MATTHEW SLAVIN. Through his successful work as a contractor and builder Mr. Slavin has contributed to the development of Pasadena, his home city. Among the most important contracts he has had may be mentioned those for the annex of the famous Hotel Green, one of the finest hotels in the west; the buildings comprising the Throop Polytechnic Institute in Pasadena; the Masonic building of this city; the Martha block and the Slavin block (both of which he owns); and the Zahn building in Los Angeles. Many of the finest residences in this region have been built by him, under contract. During busy seasons he employs as many as thirty hands in the various departments of his building business.
Mr. Slavin was born in Saratoga county, N.Y., January 6, 1853, a son of Patrick and Margaret Slavin, natives respectively of Dublin, Ireland, and New York state. His early boyhood years were passed on his father's farm in Saratoga county. When he was fourteen he began to serve an apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade under George Ostrander at Burnt Hills, N.Y. He remained with that employer for three years, meantime learning the business in all of its details and gaining considerable proficiency as a carpenter. Later he worked as a journeyman for four years in New York state. Leaving there he went to Indianapolis, Ind., and accepted employment as foreman, superintendent and draughtsman with Shover & Christian, leading builders of that city. In these capacities he remained with the firm for nine years.
The year 1887 found Mr. Slavin in Pasadena, where he began to take contracts for erecting private residences and public buildings. From that time to this he has had a steadily increasing business. His reputation as a builder is the highest. By his reliable dealings with all and his efficiency and intelligence he has gained a high position in his chosen calling. He is recognized as one of the competent builders of Pasadena. Several times he has been given contracts in other towns, all of which have been carried out faithfully and well. He is interested in the progress of his home city and is a member of its board of trustees, also a member of the board of trade.
Prior to coming to California Mr. Slavin married Miss Martha J. Foster, of Indianapolis, Ind. They have three children, Matthew, Jr., Sarah and Edith R. The family occupy a comfortable home at No. 774 North Marengo avenue, which Mr. Slavin built and has since owned. The residence is surrounded by five acres of ground, with shrubbery, flowers and fruit trees, and is one of the most beautiful places in Pasadena. Fraternally he is a member of the Mystic Shrine of Masonry. He has not taken an active part in politics, although he is interested in securing good government for city, state and nation, and votes for those who, in his opinion, are best fitted to promote the welfare of the people. His views concerning tariff, currency and expansion are those of the Republican party, and he supports them with his ballot, but in local matters, where political belief is of less importance than a commendable spirit of local pride, he gives his vote to men of progressive views and sound judgment.
Historical and Biographical Record of Los Angeles and Vicinity:
Containing a History of the City from Its Earliest Settlement as a Spanish Pueblo to the Closing Year of the Nineteenth Century.
J.M. Guinn, Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois 1901.