My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Dallas County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Z. L. Slavens, a physician and farmer of Urbana, Dallas County, is a native of Springfield, Mo., and was born February 13, 1834, being the second child born in Springfield. His parents were James H. and Amanda L. (Roundtree) Slavens, natives, respectively, of Kentucky and North Carolina. James H. Slavens, was born in 1809, and when a boy went from his native State to Illinois, and from there to Montgomery County, Mo., in 1815, locating where Springfield now stands, in Southwestern Missouri, in 1831, and he was the first minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in that part of Missouri. The following year, 1832, he married Miss Amanda L. Roundtree, who was born in 1816, and was a daughter of Joseph Roundtree and Nancy (Nichols) Roundtree, who moved from North Carolina in 1818, and thence to Springfield, Mo., in 1829, taking as a claim the land upon which Springfield is now built. To James H. and Amanda L. Slavens were born seven children, of whom four are now living, viz.: Dr. Z. L., Nancy A. Price, Lucius B. and Luther J. James H. Slavens was sent as a missionary to the Peoria and Shawnee Indians in Kansas, among whom he labored one year, when he returned to his home in Greene County, Mo., where he engaged in farming and teaching. In 1843 he took up the study of medicine, to the practice of which he devoted considerable attention until his death, which occurred in 1888. He served as surgeon in Gov. Phelps’ Enrolled Militia during the late war. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Stewart Slavens, who was a farmer by occupation, was born in Virginia in 1786, and died in 1866. Mrs. Amanda L. Slavens died March 16, 1886. Dr. Z. L. Slavens spent his early life principally in his native place. He attended the high-school at Ebenezer, Mo., two years, and later John A. Stephens’ Select School, of Springfield, Mo., one year. He began the study of medicine in 1856, under Dr. E. T. Robertson, of Springfield, and in 1857 and 1858 he attended lectures at the Missouri Medical College, St. Louis. He began the practice of his chosen profession in Laclede County, Mo., in 1858, and from there went to Buffalo, Dallas County, in 1859, where he practiced until the war broke out, when he took his family to Indiana. In 1862 he entered the army as surgeon of the One Hundred and Fifteenth Indiana Infantry, under command of Col. John Mahan, and served one year, receiving an honorable discharge. He returned to Indiana and practiced medicine until 1865, when he again went to Buffalo, Mo., where, with the exception of a short time spent in Webster County, he remained until 1875, at that time removing to Urbana. In February, 1860, Dr. Slavens married Irene Z. Stanley, who was born in Indiana in February, 1839. Her parents were Horace and Sarah (Willoughby) Stanley, natives of Tennessee. They located in Buffalo, Mo., in April, 1839, and built one of the first houses on Buffalo Head Prairie. Horace Stanley died in 1863. Sarah Stanley died in 1877. They have three children living, viz.: Mrs. Minerva Morrow, Mrs. I. V. Cummins and Mrs. Slavens. Dr. and Mrs. Slavens have four children, viz.: Mrs. Alice L. Lightner, Lieut. T. H. Slavens, Mrs. M. I. Reser, of Urbana, and Robert B. Slavens, still at home. Lieut. T. H. Slavens graduated with honor from the West Point Military Academy in 1887, and was commissioned a lieutenant and assigned to duty in the Fourth Cavalry, United States Army, now stationed at Fort Lowell, Arizona Territory. Dr. Slavens is a member of the Masonic fraternity, is a Methodist, and in politics a Republican.

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This family biography is one of 74 biographies included in The History of Dallas County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Dallas County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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