John P. Slaughter

JOHN P. SLAUGHTER. One of the largest and best known financial houses in Kansas is the Farm Mortgage Company, which to a large degree represents the personality and the financial judgment of John P. Slaughter, who is its president. The Farm Mortgage Company, which deals almost entirely in farm mortgages, is an institution occupying a large building of its own at Topeka, and its business also extends to Oklahoma and elsewhere, there being a branch office at Hobart, Oklahoma. The company is capitalized at $100,000 and its chief officers are: J. P. Slaughter, president; W. A. Smith, vice president and treasurer; H. L. Winter, vice president, Russell E. Frost, secretary; and Ray W. Palmatier, cashier.

The experience of John P. Slaughter in the farm mortgage business began almost coincidentally with his coming to Kansas. He arrived in Kansas with other members of the family in 1881, when he was sixteen. In the meantime he had attended the public schools and finished his education in Baker University. At the age of sixteen he became a clerk in the office of his uncle, Col. J. B. Cook, at Chetopa, who was then engaged in handling farm mortgages. With that financier he had a working experience of eight years, and was then qualified for a broader participation in banking and business affairs. While continuing his education in Baker University he served as assistant cashier of the Baldwin City Bank. Later he became cashier of the Burlingame State Bank. From that he was elevated to the position of vice president of the First National Bank and in 1901 he organized what is now the Pioneer State Bank, of which he became president. At the time he took the office of vice president of the First National Bank Mr. Slaughter began specializing in the handling of farm mortgages. This line of work he continued at Burlingame until 1907, and then removed to Topeka and with others organized the Farm Mortgage Company, of which he has since been president.

John P. Slaughter was born at Delavan, Illinois, August 31, 1865. His parents were Joseph J. and Anna M. (Cook) Slaughter, natives respectively of Ohio and Pennsylvania. All of their four children are still living. Joseph J. Slaughter left his impress for good especially on the agricultural activities of Southern Kansas. During his residence in Illinois he enlisted as a private in Company H of the One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, was promoted to first lieutenant, and during much of his service was acting captain. He fought at Chickamauga, and while in the Atlanta campaign under Sherman participated in many of the greatest battles of the Civil war. He continued in the service until honorably discharged at the close of hostilities.

In 1881 he brought his family to Kansas and located on a farm near Chetopa. That was still a sparsely settled district, and he was one of the men whose influence was potent in transforming the cattle range into a fertile and productive farm district. His own farm came to be regarded as one of the best of that section, and he deserves recognition as having been one of the ablest Kansas farmers of his time. He had that faculty developed in a high degree of making two blades grow where formerly one had grown, and his individual success was not confined to his own farm, but stood as an example and encouragement to others. He was a man of charitable impulses, a worker for the community welfare, and as patriotic as a private citizen as he had been when a soldier of the Union. He was also a great reader, was well informed on all the public issues, and lived a life of honor and the finest integrity. His death occurred March 13, 1915, at the age of eighty-one. His wife passed away July 7, 1912. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was affiliated with the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

John P. Slaughter is a republican, a member of the Methodist Church and is affiliated with the Masonic order. On August 6, 1890, he married Miss Cora E. Flowers. They are the parents of three children: Mary Esther, now Mrs H. G. Green; Joseph D.; and Sarah Hazel.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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