Middletown, situated in the northern part of the county, about one mile from the county line is surrounded by a good farming country with which it has an extensive trade. The town was founded in 1834, and surveyed the same year by Lewis Jones, then county surveyor. The first house was built by Stewart Slavens, and is now attached to the residence of Judge Ray. Mathias Wilbarger opened the first store, and James Hicks and Capt. Ball built the first mill.
Middletown derived its name from its location at the crossings of the roads leading east to west and from north to south. It now contains about five hundred inhabitants, five dry goods stores, two drug stores, one hotel, two blacksmith shops, one wagon and carriage factory, one watch and jewelry shop, one merchant tailor, several churches, and a good school. Judge James H. Ray is the oldest inhabitant now living in the place, having located there in 1836, since which time he has resided there or in the immediate vicinity.
An Illustrated Historical Atlas of Montgomery County, Missouri,
Edwards Brothers of Missouri, Philadelphia 1878.
SLAVENS, William S. Slavens was born in Greenbriar Co., VA., Sept. 15, 1787. He was married five times; first to Anna Hawkins, by whom he had 3 children, second to Mary Riggs, third to Elizabeth Elsbury, by whom he had seven children, fourth to the widow Thomas, whose maiden name was Rebecca Stanley, by whom he had two children; and fifth to the widow Meyers, whose maiden name was Paulina Hunt. Mr. Slavens settled in Montgomery, on Brush Creek, in 1820, and removed to near Middletown in 1829. He owned part of the land that Middletown was built upon. Mr. Slavens came to Missouri in company with his brother, Thomas, and a Mr. McCarta, in a little horse cart. Their stock consisted of one cow, the property of William Slavens, which they drove before them, and for which he was offered forty acres of land within the present limits of St. Louis; but thought his cow was worth more than the land, and kept her. Mr. Slavens had $640 in money, which he loaned to Mr. McCarta, who invested it in Irish potatoes, and planted them on ten acres of land in Illinois. The potato crop was a failure, and the money was never repaid. The names of Mr. Slavens' children were James H., Sarah, Isabella, Lydia A., Martha A., Aaron, William N., Henry B., Euphemia, Louisa, Elizabeth and Mary S. The youngest son, now in his 47th year, has 16 children and ten grandchildren.
A History of the Pioneer Families of Missouri
by Wm. S. Bryan and Robert Rose; Bryan, Brand & Co., St. Louis, Mo., 1876