was born in Putnam county, Indiana, August 3d, 1838. His grandparents were from Virginia and Kentucky, his parents being natives of the latter State. His early years were spent upon his father's farm, where he worked and attended the country school, the advantages of which he so well used that at the age of seventeen he entered the Indiana Asbury University at Greencastle, where he took a classical course, and from which he graduated in the first rank of scholarship in 1859. He was the same year married to Miss Mattie McNutt, of Douglas county, Illinois, to which locality he moved and commenced life as a farmer, by purchasing, upon time, a tract of Illinois Central Railroad land on the "raging O'Kaw" near the county seat where he settled, and where he spent two years of hard labor. His days were given to fencing, "breaking up," reaping, etc. while his evenings and spare hours were devoted to reading law.
He placed his partially-subdued farm in the hands of a tenant, and proceeded to the University Law School, from which he graduated in the class of 1861, and settled in the county seat there commenced the practice of his profession.
In 1862, Mr. Slavens entered the army with the Illinois troops and served three years, mainly in the subsistence department; the last year upon the staff of General George H. Thomas, as staff and issuing commissary. At the close of the war, and upon his honorable discharge from his military service, he, in the fall of re moved with his family to Kansas City. Missouri, where he engaged In the real estate business and where he has since resided.
Mr. Slavens was, in 1867, elected to the responsible and honorable position of City Treasurer of Kansas City.
About the same time, he entered the business of beef and pork packing, being a pioneer in that line, in which he has been uniformly successful, and in which he has done much to build up and maintain the enviable reputation of Kansas City as a live stock market and packing center.
Mr. Slavens is known and recognized as a safe and sound as well as an energetic, enterprising, public-spirited business man, of unquestioned integrity and unimpeachable character. He is blessed with a competency of this world's goods, surrounded by a houseful of interesting children, among whom he spends his happiest hours. He is a member of the Masonic and Good Templars orders, a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and, in 1872, he represented Missouri as a lay delegate in the General Conference which met at Brooklyn, N.Y.
In the spring of 1877, Mr. Slavens was elected Mayor of Kansas City, as the nominee of the Republican party. but with the support, largely, of the business men as well as the laboring class, regardless of party.
Mr. Slavens is just entering the prime of life, with advantages such as few men have given them or could wisely use. With vigorous health, large and varied experience, intellectual and business capacity, a material competency, surrounded by a happy family, commanding the esteem and respect of his fellow citizens and the affection of those more closely connected, his opportunities and duties are great, and we predict he will wisely use the former and honestly perform the latter.
The Commonwealth Of Missouri; Centennial Record, edited by C. R Barns.
Bryan, Brand & Co., Publishers, St. Louis, 1877.