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Swenson, Andrew John (1863–1953)

Biography Entry

Andrew John Swenson, rancher, was born on November 16, 1863, in Nässjö, Jönköping Province, Sweden. He came to a Swedish settlement between Round Rock and Georgetown in Williamson County, Texas, when he was eighteen; a year later he moved to West Texas, near present Stamford, Jones County, to work for his uncle, Swante Magnus Swenson. After a year of fence riding, Swenson spent five years in Abilene looking after the ranching interests of the widow of his cousin John Swenson. Swenson visited Sweden and then returned to West Texas in 1887. In 1889 his fiancée, Selma Augusta Anderson, came from Sweden, and they were married that year in New Sweden, Travis County; they eventually had five sons. The Swensons lived on their own place north of Anson for five years before moving in 1894 to the Ellerslie ranch, one of S. M. Swenson's holdings southwest of Stamford. There, on five sections of land, the SMS Ranches developed herds of purebred Hereford and Shorthorn cattle from a start of 125 heifers. In 1897 Swenson became superintendent of the SMS Ranches, and in 1905 the family moved into Stamford. When Frank Harris, manager of the Swenson Land and Cattle Company, died in 1922, Swenson became manager, a position he held until his retirement in 1948; he was also a vice president of the cattle company. He was a director of the Texas Cowboy Reunion Association from its founding in 1930, and he had numerous business affiliations with both cattle and banking. He died in his home in Stamford on February 14, 1953, and was buried in Bethel Lutheran Church Cemetery in Ericksdahl (later Ericsdale), near Stamford.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 23, 1941, February 15, 1953. Violeta T. Mahood, "America Changed Everything For Him," West Texas Today, March 1935. Andrew J. Swenson Papers, 1898–1922, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • Peoples
  • Swedes
  • Business
  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Ranchers and Cattlemen

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

Anonymous, “Swenson, Andrew John,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 27, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.