Jack and Mary (Ingleson) Slavin.

Jack and Mary (Ingleson) Slavin, in probably a wedding portrait. According to the mounting, the photo was taken at the L.M. Stoops studio in Perry, Iowa.

New information: according to information in the Polk County (Iowa) Marriage Register and Index, vol.12, p.245, J.J. Slaven (sic) was born in Maryland... the city was listed but it could not be made out. Most of word looked like it could be Baltimore except the first letter looked more like an "M." Jack is listed as 28 years old (so he was born in 1876-7) and his father is listed as Martin Slaven (sic), who was born in Ireland. I haven't been able to positively locate Martin and family in the 1880 census, though.

I picked up the photo on Ebay, so all I can tell you about the couple is what I've been able to glean on the internet or from the photo itself. All of the following clippings are from the Perry (Iowa) Daily Chief.

On the back of photo someone has written "Jack Slavin. Mary Engleson Slavin." I would guess that the photo belonged to someone on the Slavin side of the family, as the correct spelling of Mary's surname is Ingleson. The same Ebay dealer had a second photo of two young girls and a woman, which had "left- Mary Slavin; right- Mina Slavin" written on the back. The woman is the farthest to the left, with the two younger girls-- I'd guess they're 9-12 years old-- standing on a prop fountain in the center of the photo, but I believe the writing refers to the two younger girls, leaving the older female unnamed. Based on census information, I'm guessing that the woman is their mother, Ingre (Mrs. Swan) Ingleson. However, I'm not positive about that. There's a strong resemblance between the woman and Mary in the later photo-- but I don't believe they're the same person. The woman also appears to be younger than Ingre would have been when Mary was about 10 (mid-forties) but I'm no expert, especially considering the photo is around 125 years old. Also, why isn't the oldest daughter (Augusta, three years older than Mina), in the photo? (Unless the woman is Gustie, and the styles make her look older than 15-16.) Finally, why is Mina identified as a Slavin? I'm guessing that someone in a later generation wrote the note, knew that the other girl was mother's or grandma's sister Mina, and absent-mindedly wrote "Slavin" instead of "Ingleson." When I have a chance I'll check Dallas County marriage records just to be sure that Jack didn't have a brother that married Mina. (Note: I could not find any such record for Dallas or Polk counties.)

Getting back to Jack and Mary... In the September 20, 1905 Daily Chief the paper told "It was announced last evening that Jack Slavin and Miss Mary Ingleson had gone to Des Moines to be married." The photo above was probably their wedding photo.

Jack and Mary remained in Perry for only a couple years. In the September 24, 1907 paper, it was noted "Engineer Jack Slavin will move his family to Council Bluffs soon as he now has a run west of the Bluffs on the Union Pacific." A year later the family moved to Sacramento, California... and here's another mystery. From the preceding news item, you'd assume that the couple had a baby since their marriage two years before. This very well could be. But the next item was creditted to "Lucile Ingelson" and "Lucile Slavin." Perhaps Mary wrote the letter, much like parents write letters to Santa from their toddlers. But we note that in the 1900 census, a Lucile Ingleson, 4, granddaughter, in the home of Mary Ingleson Slavin's parents, Swan and Ingre Ingleson. This Lucile would have been about 12 when the next item was written... still likely "the youngest correspondent the Chief ever had." Did Mary and Jack adopt her niece, and possibly Lucile's older brother? I haven't been able to find the family in the 1910 census to answer these questions. The news item:


Little Lucile Slavin Writes Interesting Letter to Relatives in This City

Relatives in this city have recently received a letter from Little Lucile Ingleson which we take pleasure in publishing. Miss Slavin enjoys the distinction of being the youngest correspondent the Chief ever had. Aside from a few personal matters, the letter in its entirety is as follows:

"We enjoyed our trip very much. We left Omaha Thursday and stopped off for a while at Cheyenne, Wyoming, to look around the town, and also at Ogden, Utah, which are both fine places. We saw the great Salt Lake and went over it on a bridge 40 miles long. Then there was the great American Desert, where for miles and miles nothing grows, not even a spear of grass. The mountains were very beautiful. In them there are sheds over the tracks to keep the snow off them for 40 miles. They are called snow sheds, and look something like corn cribs, only the boards am closer together.

"We got into Sacramento Sunday morning. The country is beautiful. There are orange trees with green and ripe oranges on them, and palm trees with leaves ten to fifteen feet long, and hundreds of them on one tree. Papa met us at the depot and we went to the Western Hotel for dinner, but we have some rooms now and are keeping house. We visited the Capitol Grounds and they are very beautiful. The grass was so thick that it was like lying on a Brussells carpet or walking on a mattress. We had some oranges right off the tree.

"Papa is an engineer on the Southern Pacific on the motor car. He goes out at 9:00 o'clock and gets in at 8:30 in the morning. We like everything here very much. Meats and most groceries here are about the same as in the east, except eggs, butter and milk. Eggs are 65 cents a dozen, butter 45 cents a pound and milk 10 cents a quart but vegetables are pretty cheap.

"Well, it is after 9 clock and way past my bedtime so I will close for this time.

With Love, from


Perry (Iowa) Daily Chief, November 18, 1908.

If anyone can help out with this family-- who Jack's parents are and where they're from, what happened to ths family after moving to California, etc., plase let me know. I'd be happy to turn this photo over to a descendant.

Copyright © 2009 Larry Slavens. All rights reserved.