JOHN SLOMAN, who has for more than thirty years been prosperously engaged in agricultural pursuits in this county, is one of the substantial and well-to-do farmers of Honey Point Township, where he has a fine farm. He was born near the village of High Bighington, Devonshire, England, April 30, 1831. His father was James Sloman, a native of the same shire, and his paternal grandfather was Zachariah Sloman, who so far as known, spent his entire life there.
James Sloman was reared to the vocation of a farmer, and carried on his calling on English soil until 1841, when he came to this country, bringing with him his wife and four children. The family set sail from Appledore in April, but when the ship was nearly a thousand miles out at sea it sprang a leak, and had t retrace its course to Ireland for repairs. Starting on its voyage again it finally arrived in safety at New York in thirteen weeks' time from the date when it first sailed. Mr. Sloman at first settled in Genesee County, N.Y., where he resided one year prior to coming to Illinois. The removal hither was made by the way of Erie Canal to Buffalo, thence by lake to Cleveland, from there by canal to Portsmouth, Ohio, and then on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to Alton, that being the most expeditious and convenient route at the time.
After his arrival in this State, Mr. Sloman purchased a tract of timber land in Jersey County, nine miles south of Jerseyville, in the locality known as Gilman's Mound. He built a log house on the place and proceeded to clear a farm from the wilderness, where deer and other wild animals still abounded, and special care had to be taken of the pigs and lambs to protect them from the wolves. The father passed the rest of his life on his homestead in Jersey County, improving it into a fine piece of property. The maiden name of his wife was Amy Gean, and she was also a native of Devonshire, and a daughter of Richard Gean. She survived him a few years, and died at the home of a daughter in Jersey County. She was the mother of four children - John, Emma, Mary A. and James. The latter married Mary Bushby and resides on the old homestead; Emma married Nelson Lurton of Jersey County; Mary became the wife of Hiram McClosky, of Jersey County.
John Sloman was a child of ten years when the family emigrated to America. He attended school quite steadily in the old country, but after he came to this State he had to assist his father in his pioneer work of clearing his land and tilling the soil. He remained an inmate of the parental home until his marriage, though a part of the time he was engaged in working out by the month. He commenced his independent career as a farmer after he had taken unto himself a wife by carrying on agriculture on rented land, continuing to farm as a renter in Jersey County the ensuing six years. He then came to Honey Point Township in 1859 and bought eighty acres of his present homestead. A small frame house and stable and a small orchard constituted the improvements upon the place and Mr. Sloman has constantly been at work in its further improvement, he has now a valuable estate, amply provided with neat frame buildings, good farming machinery, and all the appointments that go to make up a well ordered farm. He has added to his original purchase, and now has two hundred acres of land all in a body.
March 6, 1853 was the date of an important event in the life of our subject, as he was then happily married to Miss Sarah C. Lamb. Mrs. Sloman was born in Adams County, Miss., November 2, 1831. Her father, John J. Lamb, was a native of the State of New York and a son of Israel and Amanda (Beach) Lamb. The grandfather was also born in that State, of English ancestry, and so far as known spent his entire life in New York. John Lamb passed his youth in his native State, and received a good education, commencing teaching when quite young. At the age of twenty-one he went to Mississippi, and engaged in his profession there for nearly twenty years. In 1835 he came with his wife and six children to Illinois, making the journey overland, and cooking and camping on the way at nightfall. He settled seven miles south of Jerseyville, where he bought land that was partly timber and partly prairie, and a comfortable log house on the place was used as a residence by the family.
Mr. Lamb farmed and lived on his homestead until his career was closed by death. The maiden name of his wife was Sarah Noble. She was born in Mississippi, and was a daughter of Henry and Mary (Swaysee) Noble, and died on the old homestead near Jerseyville. Mrs. Sloman resided with her mother until her marriage, and was carefully taught all household duties, and being adept in spinning and weaving, as while the family lived in Mississippi the mother carded, spun and wove all the cloth with which she made the clothes for her children. Mr. and Mrs. Sloman have two children, Addie and Emma. The former married Frederick Jeary, and they live on the home farm. They have six children, whose names are Myrtle, John, Emma, Abbie, Bessie, and Virgil. Our subject's daughter, Emma, married Samuel Ball, of Honey Point Township, and they have tow children, Ethel and Ollie.
Mr. Sloman is a self made man, and by years of activity and well directed labor has placed himself in possession of a goodly property, and is well fortified against want. He is of a sturdy, self-respecting character that commands respect from others in turn, and both he and his good wife are held in high estimation by all who know them. A man of strong opinions, on no question are his views more pronounced than on politics and we find him giving hearty support to the Republican party. Mrs. Sloman, who is a sincere Christian, is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
In connection with this biographical sketch the reader will find a portrait of Mr. Sloman.