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"Willie Faye had said, "You just kind of got to believe," and I realized that she must have meant that we had to have faith. For what is faith but believing what you can't see."
—Minnie Swift[5]

Minerva "Minnie" Swift (born c. 1921) was the daughter of Belle and Sam Swift. She had four siblings, including three older sisters Gwen, Clem, and Lady, and a younger brother Ozzie. Minnie grew up with her large family in Indianapolis, Indiana. In late 1932, a distant cousin of the Swifts, Willie Faye Darling, came to live with them. Minnie became close to Willie Faye, whom was the same age.

Biography[]

Early life[]

Minerva, nicknamed "Minnie," was born around 1921.[2] She was the youngest daughter of Sam and Belle Swift. Minnie had three older sisters, Gwendolyn "Gwen", Clementine "Clem", and Adelaide "Lady", and a younger brother, Francis Osgood "Ozzie". She grew up on North Meridian Street in Indianapolis, Indiana.

December 1932[]

Due to the Great Depression, Minnie realized that Christmas of 1932 was going to be different from their previous Christmases. Two days after Thanksgiving, the Swifts received a telegram about their distant cousin, Willie Faye Darling, coming to live with them. Willie Faye was an orphan from the Texas Panhandle. She was the same age as Minnie and they quickly became close friends, despite their differing personalities. The day after her arrival, Minnie brought her to her school. Willie Faye, to Minnie's dismay, was put in a lower grade than her. Minnie was fascinated about the things Willie Faye did not know, but soon realized that she had many interesting experiences.

The following weekend, Minnie brought Willie Faye to attend a Bernadette Otis's, a classmate, birthday. It was quickly cancelled when Bernadette's father shot himself. Willie Faye was effected by the incident and later told Minnie about her mother's passing. Some days later, Lady whisked Clem and her friends away for a night out. Minnie felt left out since she was "too young" to go with them. The next day, she and Willie Faye began making gifts for the entire family. They asked for Lady for her help in fashioning hats. On December 15, Minnie's father revealed that he had lost his job at Greenhandle Scrap Iron. The next day, Clem's new boyfriend Marlon helped the Swift children cut down a tree.

The day after that, Minnie's father had left suddenly with only a note asking them "not to worry." At the Christmas pageant, Willie Faye helped Minnie when the rude Martine Vontill claimed that he had "deserted" the family. The Swifts attempted to "soldier on" as their mother put it. On Christmas Eve, the family decided to give their dinner to the homeless. When they returned, they found their father decorating the house. He revealed that he had went to Chicago and sold three scripts of a radio show, entitled Ozzie, the Boy Wonder. The family was overjoyed and proceeded to celebrate Christmas. Minerva later reflected on how Willie Faye had changed their lives.

Later life[]

After the success of Ozzy, the Boy Wonder, the Swift family became wealthy. Minnie was able to attend college but put it aside when America entered World War II in 1941. Minnie, who had learned to fly at fifteen, joined the Army Air Force and later the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). She an air force captain, Ashton Brannock. They had two children before he was killed in the Korean War. Minnie went on to write adventure survival novels for girls. She also collaborated with Willie Faye on a series of children's books about "a chicken that flew an airplane." Minnie later remarried and continued to fly well into her seventies. She was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

Personality and traits[]

Minnie was a typical, fun-loving child of her time. She enjoyed going to the movies and listening to radio shows. Some of her favorite programs were Charlie Chan and The Shadow. Due to being named after the Roman goddess of wisdom, she sometimes felt pressure to be smart. She tried hard to study and would become annoyed when she felt she did not due well on a test. Minnie also held an admiration for Amelia Earhart. She went on to learn how to fly as a teenager and flew for the army as an adult.

Family tree[]

The Swift Family Tree
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mr. Darling
(d. 1931)
 
Edwina Darling
(d. 1932)
 
Belle Swift
 
Sam Swift
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Willie Faye Darling
(b. 1921)
 
Gwendolyn Swift
(b. 1912)
 
Harry Knox
(b. 1902)
 
Clementine Swift
(b. 1915)
 
Marlon
 
Adelaide Swift
(b. 1916)
 
(1) Ashton Brannock
(d. 1950s)
 
Minerva Swift
(b. 1921)
 
(2) Husband
 
Francis Osgood Swift
(b. 1923)
 
Wife
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Three children
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Two children

Notes:

  • It is stated that Willie Faye Darling is a first cousin once removed of the Swifts, which points to her mother being a first cousin of Belle.

Behind the scenes[]

Appearances[]

References[]

See also[]


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