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SWAN, TX

SWAN, TEXAS. Swan (Swann) is just east of U.S. Highway 69 three miles north of Tyler in east central Smith County. The site, originally part of the Francis Gilkinson survey, was occupied by farmers as early as the 1850s and named for a prominent local family. In the late 1870s it became a station on the International-Great Northern Railroad, and in 1887 the Hopewell post office opened with Leonard N. Stell as postmaster. In 1891 the office was moved to Swan. In 1892 Swan had a population of 200, ten fruit growers, a blacksmith, a carpenter, two doctors, a railroad agent, three schoolteachers, three cotton gins, a general store, and a sawmill. In 1899 there were almost one million fruit trees, mostly peach, in the Swan-Lindale vicinity, and large amounts of strawberries and blackberries were also grown. School records for 1903 showed two schools, one with two teachers and sixty-six white pupils and another with one teacher and sixty-three black students. By 1904 the population had declined to 102. In 1914 Swan had a bank, a telegraph office, a telephone exchange, three grocery stores, a drugstore, two general stores, and a lumber and feed business. Many Swan farmers suffered economic ruin during the Great Depression. In 1931 the post office was discontinued, and the number of businesses decreased to four. Landowners cooperated on the Duck Creek Soil Erosion Project, which kept their hopes for financial recovery alive. The school system remained intact, and records for 1936 listed two elementary schools, one with three teachers and seventy-two white students and another with one teacher and sixty-six black pupils. In the 1940s Swan was primarily an agricultural shipping community. The population remained stable at 150; two businesses were reported in 1945. Tyler Pipe Industries transferred there in 1947. The number of businesses had risen to five in 1949 but decreased to three in the 1950s. In 1951 the Swan Methodist Church was established. By 1952 the local schools had been consolidated into the Swan Independent School District, which was absorbed into the Tyler Independent School District in 1960. In 1973 there was a small cluster of dwellings at the site and no businesses were reported. Swan reported 150 residents in 1990. The population remained the same in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Vicki Betts, Smith County, Texas, in the Civil War (Tyler, Texas: Smith County Historical Society, 1978). Chronicles of Smith County, Spring 1966, Fall 1969, Summer 1978. Edward Clayton Curry, An Administrative Survey of the Schools of Smith County, Texas (M.Ed. thesis, University of Texas, 1938). Smith County Historical Society, Historical Atlas of Smith County (Tyler, Texas: Tyler Print Shop, 1965). Donald W. Whisenhunt, comp., Chronological History of Smith County (Tyler, Texas: Smith County Historical Society, 1983). Albert Woldert, A History of Tyler and Smith County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1948).

Vista K. McCroskey

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Vista K. McCroskey, "SWAN, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hls92), accessed December 18, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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