Thomas M. Swem

Business years 1900-1913
Business address 112 Broadway: 1900-1910
  349 9th Avenue South: 1910-1913
  613 1st Avenue North, Stone Block: 1913


Thomas M. Swem was born in Lima, Ohio on September 29, 1848.  His wife’s name was Cassandra, and they were married in about 1877.  They had four children, Thomas Jr., John "Jack," Katherine and Daniel. 

Thomas M. Swem operated a studio in St. Paul, Minnesota for 18 years before moving to Fargo in August 1900. According to an August 31, 1900 article from the Fargo Forum and Daily Republican, Mr. Swem had planned on moving west, when he stopped in Fargo to visit friends. Instead of moving on he descided to stay in Fargo and open a studio.

His studio was located on the second floor of 112 Broadway.  In the 1910 census Thomas’ son Jack was also listed as a photographer.  This studio was acquired by John C. Jansrud likely in 1910.

Swem apparently continued as a photographer with a new business located in the Stone Block, assisted by his son John H. Swem.  After 1913 the Swems had left Fargo and moved to Medford, Oregon. They operated a studio there until 1921. Thomas Swem died February 14, 1931 in Medford. Mrs. Swem died in 1935.

1900s & 1910s photographers



Photographers of Fargo, N.D.
Institute for Regional Studies,
North Dakota State University,
Fargo 2001