Family Stories

Bio of Frances Caesar Swanda

A Love Story, by Lucia Swanda Peschl

My mother, Frances Caesar, came to this country from Czechoslovakia. Her step-mother did not like children and put her on a ship bound for the United States. She had a note pinned to her clothing stating she would be met by an aunt in Omaha Nebraska. When she arrived in Omaha, she learned her aunt had burned to death, leaving her alone.

A wealthy Jewish family took her in as a cook and housekeeper. My father, Frank Swanda, an ice delivery man, met my mother and they fell in love and got married. They had eight children.

In later years they moved to Oklahoma City where my father started the Swanda Brothers Sheet Metal Company. This became a successful company that allowed my father to purchase a red moon car; the first automobile with a gear shift.

In 1919, on a Sunday, my father, my brothers Ray and Robert, and my sister Alice went on a trip to Spencer Oklahoma to pick fruit for canning. At a blind railroad crossing, with no signals, a train hit the car, killing all.

My mother was a very brave and strong person, and with God's help, she survived her grief.

Mrs Swanda's Service Today

Rosary for Mrs Frances Swanda, 86, 4025 Springlake Drive will be at 7:30 pm Thursday in the chapel of the Smith and Kernke funeral home. Mass will be at 9 am Friday in Corpus Christi church, with burial at Fairlawn cemetery. Mrs Swanda, widow of a pioneer state businessman, died Tuesday at her home. She had been ill since suffering a stroke four years ago and had lived with her daughter, Mrs AB Soper, since then. A native of Czechoslavkia, Mrs Swanda came to this country in 1886. She married Frank Swanda sr, founder of the Swanda Bros. Sheet Metal and Roofing Co, 806 NW 3, in 1890. In addition to Mrs Soper, Mrs Swanda is survived by another daughter, Mrs John Peschl, 832 NE 24; three sons, Frank Swanda 1115 NW 15; George Swanda, east of the city, and Henry Swanda, Los Angeles California, 10 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.

Oklahoma City Newspaper (unidentified); dated about 16 August 1956; From the Swanda Family History Collection of Aline Svejkovsky Garrett.

Notes for Frances Caesar; compiled by Pamela Hutchison Garrett, 2013; for Family Stories at