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Frank Swope

Frank Swope
Frank Swope

Eminent Farmer

County: Faulk

Frank Swope was born in Mt. Union, Pennsylvania, on June 28, 1892.  He was educated in Pennsylvania public schools and attended Normal School. Although he prepared for a teaching career, Mr. Swope had one future plan in mind—to eventually own and operate a farm.

He taught school from 1913 to 1919 in his hometown and then moved to another teaching job at Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska. It was at Cedar Bluffs where he met and married Cynthia Palmer on April 1, 1923. They moved to Faulk County and began farming in 1924.

His first farm, in 1924, was located 3½ miles southeast of his present spread of 1,400 acres.  He has been farming his present location, 3½ miles north of Orient, South Dakota, since 1928. There he and Mrs. Swope, who passed away last spring, conducted a successful business.

Mr. Swope operates mainly a livestock enterprise. He runs one of the largest flocks of registered Hampshire sheep in the United States. His purebred sheep—he runs about 400 head—have won him hundreds of ribbons at State Fairs throughout the Midwest. Buyers from 16 states have purchased his sheep to improve their breeding.

In addition, Mr. Swope runs over a hundred head of commercial cows, believing that it pays more to raise feed and sell it through livestock than it does to market crops for cash. Except for purebred sires, he always raises his own replacements.

In 1937 and 1939, he served in the State House of Representatives, and was chairman of the agriculture committee during his second term.

He is a director and was a charter member of the Faulk County Crop Improvement Association. He has served as president of the State Crop Improvement Association and is a director. When the South Dakota State College Advisory Council was organized, Mr. Swope was asked to serve on the Council. He is still a member. Also, he is a director of the State College Foundation Seed Stock Division.

In 1950, he was named honorary member of the State College Block and Bridle Club. He is a member of the Board of Stewards of the Methodist Church in Orient, South Dakota.