Slavin, Matthew (deceased). Builder and contractor, Pasadena, California, was born January 6, 1853, in Saratgo County, New York, the son of Patrick and Margaret Slavin. On November 3, 1887, he married Matha Jane Foster, and to them have been born Matthew, Sarah, and Edith R. Slavin.
Mr. Slavin spent his boyhood years on hios father's farm in Saratoga County, taking the best advantage he could of the rural schol district in gaining his preliminary education. At the age of fourteen, he began a three-year aopprenticeship under George Ostrander, a carpenter of Burnt Hills, New York. During this course of training, he mastered all the details of the building trade and acquired considerable proficiency as a carpenter. For the four years following, he worked as a journeyman through the State of New York.
In 1879, Mr. Slavin went to Indianapolis, Ind., where entered the employ of Shover and Christian, leading builders of that city, as a draftsman and superintendent of construction. He remained with them for nine years, overseeing the construction of the most important structures erected during that time.
In 1887, Mr. Slavin married Miss Foster and the two went to California on their honeymoon. So charmed were they with the new and glorious country they decided to remain. Mr. Slavin became readily convinced of the opportunities the West had to offer him while the pioneer life greatly appealed to both himself and his wife. So they settled In Pasadena, at that time a little village among the foothills, north of Los Angeles.
Mr. Slavin's arrival In California was followed by a very busy and successful career, for he came at a time when the great Southwest was beginning to make her most rapid strides. Mr. Slavin soon won the reputation of being the leading builder and contractor in the Southwest.
Among Mr. Slavinís most important contracts have been the erection of Hotel Green, one of Pasadena's most notable hostelries, Hotel Potter in Santa Barbara, the Masonic Temple in Pasa dena, the First Presbyterian Church, one of Southern California's most beautiful church buildings, the Pasadena Furniture Building and the Central Building which, upon its completion in 1913, was conceded to be the finest office building in Pasadena.
One feature which contributed largely to Mr. Slavin's success as a builder and contractor, aside from his irreproachable integrity, was the treatment of his employees. At times he was so considerate of the men working for him that they manifested their loyalty in giving the best of their efforts and watching out for his interests.
Civic pride was one of Mr. Slavin's strong characteristics. As Pasadena grew from a very small village of primitive pioneers to a mecca for millionaires, Mr. Slavin took an active part in its development, not only in giving every aid he could but also in taking every possible occasion to demonstrate his confidence in the people who settled there. When Pasadena was but a small town, he served faithfully on its Board of Trustees, and when it was incorporated into a city and a new charter was put into effect, he was eletced a councilman and finally made President of the Board of Councilment. In municipal affairs, Mr. Slavin was never governed by party or prejudice; clean government was the only principle he would countenance, together with sound, progressive measures in the direction of the city's affairs. As a demonstration of his faith in Pasadena, he erected the Slavin Building, in which he established his business headquarters. The building was a fine one and so well located that the First National Bank of Pasadena leased the lower floor.
Mr. Slavin attained high honors as a Mason and had to his credit thirty-two degrees. He was a member of the Blue Lodge, Knights Templar and of the Al Malaikah Temple in Los Angeles. He also belonged to the KnIghts of Pythias, the Elks Lodge, Altadena Country Club and the Music and Art Association of Pasadena. He was also a promi nent member on the Pasadena Board of Trade,
Mr. Slavin died suddenly February 8, 1915. Feeling well and strong, he was superintending the erection of the home of a daughter, who was to be married, when he suddenly died of heart failure. The news of his death was a great shock to his many friends in Pasadena and throughout Southern Cailfornia. He was laid to rest by his brother Masons with the dIgnity and high honors becoming his rank and character.
His son, Matthew Slavin, Jr., after leaving the University of California in Berkeley, joined his father in the building business and is carrying on the business left to his care.
Press Reference Library (Western Edition): Notables of the West, Vol. II
Published by International News Service, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta. 1915 .