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The pride and strength of any nation, its mainstay and support is the farmer, whose toil produces food for the masses, and without whose labors untold disaster would overtake the nation within an extremely short time. The hardy frontiersman of America has had far greater tasks before him than the mere tilling of the soil, for besides breaking prairie and preparing the ground for cultivation, in some sections razing great forests, he has had rivers to bridge, roads to make and privations and hardships innumerable to endure. Schools and churches have been built, good government upheld and everything pertaining to civilization championed -- yet rarely has the brave frontiersman faltered in the grand and noble work, none the less noble because self-imposed, and progress and prosperity now reign in regions which only a few years ago were uninhabited save by the red men and wild beasts. In the mighty work of rendering the great state of Kansas a fitting place for mankind Mr. Sloane certainly has performed his share and no one is more deserving of praise.

He was born at Gallipolis, Ohio, March 20, 1833, one of the nine children of W. B. and Sarah Ann (Hill) Sloane. His paternal grandfather, Joseph Sloane, was one of seven brothers who fought in the war of the Revolution in the Colonial army, and ably assisted in achieving the independence of this, their beloved land. W. B. Sloane .and his wife came to Kansas in 1857, making the tediously long journey by boat as far as St. Joseph, Missouri. They were numbered among the first settlers in Atchison county and were respected and beloved for their many worthy qualities. The father died at the age of fifty-six years and the mother lived to see her seventy-fifth year. They were members of the Universalist church. Their children were named as follows: Henry J., J. W., Thomas, Mrs. Julia Pierce, Emma M., John F., Harris, Anna and Sarah. Only the four first mentioned survive.

In his youth J. W. Sloane attended the public schools of his native state, and having acquired an excellent education he concluded to come to the west for a permanent residence. Accordingly, in 1856, he made the journey, which then consumed several days, and upon reaching his destination embarked in the hotel business. For eleven years, which included the stormiest days in the history of Kansas -- the years prior to and during the war of the Rebellion -- he skillfully and successfully conducted his hostelry, which was a well-known landmark in this section of the state. In 1867 he purchased a quarter-section of land, -- a portion of his present fine homestead, -- and to this he has added until he now has three hundred and twenty acres, all situated within one tract. Among many other desirable features of his farm a splendid orchard, twelve acres in extent, should be noted. Beautiful shade trees and a fine grove add to the value and attractiveness of the homestead, which is, moreover, supplied with substantial buildings. Everything about the place bespeaks the constant care and attention of the fortunate owner, who, though now more than sixty years of age, is strong and vigorous, owing, doubtless, to his outdoor life.

A marriage ceremony, performed September 20, 186o, united the fortunes of J. W. Sloane and Ellen H. Hill, who had grown to womanhood in Ohio and had then engaged in teaching. She is a daughter of Calvin and Jane (Forquhar) Hill, the former a native of Essex county, New York, and a carpenter by trade. Fraternally he was a Mason and religiously a Universalist. Death claimed him when he was seventy-seven years of age and his estimable wife also departed this life at that age. Their only son, Lyman, died when in his twentieth year, and one daughter, Josephine B. Kiphard, died in Minnesota. Mary Hill and Mrs. Sophia Doup are still residents of Ohio, their home being in the town of Fletcher.

Five children of Mr. and Mrs. Sloane are living and filling positions of honor and respect in the several communities where their lot is cast. Charles L. married Hattie Griswell and lives in Sulphur City, Kansas; W. D., of Coleridge, Nebraska, chose Addie Cloyse for his wife. Josie K. married Dr. J. J. Conner, of Willis, Kansas. Boyd V. remains with his parents, aiding in the management of the homestead. Mary H. wife of Calvin Long, resides in Soldier City, Kansas. Julius C., a promising young man, died at the age of eighteen years, and Frank was only three months old when summoned to the better land.

Being in thorough sympathy with all philanthropies which have for their object the uplifting of mankind, Mr. and Mrs. Sloane contribute to various religious and charitable enterprises and are esteemed members of the Presbyterian church at Huron. For more than twenty-one years Mr. Sloane has been identified with the Masonic fraternity and is an active member of Huron Lodge, No. 72, F. & A. M. Politically be is a Republican and while he never has desired to hold public office he is at present acting as a trustee of the high school. He possesses the happy faculty of looking upon the bright side of life and everyone whom he knows is his friend.