Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Solomon W. Slater

Solomon W. Slater, who passed away on the 1st of March, 1906, was one of the pioneer settlers of East Boyer township, where he spent the greater part of his life, devoting his attention to general agricultural pursuits and owning four hundred and forty acres of valuable land at the time of his demise.

His birth occurred in Ulster county, New York, on the 15th of September, 1838. His paternal grandfather, Walter Slater, was of Holland descent and took up his abode among the early settlers in the vicinity of New York City.

James Slater, the father of Solomon W. Slater, was likewise a native of Ulster county, New York. He lost his wife in 1850 and four years later journeyed westward with his children, traveling by boat to Albany, New York, thence to Buffalo by rail, by boat to Chicago and by rail to Rock Island. From the last named place he made his way by team to Crawford county, Iowa, locating on the farm which remained his home during the rest of his life and which afterward came into possession of our subject.

At the time of his arrival here there were but ten or twelve voters in the county. The place on which he settled was a tract of raw land on section 10, East Boyer township, and thereon he erected a log cabin, fourteen by sixteen feet. In this primitive little structure hospitality was dispensed in a liberal manner, it being the best stopping place west of Carroll, Iowa, twenty-five miles distant. James Slater performed the arduous labor incident to the development of a farm and carried on general agricultural pursuits until called to his final rest on the 11th of July, 1879, when he had attained the age of seventy-two years. His political allegiance was given to the republican party and he was widely recognized as a substantial and respected citizen of the community, Unto him and his wife were born four children, namely: James, Maria, Solomon W. and Anna. All are now deceased.

Solomon W. Slater, who was a youth of sixteen when he came to Crawford county with his father, assisted in developing the home farm, first clearing and then breaking the land. Whenever the family was in need of provisions he drove a team to Council Bluffs, eighty miles distant. He never left the old homestead and was successfully identified with general farming interests throughout his active business career, accumulating four hundred and forty acres of highly improved land.

When a young man of twenty-seven years Mr. Slater was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Winans, a native of Bureau county, Illinois, and a daughter of Clarke and Catherine (Chivley) Winans, who came to Iowa in 1854, locating at Mason Grove. Clarke Winans passed away on the 24th of September, 1885, while the demise of his wife occurred April 3, 1898.

Their children were eight in number, as follows: Henry, who is deceased; Elizabeth, the wife of Eli Olney, of Odebolt, Iowa; Mrs. Sarah Slater, who has passed away; George, who is a resident of Deloit, Iowa; Mrs. Mary Slater; Josiah, who is deceased; Julia, the wife of Taylor Pierce, of Omaha, Nebraska; and Clarke, who is living at Odebolt, Iowa.

Unto Solomon W. and Sarah (Winans) Slater was born one son, Henry, who now follows farming in East Boyer township. He wedded Miss Mary McWilliams, by whom he has one child, Helen.

Three years after the death of his first wife, which occurred February 20, 1865, Mr. Slater wedded her sister Mary, who is likewise a native of Bureau county, Illinois. By that union there were four children, the record of whom is as follows: George, who resides on the home farm, married Miss Lillian Hulce, by whom he has one child, Mary, Katie is the wife of Arthur Barrow, a live stock dealer of Manilla, Iowa, by whom she has three children: Hazel, Harry and Charles. Grace is the wife of E. E. Griffin, of Oldham, South Dakota, and the mother of one child, Florence. Frank, who wedded Miss Lillian Northam, is now a widower with two children, Carl Franklin and Harold Lawrence.

Mr. Slater was a republican in politics and held several local offices, the duties of which he discharged in a satisfactory and commendable manner. He was a member of the school board, acted as township trustee and also served in the capacity of township treasurer. Frank and jovial in manner and straight-forward in all his dealings, he won the regard and esteem of all with whom he came in contact and was a well known and popular citizen. The period of his residence in this county covered more than a half century and he witnessed the wonderful transformation which occurred as pioneer conditions gave way before the onward march of civilization. His estate has been divided but his widow still resides on the home place, owning forty acres thereof. Mrs. Slater is widely and favorably known and has a host of warm friends in the community.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.