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Swanson Family Collection

Identifier: a.2014.03.04

Scope and Contents

Mixed materials, mainly photographs of John A. Swanson and Hilding A. Swanson, some prints of photographs, genealogy documents, scrapbook, postcards, Commencement programs, sticker, diploma, booklets. This collection is part of the larger Record Group 1 - Old School.


  • 1906 - 2014

Conditions Governing Access

Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Valparaiso University Archives and Special Collections, Valparaiso University.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce material from the collection should be directed to the Valparaiso University Archives and Special Collections, Valparaiso University.

Biographical / Historical

Graduates of Valparaiso University, the brothers Hilding Alfred Swanson and John Albert Swanson were the sons of Andrew J. Swanson and Nellie Nilsson Swanson of Brainerd, Minnesota. Andrew and Nellie came to Minnesota from Sweden in the mid-to late-1880s. Their daughter, Hannah Augusta Swanson, also attended VU.

Hilding was a member of the Classic Department and is listed as Treasurer in the Classic Professional Annual for 1909. He attended Valpo from 1906 to 1909 and was a member of Alpha Epsilon and the 1906 varsity football team captain. He continued on to Yale Law School and became an attorney. From there he returned to Brainerd, Minnesota where he practiced law for many years. He served as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from Crow Wing County.

John (who was also known as Bert or Mike) was the Scientific business manager on the Record staff for 1916, as well as Athletic editor and member of the University Glee Club. In 1917 he was vice-president of the Student Council, president of the Valparaiso Alumni Association, and a charter member of "The Bachelor' (?) Club". He continued to be a member of the University Glee Club in 1918, as well as the University Male Quartette. He also was a member of Alpha Epsilon. He graduated in 1918 and went on to become a doctor in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Hannah Augusta Swanson arrived in Valparaiso in 1916 to study music and art.


1 Linear Feet (1 box containing mixed materials including photographs)

Language of Materials


Box 1 - Photographs

1. photo: Hannah Augusta Swanson to school at Valparaiso, March 13, 1916 (includes genealogy report of Hannah Augusta Swanson Elmgren)

2. envelope: John Swanson photos

3. envelope: John Swanson photos, 1959

4. portrait: Lieut. William Hazel Plyler, 1917

5. portrait: Unidentified male

6. portrait: Graduation photo of unidentified male

7. portrait: Graduation photo of Joe Paul, 1908

8. portrait: Unidentified Sharpnack

9. portrait: R.H. Jones

10. portrait: Unidentified male

11. portrait: Unidentified male

12. portrait: W.H. Cheatham, 1914

13. portrait: From Bill to Mike, A.E., 12/25/17, V.U.

14. portrait: Unidentified male

15. portrait: J.A. Swanson, 1914

16. Class Letter of Scientifics 1908

17. The Voters Manual and Companion notebook

18. "Democracy and Other Papers", James Russell Lowell, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1898

19. reproduction photo: Valparaiso Varsity Foot Ball 1906

20. reproduction photo: Engineers' Base Ball Team, 1909, Valparaiso University

21. foil Valparaiso University sticker on fabric, undated

22. Fify Year Club Certificate for Hilding A. Swanson, undated

23. Valparaiso University Glee Club poster, undated

24. diploma: Valparaiso University, Hilding Alfred Swanson, 1909

25. composite photo: Classic Graduates 1909

Separated Materials

Three postcards have been separated from this collection and are now filed with the University Postcard Collection.

1. Class Rush of Feb. 4th '09, University Postcard Collection, Box #3: M - Z, Student Groups

2. Eiss Hall v. Stiles Hall, University Postcard Collection, Box #3: M - Z, Student Groups

3. College Avenue Valparaiso, Ind., University Postcard Collection, Box #1: A - COL, College Place

Swanson Family Collection - Record Group 1 - Old School
In Progress
Rebecca Ostoyich
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Valparaiso University Archives Repository

1410 Chapel Drive
Valparaiso IN 46383 United States