The life of the manager of the Atwater branch of the Merced Lumber Company has much in it that is worthy of honorable mention. The only son and eldest of three children, James H. Slavan was born in Winnemucca, Nev., November 2, 1892, a son of James P. and Lorena (Hastings) Slavan, born in New York and Wisconsin, respectively. James P. came west with his father from New York. The latter engaged in the cattle business in Nevada and died there. James P. later came on to San Francisco and took up railroad work and was agent on thc Southern Pacific. He afterwards engaged in the wholesale grocery trade and died in 1916. Mrs. Slavanís father, Al. Hastings, was roadmaster on the Southern Pacific in Carson City, Nev. His principal work, however, was in the construction work of the Alameda Pier.

James H. Slavan was reared in Oakland and was graduated from the John C. Fremont High School in 1911. In 1913 he shipped as a sailor before the mast and served four years, receiving his certificate as pilot in May, 1917. In the meantime he worked as assistant cashier for the Santa Fe in Oakland, then went on the road as clerk to Roadmaster John Clendening. Later he enlisted in the U. S. Navy as warrant boatswain and was appointed recruiting officer. He is Past Supervisor in the West Coast Naval Reserve under Captain Castle of San Francisco. He received a commission on the U.S.S. Invincible under Captain George H. Zeh, in November, 1918, and made many trips to France. He received an honorable discharge in San Francisco in 1921. He is secretary of the Board of Trade of Atwater and of the Boosters Club; is a Republican in politics and fraternally is a member of the Knights of Pythias and of Merced Lodge No. 1240, B.P.O.E.

History of Merced County, California : with a biographical review of the leading men and women...
by John Outcalt. Historic Record Co., Los Angeles, California, 1925.