David W. Slimmer, probate judge of Jackson county, illustrates what may be accomplished in the Sunflower State by one endowed with brains and genius for hard work. He was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1854, son of Peter and Susan (Immell) Slimmer. His father was born in Pennsylvania, descended from fine old "Pennsylvania Dutch" ancestry, and while still a young man immigrated to Ohio and engaged in business, first as shoemaker and grocer. Within a short time he bought land and opened a hotel, carrying on both lines for some years. But the West was calling him and, selling all his holdings in Ohio Mr. Slimmer removed to Iowa, where the first home was a rude log house, the best residence afforded by settlers in the new country. He engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, in 1873. After the death of her husband Mrs. Slimmer remained on the old homestead, as no other place seemed so dear to her as the farm, which she had first seen as an unbroken prairie.
David W. Slimmer attended the public schools in Iowa, having accompanied his parents when they moved west, remained on the farm, helping his father clear the land, for a few years, and then decided that a man without an education is handicapped in the race for fortune. This led him to enter college at Fairfield, Iowa, for a higher educational training, and he made a mark as a brilliant student at Axeline Seminary and at Miss Atchison's Academy at Fairfield. During the summer vacation he returned home and worked on the farm, as he realized that no man can keep up with mental work who does not develop the physical side as well. After completing the course at the seminary he spent two years at the State Normal School at Kirksville, Mo., to prepare himself as a teacher, and then began to teach, spending two years in Iowa before he came to Kansas. For six years he followed that vocation in Jackson county, this state, but having the opportunity to get a good farm he resigned his position as a teacher to give his entire attention to agricultural pursuits. Within three years he had made considerable money and had opened a general mercantile store at Adrian, Kan., but he still continued the management of his farm. He acquired a knowledge of politics, and his opinions became valuable as a local leader of the Republican party, through the influence of which he was appointed postmaster at Adrian and filled the office with credit. In 1906, at the earnest solicitation of his friends, he consented to have his name placed upon the ticket for the office of probate judge, to which position he was elected by a flattering majority, and he has since filled the office to the entire satisfaction of his constituents. Having accumulated considerable money he determined to start a business which would be of benefit to Holton and, in 1910, opened one of the largest and best equipped drug houses in Eastern Kansas, and this is proving a most lucrative investment for the owner. Fraternally Mr. Slimmer is a member of the Masonic order, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Knights and Ladies of Security, and the National Life Insurance Company of Des Moines.
In September, 1883, Mr. Slimmer married Flora B., daughter of Alexander MacKenzie of Ohio, who emigrated from Scotland and located near Powhatan, Ohio, but later came to Jackson county, Kansas, where he resided until his death, in 1860. Mrs. MacKenzie later married Alexander Giffen and, in 1879, they removed to Jackson county, Kansas, where Mr. Giffen died, Nov. 22, 1903. The widow still survives, hale and hearty, at the age of eighty-three years. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Slimmer are: Russell M., a student in the Holton High School; and Floyd W., who is a student in the Holton graded schools. The family are Presbyterians in belief and liberal supporters of that church.Pages 602-603 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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