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Future Texas leader born in Sweden

February
24
1861

On this day in 1816, Swante Magnus Swenson was born in Jönköping, Sweden. In 1838 he became the first Swedish immigrant to Texas. Thereafter he encouraged many Swedes to immigrate. Swenson founded the SMS Ranches, became one of the largest landholders in the state, and headed extensive mercantile enterprises. He also served two terms as a Travis county commissioner and was the first treasurer of the State Agricultural Society. As an outspoken Unionist, he moved to Mexico during the Civil War, then in 1865 to New York. He continued to maintain close ties with Texas.

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