El Dorado County
CHARLES S. SWIFT
In the early days, Charles S. Swift was widely known as one of the leading freighters in northern California, doing heavy hauling over the mountain roads to the mines, and using mule teams for transportation power. In later years, he has been known for his extensive activities in ranching and stock raising, and he now makes his home at Latrobe, El Dorado County. His birth occurred on the Swift Ranch in Sacramento County, California, September 5, 1861, and he is a son of Rufus E. and Elizabeth A. (Burke) Swift. Rufus E. Swift crossed the plains in 1853, it requiring six months and ten days to complete the journey. The mother came from Ohio by way of the Horn, and landed in San Francisco when she was in her seventeenth year of age. She and Rufus E. Swift were married at Amador City, where he was superintendent of the Old Keystone Mine. He later bought squatter’s rights, and on this land he farmed. This property became known as the Swift Ranch, but the title was later despoiled by the government, and eventually the place, after much expense had been put upon it by the Swift family, passed into other hands. Rufus E. Swift and his wife have been deceased for many years.
Charles S. Swift attended the common schools of Sacramento, and then studied two terms at the old Placerville Academy. He also attended the Stockton Business College for two terms. After this he engaged in carrying freight over the mountain trails, and his experiences in this work were many and exciting. He contracted for heavy hauling to the mining districts, and oft times the task of driving his mule teams over the mountain passes was nearly impossible. In 1911, he traded his mules for the Moreing ranch of seventeen hundred acres at Latrobe, and he then cultivated this land and also raised cattle, until the time of his retirement. He now rents the ranch, but continues to handle horses and is very active in business affairs.
Mr. Swift is a Republican in his political affiliation. He has been a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West since 1886, and is a past president of Ione Parlor, No. 33.
The marriage of Mr. Swift to Miss Josephine Forni of Georgetown, El Dorado County, occurred February 5, 1889. They have become the parents of the following children: Rufus S., Florence, Lucetta, Charles, Jr., and Lloyd D., and there are seven grandchildren.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.