Willis Slavens, section 19, Marion Township, is a native of Hendricks County, born in Eel River Township, locating there in 1828, soon after their marriage. The mother died in 1846 and the father in 1851, aged forty-four years. They had a family of nine children-- Harvey, a member of the Fifty-first Indiana Infantry, died at Nashville, Tenn., in 1862; Mrs. Nancy Dean, Willis, Jesse, Milton, Mrs. Mary Wright, William, John and Reuben. Left orphans at an early age, the children were obliged to depend on themselves for maintenance, and Willis worked as a farm hand till twenty years of age, and the next six years was employed as engineer in a saw-mill. He was married March 14, 1868, to Mary A. Ragan, daughter of James and Lucy Ragan. She was born Nov. 23, 1847, on the homestead of her parents, where she now lives. Her parents were natives of Kentucky and pioneer settlers of Marion Township. He mother died June 14, 1871, aged forty-nine years, and her father Aug. 6, 1871, aged fifty years. Of a large family of children Mrs. Slavens is the eldest, and the only daughter living. Five sons are living-- John S., a physician of Avon; Zachariah, of North Salem, Abner, of Nebraska, James B., of Richmond, Ind., and William H., with Mrs. Slavens. After his marriage Mr. Slavens settled on the Ragan homestead, and had the care of the family, and he and his wife succeeded in the ownership of the residence portion of the property. They have one child-- Della, born May 11, 1870. Mr. Slavens enlisted Sept. 22, 1861, in Company A, Fifty-first Indiana Infantry, of which his brother Harvey was Lieutenant, and after serving nine months was discharged on account of ill health. Jan. 4, 1864, he again enlisted, and served in the Ninth Cavalry till Aug. 28, 1865. In politics Mr. Slavens is a Republican. He and his wife are members of the Christian Church. He is a member of the North Salem Lodge, F. & A.M.
History of Hendricks County, Indiana: Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages and Towns, Educational, Religious, Civil, Military, and Political History, Portraits of Prominent Persons, and Biographies of Representative Citizens. Inter-State Publishing Company, 1885