Author: John Outcalt (1925)


Another pioneer resident of Merced County may be found in the person of Stillman Robert Swan, who for more than a third of a century has been identified
with the agricultural interests of this section of the State. It was in Oxford County, forty-seven miles from Portland, Maine, that Mr. Swan was born, on
October 3, 1854, the son of Joseph Greeley Swan, who owned and farmed 200 acres in Oxford County, and who married Miss Temperance Allen, born at Wales, Maine.
The Swans are of Welsh extraction; the paternal grandmother, Betsy Howe, was a descendant of General Putnam, of Revolutionary War fame, and the paternal grandfather, William Swan, a millwright by trade, was a drum major in the war of 1812. Stillman Robert Swan is the youngest of three children, the others being Sarah, who become the wife of John Swan and passed away in Merced, and Sylvia Howe, who became the wife of Albert L. Cressey, of Modesto, both now deceased.

Stillman Robert Swan received a common school education in his native State; he walked four miles to attend a high school, which was located at Denmark
Corners. At Brownfield, Maine, on Christmas Day, 1876, Mr. Swan was married to Miss Addie A. Harnden, born in East Fryeburg Township, Oxford County, Maine, a daughter of Elbridge Harnden, Jr., a farmer and freeholder in Oxford County, who passed away at the age of forty-two years, leaving his widow and two children: Addie Augusta, the wife of our subject, and Ina M., who became the wife of Elmer Dayton Jones, and died in February, 1895. Mr. and Mrs. Swan farmed the old home place in Oxford County, Maine, for eleven years; then they decided to come to Merced County, California, where Mr. Swan's two sisters were residing.- Mr. Swan rented land from his brother-in-law, Albert L. Cressey, and farmed to wheat, rye and barley for twenty-one years on 1700 acres of land two and a half miles south of Livingston. Prosperity attended his untiring industry and perseverance, and he bought twenty acres which he developed to fruit, and later sold and is now living in Livingston, retired from active business cares. Mr. Swan was painfully injured in an automobile accident in 1922 which incapacitated him for over a year. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Swan: Grace H., a partner with her brother, S. H., in the Steam Laundry in Livingston; Stillman Herbert, married Minnie A. Condon and is head of the Steam Laundry in Livingston; Claude Elbridge, a State traffic officer, living at Merced. During the World War he served in the machine gun corps and at the close of the war was discharged with the rank of corporal. Claude married Lucy Baker and they have one daughter, Geneva Louise. S. R. Swan has been active for the betterment of his locality and has been a member of the board of trustees of the city of Livingston since its incorporation. In politics he is a consistent Republican. He was among the first to subscribe to the capital stock of the First Bank of Livingston, and is a director. Although retired from active duties, Mr. Swan retains an interest in the Livingston Steam Laundry.

Additional Comments:

Biographical Review
The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been
Identified with Its Growth and Development
from the Early Days to the Present


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Joy Fisher