William Tyre Swift House, 1857, Perry

Also known as the Swift-Tolleson House, this antebellum Greek Revival townhouse was built for Judge William Tyre Swift, most likely with the labor of enslaved men. The street on which it is located is named for Judge Swift. In 1879, legend relates that the world-famous SSS Tonic was invented in the backyard by Judge Swift’s descendant, Charles Thomas Swift. The tonic was one of the best-selling American patent medicines of its time and is still in production today, albeit a different formula. J. Meade Tolleson purchased the home in 1929 and it remained in the Tolleson family another forty years.

1 Comment

Filed under --HOUSTON COUNTY GA--, Perry GA

One response to “William Tyre Swift House, 1857, Perry

  1. Rafe Semmes

    Hello, Brian, Another post with a very familiar name attached:  Tolleson. My family’s now-defunct wholesale hardware company in Savannah was pleased to count Tolleson Supply Co. in Perry among its many long-time valuable customers across three states.   I worked many orders for that firm in the summers of the late ’60’s and ’70’s, and then knew they were a major account when I became Credit Manager in the late ’70’s. I believe Jimmy Shingler, one of our area salesmen for many years, came from that business, back in the 1950’s and ’60’s.  I did not get involved in the management of the firm until after graduate school, in the mid-1970’s, so I only met him once or twice before he retired.  But I knew he had been an important part of the company’s history in the mid-GA area for many years.  And I believe you featured a Shingler house in Perry in an earlier post, which I believe I commented on then. “Shingler” and “Tolleson” are both rather unusual names, although there may be a lot of folks with those names in the central GA area. So of course they would jump out at me. Thank you for featuring the several buildings in Perry in today’s posts. I have several friends in Perry from Rotary Club, although I have not been there in quite a while.  Good people, all. I am always glad to see your posts.  Sometimes you surprise me with the obscure connections they reveal. Sincerely,

    Rafe SemmesSavannah/Midway GA   

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