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Below is a family biography included in The History of Washington 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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Oliver C. Sloan, farmer, was born in Washington County in 1831, and is the son of Thomas J. and Bernice (Harris) Sloan. This family traces its origin to three brothers who came from Ireland at a very early day. One brother was never heard from, the other two married and reared large families. Thomas J. was born in South Carolina in 1799, and when but a child was brought to Washington County in 1804 by his parents, who settled seven miles northeast of Caledonia, their nearest neighbor being about six miles distant. The mother was born in North Carolina in 1804, and with her parents came to Cape Girardeau County, where she and Mr. Sloan were married in 1825, though they settled in this county and reared a family of nine children, five sons and four daughters. The father was a Whig, and both he and wife were zealous Christian workers in the Presbyterian Church. Oliver C., while growing up, received his education from the blue-backed spelling book, and Pike’s arithmetic to the “single rule of three.” In 1857 he helped take a drove of cattle across the plains to California, and after reaching that State remained there two years, returning by water. During the war he bought cattle for the Government, and then served some time in Capt. John Jamison’s Company of Missouri State Militia. In 1862 he married Miss Rusella Breckenridge. She was born in the Washington fraction of Iron County, in 1843. She is the mother of six living children: George, Addie, Gilbert, Lizzie, Robert and Gertie. In 1861 Mr. Sloan settled on his present farm, which consisted of 120 acres in the wood. His first plow was made by hewing out a piece for a maul board, and getting a wagon-maker of Potosi to make the plow on credit, for which he paid the next winter in furnishing timber. He now owns 720 acres of land, well furnished with stock. He is a Democrat in politics, is a member of the Farmer’s Alliance, and he and wife are members of the Old School Presbyterian Church.

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This family biography is one of 138 biographies included in The History of Washington County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Washington County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Washington County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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