1925 Biography - William Slack

William was the name of the founder of the Slack family in this county, coming here about 1815 from Kentucky where he was born in 1795. His children say soon after the war of 1812, in which he was a soldier. The county records show he lived here in 1824, and he was without doubt a pioneer, settling in Bloomfield township and opening a farm. He married Mary Finney, whose parents were John and Sarah (Reynolds) Finney, and also first settlers of this county, who came directly from Virginia. Mr. Slack was evidently a man of education and prominence, as his name appears as a juror also as settling estates. Their children were John (2), Celinda (2), Mariah (2), Sarah (2), Gillson (2), William (2), James (2), Mary (2), Louisa (2), Melissa (2), Emmily (2), Norman J. (2) and Margaret (2). John (2) followed farming, he married Sarah Ann Alexander and their children were Wilford (3), Sarah A. (3), James M. (3), Mary E. (3), Amanda (3), John W. (3), Isaac W. (3), T. F. (3), Norman G. (3). Wilford (3) who moved to Massac County, married Miss Wymore, children Dora N. Nanie, James, John; Sarah A. (3) married William Ring and moved to Acton, Texas; James M. (3), married Mary E. Hoyl and had Oliver O. (4), Ada (4) and were residents of Massac County; Mary E. (3) married Thomas E. Keith and had James (4), Ida (4), John (4), and Nora (4). This family moved west, living in Salina, Kansas, also several years in Salt Lake City, where Mr. and Mrs. Keith celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They later moved to California and Mr. Keith died, 1924. Amanda (3) taught in this county several years and married Mr. Vanderlight of Pontotoc, Texas; John W. (3) married Burilla Jones (see Simpson). They have resided for many years in King Fisher, Oklahoma; Isaac W. (3) married Ellis Waters of this county and they had John (4), who married a Miss Cooper. May (4) and others names not known). Mr. Slack with his children removed to Oklahoma. T. F. (3) was a teacher and left this state when a young man; Norman G. (3) removed to Texas. Celinda (2) married J. M. Benson in 1845. They were a charitable and hospitable couple and all good people found a welcome in their home. They lei t their impress on the young men and women who came under their influence and are the citizens of today. Their family is given under J. M. Benson. Mariah (2) married first Alfred Oliver (Tobe) a son of Judge John; second Dr. W. A. Looney; Sarah (3) married Ignatius Benson, settled on an adjoining farm to Monroe, his brother, and their children were Ann (3), who married Calvin Miller and Frank (3). Ann and Calvin had Lily (4) who married Hal Brooks, Bessie (4) married Mr. Pearce, Mary (4) married Gordon Gilbert, Charles (4) resides in this county; the other children are residents of Marion, Ill., and Union County; Frank (3) married Emma Allen and removed to Arkansas. Gilson (2) served in the Civil War, was a carpenter and builder and removed to the West coast many years ago. His widow lived several years in a home near Seattle, Wash., where she died in 1924. (For family see Smith). James (2) was a farmer of this county married first Amanda M., daughter of Nathan and Mary Jennett, their children were Florence (3), who married first Daniel Gage and had Guy (4) who lives in Mich., married second Mr. Strawbridge and has several children, resides in Mich.; Mary A. (3) married Mr. Christianson and lived in Northern Ill.; James (3) married Jennie Henley and is a merchant of Kansas City, Mo., they have Mary (4); Ollie (3), Ola (3), are married and live in the West. James (2) married second Mrs. Mary (Hogg) Harvick who resides with Guy Gage in Mich. Mary (2) married first Mr. Grissom and had Green (3); married second Mr. Medley and had Kate (3). They left this county many years ago. Louisa (2) married Fredrick Agustus Rebman, children Flora (3), Milford (3), Emma (3), Louisa (3), Thomas (3), William (3) is a veteran of the Spanish War. Flora (3) married Thos. Carlton, children Ruth (4) married Samuel, son of H. B. Wiley, Ruby (4) married Mr. Barger, Julia (4); Milford (3) married Kittie (see Chapman); Emma (3), Louisa (3) married F. R. (see Woelfle), Thomas (3) was a teacher of the county several years but died in young manhood. Melissa (2) married William Taylor and had Lulu (3), who married Eugene Leonard and resides at Anna. Norman J. (2) married Maggie Sexton, one child Ona (3) who married Dr. Miller of Metropolis, Ill., where she resides; Margaret (2) married George L. (see Elkins). Emma (3), daughter of F. A. and Louisa Rebman, has not married but has devoted her time and talents to education. She was a teacher for several years in this county and the West, served as County Superintendent of Schools and has retired to a comfortable home in one of the most picturesque spots in the county. She is a Republican and a member of the Methodist church.

Extracted 08 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from 1925 A History of Johnson County, Illinois, by Mrs. P. T. Chapman, pages 440-442.

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