Museum the New Llano Colony

Earl Victor Swenson

Birth: He was born in 1912 in Minnesota.  

Family Information: Son of Carl and Emily Swenson.

Brother of Clyde, Chester, James, Roy, Florence and Eugene Swenson.  

Description: In 1938 he was described as being 5'5" tall.  

Pre-Colony History: In 1920 he was living in Minnesota with his parents and siblings. At some point before his youngest brother was born in 1923, the family moved to Newllano.  

Home in Colony: In December 1932 those living at the Isle of Cuba Plantation (near Thibodeaux, LA) included: Sam Hall, Harry Morgan, Henry and Bennie Frahm, Beldon Lewis, F. Gossett, John Horney, Roy McLean, Mrs. Swilley and Mr. and Mrs. Perkins with their four children.

By the end of the month, the group had added Mrs. Gossett, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Shipman, Albert Wicks, Dolly McCullough, Jim Nash, Earl Swenson and Ranny Wells

Job in Colony: In 1930 he was listed as an electrician in the colony, but in 1931 he was working in the colony garage.

In September 1931 one hundred fifty sacks of beans and peas were picked in the forenoon by a volunteer crew of men, women and children. The crowd gathered a little after 7 am and was divided into different crews to look after different fields; by 11:30 the job was done. Volunteers included: Killian, Butts, Lloyd, Baldwin, Waters, Doc Williams, Quentin, Fred Busick, Roscoe Busick, Byron Busick, Vivian Busick, Graves, Webb, John Allred, Melvina Hullinger, Fred Levan, Goeke, Eldred, Tom Farrell, Claud Allred, Earl Swenson, Mackie, Frank Collins, George Collins, Boydelatour, Cleve Campbell, Mr. Caves, Clarence Long, Harry Rennick, Dee Kurtz, Pittman, Edminster, Walter Fread, Clarence Fread, Mrs. Herron, Woodruff, J.W. Gilbert, H.M. Wood, Winegar, Bert Moore, Lindwall, Ole Synoground, Rohr, Carnahan, Hoens, Mrs. Wooley, John Neill, Robert Roe, Warren Roe, Nesnow, Bartrum and B. Stevens.

In 1932 he was doing excellent work with the Farmall - he got up around daybreak to start working and didn't give the machine a moment's rest until 1pm when he laid off for a bite. After the hill behind the Kid Kolony and above Roe's ranch house had been plowed, harrowed and seeded, he was seen helping to load it on Warren Fread's truck so it could be hauled to Thibodeaux. He'd lost the Farmall, but hoped he'd soon have another to replace it.

In 1934 he was part of the crew at the Gila location who had been irrigating the wheat and oats.  

Other Info: In November 1933 the weekly bridge club met at the new home of Mrs. Myrtle Bradshaw. Those present were Misses Ruth Shoemaker, Vivian Busick, Mary Lou Monk, Doris Layer, Rhea Baldwin, Lloyd Potter, Earl Swenson, Lionel Crossland, Roy McClean, John Dougherty and Fred Busick.  

Post-Colony History: On January 18, 1938 he was listed as one of the crew of the "Excambion" departing Boston, Massachusetts for Mediteranean Ports with W.W. Kuhn as Master.  

Death: He died in Palos Verde, California in 2009.

From his obituary (2009) -- "Earl was born to Carl and Emily Swenson... in a canvas tee-pee in Thief River Falls, Minnesota... Earl had a unique childhood, living in a communal colony. The living there was simple but the skills he would learn in a red, one-room schoolhouse, would prepare him for all his life's adventures and set the stage for his thirst for knowledge. Earl worked his way to New York City, where he became an engineer maintaining the elevators for Macy's Department Stores. In the following years his free spirit led him to travel all over the world as a Merchant Marine. Once he had sailed his last route at sea, he settled back in NYC. It was here that he met and married his beautiful wife, Marie. He worked as a machinist at the New York navy ship yard. In 1943 when the shipyard closed, he relocated to California to work at Long Beach Naval Shipyard. He was a fixture every morning at the local McDonald's where he would sip coffee, debate and solve the world's problems with a group of dear friends he called the Roundtable. He was a good neighbor and friend to all."  

Sources: Family Source: Pam Mariott; Minnesota Birth Index; US Census: 1920, 1930; "Llano Colonist": September 5, 1931, October 3, 1931, May 7, 1932, December 10, 1932, December 24, 1932, November 4, 1933, April 14, 1934; Massachusetts Passenger and Crew Lists 1829-1963;; Daily Breeze: January 25, 2009  


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