Mrs. Fannie Slaven yesterday left What Cheer to make her home with her children. A familiar figure for the last 35 years, Mrs. Slaven is forced to discontinue her weekly trips about town selling her baked goods and garden produce. She is 89 years old and recently suffered a stroke which did not seriously affect her, but she knows she cannot live alone. Her son, Paul, who has been living with her, will fix up living quarters at his place of business at the sale barn.
Mr. and Mrs. Slaven came here from Kansas in 1892, living at first in the "old town." She remembers the big flood in 1902 when water came into the houses up to the windows, and she lost all her chickens except one coop of chicks.
Since 1916 Mrs. Slaven has lived in her present home in the west part of town. Mr. Slaven died about 20 years ago. They were the parents of seven children, all of whom are living but one daughter. Because her husband, who was a carpenter, was ill much of the time, Mrs. Slaven augmented the family income with baked goods which the older girls delivered Saturdays. Later she herself walked from house to house, increasing her deliveries to twice a week. Seldom has she failed to make these trips with a basket on each arm, bringing pies, cakes, rolls, donuts, cookies, jelly, preserves, fresh peaches, currents, gooseberries, and garden vegetables, especially asparagus. This winter kept her home at times. She enjoys baking and believes the fresh air has added to her long life.
Mrs. Slaven has no use for modern kitchens. She prefers her old wood range which she has used for more than 35 years. She still does her own laundry on the wash board. She had a washing machine at one time, but sold it as soon as possible. She says, "it wore me out to carry all that water and keep the machine clean. The metal tubs rust and the wood ones dry out. I can't be bothered with them."
In the summer Mrs. Slaven got up at daybreak and did her baking. In the winter she got up at 6 on bake days. She recalls buying 50 pounds of flour for 75 cents; lard for 7 to 10 cents a pound; all the sugar two people could carry for $1; butter at 35 cents, and molasses was cheap. She takes special pride in never owing anyone. What the family couldn't buy, they did without.
A daughter, Mrs. James Livezey of near Montezuma has been here since Saturday helping pack and dispose of household goods. Mrs. Slaven went to the home of another daughter, Mrs. Herman King of Grinnell. Mr. and Mrs. King were here last weekend. She will spend some time with each of her children.
unknown nwspaper clipping, 1951.