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Papers of Jim Svedman

Identifier: ASFF

Scope and Contents

The Papers of Jim Svedman consists of documents dated 1898 to 2000, with the bulk falling from the 1950s to the 1970s. The collection includes primarily financial records, such as bank statements, cancelled checks, bills and invoices, records of crops and feed bought and sold, and livestock bought and sold. There are some financial documents related to farm workers. Also included is information on bank notes and loans, and both individual and partnership tax returns. Certain land purchases and land sales, including the transactions with Interladco and Ptarmigan are documented in the collection. Records from organizations and associations are included, particularly those in which Jim Svedman was active or served in a leadership role. There are photographs of the Svedman farm and family members, as well as personal documents and news clippings concerning Clarence and Jim Svedman.


  • Creation: 1898-2000
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1950s-1970s


Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection. However, it is stored off-site, so advance notice is required.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.


Martin or Marten Svedman (1850-1923) was the first of the Svedman family to farm in Colorado. Emigrating from Sweden in 1871, he came to Colorado in 1880 and in 1883 homesteaded 160 acres near what would become Windsor, Colorado. In 1898 this holding was expanded as Svedman bought additional acreage, his total eventually reaching 640 acres. The farm included acreage devoted to crops and to livestock. Martin Svedman married Ida Cristina Andersdotter in 1887 and had seven children, five of whom survived. The youngest, and only son, was Clarence Martin, born in 1906.

Clarence graduated from high school in 1923, the same year his father died. He went on to Colorado Agricultural College the following year, but did not stay to graduate. As the only son, Clarence took over the management of the farm, then still deeded to his mother Ida Svedman. Clarence purchased an additional 160 acres, bringing the total he managed to 800 acres. He married Margaret Alberta Yancey in 1924, and they had four children, the oldest of whom was Clarence James (known as James or Jim), born in 1926. Their other children were Ida Jean (1929), Donald Lee (1933) and Margaret Esther (1944).

Drought and adverse economic conditions during the 1930s had a drastic impact on the Svedman family. Clarence gave up his 160 acres to the mortgager and moved to a rented house in Timnath in 1933, but continued to farm the remaining 640 acres of his mother's land. As the drought eased in 1938, Ida Svedman deeded her holdings to Clarence, who obtained a loan from the Federal Land Bank and moved his family back to the original homestead.

In 1945, Clarence purchased a farmhouse located on 80 acres of land just north of Highway 392. The farmhouse provided the family with the modern conveniences of indoor plumbing and electricity. A few years later, Clarence bought the 320 acres of land directly east of the farmhouse, which would later become the Ptarmigan subdivision.

Clarence Svedman was a member of the Colorado State Soil Conservation Board, with his involvement in that organization spanning many years. He served as director from 1956 until his retirement in 1972.

Clarence James (Jim) Svedman was involved in agriculture early in his life, and beginning in 1938 he participated in 4-H Club projects, particularly in cattle raising. He attended Colorado Agricultural and Mechanical College, graduated in 1951 with a degree in animal husbandry and briefly pursued graduate studies. By 1952 he was farming 1,480 acres which included his father's land and some leased from other landowners. Father and son jointly worked the land in a business a partnership that became known as the Svedman Farm.

Jim's careful management of cattle operations and his work in agriculture, led to recognition of his work in 1960 as the Junior Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Young Farmer. In 1962 he was featured in the United States Department of Agriculture's Yearbook for his agricultural innovations. During the 1960s, Jim purchased 320 acres of land adjoining his father's holdings.

Jim Svedman was involved in many local organizations, including the Colorado Cattlemen's Association, the Colorado Cattle Feeders Association, and the Larimer County Farm Bureau. He was county committee chairman of the Larimer County Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service in 1977. In 1972 Jim ran in the primary election as a Republican candidate for the 29th District of the Colorado State Senate.

The location of an Eastman Kodak processing plant in nearby Windsor during the early 1960s caused a rapid increase in surrounding land values. In 1969, Clarence and Jim Svedman sold a combined total of 1,360 acres to Interladco, a development firm based in Detroit, but with the agreement that they would continue to farm the land until it was developed. When Interladco defaulted on this contract, the land was returned to the Svedmans.

Clarence Svedman died in 1974, and Jim continued his farming operations on his own land as well as on land leased from the other Svedman heirs. During the late 1970s and early 1980s the family sold most of the land to developers. One parcel of land became the Ptarmigan Golf Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus and opened to the public in 1988. The last parcel of land was sold for development in 1991. Following his retirement, Jim Svedman continued to assist others in their farming operations and was an active volunteer in Fort Collins.

Jim Svedman married Shirley Jeanne "Nean" Robertson in 1951, and they had three daughters: Cindy Jean, Deborah, and Carol Ann. The Svedmans divorced in 1989. Jim Svedman died in Fort Collins on May 27, 2003.


21 linear feet (13 record cartons, 2 document cases)

Language of Materials



Martin Svedman was the first of the Svedman family to farm in Colorado. He arrived in Colorado in 1880, and in 1883 homesteaded land near what would become Windsor, Colorado. Over the years, he devoted portions of his land to both crops and livestock. His son Clarence Martin Svedman, born in 1906, took over management of the Svedman lands following his father's death in 1923. Clarence Svedman and his son Clarence James (Jim) Svedman, worked the land jointly until the elder Svedman's death in 1974. The land was initially sold to developers in 1969, with the last parcel sold for development in 1991. The collection contains information on farm operations related to crops and feed, as well as to livestock. Included are financial records, such as bank statements, bank loans, tax returns, bills, invoices, and financial ledgers. The majority of the collection consists of records related to Jim Svedman, although there are earlier items as well concerning both his father and grandfather. Materials from associations Jim was involved in are also present. There are also some photographs of the family and the farm, clippings related to the farm and materials gathered by Jim Svedman on farm prices and costs.


The materials in the collection have been substantially rearranged, as they arrived primarily unsorted, with many materials in the original mailing envelopes. The materials have been grouped into series to reflect major topics. Where materials were received already grouped in some way, an attempt was made to retain these groupings.

The collection consists of eight series in thirteen record cartons and two document cases:

Series 1: Svedman family, 1938-2000 and undated

Series 2: Farm operations, 1939-1991 and undated

Subseries 2.1: Crops/feed, 1939-1991

Subseries 2.2: Livestock, 1943-1987

Subseries 2.3: Ledgers/payroll/accounts, 1947-1991

Subseries 2.4: Bills and invoices, 1948-1980

Subseries 2.5: Insurance, 1946-1978

Subseries 2.6: Miscellaneous, 1964-1978 and undated

Series 3: Financial records, 1908-1991

Subseries 3.1: Bank statements/cancelled checks/registers, 1908-1991

Subseries 3.2: Bank notes/loans, 1927-1979

Subseries 3.3: Taxes, 1940-1978

Series 4: Real estate, 1898-1989 and undated

Series 5: Organizations/associations/departments, 1940-1991 and undated

Series 6: Printed materials, 1898, 1908, 1940, 1956

Series 7: Visual materials, 1947-1992 and undated

Subseries 7.1: Photographs, 1947, 1950s-1963, 1987, 1992 and undated

Subseries 7.2: Maps/charts, 1950, 1961, 1973 and undated

Series 8: Artifacts, undated


The Papers of Jim Svedman was acquired by the Colorado Agriculture Archive on July 23, 2003, from Jim Svedman's daughters, Deborah Svedman, Cindy Kusuno, and Carol Geary. Several folders of additional documents and photographs relating to the collection were donated to the Archive by Deborah Svedman on November 17, 2005.


Newsletters, journal issues, maps and other publications that did not pertain directly to the Svedman farm or were not of a unique or rare nature were not retained. These items went through the normal library selection process to be added to the Libraries' collection.


Processing of the original donation was completed in October 2005. Initially, few materials were organized in folders, and many items were still in the original envelopes, with little organization within boxes. Materials were removed from envelopes and boxes, unfolded as necessary, sorted, housed in acid-free folders, and paperclips were removed. The materials were reboxed. Where materials had been sorted by the family and placed in folders or envelopes, they were generally retained in those groupings. Personal identification numbers found on various papers were blacked out, the pages were photocopied, and the originals were destroyed. Duplicates beyond a second copy were discarded. Photographs found within the general files were separated and placed with the other photographs. Oversized materials were removed to oversized storage. Additional materials received in November were processed in December 2005.

Inventory Note

Note: Two identical copies of the same item are indicated by the phrase "2 copies" atthe end of the entry. Authored articles, books, and studies are listed inbibliographic form.

Guide to the Papers of Jim Svedman
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Holley R. Lange and Linda M. Meyer
Copyright 2006
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA