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Alias Soapy Smith

Gene Swinbank Account.

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Here are some facts of the Belonger family history that someone may be able to use.

One day Sam Belonger and another scout serving under Buffalo Bill Cody were bottled up in a deep canyon by 40 Apaches and had to shoot their way out.

Joe Belonger was standing right beside Wild Bill Hickok in Deadwood, South Dakota, when Jack McCall shot and killed Wild Bill. Uncle Joe felt the wind of the bullet.

When the Belonger family was crossing the Great Lakes on the way from Vermont to Wisconsin, little Mary Dominica Belonger (later to be Mrs. William Swinbank) was creeping around on the ship deck and was just falling over the side when someone grabbed her and yanked her back. It was a matter of 2 seconds time. If little Mary had drowned that day neither Tom nor any of the William Swinbank family or their descendants would have enjoyed life on this earth.

Little Mary Dominica Belonger (named after the much beloved Sister Dominica, an early day church worker) grew up in early day Shullsburg until she was 18, when she and William Swinbank were married. They lived out their lives in Shullsburg, Wisconsin. The result of the union was 6 children of which Tom Swinbank, my father, was one.

Today Judith and Peter Simon Belonger and 4 of Mary Dominica Swinbank brothers and sisters rest in the old Catholic Cemetery right close to St. Matthew's church in Shullsburg, Wis. Also in the cemetery there rests baby Marguerite (infant daughter of Tom and Christina Swinbank).

Now here are some unusual facts about the Belonger Swinbank family. Peter Simon Belonger, Abe Lincoln, and Ulysses Grant were all personal friends in the days when Abe was a young law student and when Ulysses Grant was farming and wood hauling and Simon Belonger was a rock fence builder. At that time granddad Belonger was the only rock fence builder in all this section between Shullsburg and Galena, Ill. He spent a lot of time in Galena.


 

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