Swope was born in New Jersey around 1851 to John and Catherine
Swope. His parents appear in the Census of 1850 in Camden's South
Ward, with older siblings Henry W., George W., and Caroline. The
family name of Swope appears to be an "Americanization"
of the German Schwaab. There was at least one and possibly two
families in Camden of whose family members adopted the last name
Swope during the 1800s. As to where the family lived and what they
were doing, the Census of 1860 is inconclusive, however it does
appears that John Swope had passed.
the Census was taken in 1870 the Swope family was living in
Camden's North Ward. Charles Swope was living with his widowed
mother and his siblings. His older brother Henry was working as a
locksmith, and older brother George W. Swope was working as a
butcher. Sister Caroline, as yet unmarried, lived with them.
Charles Swope had begun working as a stone cutter. Later Censuses
indicate that Charles Swope had married in the late 1860s, and
that their was a son, Charles Jr., born prior to the Census. Young
Charles appears to been raised by his mother's family, the
stated above, Charles Swope was appointed to the Camden Fire
Department as an extra man on April 8, 1876. By this time he was
living at 319 Arch
Street, where he would maintain a presence into the early
1920s. The 1880 Census shows him living with his widowed mother
and his sister Caroline, also a widow, at 319 Arch Street.
1887 City Directory shows that Charles Swope had gone into
partnership in a marble works knows as Swope & Carter, at 33 North
4th Street. By 1898 he was in business for himself at 1027
1900 Census shows Charles Swope living alone at 319 Arch
Street. Living next door at 321 was the William Swope family.
William Swope was a butcher, and news articles of the day indicate
that Charles Swope had an interest in the butcher shop.
1910 Census shows that Charles Swope and his son had reunited.
Charles Sr. and Charles Jr. were living together at 319 Arch
Street with Charles Jr.'s wife Anna and their children, Miriam
and Maurice Swope.
Charles Swope Jr. worked as a painter,
Charles Jr. was killed in 1916 when he fell from a scaffold. The
1920 Census shows Charles Swope Sr., his daughter-in-law and
grandchildren at 319 Arch
Street. Charles Swope Sr. passed on March 16, 1923 at the age
of 71. His daughter-in-law, Anna Swope was
still at 319 Arch Street when the 1929 City Directory was
compiled, and members of William Swope's family were still living
at 321 Arch
Street into the 1930s.
1949, history tragically repeated itself when Charles Swope's
grandson, Maurice Swope,
was killed after falling of a roof.