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Robert Sloan

From: W.H. Beers & Co. 1988. The History of Montgomery County, Ohio containing a history of the county : its townships, cities, towns ... etc. : general and local statistics : portraits of early settlers and prominent men : history of the Northwest territory : history of Ohio : map of Montgomery County, etc. Chicago: W.H. Beers (1882). Pg332-336

 ROBERT SLOAN, retired farmer; P. O., Osborn, Greene County. The family whose genealogy we here trace, was one of those widely connected pioneer families, which came to this State from Pennsylvania, when our country was yet new and wild. It has been truly said, that these early fathers formed the foundation on which the glorious State of Ohio has since been built. Moved by a spirit of adventure, or stories told concerning the hidden wealth of the New World, they left their comfortable homes in their native land, and came here to subdue a wilderness and lend a helping hand to the works of civilization. Many of them came from the Emerald Isle. Among these was the great-grandfather of the man whose name heads this sketch. He was born in the County Antrim, Ireland, and came to this country about the time William Penn died, in 1718. He was a. member of the seceding branch of the Protestant Church. He settled and commenced his farm labor in Lebanon Co., Pa. Of his wife or marriage we can learn nothing further than that by her he had born to him two sons. One of these emigrated to the great West and was never heard of afterward. The other, who was the grandfather of our subject, settled on a farm eight miles northwest of his father. He married a lady of his neighborhood named Mower. Shortly after marriage he united with the Presbyterian Church, in which he was for a long time ruling elder. He was the father of five sons and two daughters, viz : John, Robert, Alexander, James, William, Isabella and Jane. Be owned three farms, on which he placed John, James and William. Robert and Alexander became cabinet makers. John, the eldest son and father of our subject, was married to Miss Elizabeth French, March 27, 1792, and had by her four sons and nine daughters, as follows: Alexander, John F., James, Robert, Jane, Eliza, Sallie, Mary, Isabella, Margaret, Martha, Nancy and Lucinda. At the time of his marriage, John was 25 and his wife 16 years of age. He took the farm his father gave him and at once commenced putting it under cultivation, making improvements on it from time to time, as required. He also erected a distillery and established a line of freight teams for hauling merchandise from Philadelphia to Pittsburg. Shortly after this, Alexander left home to take charge of a farm in Lycoming County, John F. left to learn a trade, and death claimed three daughters and one son, James, leaving the father with no help other than that afforded by his youngest son, Robert, our subject, who was at this time but nine years old. Thus matters stood until the spring of 1833, when, having disposed of his property, he procured horses and conveyances, and on April 1st started with his family for Ohio, where he arrived in 21 days, stopping in Wayne Township, Montgomery County, ten miles north of Dayton, on the farm formerly owned y Levi Jennings and afterwards by Samuel Barnett. Not finding any land suiting him better than that on which he first stopped, he bought 220 acres of it, with an unfinished brick house which stood on it. This land was called then well improved, having been partially cleared, and containing a log barn of moderate proportions, and a Virginia worm fence, ten rails high, around the dooryard. Here he found the horse-weed to be the farmer's greatest adversary, as it would soon grow to the height of ten and fifteen feet unless closely watched. Having now arrived at the age of 63 years, Mr. Sloan confided all his business to his son, Robert, as he was getting too old to manage it. On the 11th of Sept., 1847, his wife died, and he followed her on the 3rd of December following. His wife's father was of Scotch-Irish parents, born aboard ship while they were coming to America. Her mother was of Holland Dutch descent and a native of New Jersey. Her ancestors came to this country in 1623, when New Jersey was colonized. Her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. French, were married about 1767, and had one son and two daughters, James, Elizabeth and Jane French. They kept a public house on their farm on the main road from Harrisburg to Jonestown, sixteen miles northeast of Harrisburg. Mr. F. died in early life, and his wife carried on the business until the close of the revolutionary war, when she was married again to a revolutionary veteran named James Dixon. They both lived on the old farm to a ripe old age. Of the other members of the Sloan family, Robert, the second son, (brother of John,) was a citizen of Harrisburg, where he prosecuted a very successful business. He married Sarah McCormick, March 28, 1799, and had by her six children, Alexander, John, William, Eliza, Isabella and Mary Jane. Their first son and daughter are yet living; the rest have gone to that "undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns." Their youngest son, William, died at St. Paul, Minn., March 17, 1880, at, the age of 65 years, 43 of which had been spent in the medical department of the regular army. He was in the Seminole war in Florida, in the Mexican war and the war of the rebellion, in which latter he was made Colonel "for meritorious services at various military posts." Alexander, the third son, married Miss Jane French, and settled in Williamsport on the Susquehannah river. He raised a family of six children, Robert, French, Alexander, Maria, Eliza and Mary. James, the fourth son, married Miss Nancy M. Creight, and had also a family of six children, Alexander, James, William, Jennett, Elizabeth and Sarah Mary. He settled on the farm given to him by his father. They were members of the Presbyterian Church, then under the pastoral care of Rey. James Snodgrass. William, the youngest son, was never married. He remained on the home farm with his sister Elizabeth. Of him we greatly regret to say, that he was the only one of this extensive connection that ever became addicted to the use of strong drink. He died in middle life. Jane, the youngest daughter, married Alexander Bell, and had two children, Alexander and Ann. Of the family of John Sloan, Alexander, the eldest son who remained in Pennsylvania, married Elizabeth Crook, and had six children, viz: John, James, William, Mary, Elizabeth and Lucy. John died young and the rest are still living. After his father's removal to Ohio, he also disposed of his property, and following his father, settled on part of the same farm. J. F., the next brother, was born Aug. 23, 1802, and at the age of sixteen learned the cabinet making trade. He spent some time in traveling, but finally settled in New York State, where he remained until 1835, when for his health he also came to Ohio. Here he remained until after the death of his father. He then went to Indianapolis, Ind., and shortly afterward turned his property into money, with which he bought horses, cattle and wagons, and in company with others from Indianapolis, started with a wagon train for Oregon Territory. It is said he owned the larger part of the train. In the spring of 1852 they left Indianapolis, and nothing more was heard of J. F., until the latter part July of that year, when a letter was received from one of the company, saying that on the 2nd of July they had camped on the north branch of the river Platt, and that on the morning of the third Mr. Sloan mounted his horse and started driving his cattle through the river, but while doing so the fell from his horse and was drowned. A rather suspicious feature of this case is that Mr. S. had $200, a gold watch and other valuables on his parson, and though they searched for the body it was never recovered, nor has it been heard of to this day. If the above be true, he died on the 3rd of July, 1852, aged 43 years and S months. He was in life a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church. James, who was born Dec. 5, 1809, died when only 16 years of age. Robert, whose name appears at the head of this sketch, was born in Lebanon Co., Pa., Sept. 7, 1811, and came to Ohio with his father. In religious belief he followed in the footprints of his ancestors. At the age of 21 years he united with the Presbyterian Church of West Hanover Township, Dauphin Co., Pa:, of which he continued a zealous and leading member until his removal to Ohio, when he was obliged to sever his church relationship. He however united with the church of the same denomination in Bath Township, Green County, immediately on his arrival here. He is now, together with the rest of his family, a member of the Osborn Presbyterian Church. During the whole of his father's life the entire management of the farm devolved on Robert, and it could not have fallen into better hands, for the father's care of his own property could not have exceeded the son's care of his father's property. He was married to Miss Mary A. Shepherd, Wayne Township, this County, Dec. 15, 1846, and had born to him by her one son and two daughters, whose names and dares of birth are as follows: Susie E., born June 16, 1848; Henry C., born June 1, 1851, and Mary E., born June 27, 1854. Susie received a liberal education, which enabled her to enter the ranks of school teachers, after which she married H. H. Kneisly, Henry C. married Miss Nancy J. Dille, of Clark Co., Ohio, Feb. 19, 1871. Mary E. married J. H. Barkman, Sept. 28, 1876. He is an enterprising and influential merchant of Osborn. Before leaving this family, we desire to say a word comcerning Mr. Sloan's standing in the neighborhood, and indeed, wherever, he is known, for all who know him bear their testimony of his honesty, integrity and worth. e is one of the very few perfectly honest men of to-day. Speaking of him, one friend says, "His word is as good as his bond, and loss of life would not tempt him to violate either." He is a conscientious and consistent member of the church : an indulgent and loving father; and a thoughtful and devoted husband. He is gladly accorded a place in this work. His wife, Mary A. Sloan, was born in Lancaster Co., Pa., Nov. 8, 1822. Her father, H. L. Shepherd, was a native of the village of Villars, in the Canton Berne, Switzerland, where he was born Dee. 17, 1799. He came to this country in 1816, as company for his sister, who had married a gentleman of this country under the following circumstances: Mr. Flotron, a jeweler, (the gentleman referred to above,) a native of Lancaster, Pa., who was on a traveling tour in Europe, became acquainted with the Shepherd family, who were also jewelers, and took a liking to their daughter, Mary A., the sister referred to above. He asked her hand in marriage, but she being an only daughter, the parents refused to let her leave them, and Mr. Flotron was compelled to return to America without her. He had been here but a short time before he concluded that she was necessary to his happiness, and he accordingly returned to Switzerland to again press his suit. This time he was successful, and they were married. The parents resolved to send her youngest brother with her, to see her safe in her new home and then return to them. They started in 1816, and after a rough voyage landed at New York, and from there went to Lancaster, Pa., the groom's home. During their voyage over they met with frequent storms, and in one instance were wrecked and almost lost. After arriving at their home, the sister, not liking to be left alone, induced her brother to remain with her and not to return home. He therefore entered the employ of Gottlieb Scherer, a fanner and distiller, with whom he remained until 1821. In this year he married Miss Susan Sherer, sister of his employer, find had by her six children, three sons and three daughters, one of the latter afterward becoming Mr. Sloan's wife. In the spring of 1833 he emigrated to Ohio, and died Jan. 4, 1861, being followed by his wife, who died Feb. 4, 1864. Mrs. Flotron (nee Shepherd) having lost her husband, returned to her parents in Switzerland, with one son and one daughter. She lived to a ripe old age. Her grandson, Leo Flotron, emigrated to America in 1866, and engaged in jeweling in the city of Dayton. He was a highly esteemed citizen and had the respect of all. He married Miss Kate Rouzer, and had by her one son, whose name was John R. His biography will be found among the sketches of Dayton, in another part of this work. We have, in the above, mentioned the four brothers of our subject, sons of John Sloan, Sr., and we will now speak of the nine sisters. Jane was born May 10, 1767. She was never married, but resided with her father until his death, when she went to Jay Co., Ind., where she died. Eliza was born Nov. 28, 1795, and died June 27, 1819. Sallie was born July 21, 1797, and was married to John Caldwell, y whom she had two children, J. B. and Sarah. She died while visiting her father, Oct. 27, 1822. Mary was born March 26, 1799, and married John Brown, by whom she had one son, James, the father of the present James Brown, of New Carlisle. Her husband died and she came to Ohio with her father, and married here the second time to John Paul, the first settler of Clark County. (Read his tragic story in Clark County) Isabella was born June 17, 1801. She married John Gilfilen and had one daughter, who married Isaac Shartel, of Clark County. Mr. Shartel and wife moved to Minnesota, and from there to Florida, where they now live. Margaret was born Jan. 19, 1805. She married William McFarland, and had by him four sons and four daughters. They came to Ohio in 1832, and lived in Wayne Township, this County, a number of years, after which they moved to Jay Co., Ind. Martha was born Dec. 21, 1809, and came to Ohio with her father. Here she married Stewart Forgy, of Clark County, and had three sons and two daughters. Her husband died, leaving her with a young family to care for, but she did not survive him long. Nancy was born July 5, 1813, and came to Wayne Township in 1833, where she resided with her father until June 21, 1841, when she married Rev. Franklin Berryhill, of Green County. She was the mother of two sons and two daughters. She died June 13, 1864, aged 51 years, 1 month and 8 days. Lucinda was born July 5, 1814. She was with her father's family when they came to Ohio, March 5, 1835. She married Caleb Quick, of Clark County, who was born March 16, 1812. They had five children, three sons and two daughters. Mr. Quick was a farmer until his father's death, when he became a merchant. He afterward became licensed to preach by the Methodist Episcopal Church. He also studied medicine and moved to New Waverly, Ind., where he practiced the latter profession a number of years. He died Jan. 16, 1876, leaving two sons practicing medicine in his stead, and a wife and family to mourn the loss of a loving father and devoted husband. This closes a sketch of one of those good old Presbyterian families who have done so much toward making our country what it is to-day. There are pages that might be written of them, but for want of space we forbear. 

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