Carl A. Swanson Elementary School is the only school in District 66 to be named after a person.
Carl A. Swanson, our namesake:
• Was born on May 1, 1879 in Karlskrona, Sweden.
• Came to America in 1896.
• In 1897 he started in the egg, milk, and poultry business.
• Over the next 60 years, he built one of the largest companies in the food industry. He is best known for developing the TV dinner.
• Died on October 9, 1949.
Building and Grounds
The land on which Swanson now stands has a long history.
• On June 29, 1857 the U.S. General Land Office granted 160 acres to Mary White. She paid $2.80 an acre for the farmland.
• In the early 1900’s the land was used as a peony farm. That’s how Peony Park got its name.
• In 1942, the peony farm lands were turned into the Indian Hills Golf Course. The course closed in 1956. The land was then given to builders who were anxious to build homes in the area.
• In 1955, $412,000 was spent on the construction of Carl A. Swanson School.
• Construction of the community surrounding Swanson School began 1956. Just as it is now, the community was known as a comfortable place to live.
• In the fall of 1959, Swanson Elementary opened its doors to more than 400 students.
The arboretum located on Swanson grounds was donated by the Golden Valley Association in May 1968. Students and community volunteers planted 149 trees of 11 different varieties in the southwest part of the grounds.
• When Swanson Elementary opened in 1959, only half of its teachers had college degrees. Now almost all of teachers at Swanson have a master’s degree.
• Before we were the Swanson Superstars, we were known as the Swanson Buzzards!
• Since Swanson opened in 1959, it has been led by nine different principals.
(Special thanks to former teacher Carol Peterson and a group of former Swanson students for supplying the above information.)