Museum the New Llano Colony

Emily "Emma" (Kvalheim Swenson) Condon Alternate spelling Emmaly

Birth: She was born around 1890 in North Dakota.  

Family Information: Her first husband was Carl Swenson.

Mother of Clyde, Chester, James, Earl, Roy, Florence and Eugene Swenson.

The 1930 US Census listed her as "widowed" but other sources indicate she was probably actually divorced. At any rate, sometime between the 1930 census date and July 1931 she married Dick Condon. After the wedding, the couple, plus her sons Roy and Gene, visited Minnesota, returning after six weeks.  


Pre-Colony History: In 1910 she and first husband, Carl, were living with his parents and siblings in Minnesota. In 1920 they were still in Montana with six children. At some point before her youngest son was born in 1923, the family moved to Newllano.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: In April 1928 Mrs. Swenson and Dixon got breakfast at the hotel while Mrs. Davidson, Allie Belle Hewitt and Mrs. Kemp prepared the noon meal. Mrs. Fread, Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Shutt got the evening meal.

In 1928 she was working at the Rice Ranch where Theodore Cuno had instructed her in making "bacon cakes"  consisting of bread dough into which small pieces of bacon had been stuck. He reported the bacon cake had originated in the Rhineland where it was often washed down with the beverage the gods had given man and which the parsons and bum politicians in the "dear U.S." had taken away from them (reference to Prohibition).

In September 1928 the work in the Rice Ranch vegetable gardens and orchards proceeded with Harold Kemp operating the tractor and 28 disc harrow, Leonard and Ben Roe ploughing and planting Irish potatoes, and Shipman hauling and spreading fertilizer. Robert Roe and Roy Swenson helped out where they could. Condon took a trip to Newllano, leaving Mrs. Swenson to perform her household duties without an assistant.

In March 1929 the hotel crew included the Mesdames Maki, Swenson and Bridwell and the Misses Kathleen Bridwell and Jennie Black.

In April 1929 Hope Shoemaker, Laura Synoground and Pauline Eggleston prepared and served the evening lunch and the Mesdames Carroll, Maki, Oberlitner, Swenson and Dick Condon provided a fine dinner at the hotel.

In 1930 she was listed as a dressmaker in the colony.

In September 1931 she was working at the cannery, under charge of Mrs. Walter Fread, canning pears on shares.  

Other Info: In 1928 she was one of the founding members of the local Conscientious Objectors Union; Theodore Atworth served as the first Secretary-Treasurer with O.E. Enfield serving as the President. The organization was planned to be international, composed of people who refused to go to war as a matter of conscience. Charter members included: Theodore Atworth, Mary H. Atworth, Emily H. Dougherty, I.A. Dougherty, Carl H. Gleeser, S. Weislander, Charlie C. Black, John Hight, Lowell H. Coate, W.A. Shutt, F.O. Jernberg, Reka Jernberg, Anna Tabb, Peter Kemp, F. Rosenburg, B. Wade Hewitt, Hamilton H. McClurg, W.J. Hoag, Theodore F. Landrum, C.N. Butts, Mary Snyder, George Snyder, Anna Garrett, Emma Shutt, M.A. Brattland, Richard P. Condon, Jr., Emily Swenson, W.J. Newman, George T. Pickett, Raymond DeFausell, S.E. Baldwin, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Molenar, Earl L. Bosch, Guy F. Rogers, Ora E. Newman, James J. Miller, Bert Busick, Mabel D. Busick, Ole Synoground, C.C. Mickey, Fred A. Jensen, Katie Mickey, F. Rahn and Isaac H. Keyes.  

Post-Colony History:  

Death: She died and is buried in Los Angeles in 1952.  

Sources: US Census: 1910, 1920, 1930; "Llano Colonist": April 7, 1928, August 11, 1928, September 22, 1928, December 22, 1928, March 16, 1929, March 30, 1929, April 20, 1929, April 27, 1929, July 4, 1931, September 12, 1931, September 19, 1931; California Death Index;  


Contact Us:


Copyright 2018 Museum of the New Llano Colony