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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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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Nathan Slawson, of the firm of N. Slawson & Co., hardware dealers, of De Soto, was born in Orange County, N. Y., in 1827, and is a son of Dr. William B. and Mary (Millspaugh) Slawson. The former is a descendant of one George Slawson, who came to America from Scotland and located in Salem, Mass. Dr. William B. Slawson was born in Orange County, N. Y., in 1805. His father and grandfather, named, respectively, Nathan and David Slawson, were soldiers of the Revolution. He received his medical education in Fairfield Medical College, and in 1831-32 commenced the practice of his chosen profession at Bloomingsburgh, Sullivan County; three years later he moved to Genesee County; from there went to Watkins, N. Y., returning to Genesee County in 1856, when he located at Batavia; he came to De Soto about 1880, but has not been engaged in the practice of medicine for the past twenty-eight years. Mrs. Mary Slawson was of Dutch descent and was born in Orange County, N. Y., in 1803; she died in 1871, the mother of twelve children, five of whom are living, Nathan being the second. The latter was educated in the common schools, and at the age of seventeen commenced to learn the tinner’s trade in Batavia; he worked three years as an apprentice and nine years as journeyman. In 1856 he married Miss Anzolette Cowden, a native of Genesee County, N. Y., born in 1831. The young couple settled in Fall River, Wis., where Mrs. Slawson died in 1858, leaving one child, Augustus F. In 1864 Mr. Slawson married Miss Phoebe M. Shepard, also a native of Genesee County, N. Y. To this union one child was born, Jennie Elnora. In 1865 Mr. Slawson returned to Genesee County, N. Y., and in 1867 came to De Soto, where he bought property and engaged in the culture of small fruits. In 1875, in partnership with his son, he established his present business, which is the oldest hardware firm in De Soto. They carry a first-class stock of hardware, stoves, tin, sheet iron and copper wares, etc., and are highly esteemed by customers and friends. In politics Mr. Slawson has been a life-long Democrat, casting his first presidential vote for Gen. Cass in 1848. In 1881 he served as city collector of De Soto. He also served as mayor of the city a short time, having been elected in 1886 to fill a vacancy. He and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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