Biography of John Wilson Sloan

John W. Sloan’s narrative is a beacon of the values cherished in Williams County’s rich agricultural heritage. Born in 1850, Sloan has evolved from a diligent son on his family’s farm to a prominent figure in Springfield Township, known for his progressive farming and stock raising on a 160-acre estate. Sloan, a testament to resilience and forward-thinking, has not only upheld the farming legacy passed down by his parents, John and Rachael Sloan, early settlers of 1849, but also expanded it with innovation and integrity. Married to Alice E. Clark in 1880, his life is a blend of personal triumphs and communal contributions, marking him as a stalwart in both the farming and local communities.

John Wilson Sloan. — The biographies of the representative men of a county bring to light many hidden treasures of mind, character and courage, and it is a source of regret that the people are not more familiar with the personal history of such men, in the ranks of whom may be found tillers of the soil, mechanics, teachers, professional men and those of varied vocations. John W. Sloan is one of the creditable representatives of the agricultural element in Williams County and as such has made his influence felt in Springfield Township and earned a name for enterprise, business ability and integrity.

John W. Sloan, whose well improved farm lies about two and a half miles south of Stryker, was born in this county on July 12, 1850, and is a son of John and Rachael (Bower) Sloan, both of whom were natives of Columbia County, Pennsylvania. They were reared to maturity in their native county, were married there and in 1849 came to Williams County, locating in Springfield Township, where they engaged in farming and spent the remainder of their lives. They were persons of sterling character, with an active interest in religious work, and were among the leaders for right living in their community. Mr. Sloan was a democrat in his political views and was a member of the Masonic Lodge at Bryan. They became the parents of nine children, of which number four are now living, namely: Allen J., of Archbold, Ohio, is the widow of Alexis Short; Lavina is the widow of Caleb M. Clark; Sophia, the wife of Fred Gilbert, of Raleigh, North Carolina; John W., whose name heads these paragraphs.

John W. Sloan was reared under the parental roof and remained on the home farm until he was thirty years of age. In his boyhood he attended the district schools in winter, during the summer months assisting his father. After his marriage he went to farming on his own account and during the subsequent years he has steadily forged ahead and is now the owner of a fine farm of 160 acres, which he devotes to general farming and stock raising. He is methodical in his work and up-to-date in his ideas, not hesitating to adopt new ways of doing things when their superiority has been demonstrated, and he holds a high reputation as a progressive and enterprising farmer.

In 1880 Mr. Sloan was married to Alice E. Clark, who was born in a log cabin on the farm now owned by Mr. Sloan and who received her education in the local district schools. Her death occurred on January 12, 1918. They became the parents of four children, two of whom are living: John L., who is engaged in the hardware business in Stryker, and Otis, who remains on the home farm with his father, married Dora Mann on Easter Day, 1920. The deceased children are William and Gertrude, both of whom died in their thirty-seventh year.

Mr. Sloan is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, giving earnest support to all its interests. He is a republican in his political views and has been active in local public affairs, having served eight years as township trustee and also as a member of the school board. A man of high moral character, persistent industry and excellent judgment, he stands “four square to every wind that blows” and enjoys the unlimited confidence and regard of his fellow citizens.

Source: Bowersox, Charles A. ed. A standard history of Williams County, Ohio: an authentic narrative of the past, with particular attention to the modern era in the commercial, industrial, educational, civic and social development , 2 vols. Publisher Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co. 1920.

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