With an unshaken faith in the God whom he so reverently and faithfully served for a life-time, Mr. Thos. H. Slaven has passed to his reward, the end coming at 6 a.m. this (Thursday) morning at his home in Monterey.
He had reached the age of 79, and had been extremely feeble for several years. Since his fall about six weeks ago he had been confined to his bed, attended by nearly all the members of his family. During this long, last illness he leaned with confidence on the Master's strong arm, rejoicing in the possession of "the imperishable riches," and exhorting the friends and loved ones who came to his bedside, to meet him in the home of many mansions.
A befitting sketch of his life will appear next week.
Mr. Slaven was a member of Highland Lodge No. 110, and will be buried with Masonic honors, after a service conducted by his pastor at the Methodist church, Saturday morning at 10 o'clock, Sept. 10th.
Highland (Virginia) Recorder, September 11, 1908.
Futile, I know, would prove the effort, on the part of any one, to chronicle the many christians virtues, and honorable motives that went to make up, in so eminent a degree, the lofty character of this high and noble man, but the writer who has known him since the writer's childhood, begs leave to lay this tribute of respect on the altar of his memory.
Thomas Hanson Slaven died at his home in Monterey, surrounded by his children and loved ones, on Thursday morning of last week, Sept. 10, 1908, at 6 o'clock, having been almost helpless for the past seven weeks, not from any organic disease, but because of a feeble and worn out body.
We fail to realize, for a while, that the one who has gone in and out among us for so many years, will not again be numbered among the living, yet, indeed, he has gone, and no more shall we have his presence and personality to remind us of him; but numbers of the readers of this sketch need but cast their eyes about them and they will see some article of furniture in the room, standing there as a monument of his honest, good work, (for none but that kind ever left nis shop). But while there are numberless monuments of his handiwork scattered throughout this and adjoining counties, the greatest and most lasting one lett behind is the wonderful christian character he built. A character more enviable for its excellence than its fame. He was a builder of this sort, and now that this building is complete we look upon it as a monument that, we thank God, is our rich heritage, which will wield an influence for good, and bring good into our lives, if we but stop to think upon it.
Brother Slaven was for more than half a century a member of the Methodist church, and has been numbered among the Monterey Methodists since their organization, and throughout its history down to the present, he was closely identified with its every move; let it move smoothely and peacefully, he was there to rejoice, and when times of adversity came he was the same staunch piller, standing and upholding the great principles, beliefs and hopes upon which the life of his church and his life, were builded and grounded.
You would know Mr. Slaven to be a christian man, not by what we would ordinarily term the leading characteristics of a christian, but by the little matters of every day life, in which he showed forth his christianity. Along this line his most prominent characteristic was his outspoken contempt, by word and manner, for unclean words and unchased and silly conversation. He was never heard to utter an unchased word during the whole of his life, nor would he permit such in his presence.
This life of purity and consecration he lived until his days here on earth were numbered, and the strong faith which supported him through life, remained until his dying hour. The very last days of his consciousness were spent in repeating scripture verses and stanzas of the good old hymns, and in doing so he would become so happy and resigned, that one could not but believe that at such times the mist cleared away and he was permitted to look across the river. In many talks with his children and friends, who would gather about his bed, he admonished them to lead christian lives, and this message he left to all. He said."Tell them it pays to live a christian life."
Slowly and gradually as his body weakened he came down to the River's brink, and quietly and peacefully he crossed over, and only his memory is left with us; and now when called to a higher sphere, may his family and many friends find much comfort in the legacy left each one an untarnished name; a life lived down at his Master's feet, full of good works, and exemplyfing in its every phase, the name of the christian and the gentleman.
Thomas H. Slaven was a son of Reuben Slaven. He was born near Meadow Dale, June 3d, 1829, and was a member of a large family. Surviving him are Jesse B., of Monterey, W Boon, of Texas, and Mrs. J.H. Lindsay, of Bridgewater. He was married in 1849, to Miss Margaret Fleisher who died Nov. 12th, 1904. To them was born a large family of children, of whom the following survive: Mrs. L.A. Carichoff, Mrs. Lizzie Ogilvie, Harry F., Tom. H. and Howard M., of Monterey, Mrs. A. W. Reynolds and Miss May V. Slaven, of Princeton, W. Va., all of whom were present during their father's last sickness, except Mrs. Reynolds.
He was numbered among the very first residents of Monterey, having been a citizen of the county, since its crganization, with the exception of four years he lived, with his family, in the State of Missouri. This was from '69 to 73.
September 4, 1869, he was made a Master Mason, in Highland Lodge No. 110, A.F. & A.M. He was Monterey's first postmaster after the civil war, which position he held until he moved West. On his return he was again appointed in 79 serving until '85. During the reconstruction period he was appointed Clerk of Highland county court, which position he held until he moved West. For 50 years he was undertaker here, during which time he buried over one thousand dead, and was in many a home of the county during their saddest hours.
The services were conducted at the Methodist church, by the pastor of the deceased, Rev. W.N. Wagner, assisted by Rev. W.S. Trimble. In a strong sermon to and for the living the pastor pronounced a beautiful eulogy upon the life of the departed one.
At the cemetery the Masons, Hon. S.W. Sterrett, acting Worshipful Master, committed the mortal remains of the dead to his mother earth, according to the impressive ceremony of the Masonic ritual.
The pall-bearers were selected from the nephews and grandchildren of the deceased, and are of the following names: Henry A. Slaven, H.H. Slaven, J.A. Fleisher, R.B. Campbell, Bruce Slaven and Louie Carichoff.
Highland (Virginia) Recorder, September 18, 1908.