Labette County









By Lenell M. Slaten

Hugh Jefferson Slaten and Martha Ann Lewis were married in Labette County, Kansas, December 20, 1880. Their son Hugh Jefferson Slaten, Jr., was born on the Luke farm, near Labette City, Labette County, Kansas, on January 20, 1882.

Martha's parents were James and Nancy Burner Davenport Lewis. They were a farm family who came to Liberty Township, Labette County, Kansas, by 1870. A son Charles married a young woman whose surname was Flower or perhaps Flowers. (see additional information below) James died ca 1892 in Labette County and Charles died shortly after that. Nancy B. died in Erie, Neosho County, Kansas, in 1908. She was born January 1, 1825, in Kentucky; James, in 1820, in Kentucky. I have James's last will and testament which was secured from the County Courthouse in Oswego, Kansas. Also, have several other legal documents gotten at that courthouse.

Hugh and Martha owned a farm which seems to me would be about where the ordnance plant is located -- or perhaps a little south of there. Martha was Hugh's third wife. His second wife Jerusha Durham Slaten died August 20, 1880, on a farm near Mound Valley, Kansas. She gave birth to Arthur Slaten August 8, 1880. He was raised and educated by neighbors of the Slaten family -- Mr. and Mrs. Marcellus F. Wakefield. Arthur went by the name of Arthur Slaten Wakefield until the "foster" parents were deceased; then, he legally changed his name and the names of his two sons. Thereafter, Arthur was known as Arthur Wakefield Slaten; he used A. Wakefield Slaten as his name. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1916. He was a university professor of religion and ethics. Later, he became a leader of the Unitarian Church and served as minister of churches in Chicago and New York City. In 1929, he and his family moved to Hawaii; Arthur became an editorial writer, literary editor, and a columnist for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He worked there until 1942, when he and his wife Mary Fitzhugh Slaten moved to California where Arthur continued to write for a magazine. He died of an acute coronary thrombosis in Santa Monica, California, on July 30, 1944.

"J. H. Slayton" and his household were enumerated for the 1880 Census of the U. S.; they lived in Mound Valley Township, Labette County, Kansas. Four of Hugh and Jerusha Slaten's children listed on that census were born in Kansas. Since the family lived in Labette County, those children must have been born there. They were Emery, Frank, Effie, and Maude. And, a son named Thomas who was born about 1870 must have been born in Labette County, also. Thomas was deceased by the time the 1880 census was taken.

The article which follows is about Charles A. Lewis, son of James and Nancy Burner Davenport Lewis. It appeared in the "Labette City Locals," The Oswego Independent, Oswego, Labette County, Kansas, Friday, November 28, 1890, Vol. XIX, No. 24, column 4, page 3.

Charley Lewis, who is known in our community as "honest Charley," was married last week to Miss Florence Flock. He has captured the flower of the whole Flock and is consequently exceedingly happy.

James and Nancy B. Lewis who lived in Labette County, Kansas, by 1870, bought a farm. Its description was the north half of the south-east quarter of section fifteen in township thirty-two of range twenty east of the Sixth Principal Meridian in Kansas containing eighty acres per the Osage Ceded Land Certificate No 4780, page 183 of Book C of Patents. The Lewis family resided in Liberty Township, Section 15, N 1/2 f SE 1/4, which appears to be five miles south and three miles east of Parsons, Labette County, Kansas. File Case No 9 L, Probate Court, La Bette County, Kansas, Estate of James Lewis shows that James' residence was in Liberty Township.

James died at his home January 8, 1892. Likely, his grave is in a country cemetery nearby and is unmarked. Nancy B. died in Erie, Neosho County, Kansas, in 1908. She is buried in East Hill Cemetery, near Erie, in an unmarked grave.

James Lewis and Nancy Burner Davenport were married August 29, 1844, in Hendricks County, Indiana. Two or three of their 13 children were born there before the family moved to Iowa and Wisconsin before coming to Labette County, Kansas. They lived in Harrison Township, Mahaska County, Iowa, when the 1860 U.S. census was taken. Seven of their children are listed on it. Their names and ages are listed: Thompson F., 14 yrs.; William I., 10 yrs.; John H., 10 yrs.; Elisa E, 8 yrs.; Mary C., 6 yrs.; Martha A., 4, yrs.; and Samuel, 1 yr.

The Lewis family moved frequently. They lived in Iowa, Wisconsin, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Iowa before moving to Kansas. Four children identified by name were born either in Iowa or Wisconsin; they are "Mandy," James Albert, Almira Jane called "Minnie," and Josuah E. The names of two Lewis children are unknown.

Thompson, William, and the two unknown children did not come to Kansas with their parents.

John Henry Lewis married the elder daughter of Hugh Jefferson Slaten, Sr., and his first wife Nancy Lynn. John and Josephine Slaten were married in Montgomery County, Kansas, October 3, 1975; they lived in Liberty Township, Montgomery County, Kansas, when she died in 1880. Their son Rufus L. was listed on James and Nancy B.'s 1880 census. He was 3 years of age. John H.'s birthplace was Wisconsin and birthdate was April, 1850; Josephine's, McLean County, Kentucky, and July 21, 1857.

On June 4, 1880, James and Nancy B. Lewis, five of their children, and two grandsons were enumerated in Liberty Township, Labette County, Kansas. Their children were: Martha A., 24 yrs.; James A., 17 yrs.; Almira J., 15 yrs.; Charles A., 12 yrs.; and "Joshuay" E., 10 yrs. All the children except James were born in Iowa; he was born in Wisconsin. In addition to Rufus L., another grandson Leander Sheladay was listed on that census. His age was 2 years; he was born in Labette County, Kansas. His mother was Martha A. Lewis.

Contributed by Lenell M. Slaten, 606 Bjornson St. - G-4, Big Rapids, MI 49307

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