Was Born in Virginia 85 Years Ago - Father and Mother Came When He Was a Boy, to Henry County - Grew to Manhood and Married There, Coming to Barton County Nearly Sixty Years Ago - Lived for Some Years in Union Township - Was Then in the Stock Business - Elected Sheriff in 1904 - Made Small Fortune in the Produce Business in Later Years Before He Retired - Had Friends in Every Part of Barton County - Funeral Sunday Afternoon at Konantz Chapel - Interment in Sheldon Cemetery.
The funeral of the late John Slavens was announced to be conducted at the Konantz Chapel at 2:30, Sunday p.m. by Rev. Homer DeLozier. Internment was to be in the Sheldon Cemetery by the grave of the deceased's late wife, who died forty-three years ago.
John Slavens was the son of Reuben Slavens and Nancy Ann Stephenson. He was born in Jackson County, Virginia, January 7, 1852. His father during his boyhood moved to Henry County, Missouri, where John grew to manhood and married.
He was married in 1870, when little more than eighteen, to Mary Belle Hill. They lived in Henry County until 1879, when they moved to Barton County. Mr. Slavens located on a farm in Union township. Later he moved to Lamar, where he was in the stock business until 1904, when he was elected sheriff. He ran the year of the Theodore Roosevelt landslide, and defeated the late Jim Duncan. He served two years, later being nightwatch in Lamar. After this Mr. Slavens went into the produce business. He was at that time, getting along towards sixty years old, and was practically penniless. But ere he retired about fifteen years later, he had amassed a modest independence for the remainder of his life.
Mrs. Slavens died in 1894. Her widowed husband devoted himself to his family and was never remarried. Three of daughters and his one son preceded him in death. The daughters, who have passed hence were Mrs. Alma McClain and Mrs. Ella Croy. Estella Slavens died when she was five years old. His only son, Harry Slavens, who long held a position in Kansas City stockyards, died ten years ago.
He leaves two daughters, Mrs. Myrtle Thomas of Salt Lake City, and Mrs. Ben Laizure, at whose home in Pittsburg he died.
"John" as all of his old friends called him, remained in Lamar until a year ago last September. He was long a member of the Lamar Baptist Church.
The writer knew John Slavens for years. He was a man who was beloved by all who knew him. He had an acquaintance among the older generation that extended into every part of the county. After he retired from active business about twelve yeas ago, he liked to be about daily and meet his old friends. His genial sunny manner, his pleasing personality, his sound common sense, and kindly but very apt way of puttIng things were a constant source of delight and pleasure to his friends, who met him daily. His memory will live in their minds to the end. A good husband, a kind father, a warm and genial friend, a man who had a kindly but commonsense outlook life. He had lived in Barton County nearly sixty years.
The Lamar (Missouri) Democrat, May 25, 1937.
There was a great crowd of friends from far and near gathered at the Konantz Funeral Home to pay a last tribute to the memory of our ex-sheriff and beloved fellow citizen, the late John Slavens. Rev. Homer DeLozier had charge of the service that was held at 2:30 p.m. There was a large and beautiful offering of floral tribute. The casket stood in the midst of a bank of flowers extending upon three sides.
A quartette composed of Pauline Quillon, Miss Irma Lee Joyce, Cap Joyce and Frank Lee, with Mrs. Homer DeLozier at the piano, sang One Sweetly Solemn Thought.
The committee that had charge of the large floral offering was composed of Mesdames Charles R. Glenn, N.B. Elam Jr., Don West, Ed McKee, Dr. C.E. Duckett and Chester Newell.
The pallbearers were Messrs. 0.P. Combs, Will Hagny, Don West, Chas. B. Perry, Don 0’Neal and Casey Snip.
A long procession of cars escorted the remains to the Sheldon cemetery, where all that was mortal of John Slavens was lowered into the soil to sleep by the grave of the wife of his youth, who preceded him to the land of Tomorrow, by forty-three years.
There were many who attended the funeral trom afar. There were R.L. Mills, Mr. and Mrs. R.D. Burnside and Robert Burnside, from Clinton, Mrs. Emma Laizure and her daughter, Miss Mabel Laizure, with the latter’s young son, Sam, and Mrs. Grace Laizure, all of Columbus, Mrs. Dot Tarr from Greenfield, Mr. and Mrs. Max Thomas and son Jack of Tulsa, Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Palmer, Mr. and Mrs. T.A. Loftus, Mr. and Mrs. E.L. Palmer, Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Harry, Mrs. Walter Apperson and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hill, all of Pittsburg; Mr. and Mrs. J.K. Hill and Miss Dorothy Hill-- Mr. Hill being our late townsman’s brother-in-law; George Rumsey and Mr. and Mrs. S. F. Ayler, all of Nevada; Mr. and Mrs. Joe McCullough, of Rich Hill.
Mrs. W.D. Thomas, with her husband, arrived from Salt Lake City to join her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Laizure, at whose home our late citizen passed away.
The Lamar (Missouri) Democrat, May 25, 1937.