Cornelius Swain, whose death occurred at his Stockton residence, March 26, 1904, was one of the well known pioneer citizens of San Joaquin county. Having come to the county among the early settlers, he at once became identified with the best interests of this section of the state, and throughout his career gave constant evidence not only of his individual success, but of a broad public-spirited citizenship which meant the welfare of all people and institutions with which he came in contact. He was a man of irreproachable character, earnest in the serious affairs of life, kind and helpful in the family cirlce, and recognized for his honesty and sterling integrity in all his relations with mankind. For many years, in fact, throughout the greater part of his active career, he engaged in the various departments of farming on his ranch located about six miles from Stockton on the Cherokee Lane, where he had been one of the early settlers in 1853.

A native of Nashville, Tennessee, he was born February 17, 1826, being a son of John and Mary (Ormes) Swain, both native Tennesseeans. In boyhood he accompanied his parents to Franklin county, Illinois, where he lived until the age of eighteen, when he returned and lived a number of years in Tennessee. In 1850 he moved to Jackson county, Missouri, which was his home until his removal to California.

While a resident of Jackson county, Missouri, on March 4, 1851, he was married to Miss Juliza C. Davis, who continued as his devoted and faithful wife for several years beyond their golden wedding anniversary, and who is now ranked among the venerable and much beloved pioneer and who is now ranked among the venerable and much beloved pioneer women of San Joaquin county. A woman now past the age of seventy-five, she was born in Jackson county, Missouri, January 1, 1829, being a daughter of Anderson and Hannah N. (Head) Davis. Her father, a native of North Carolina, resided for some years in Kentucky before his removal to Jackson county, Missouri. Her mother, who was born in Virginia, went with her parents to Jackson county in the very early days of that part of the state. Mrs. Swain's paternal grandfather, John Davis, had served as a soldier in the war of 1812. Born to Mr. and Mrs. Swain were six children: John A., Joseph H., Charles C., George, Mary B. and Jessie S.

In 1853 Mr. Swain, with his wife and one son, left his Missouri home, and with ox teams drove over the broad western prairies to California, being just five months on the journey. Their first destination was Stockton, and shortly after arriving, in the same year, they located on the ranch on Cherokee Lane, about six miles from Stockton, which has ever since been known as the Swain ranch, and on which Mr. Swain made his long and prosperous record as an agriculturist. The ranch was his home until 1895, in which year he and his wife moved into Stockton and made their home at the pleasant place at No. 2 East Flora street, where he remained until his death.

Mr. Swain was well known in Masonic circles, being affiliated with Morning Star Lodge, F. & A. M., at Stockton, and also with the Knights Templar at the same place. He was popular and held in high esteem throughout the county, and had once been a candidate for the office of county treasurer. One of the stanchest friends of education in his locality, he had for many years served as a trustee and clerk of the board of trustees of the Davis school district, the schoolhouse being located on a part of his ranch. He was a stanch Democrat, and was an efficient worker for the minoirty party in his county. Mrs. Swain still resides at her Stockton home, being the center of many devoted friends and relatives. She is a member of the Frist Baptist church in the city, and also a member of Horno Chapter No. 50, order of the Eastern Star.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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