A farmer of Cass township, Shelby county, Iowa, who is making his mark in the history of his township, is John F. Slaven. Although he has not been long in this township, yet he has already demonstrated that he is a man of splendid character and unusual ability. He is a man who is interested in the advancement of his county, and such measures, as he believes will promote the interests of his fellow citizens, receive his hearty and unreserved support. In all the relations of life he carries himself as the true American citizen, and for this reason merits the esteem in which he is held in his community.
John F. Slaven, the son of Henry C. and Margaret (Lawrence) Slaven, was born in Macon county, Illinois, January 19, 1871. His father was born in Ohio and his mother in Georgia. Henry C. Slaven was reared in Ohio and when a young man he moved to Illinois with his mother, his father having died when he was a small boy. He farmed in Illinois for twelve years, and then moved west, and in 1889, located in Shelby county, Iowa, in Cass township. Here Henry C. Slaven rented a farm until he retired from active farm life to make his home with his son, John F. The wife of Henry C. Slaven died November 4, 1893, leaving five children, Jennie, who died at the age of fourteen; Myrtle, the wife of Frank Burk; William, who married Corrine Crandall; Ruby, deceased; and John F. Slaven. Two children died in infancy.
John F. Slaven was educated in the schools of Missouri and Texas, and after leaving school he worked with his father until he was twenty years of age, and then rented a farm in Cass township, and began farming for himself. He farmed in this township until 1907, when he moved to Colorado, and remained there for the next two years. In 1909, he returned to Shelby county, and rented a farm of two hundred and forty acres in the northern part of Cass township. In 1912, he moved to Pottowattomie county, Iowa, but returned to Shelby county in the spring of 1913, and moved on the farm where he is now living.
Mr. Slaven was married in 1889 to Sarah Burkett, the daughter of E. M. and Melvina Burkett, and to this union eight children have been born: Anna, who married Edward Bean, and has two children, Lula and Shirley; Mary, the wife of William Williams, and the mother of three children, Ray, Opal and Ruby; one child died in infancy; the rest of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Slaven, Jessie, Henry, Margaret, Lallie and John, are still single and at home.
Mrs. Slavenís parents were natives of Tennessee, and moved from that state to Texas, where they are now living. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Burkett: Dona, Sarah, Hick, Jay, Joseph, Maude, Lottie and Emma.
Politically, Mr. Slaven is a Democrat, but has never cared to take an active part in political affairs. He and his family are earnest and devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and actively interested in its various enterprises. Fraternally, he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and a trustee in his lodge. He has held all of the different offices in the Modern Woodmen. He is also a member of the Royal Neighbors of America, and a trustee of his lodge. Mr. Slaven is a man of genial manner and kindly disposition, and has so lived as to be recognized as a true type of the good American citizen.
Past & Present of Shelby County, Iowa,
by Edward S. White, B.F. Bowen & Co., Indianapolis 1915