View All Photos

Hubert & Daisy Swartout graduation from College of Medical Missionaries, Loma Linda, California, 1932.

From Adventism in China Digital Image Repository, www.adventisminchina.org.

Swartout, Hubert Oscar (1888–1985) and Daisy Maud (Butka) (1888–1985)

By Milton Hook

×

Milton Hook, Ed.D. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, the United States). Hook retired in 1997 as a minister in the Greater Sydney Conference, Australia. An Australian by birth Hook has served the Church as a teacher at the elementary, academy and college levels, a missionary in Papua New Guinea, and as a local church pastor. In retirement he is a conjoint senior lecturer at Avondale College of Higher Education. He has authored Flames Over Battle Creek, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora, Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist, the Seventh-day Adventist Heritage Series, and many magazine articles. He is married to Noeleen and has two sons and three grandchildren.

First Published: July 19, 2023

Hubert Oscar Swartout (蘇清心pinyin Sū Qīngxīn) served as a schoolteacher in Michigan, followed by a decade of teaching and editing in China. When he returned to America, he became a physician, an author of medical books, and an administrator as County Health officer in Los Angeles.

Early Years

Hubert was born in Carson City, Michigan, July 7, 1888, to Charles and Metta (Driver) Swartout. His only sibling was Florence (b. 1892). They were raised on a farm in Bloomer on the southern edge of Carson City.1 When he was twelve years old, he was baptized by Elder E. M. Slade in Ionia, Michigan. He studied at Emmanuel Missionary College, graduating in May 1913 with an A.B. degree.2 During his studies, he met and married Daisy Maud Butka on May 24, 1910, in Berrien Springs, Michigan.3 Daisy also earned an A.B. degree, and together they began their church careers in September 1913 at Cedar Lake Academy. Hubert served as preceptor and teacher of science and history, and Daisy taught English.4

Mission Service

Hubert and Daisy departed from California for Shanghai, China, in August 1916.5 After the mandatory twelve months of learning the basics of the Chinese language, Hubert assumed his appointment as principal of the China Missions Training School. This co-educational training institution was in Shanghai. Mission officials expected it to operate on a self-supporting basis. In addition to training evangelists, a teacher-training program also functioned.6 The total enrolment numbered 132 students during Hubert’s first year, 1917/1918.7 Two years later, Hubert transferred to be principal of the Hankow (now Wuhan) Intermediate School in Hubei Province, a new venture that opened in mid-1919.8 The school enrolled 83 students, 1919/1920, their ages ranging from seven to 38.9 With this role, Hubert also served as superintendent of the Education Department in the Central China Union Mission.10

In May 1921, Hubert was appointed secretary/treasurer of the Central China Union Mission.11 It proved to be a short-term assignment because, six months later, he was re-appointed to the Signs of the Times Publishing House in Shanghai.12 His work entailed editing the Chinese language Signs of the Times, associate editor of The Last Day Shepherd’s Call, and assistant editor of the Sabbath School Helper.13 He was also required to travel throughout China to promote the sale of these periodicals.14 Several of his own articles were published in the Asiatic Division Outlook, e.g., his analysis of rising communist sentiments in China.15 He conducted the first church service in the new Shanghai church on Range Road prior to its dedication a few weeks later.16

Back in America

Hubert and Daisy returned to America in 1926, sailing from Shanghai on April 20 aboard the “Tenyo Maru” to San Francisco. Their two children accompanied them - Hubert Jr., known as Lowen (b. 1918), and Lorayne (b. 1919).17

Holidays were taken among relatives in Michigan, and then the Swartout family settled in California. Hubert entered the College of Medical Evangelists, graduating in 1932. During his studies, he worked as a technician in a research laboratory. A niece later testified that he was a brilliant student, repeatedly gaining high scores. One anecdote tells of an incident on campus when fellow students saw him slouching along a footpath and looking downcast. They called out, “Hey, Swartout, what’s the problem? Got a 99?”18

Hubert did not return to China. After his internship, he became a physician in Los Angeles. Daisy worked as the registrar at White Memorial Hospital. Hubert increasingly moved into public health work. He earned a second doctorate, this one in public health. For a short time, he was the director of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases, and then, in about 1941, he was awarded the prestigious position of County Health Officer in Los Angeles.19 At the same time, he maintained close ties with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In 1943, the Pacific Press Publishing Association (PPPA) published Hubert’s hefty tome Modern Medical Counselor, a 900-page popular medical guide sold door-to-door by denominational canvassers.20 He also served briefly as editor of Health magazine, which was issued by PPPA.21 In 1952, PPPA published his second large book, titled Guardian of Health.22

The Swartouts settled at Pismo Beach, north of Los Angeles. On December 15, 1948, Hubert’s mother was struck by a car while walking to a prayer meeting.23 Hubert attended the distressing scene, but little could be done for her. She soon passed away.24 Hubert and Daisy remained in the Pismo Beach area while he continued to serve in his role as County Health Officer. Their son, Lowen, became a physician. Daughter Lorayne became a musician and married a physician. For many years, she was music director for the White Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.25

Both Hubert and Daisy enjoyed good health during their retirement. Hubert lived to be 96 years old before passing away on February 1, 1985, in Glendale, California. Almost nine months later, Daisy passed away on October 18, 1985, aged 96. They now rest together in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Los Angeles.26

Sources

Advertisement. ARH, November 11, 1943.

Advertisement. “Guardian of Health: Swartout, Hubert Oscar.” Amazon Books. https://www.amazon.com/Guardian-health-Hubert-Oscar-Swartout/dp/B0007F8N5C.

“Brother H. O. Swartout…” Asiatic Division Outlook, January 15, 1922.

“Daisy Maude (Butka) Swartout.” Find A Grave Memorial. Accessed June 13, 2022. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/74058651/daisy-maude-swartout.

“Distribution of Labor.” Asiatic Division Outlook, May 15, 1921.

“Editorial Appointments.” Asiatic Division Outlook, May 1, 1924.

Hubert Oscar Swartout Biographical Information Blank. Secretariat Missionary Files, RG 21, Record 114946. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, MD (GCA).

“Hubert Oscar Swartout.” FamilySearch. Accessed June 13, 2022. https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/9CSG-3K5.

“Hubert Oscar Swartout.” Find A Grave Memorial. Accessed June 13, 2022. https://www.findagrave.com/74059202/hubert-oscar-swartout.

“Metta Elizabeth (Driver) Swartout.” Pacific Union Recorder, January 31, 1949.

“Opening Service in New Church, Shanghai.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, October 1924.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association. Various years. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.Swartout, Hubert O. “A Peripatetic Editor.” Asiatic Division Outlook, March 15, April 1, 1924.

Swartout, Hubert O. “China Missions Training School Opening.” ARH, February 14, 1918.

Swartout, Hubert O. “Church Union in China.” Asiatic Division Outlook, October 15, 1922.

Swartout, Hubert O. “The China Missions Training School.” ARH, October 9, 1919.

Swartout, Hubert O. “The Hankow Intermediate School.” ARH, January 1, 1920.

Swartout, Hubert O. “The Hankow Intermediate School.” Asiatic Division Outlook, July 15, 1920.

Swartout, Hubert O. “The Significance of the Chinese Non-Christian Students’ Movement.” Asiatic Division Outlook, September 15, 1922.

Notes

  1. “Hubert Oscar Swartout,” FamilySearch, accessed June 13, 2022, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/9CSG-3K5.

  2. Hubert Oscar Swartout Biographical Information, May 11, 1916, Secretariat Missionary Files, RG 21, Record 114946. GCA.

  3. “Hubert Oscar Swartout,” Find A Grave Memorial, accessed June 13, 2022, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/74059202/hubert-oscar-swartout.

  4. Hubert Oscar Swartout Biographical Information Blank, May 11, 1916, Secretariat Missionary Files, RG 21, Record 114946. GCA.

  5. “Hubert Oscar Swartout,” Find A Grave Memorial, accessed June 13, 2022, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/74059202/hubert-oscar-swartout.

  6. Hubert O. Swartout, “China Missions Training School,” ARH, February 14, 1918, 22.

  7. Hubert O. Swartout, “The China Missions Training School,” ARH, October 9, 1919, 16.

  8. Hubert O. Swartout, “The Hankow Intermediate School,” ARH, January 1, 1920, 22.

  9. Hubert O. Swartout, “The Hankow Intermediate School,” Asiatic Division Outlook, July 15, 1920, 3.

  10. “Central China Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook for 1920, 155-156.

  11. “Distribution of Labor,” Asiatic Division Outlook, May 15, 1921, 16.

  12. “Brother H. O. Swartout…” Asiatic Division Outlook, January 15, 1922, 8.

  13. “Editorial Appointments,” Asiatic Division Outlook, May 1, 1924, 5.

  14. E.g., Hubert O. Swartout, “A Peripatetic Editor,” Asiatic Division Outlook, March 15, 1924, 4-5.

  15. Hubert O. Swartout, “The Significance of the Chinese Non-Christian Student’ Movement,” Asiatic Division Outlook, September 15, 1922, 1-2.

  16. “Opening Service in New Church, Shanghai,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, October 1924, 12.

  17. “Hubert Oscar Swartout, ”Find A Grave Memorial, accessed June 13, 2022, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/74059202/hubert-oscar-swartout.

  18. Ibid.

  19. Ibid.

  20. Advertisement, ARH, November 11, 1943, 21.

  21. “Pacific Press Publishing Association,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook for 1947, 297, 302.

  22. Advertisement, “Guardian of Health: Swartout, Hubert Oscar,” Amazon Books, https://www.amazon.com/Guardian-health-Hubert-Oscar-Swartout/dp/B0007F8N5C.

  23. “Metta Elizabeth (Driver) Swartout,” Pacific Union Recorder, January 31, 1949, 13.

  24. “Hubert Oscar Swartout,” Find A Grave Memorial, accessed June 13, 2022, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/74059202/hubert-oscar-swartout.

  25. Ibid.

  26. Ibid.

×

Hook, Milton. "Swartout, Hubert Oscar (1888–1985) and Daisy Maud (Butka) (1888–1985)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. July 19, 2023. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=68OC.

Hook, Milton. "Swartout, Hubert Oscar (1888–1985) and Daisy Maud (Butka) (1888–1985)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. July 19, 2023. Date of access June 18, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=68OC.

Hook, Milton (2023, July 19). Swartout, Hubert Oscar (1888–1985) and Daisy Maud (Butka) (1888–1985). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved June 18, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=68OC.