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All rights reserved. Except for your own personal use, no part of these
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Biography of John Slack 1790 - 1864
John Slack, the subject of this sketch, was born in Christian county, Pa., June 4, 1790. His father, John Slack, removed to Fayettee county, Pa., and settled near Union Town, the county seat, when his son was quite small. He had several sisters but no brothers. He lived with his father near Union Town, until he was about twenty years old, when he removed to Kentucky. He reached Kentucky in the year 1810, and settled in Mason County, where he married his first wife, Miss Mary Cadwell, a daughter of Thomas Cadwell of that county, by whom he had seven children, four of whom were John M., James C., William
Y., and a daughter, Lydie Ann.
In 1819 he removed to this state and settled in Boone county, eight miles northwest of Columbia, on the Old BooneŒs Lick Road, where all his other children were born. The first born in their new home was Alfred, then Thomas and Henry. In the year 1828 he had the misfortune to loose his wife, which was to him a sad bereavement, indeed, a loss severely felt by his young family, who were thus left at a tender age without the care and affection of a kind and loving mother. The father was more than ever attentive to his young family, and manifested great zeal and interest in training them up in the way they should go.
In the year 1830 he married his second wife, Miss Elizabeth Fristoe, who had but recently moved from Virginia to this state. She was a faithful and devoted companion and filled the lot assigned to her in a noble and Christian spirit none knew her but to love her. She was a woman of strong mind which was well cultivated and embellished by those Christian virtues, which so much adorn the wife and mother.
By this second marriage he had two children, a son named Amos, and a daughter named Kittie, which made him father of nine children, four of who died previous to himself. The first to die was Mrs. Lydie Latham, only daughter by his first wife. She died in Boone county in the year 1853, aged 35 years. She died as she had lived in the triumph of a Savior. The next to die was his eldest son by his second marriage, Amos Fristoe, who died in 1850, of consumption, in the 19th year of age. The next to die was Henry, his youngest son by his first wife. He died in Chillicothe, Mo., in the 32nd year of his age. He had graduated with honor at our State University, studied law and was at the time of his death engaged in his profession. He married a daughter of Elder Thomas M. Allen, of Boone. She lived but three years after their marriage; and soon after her death their only child, a son, and a few months later his father, which was the last of this little family. The next child that he was called to mourn the loss of was his third son Gen. William Y. Slack, who resided in Chillicothe, Mo., and who was commissioned by Gov. Jackson a Brigadier General in the Missouri State Guard, which position he accepted and entered immediately on duty and fell at the memorable battle of Pea Ridge, in the State of Arkansas. To those desiring a fuller notice of his life and death, we refer them to the March number of the The Land We Love for 1869 published by Gen. D. H. Hill, N.C.
The subject of this sketch was a kind and indulgent father, always strove to inculcate correct and honest principles in his children, and was social and kind to all, both at home and abroad. Of his history in society it will be proper to state that soon after he had settled in his new home he was elected a Justice of the Peace for Perche Township, such office he filled with satisfaction to the public for a number of years. In the year 1825 he was elected to the Legislature, which convened at St. Charles. He afterward ran for the State Senate in company with Dr. Wm. H. Duncan, for the district composed of Boone and Audrain, in which he was defeated, the successful candidates being A. W. Turner and Thos. C. Maupin.
On the location of the State University at Columbia he was appointed by Gov. Reynolds one of it's first Curators, which position he held from 1841 to 1843, when he was appointed by the Governor, Tobacco Inspector for the state with ware house and office in St. Louis. He was elected to this office from list of over one hundred applicants and removed to St. Louis the following autumn and assumed the duties of his office. He filled this office until the summer of 1848 when he resigned and returned to his farm in Boone county. While residing in St. Louis he was appointed Curator of the State University for that county, and when he returned to Boone he was again appointed to the same office, and elected president of its Board. Previous to this he had served as President of the Boone County Agricultural Society. In 1858, having concluded to break up housekeeping, he went to live with his son Alfred Slack, who was living in Booneville.
Mr. Slack was during his whole life, a Democrat of the old Jacksonian school, and always took great interest in keeping his party well organized. He generally attended County and State Conventions and was often chosen to preside over their deliberations.
His last vote was for Stephen A. Douglass, for President in 1860. At the same time his son Wm. Y. Slack was one of the Breckinridge Electors for this State. In the war that followed LincolnŒs election, his sympathies were altogether with the Southern States, and with his children who all espoused the Southern Cause along with their neighbors and friends who were giving up their lives to preserve the constitutional freedom of their county.
He died in Boonville in the fall of 1864, in the 74th year of his age. The last two years of his life were attended with great suffering, which he bore with Christian fortitude and resignation, and died in the triumph of the Christian religion.
Note; This Biography was published in the Columbia Boone County Journal on December 8, 1870. Later it was published in the Windsor Review on January 6, 1916, with the following introduction: We give below the biography of John Slack of Boone County at the request of one of his grandchildren who is a resident of Windsor. This pioneer was the grandfather of all the Slack families who live in this part of Henry County and we are glad to reproduce his biography for them.
Some of the information in this biography is wrong. Reference made to Christian county should be Chester county; Union Town is Uniontown; Fayettee county should be Fayette county; and Cadwell should be Caldwell
United States Internal Revenue
Legacies and Distributive Shares
(Sections 124 & 125)
SCHEDULE of Legacies or Distributive Shares arising from personal property of any kind whatsoever, being in charge or trust of J. L. Stephens as Administrator, said property passing from Estate of John Slack, of the city of Boonville, County of Cooper, and State of Missouri, to the persons hereinafter mentioned by will or by the intestate laws of this State of Missouri; also, the amount of such property, together with the amount of duty or tax which has accrued or should accrue thereon,agreeably to the provisions of the Internal Revenue Laws of the United States.
Names of Persons Entitled to Beneficial
Interest in Said Property
John M. Slack - Son 1106.90
James C. Slack - Son 1106.90
Alfred Slack - Son 1106.90
Thomas Slack - Son 1106.90
Kittie W. Mitchell - Daughter 1106.90
John W. Slack- Grandchild 276.72
Emma Slack- Grandchild 276.72
Bower Slack- Grandchild 276.72
William Slack- Grandchild 276.72
DATED at Boonville, Mo this 12th day of June, 1866.
I J. L. Stephens do swear that the above statement is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, just and true, and that I have taken all the means in my power to make it so (Signed) J. L. Stephens
Sworn Before me this
June 12th 1866
Jno. S. Brown
John Slack died on October 21, 1864, in Booneville, MO. He had no will. This document was found in the Cooper County MO court house probate records. It shows all of his heirs living at the time of his death. His daughter Kittie was married to Newman T. Mitchell. His grandchildren John W. and Emma were from his son William Y. Slack, Sr. and Mary E. Woodward (his first wife); William Y. and Gustavas Bower were from his second marriage to Isabella R. Bower. William Y. Slack, Sr. died in 1862. Other children of John Slack who predeceased him were Amos who died at age 20 in 1850 and was not married; Lydia Ann who died in 1853 (she was married to a Mr. Latham but there were no children recorded from this marriage); and Henry M. Slack who died in 1858 (he married Anna P. Allen and they had one child but both of them predeceased Henry).
It is important to point out that his grand child John W. (Son of William Y. and Mary E. Woodward Slack) was considered to have died sometime after his grand father's death. John W. Slack was in the Civil War and never returned home. He was presumed to have died sometime after his grand father's death and before the date of final distribution of the estate. The probate records show that the portion due John W. was distributed equally to the other three grand children.
Family History Presented in the "eyes of " John Slack, Jr. (1790 - 1864)
(Written by Herb Tohlen, March 28, 2001)
Greetings to all my descendants. My name is John Slack, Jr. I was born in 1790 in West Chester, Chester County, PA. My parents were John and Lydia Yarnall Slack.
I don't know when or where my dad's parents were born. I was always told that they were of Scotch-Irish ancestry but I don'tknow if this is correct.
My mother's parents were David and Hannah Swayne Yarnall. They were both born in Chester County, PA and raised in the Quaker faith. On July 12, 1758 in the London Grove MM, Chester County PA. they were united in marriage. After they were married they regularly attended the Kennett Monthly Meetings in Chester County.
Mother told me that when her dad was 36 years old, he got into a dispute over some money with his Friend neighbor Alexander Wilson. She said that her dad refused to reconciled the dispute. A short time later some Friends saw him accompanying a marriage by a "priest" (a person who accepts money for God's services) which he did not deny. Because of these two short comings he was disowned by his Kennett Friends in 1761.
After her father was disowned, her mother kept attending the Quaker meetings in Kennett along with my mother Lydia and her younger sister Sarah. In 1764 her parents moved and her mother started attending the Monthly Meetings in the Chester MM held at Providence. After they moved, her two brothers David and Philip were born.
In 1771, her dad executed his last will and testament after he fell into bad health. A short time later his health improved and her youngest sister Mary was born.
In 1733 my mother was disowned by the Friends from the Chester MM. She never did tell me why she was disowned, but I heard several years later it was something to do with partaking in strong liquors to excess and for neglecting to attend the Monthly Meetings. (I do not know if my mother's two brothers and youngest sister were ever members of the Friends since they were born after her dad was disowned.)
My granddad's health gradually got worse and he died in 1781 at the age of 56. My mother was 21 years old at the time of her father's death. Her brothers and sisters were all younger. My mother told me she left home when she was 18 years old (in1778) to live with her aunt and uncle in Wilmington, DE. I believe that this must have been her Uncle Joseph Warner and Aunt Mary, her dad's sister. They also were Quakers. During these years, my mother met my dad and got married.
In 1785, my oldest sister Tamzon was born in Wilmington, DE. My parents lived there for a short time until they moved to Chester Town, MD on Maryland's Eastern shore. My dad was a Cordwainer, making and repairing shoes and boots.
Then in 1789, my dad moved his family a few miles north to West Chester, Chester Co., PA. I do not know why he moved to West Chester, but my mother's sister Sarah Yarnall lived in the same area. Sarah married Samuel Yarnall who was her third cousin. Dad bought a house right in the main part of town in West Chester. This is where I was born in 1790.
We only lived in West Chester for a few years. In 1793 my dad packed up his family and moved out West to Fayette County,PA. At that time Fayette County was considered to be in the true wilderness. He rented a lot in Union Town where he built a house and shop. It was a very small house but according to the rental agreement it had to be a house "of at least twenty feet square with a good chimney of Brick or stone, well laid in with lime and sand". At the time Union Town was a very small community. It was located on the "Old National Road" which originated in Eastern Maryland and went over the Appalachian Mountains into Union Town. Later the Old Road was extended all the way into Ohio and the Northwest Territory.
We only lived in this house for about three years when dad moved into an Inn just a short distance from the new Courthouse in Union Town. This is when he changed occupations and eventually became known as a good Inn (or Tavern) Keeper. We lived in this Inn until 1799 when dad bought 102 acres a few miles East of Union Town in Wharton Township. This land was near the top of Laurel Hill on the "Old National Road". Here he operated an Inn and Tavern for most of his remaining life.
Some people said that my dad was "slack" in the evening when people checked in for the night and "stern" in the morning when they checked out. Later, when the new "National Pike" was built my dad’s business declined. I remember him saying that before the new Pike was built, travelers would sometimes spend hours trying to make it up the old road to the top of Laurel Hill, especially when it was muddy. In the evening they would unhitch their teams half way up the hill, leave their wagons and go up to his Inn to spend the night. In the morning they would go back down the hill, hitch up their teams and pull their wagons all the way to the top. Then they would check in for another night’s stay. Thus, he would get two night’s fee. After the new improved "National Pike" was built, he only received one night’s business.
I was my parents only son. I had three sisters, Tamzon (who married Ephriam McClean), Hannah (who married B. Byers) and Elizabeth (who married William Lanham). While I was still young I apprenticed with a potter who had a shop in Union Town. I left home before I was twenty years of age and married Mary Caldwell in Ross County, Ohio on July 7, 1810. Later I moved south just across the Ohio River to Maysville, KY where I bought some land in 1816. I lived there until 1819 when we sold our land and moved on West to Boone County, MO.
When we arrived in MO, it was really considered to be the wilderness. I bought some land about 7 miles northwest of the small town of Columbia. Early on my arrival, I was appointed as a Justice of the Peace. I later purchased more land and grew tobacco and other cash crops. Eventually I owned about 420 acres of land and a few slaves that looked after my farm along with my sons.
I received word that my mother died in Wharton Township, Fayette Co., PA on December 9, 1837. A few months later I received word that my dad died on January 9, 1839. Both of my parents are buried in the Presbyterian Graveyard in Uniontown, PA. just a few blocks East of the Courthouse in Uniontown..
During most of my life after moving to Missouri, I was active in the Missouri Democratic Party. It seem like I was always attending meetings. Frequently I as asked to be the chairmen over the meetings. I was elected to the Missouri State Legislature and later appointed by the governor as the State Tobacco Inspector which required my move to St. Louis for a few years. My first wife Mary died in 1828 while living in St. Louis.
I moved back home to my farm and in 1830 I married my second wife Elizabeth Fristoe. In addition to looking after my farm, I was busy in several civic projects. One was an endeavor to raise funds in a campaign to encourage the State of Missouri to locate the first State University in Columbia. I along with several other citizens pledged money to buy some land and build the first school buildings on the new campus. I was one of the early University Curators.
In 1847, my second wife Elizabeth died. As I grew older and could not take care of my farm, I sold all of my land and property by public auction. I then moved to Booneville, MO to live near my son Alfred.
I was living near my son Alfred in Booneville when it was proposed that Kansas be admitted to the Union as a Northern Free State, I was a Southern Rights Sympathizer and spoke out strongly against the proposal. Two of my sons and several of my grandsons enlisted in the Missouri State Guard and fought for the South in the Rebellion of the States. My son, Gen. William Yarnall Slack was killed fighting for the Southern Cause in 1862. My grandsons William B. Slack (of my son James Caldwell) and John W. (of my son William Yarnall) both gave their lives for the Southern Cause.
John Slack, Jr. died on October 21, 1864 in Booneville, MO. He did not live to see the outcome of the Civil War and the cause he strongly endorsed.
The above Family History Presented in the" eyes of" John Slack, Jr. (1790 - 1864. was written by Herb Tohlen.
The main purpose of this work is to piece together events in the early years leading up to his birth through the years he lived in PA. Additional information about the life of John Slack, Jr. is not included in this work (information about his children and their desendants, etc.). All of the dates and places mentioned in this work are based on factual information found in various records. The things underlined are only assumptions and are not based on facts.
copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001 Herb Tohlen
All rights reserved. Except for your own personal use, no part of these
web pages may be reproduced in any form with out the written permission
of Herb Tohlen.
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