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Old 06-13-2009, 06:19 PM
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Post Hon. Alexander Sweek - Biography from Encyclopedia of American Biography

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Hon. Alexander Sweek
Page 23

Lawyer -- Both in seniority and by right of esteem, the Hon. Alexander Sweek is on of the first members of the Oregon bar. His long practice at Portland has brought him a distinguished reputation in his profession and his prominence in public life has given him a wide influence in State affairs.

Mr. Sweek was born in Tualatin, Washington County, Oregon, on August 6, 1861, a son of John and Maria (Beard) Sweek, pioneers of Oregon, who crossed the plains by ox-cart from Missouri in 1852. John Sweek who was a farmer, settled with his bride near Tualatin, where his ranch is still operated by the family. Six children were born to him, of whom Alexander Sweek was the forth child and third son.

Alexander Sweek was educated in the public schools of Tualatin and at Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon, which he entered after completing the high school course. In 1883 he began the study of law in the office of Milton W. Smith, of Portland, and in 1888 was admitted to the Oregon bar. He was then appointed Oregon representative for swamp lands in the State but later began the active practice of his profession in Portland. Here he rapidly rose to prominence at the local bar and in 1896 became municipal judge of the city, serving until 1898. In 1901 he was elected to the Oregon State Senate as a Democrat, carrying Multnomah, Washington, and other counties of the district, which were all Republican strong-holds at the time. In the Legislature he drew up and sponsored the assessment and tax bill, which was passed by the State Assembly in 1901 and had an important part in the general conduct of the State's business. Meanwhile, when the office of the referee in bankruptcy was created in Portland in 1898 Mr. Sweek was appointed as the first incumbent and served until 1906. In 1916 he was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to head the Federal Land Office at Portland, filling this office capably until 1923. Since that time he has devoted himself to the practice of law in Portland as one of the city's leading attorneys.

Mr. Sweek has been influential in councils of the Democratic party since the beginning of his career and in 1905 served as chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee. He has taken an active part in Portland civic life, where he has been prominently associated with many community institutions which have benefited largely through his leadership or sympathetic support. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Portland Lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of which he is now the oldest Past Exalted Ruler, and with the Free and Accepted Masons, in which he is a member of the Commandery of the Knights Templar and other highter bodies.

Mr. Sweek married Florence Kelly, of Deer Lodge, Montana, and they became the parents of two sons: 1. John Alexander, deceased. 2. Robert F., born March 29, 1917, now a student at Read College, Portland.
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