My maiden name was Emily Candace Williams. My parents names were Joseph and Martha Ann Williams. My grandfather Williams was killed by the Indians in Indiana.
I was born February 27, 1854, in Pulaski County, Indiana. I was there until reached six years old, when my father enlisted in the first call for volunteers in the Civil War in the 20th Indiana Infantry and served until August, 1864.
In 1861 my mother and we six children moved to her fatherís place near Indianapolis, and we lived there during the war. When my father was discharged, we moved back to our old home. My brother, Ira, also enlisted in 1862 in the 70th Indiana regiment, and served until 1865. We lived at that place r three years, then moved to a farm near Logansport, Indiana.
In the spring of 1871, my father, my brother, and an uncleís family decided to move to Kansas, where land could be homesteaded. There were four wagons in the caravan: Father, Mother, and seven children in two wagons, Brother Ira, his wife and baby in another wagon, and Uncle William Silvey and his three daughters in the fourth wagon.
We started in May, 1871, like the "Israelites for the Promised Land" of Kansas. We did not get started until 3 p.m., and then we drove a few miles that day and camped on the banks of the Wabash River. The rest of the party came after we had settled for the night, so the next day we started out in earnest. We crossed the Wabash River on a covered bridge and were told we were on the wrong road, so had to go back and ferry across. In so doing we lost our hound dog, or he lost us. He went back to our old home,and we went on in sorrow as we had thought so much of our dog. Even a dog is missed when you are leaving your native land.
At Springfield, Illinois, we lost one of our best horses. It rained almost every night we were on the road. We traveled for six weeks before arriving at Glen Elder on June 20, 1871.
The town consisted of one house, one store, and one hotel. The store had a dirt roof. Here we saw our first buffalo calf. We camped here a few days on the Dr. Everson farm, now owned by Frank Nash. We then moved across the river to Tom Nelson's farm. The first time we saw the Solomon River at Glen Elder we waded across, following the wagons. There was nothing to do so we helped Mr. Nelson "bug potatoes" and in return Mrs. Nelson would take long walks with us and wade in the river. The weather was very warm.
One day my sister and I killed a badger while on a walking tour. It would run at us and we would run, then it would turn to run away. It was the first badger we had ever seen.
Father bought land from a man by the name of King, which was located about two and one-half miles west of town on the river. We moved into the dugout that they vacated. It had a door on the north and a window in the south end, with a buffalo trail leading directly to the window. The first night we were in the dugout a very hard rain came. The water came through the door, and Mother began dipping and throwing it out. Then the window that had been holding back the water that came down the trail burst, and the water came in like a cataract. Mother quit dipping and started crying. The large ridgepole that held the brush, straw and dirt creaked, and we thought the roof was coming down, but nothing came but water and slabs of mud. We had only a square about four feet across that was dry for the ten people to stand on. The rains usually came the first part of the night, so as to give one the pleasure of a full night of misery.
I neglected to say that While we were camped on the river, my future husband, through curiosity I suppose, called at our camp. It was Sunday morning, and I had just finished marcelling my hair, as I had done it up on curl papers the night before. He made up his mind that if I were willing, he would look no farther for a helpmate. I often think what poor judges men are.
I was married to James Slaven May 16, 1872, at Cawker City, by the Reverend Mr. Bladstock, a Methodist minister. We began housekeeping on Mr Slavenís homestead 2 1/2 miles southwest of Glen Elder. He had taken his homestead in 1870, and he and his cousin had cut cottonwood trees, hauled them to Glen Elder, had them sawed into lumber and built a small house. It was 14 by 18 feet on the line between their homesteads. We were the first couple to be married in Walnut Creek Township. In 1878 Mr. Slaven hauled lumber from Hastings and built the house now standing, with a few additions.
We lived through the grasshopper year of 1874. Grasshoppers took all the corn, but we had just threshed the wheat, so had bread and plenty of wild game, as my husband liked to hunt.
We lived together to celebrate our Golden Wedding. We raised ten children to be grown.
(Mr. Slaven passed away February 4, 1923 and Mrs. Slaven on September 5, 1952, at the age of 98 1/2. Surviving her were a total of 101 descendants.)