Swenson, W G and A M G 1969

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Swede and Bill Swenson, former managers of the Swenson Land and Cattle Company, discuss the background of the company and its original owner, S. M. Swenson, along with its growth and recent developments. They also inventory the SMS records, and in the last tape Miss Olive McDougle reads a paper detailing the history of the SMS Ranches.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: W.G. and A.M.G. Swenson

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: July 8 and October 10, 1969

Location: Stamford, Texas

Interviewer: Charles Townsend and Fred Carpenter

Length: 6 hours


Tape 1, Side 1: Biographical information on W. G. "Bill" Swenson, Education at the University of Texas (Austin), Biographical information on A. M. G. "Swede" Swenson, Education at the University of Texas, S. M. Swenson, founder of Swenson Land and Cattle Company, discussed, Biographical information given, Early years in the United States, Aid to Swedish immigrants reviewed, Express his opinions concerning slavery, Real estate interests revealed, Lists managers of the Swenson properties, Purchase of the Spur Ranch recalled, Names other members of the Swenson family, Description of various ranhes of the Swenson Land and Cattle Company, Location and acreage, Water supply and weather conditions, Drought conditions mentioned, Cattle shoot effects explained.

Tape 1, Side 2: Blank

Tape 2, Side 1: Cattle shoot during the Depression recalled, Problems in clearing mesquite from the ranches, Sale of cattle described, Discuss cattle rustling, Changes in ranching reviewed, Roundups are different, Size of pastures has decreased, Farming on the ranches, Reveal changes in the role of the cowboy, Control of cattle disease explained, Transportation of cattle, Cattle breeding discussed, Oil on the Swenson ranches, List employees of the Swenson ranches, Horses used on the Swenson ranches mentioned, Explain use of the chuck wagon in modern ranching.

Tape 2, Side 2: Blank

Tape 3, Side 1: Inventory of the archives of the Swenson Land and Cattle Company.

Tape 3, Side 2: Blank

Tape 4, Side 1: Inventory of the archives of the Swenson Land and Cattle Company.

Tape 4, Side 2: Blank

Tape 5, Side 1: S. M. Swenson arrives in Texas, SMS Ranch chuck wagon, Roundup on the ranch, W. G. Swenson, manager (1943-1968), Getting cattle to the markets, Rounding up the cattle and driving them to market, Today, trucks used to transport cattle, Explanation of "horse wrangler", Roundup on the ranch today, Living conditions on the ranch, Extra help—Swedish boys, New York office of the ranch, Letter from Sam Houston to S. M. Swenson, Texas Cowboy Reunion, Visit to Reunion by Will Rogers, Joe Ericson, old foreman, Branding scene on the ranch, Cattle rustling today.

Tape 5, Side 2: Cattle rustling (continued), Cattle shoot of the 1930s, Swensons refused to sell to government, Old headquarters, Swenson family, Discussion of cutting horses, Honors received by W. G. Swenson, National Cowboy Hall of Fame, W. G. Swenson’s family biography, His schooling, Service in World War I, Swenson’s children.

Tape 6, Side 1: Letters of S. M. Swenson, Details of move of materials to Texas Tech’s Southwest Collection, Frank S. Hastings’ brochure, Discussion of several photographs, The Four SMS Ranches: Throckmorton, Flattop, Tongue River and Spur, More photographs identified: Joe O’Brien, W. G. Swenson’s sons, Monte Ritchie, George Humphries, Winston Ellmore Maps of ranches, Carl Weddene, Marlboro shots.

Tape 6, Side 2: Blank

Tape 7, Side 1: Bethel Lutheran Church, Acquisition of Spur Ranch, Marlboro’s visit to the SMS Ranch, Miss Olive McDougle’s reading of a history of the SMS Ranches, History of cattle in Texas, Arrival of S. M. Swenson, General store in Austin, Purchase of railroad land, Beginnings of SMS Ranches, Stamford townsite is born, Stamford grows, Frank Hastings, general manager.

Tape 7, Side 2: John Selman comes to the ranch, A. J. Swenson, general manager, Improvements to the ranches, W. G. Swenson, general manager, The ranches today, Mrs. Reva Bragg, secretary in the Swenson Land and Cattle Company office.

Range Dates: 1840s-1969

Bulk Dates: 1840s-1969

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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