superintended the construction of the Butler County Court House at El Dorado and the Carnegie Library at Newton, Kans. He also superintended the erection of the court house and jail at Pratt, Kans., as well as a number of other minor buildings. He was appointed city engineer of Augusta in 1908 and has held that position to the present time and in that capacity drew the plans and specifications for the Augusta waterworks dam across the Walnut river and constructed the electric light plant of Augusta.

Mr. Switzer was married in 1891, to Miss Nettie Reed, of Augusta, her parents being pioneers of Butler county. To Mr. and Mrs. Switzer has been born one child, Fred, who is proprietor of the City Bakery and Cafe of Augusta. Mr. Switzer is one of the progressive and public spirited citizens of Augusta whose enterprise has made possible greater Augusta. J. R. Switzer has always affiliated with the Democratic party, taking an active part. For sixteen years he was local committeeman. He served four years as secretary and treasurer and was chairman of the county committee for four years. He was a member of the Congressional Committee for twelve years and a member of the State Committee for eight years, a position which he still holds.

W. P. Switzer, the father, was born in Indiana in 1838, a son of Joseph and Eliza (Anderson) Switzer, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of New York. They were the parents of five children, two of whom are living, as follows: George, lives in Illinois, and W. P. Mr. Switzer was educated in the public schools of Indiana, and when the Civil war broke out, he enlisted at Danville, Ill. in Company E, Thirty-fifth regiment, Illinois infantry, under Captain Oliver, and later served under Captain Yohe. After his enlistment his command was sent to St. Louis, Mo., and from there to Springfield, and later to RolIa, Mo., where they spent the winter. They then took part in the campaign in pursuit of General Price's army in Arkansas; later he participated in the battles of Pea Ridge, Corinth, Resaca, Stone river, Chattanooga, Franklin, Nashville and Chickamauga. He was severely wounded at the battle of Chickamauga by a minnie ball which struck him in the right leg, just below the knee and as a reminder of that incident, he recently received a letter from the comrade who helped him off the field of battle when wounded, and in his letter the old comrade made


the following statement: "If you don't come and see me, I'll always wish that I had let the rebels have you." Mr. Switzer was mustered out of service at Louisville, Ky., in 1865 at the close of the war and went to Vermillion county, Illinois, where he was engaged in farming a number of years. In 1873 he went to Indiana and after spending four years in that State came to Kansas, locating near La Cygne, Linn county, where he made his home for twenty-five years. In 1903 he came to Butler county and since that time has resided at Augusta. For a number of years he was engaged in the stone business but is now living practically retired.

Mr. Switzer was married while living in Indiana, to Miss Ella Rabb and the living children of this union are as above mentioned. Mr. Switzer is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Augusta Post, No. 105.

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