Among Paxton's prominent and popular citizens is Claus Henry Swanson, now serving as a member of the city council, and well known as a traveling salesman, whose business ability has gained for him a liberal patronage in the territory which he covers. He was born in the province of Smoland, Sweden, December 5, 1861, his parents being Swan and Johanna (Johnson) Anderson. In the year 1869 they came to America and established their home in Paxton. His death occurred on Christmas day of 1870, and his wife, surviving him for many years, passed away March 5, 1881. They were the parents of live children, only two of whom survive, the younger brother being August Swanson, a resident of California.
C. H. Swanson pursued his education in the public schools of Clarence, this county. He was only nine years of age at the time of his father's death, after which he made his home with his uncle, John Swanfet, now deceased, but then a resident of Button township, continuing with him until he reached his majority. At that time he started out in life on his own account as a farm hand and was so employed until the twenty-third anniversary of his birth, when he rented land and began farming on his own account. In 1888 he removed to Champaign county, Illinois, where he again rented a farm, on which he resided for three years. Returning to Ford county, he settled in Button township, where he followed general agricultural pursuits for a year, and in 1894 he purchased a half section of land in Patton township, which was a portion of the Henderson estate. The farm is most pleasantly and conveniently located about a mile southwest of Perdueville, and is regarded as one of the model farm properties of the locality — a fact which is due to the enterprising efforts and progressive spirit of the owner.
Retiring from agricultural life, Mr. Swanson in 1899 removed to Paxton and accepted a position with the Port Huron Engine & Thresher Company of Port Huron, Michigan. He continued in that employ until the 1st of February, 1903, when he accepted a position with Reeves & Company of Columbus, Indiana, and still represents that house upon the road. He has traveled for these two firms through seven different states but now confines his attention to Illinois, where he has secured a liberal patronage, building up a good trade for the firm which he represents.
On the 6th of March, 1888, Mr. Swanson was married to Miss Tilda Person, the daughter of Lars Person, of Sweden. She came to America when sixteen years of age with a sister and settled in Ottawa, Illinois, but was living in Paxton at the time of her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Swanson now have six children, namely: Frances L., Florence M., Ebba O., Herbert W., Irvin H. and Evaline E.
The parents are both members of the Swedish Lutheran church, in which Mr. Swanson is serving as a trustee, while in the work of the church they take an active interest, and to its support contribute liberally. Mr. Swanson is a member of Paxton Lodge, I. O. O. F., and gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He was elected a member of the board of aldermen for the fourth ward in 1905, and discharged the duties of the position so acceptably that he was reelected in 1907 and is now serving for the second term. He exercises his official prerogatives in support of progressive public measures and Paxton has benefited by his labors. His unfailing courtesy, deference for the opinions of others, his geniality and good nature render him popular not only with his fellow townsmen, but with his patrons in the territory over which he travels. Starting out in life empty-handed, he has made a most creditable record as one who has fully utilized his opportunities in a business way, having now a good income-paying property in addition to his income as a traveling salesman.

Extracted 17 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 864-865.

Templates in Time