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Swain, Alva Brooks, 1848 - 1942. Family Papers, 1861 - 1943

 Collection — Half Hollinger box: Box 01, Folder: 01-03
Identifier: SMHC Collection 0123


The Alva Brooks Swain collection contains a variety of items related to the lives of Swain and his family members. Items included in the collection are a photograph album of Mankato State Normal School students and faculty in 1873, Anna Warner’s school notebook, newspaper clippings from the Mankato Weekly Review and other papers, a teaching certificate, and a graduation commencement bulletin from Mankato State Normal School in 1873.


  • 1861-1943


Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on use of this collection for research purposes. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property and libel laws as they apply.

Biographical / Historical

Alva Brooks Swain was born to Joseph C. and Abigail C. Swain at Dane County, Wisconsin on 18 March 1848. The family moved to Minnesota in 1856. Swain attended Mankato State Normal school and graduated on 15 May 1873. On 10 September 1873, he married Elizabeth Warner.

Between 1874 and 1885, Swain farmed and taught school in the Windom, Minnesota and Elysian, Minnesota areas. He started a mercantile business in Elysian in 1885. The business incorporated in 1911 under the name of Swain-Plank Company with Swain serving as president. In 1915, the name changed to Swain, Wetzel & Company. Besides his business, he played a role in founding and then directing the Elysian State Bank. He sold his store in 1919 when he and his wife moved to Farmington. Elizabeth (Warner) Swain died in January of 1929, and Alva B. Swain died on 18 June 1943.


0.50 Cubic Feet

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Swain, Alva Brooks, 1848 - 1942. Family Papers, 1861 - 1943.
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Revision Statements

  • 2001-11: Finding aid revised by Jeff A. Jenson.

Repository Details

Part of the Southern Minnesota Historical Center Repository

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Memorial Library
PO Box 8419
Mankato MN 56002-8419 US