M.J. Slaven, an old and respected citizen of our city, and who knew the joys and trials of pioneer life, died at his home on West Bridge street at 3 o'clock this morning. Mr. Slaven has been in failing health for the past two years, and a cold contracted about a week ago with symptoms of pneumonia, proved more than his frail condition could endure, and death resulted.
Mr. Slaven was born in Zanesville, Ohio, February 22, 1831, making him past eighty at the time of death. In Ohio he grew to manhood where he attended school and lived on a farm.
In 1855 he went to LaCrosse, where he worked at the mason trade, which he had previously learned at Columbus, Ohio. In 1856 he started on foot for Mower county. He made a claim on section 13, town. 102, now known as the town of Windom. In the fall of 1856 he was joined by his mother and sisters. Mr. Slaven built a large house, and his mother made her home with him until June 1872, when she went to Winona and died there two months later. Mr. Slaven improved 100 acres of the land and made it his home until 1874, when he sold out and moved to Rochester, Olmsted County, where he kept a hotel for three years, which he sold and then bought a private residence. In 188o he went to Dakota, and took a homestead in town. 157 north, range 53 west. He proved up on this claim and bought other lands in Grand Forks county, and city property in Grand Forks and St. Andrews, and sold it in 1882, and then came to Dexter and settled in section 34, on land that he had entered in 1855. He set out a large grove and erected good buildings.
In 1886 he bought the Will Smith farm east of Austin and platted the west part, which is known as Slaven's addition. In 1887 he built a residence upon this land and the family moved in from Dexter, residing there until 1899 when they removed to a newly remodeled home on West Bridge street where Mr. Slaven died.
In 1867 he was married to Hannah M. Keye, who died April 6, 1908. One child was born to Mr. and Mrs. Slaven, Estella, who having cared tenderly for her father and mother during their illness, survives them.
Mr. Slaven coming to our county in the early days was among its first settlers. He knew perhaps as much about pioneer life as any man in the county and certainly did his share to wrest Mower county from the wilderness. He was honest, industrious, and prosperous. He was chosen to offices of public trust and was a member of the town board of Windom for twelve years. He was chosen a member of the Austin public library board and served from its organization until about a year ago when failing health compelled him to relinquish his duties. He was a stockholder and for a number of years vice president of the Austin Citizen's bank. He was a life long member of the Catholic church.
The funeral will be held at 9:30 o'clock Thursday morning.
Austin (Minnesota) Daily Herald, August 15, 1911.