Aunt Mary

My Aunt Mary turns 100 in style


A brief biography of Aunt Mary

By Jack Swann

Born May 29, 1907

The first born of 9 children (3 boys, 6 girls)

A remarkable life…

A life great in years…

A life great in accomplishments…

Some notes you may find interesting…

In May of 1907 there were only 45 States in the Union. During Mary’s lifetime the following states would be added to the union:

Oklahoma (Nov 16, 1907)

New Mexico (Jan 6, 1912)

Arizona (Feb 14, 1912)

Alaska (Jan 3, 1959)

Hawaii (Aug 21, 1959)

When Mary was born Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States. Mary has seen the leadership of our country change hands 18 times.

T. Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, F. Roosevelt, Truman,

Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon,

Ford, Carter, Reagan, G. Bush,

Clinton, G.W. Bush

Mary was born during the golden age of American railroading while the steam locomotive was in its’ prime.

Aviation was in its’ infancy, the Wright brothers first flight was in 1903 and 1907 marked the first flight of a helicopter (a flight that lasted just 20 seconds).

WWI, the Great War, started June 28, 1914. US joined on April 6, 1917

In the 1920’s the Swann family left Indian Head Maryland and after residing for a short time in various places, including, Philadelphia (PA), Folsom (NJ), Hammonton (NJ), they finally settled for a second time in Philadelphia at 1938

E. Tioga Street where Joan was born in 1930. 2077 E. Victoria St (1st move) 2088 E. Pacific St 1938 E. Tioga St Mary is reported to have been the first person on her block of Tioga St to own an automobile. It was a real gem in those days, an Essex Teraplane.

The Swann’s were also blessed with having the first radio on the block when Mary brought home an Atwater Kent Model 10 Radiodyne receiver.

After 32 years of Blessed Singleness Mary married Bill Unger (1938). Mary had an affinity for antiques and noted recently that Bill was a Veteran of WWI and was Captain of a Machine Gun Unit. I also understand that Bill Unger was a semi-pro pitcher.

In the 1940’s Bill and Mary settled at 4738 Lansing Street where Mary continued with her firsts. She was the first on her block to own a Mercedes Benz (a car which according to Mary was of greater value than their home).

Mary had a distinguished 26 year career working in the public school system of Philadelphia.

Bill and Mary were married for 32 years… According to Mary another “32”, 32 years of marital bliss.


Mary is also a world traveler and in 1960 she took “Cooks Around the World Tour” and visited just about every place on earth.

In 1986 Mary flew on the Concorde SST from Philadelphia to London returning on the QE2 Luxury Ocean Liner. This was the only time the Concorde visited Philadelphia.

Modes of Transportation…

Horse & Buggy Rail Airplane Tug Boat (Bill Unger was Captain of a Tug) Ocean Liner (QE2 and many others) Hot Air Balloon… In 1983 Mary accompanied her Sister Ann in a Balloon sight-seeing adventure (Sister Dare Devils) Motorcycle.. of course nothing but top of the line.. Harley Davidson (a company that recently celebrated 100 years in 2003).


Philadelphia College of Textile Temple University Normal School (teacher training)


Analysis of fiber (haircloth industry) – 6 years Red Cross Volunteer – 32 years!

Today with the celebration of 100 years young, Mary continues to lead a remarkable life! God Bless You.

More pics below!!!

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