John Schwarten San Juan County, New Mexico

John Schwarten, a rancher at La Plata, was born in Germany in 1834 and in 1857 became a resident of Halifax. Nova Scotia. The same year he removed to Boston, Massachusetts, but he followed the sea as a sailor until his removal to the west. In 1876 he became a resident of New Mexico, settling in the town of La Plata. He has been on his present ranch of one hundred acres for twenty-three years, his attention being given to general farming. While still a resident of the east he served for nine months as a soldier of the Civil war in the Forty-fifth Massachusetts Infantry and was then honorably discharged. He has watched with interest the reclamation of the arid lands of this section of the country and their transformation into richly productive fields. 

When he came here there were only two ditches, the MacDermott and an Indian ditch. He purchased his place from the government and is now the oldest settler in the valley.

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Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume II, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

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Created 1996 by Charles Barnum & 2016 by Judy White