A barefoot smiling child appears in this portrait by Thomas M. Swem whose studio was located in St. Paul, Minnesota. The wide smiling child, sitting in a fur draped chair, is pictured with a toy and a doll. The reverse of the photo advertises that Swem won a medal from the Minnesota State Agricultural Society in the “Best Photograph” category. He received the award in 1888. Thomas Swem was born in Lima, Ohio in 1848. His wife was named Cassandra and the couple married around 1877. The pair had four children. He operated a studio in St. Paul for eighteen years and then moved to Fargo, North Dakota in 1900. After 1913 he moved to Medford, Oregon where he operated a gallery until1921. Swem died in Medford in about 1931. To view other photographs by Thomas Swem, click on category “Photographer: Swem”.
Emma sits for her portrait at the studio of T.M. Swem of St. Paul, Minnesota. Research from the Minnesota Historical Society reveals that the photographer is Thomas M. Swem who was born in Lima, Ohio in 1848 and began his photography business in Missouri in 1882. He moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and operated photography studios from various locations there from 1883 through 1899 when he moved out of state. Further research finds that he continued his photography business after leaving Minnesota. To view other photographs by Swem, click on the category “Photographer: Swem”.