Photo and story by Kyle Bruggeman
June 21st, 2009, Swanton, Neb: In the sleepy little town of Swanton Nebraska lies a stretch of property with an old abandoned house, a chicken coup, and some rusty farm equipment used in times gone by. If your lucky, you may come across Alfred Lisec, 80, who moved to Swanton from Odell Nebraska in 1937. Lisec has been a county commissioner, the town mayor, and spent most of his life as a carpenter in which he built an auditorium and a church for his community.
Lisec has seen many changes to Swanton over the last eighty years. The town once had three grocery stores and three taverns, but today there is only one of each.
"The town has had a hard time surviving" Lisec said when referring to a flood that damaged the community in 1984 and forced the rail road company to abandon its tracks. Lisec was working at the grain elevators at the time of the flood. Now the grain is sent out through trucks to Plymouth and Dorchester, which has led to a decrease in population for Swanton.
Today Lisec is retired and spends his days raising sheep to sell in Palmyra. His favorite beer is Coors, but he drinks Coors Light when he visits with the local folks inside The Corner Tavern.