John A. Swain, a prominent citizen of San Joaquin county, with whose agricultural and other interests he has been identified throughout his active career, resides at 336 West Acacia street in Stockton, and his excellent farming estate is located on the Lower Sacramento road, about three miles and a half north of Stockton. This ranch, which has so long been under his careful management, contains two hundred and thirty acres of land, twenty acres of which is devoted to the growing of grapes of different varieties, and there is a fine field of fifty acres in alfalfa, while the rest is given up to general farming operations and stock-raising. This is a model country estate. When Mr. Swain settled thereon in 1877 it was almost entirely unimproved, and it is owing to his energy and progressive enterprise that it has been brought into its present fine condition.

Mr. Swain belongs to a well known San Joaquin county family, his father having been an early settler of the county. Mr. Swain's birthplace was at Westport, Missouri, a town that is now a part of Kansas City, although his parents had settled in that vicinity before the latter city had started into existence. He was born January 13, 1852, being a son of Cornelius and Juliza C. (Davis) Swain, the former a native of Tennessee and the latter of Missouri. Cornelius Swain, who passed away at his Stockton home, March 26, 1904, had crossed the plains to this state in 1853, being accompanied by his wife and one child, the latter being John A. This journey was made with ox teams, and it was five months before they arrived at Stockton. Cornelius Swain was a carriage-maker, having learned the trade at Nashville, Tennessee, and followed it in Missouri. On reaching San Joaquin county he settled on Cherokee Lane, six miles north of Stockton, being one of the early settlers of that locality, and he remained there until his removal to Stockton in 1894, living his last years in his city home. His widow, who was born January 1, 1829, still survivies, residing at the pleasant Stockton home at No. 2 East Flora street. Cornelius Swain was a Democrat in politics. He was a prominent Mason, and was interred at Rural cemetery in Stockton with the Masonic burial rites. There were six children in his family, as follows: John A.; Joseph H., residing at the corner of Commerce and Magnolia streets in Stockton; charles C., whose home is on San Joaquin street in Stockton; Mary B., who lives with her mother; George, in San Joaquin county; and Sarah J., wife of William Hamilton, of San Francisco.

John S. Swain, having come to California when a little more than a year old, has spent practically all his life in this state, and was reared to man's estate on the home farm in San Joaquin county. He is a well educated man and thoroughly abreast of the times. After his public school career he attended the San Joaquin College at Collegeville, an institution no longer existent, and he subsequently spent two years as a student at the California State University, then located at Oakland, but now in Berkeley. Outside of his school life he has devoted his time and attention chiefly to agricultural pursuits in their several branches, and he has been known as one of the leading men in this occupation.

He is affiliated with San Joaquin Lodge No. 19, F. & A. M., at Stockton, and is a member of the Christian church in that city. For many years he served as a trustee of the Lincoln school district.

Mr. Swain was married March 3, 1878, to Miss Mary E. Bunch, a daughter of the late John Bunch, a former well known resident of San Joaquin county. Mr. and Mrs. Swain have three children: John C., in San Joaquin county; Susie S., at home; and Mary E., the wife of Lewis Wetmore, of Stockton.

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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