JOHN J SLATTERY
The name of Slattery has long been prominent in Atchison county, Kansas, and its Irish ring is an index to the character of the men who have borne it. It has always stood for enterprise, progressiveness and patriotism and has never been dishonored. Some account of the career of John J. Slattery and of his father, Michael Slattery, deserves a place in this work.
John J. Slattery was born in Shannon township, Atchison county, Kansas, November 28, 1863, a son of Michael and Catherine (Dooley) Slattery. Michael Slattery was born in county Glare, Ireland, in 1818, one of the seven children of John Slattery, and was reared as a country boy. He acquired an education limited but practical. A natural aptitude for penmanship enabled him to become an exceptionally good penman, and his ability in that way aided him materially in after years. He came alone to the United States, and after ward his father and the rest of his family came also. Soon after his arrival in this country Mr. Slattery went to Connecticut and found employment as a gardener near Hartford. He was not long in that service, however, but entered the employ of Colt, the great gunmaker.
In 1840 Michael Slattery came west as far as Michigan and secured a position at rough work at one of the then prominent railway stations of that state. It was not long, however, before his ability as a penman became known, and he was taken into the office as bill clerk. Later he was promoted to the position of shipping clerk, and held that place until 1857, when he went to Atchison county, Kansas. Soon after reaching the county he located on a claim in the wilds, seven miles northwest of the village of Atchison. He at once began farming, went into stock raising and afterwards into stock shipping, and became a heavy dealer in hogs and cattle. His farming interests increased with the same rapidity as his stock dealing, and there was perhaps no man more prominent in that line in Atchison county. He remained in active business until 1896, when he retired to Atchison. Michael Slattery is one of the best of the many good men of which Atchison county can boast. He is exemplary in his habits, abhors profanity and vulgarity, is an ideal head of a family and a man whose example is in every way worthy of emulation. He was married to Catherine Dooley, of Detroit, Michigan. She died in October, 1878, having borne him children as follows: Mary, widow of Robert Cleary, one of the prominent farmers of Shannon township; Henrietta; John J.; William C.; Nellie, a teacher in the public schools of Kansas City, Missouri; and Kate.
John J. Slattery, son of the prominent pioneer whose career has been outlined, has lived his whole life thus far in the community in which he was born. After finishing his studies in the country school he entered Saint Benedict's College and completed a commercial course there in two years, at the age of twenty-two. Upon his return to his neighbors and friends, equipped with a good education and ready for the duties of life, he was urged for the office of clerk of Shannon township by a large element of its population regardless of political belief, but was nominated by the Democrats. He served in that capacity most acceptably for two years, and was rewarded in part by his elevation to the office of township trustee. This place he filled three years, and with such a degree of efficiency that his party was anxious to further reward his faithfulness with an advancement to a county office. He was consequently made Democratic candidate for county treasurer, but was defeated by the usual Republican majority. He submitted to the people's will, satisfied with having polled a vote in excess of his party's numerical strength. For the past few years Mr. Slattery has devoted his entire time to his farm. He owns a splendid quarter-section on the eastern edge of Lancaster township, and near the Slattery homestead, and he is regarded as one of the intelligent and progressive modern farmers of the county. In 1892 he bought the old Hiram Parker place, and in February of the same year married Nora Finigan. Mrs. Slavery's father, Thomas Finigan, was born in Ireland, and was one of the early settlers in Shannon township. Mr. and Mrs. Slattery have had three children: Willie, who is deceased; Stella and Albert.
From the foregoing it will be seen that the Slatterys have been a factor in the settlement and development of Atchison county. The head of the family has been, and is, just such a man as every community hails with delight and hastens to honor. Such men bequeath their spirit to the generations that follow them and take up their work. Born of honorable parentage and with modest environments, John J. Slattery made the most of his opportunities. He grew to manhood with the confidence of his neighbors, who honored him with public office, twice without opposition, and who rejoice with him in his achievements and his worldly success.