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Stanislaus County







            The combination of Highland Scotch and German ancestors is one which under ordinary circumstances must make for progress and prosperity and result in citizenship of highest grade.  Of such ancestry is Charles Donald Swan, of Modesto, California, county auditor and recorder of Stanislaus County, whose creditable career has not belied the promise of his nativity.  Mr. Swan was born in Pike County, Illinois, January 6, 1866, a son of Donald and Ann M. (Middlekauff) Reeves Swan.  His father was born on the Island of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland, and when a young man emigrated from his native town of Dunvegan to Canada.  From Canada he went in 1855 to Pike County, Illinois, and located on land near Barry, where he married Mrs. Ann M. Reeves, a native of Harper’s Ferry, Maryland, of the German family of Middlekauff, and where he lived until his death at the age of seventy years.  His wife survives him and is living aged seventy-two years with a daughter at Modesto, California.  Mr. Swan was an industrious and successful farmer, a respected citizen and during all the active years of his life a devoted supporter of the Baptist church, of which is widow has been practically a life-long member.

            Charles Donald Swan was educated in public schools in Pike County, Illinois, and in 1883, at the age of seventeen years, came to California, without money or influential friends, but with a firm determination to make his way to a good position in life.  His first employment was on a ranch near Modesto.  Later he handled grain in different warehouses in the county until he had saved enough money to enable him to enter a business college at San Francisco, where he obtained his business education.  Not long afterward he married Miss Mary A. Jones, a daughter of Levi J. Jones and a granddaughter of J. W. Jones, a highly respected California pioneer of 1849.  He resumed the warehouse business and farming at Montpelier, Stanislaus County, where he and Mrs. Swan own a fine farm which he still operates.  They have a pleasant home in Modesto, made brighter by the presence of their little son, Charles Leslie Swan, another and older son, Clare Jones Swan, having died December 7, 1897.

            Mr. Swan is a Knight of Pythias, a Free and Accepted Mason, a Royal Arch Mason and a Knight Templar.  In politics he has been a life-long Republican, and in 1898 he was, on that ticket, elected to the office of auditor and recorder of Stanislaus County, a position which he is now serving.




Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 127-128. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




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