Businessman Swen (Svante) Magnus Swenson (1816-1896), first Swedish settler in Texas, is closely associated with Sam Houston and his effort to keep Texas in the Union prior to the Civil War. In 1854 Swenson purchased large land tracts here which he greatly expanded by the mid-1880s with school tracts and railroad scrips.Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood 1845-1995
As a result of new state taxes on land Swenson leased his west Texas land to his sons Eric Pierson and Swen Albin in 1882. Eric and Swen formed the Swenson Brothers partnership and by 1885 their ranching operations consisted of 1800 Shorthorn and 180 Indiana pure crossbred Hereford-Shorthorn cows bearing a distinctive reversed (SMS) cattle brand still in use today.
Initially comprised of the Flat Top, Ericksdahl, and Throckmorton Ranches, the Swenson Family holdings were expanded to include the Tongue River Ranch in 1900 and the Spur Ranch in 1906, making it one of the largest ranches in Texas with over 500,000 acres.
Swenson Land & Cattle Co., incorporated in 1926, established its headquarters here in 1927. It is noted for its introduction of an innovative mail-order system for selling cattle, brush management programs, and integrated ranching operations. The ranch was divided into four separate family-owned corporations in 1978.