ROBERT P. SLOAN came to Kansas when eleven years of age, has been through all the experiences of the homesteader and the farmer in Western Kansas, but since 1904 has had his home in Larned and is now serving as postmaster of that city.
It was in 1878 that his family came to Kansas and settled in Russell County. Robert P. Sloan was born near Joliet in Will County, Illinois, August 14, 1867. He inherits a fine strain of Scotch ancestry. His father, Thomas E. Sloan, was a native of Ayrshire, Scotland, and a son of William and Famie (Roxberry) Sloan. Thomas Sloan and his brother William A. came to America, while Robert is still living in Scotland. The mother of these brothers lived to be 108 years of age. Thomas E. Sloan came to the United States in 1852, when a young man, and in company with his wife's family. He married Elizabeth Wilson. Her father, John Wilson, of Drumbowie, Scotland, brought his family to the United States in 1852. When Thomas E. Sloan arrived at Joliet, Illinois, his entire cash capital amounted to a quarter of a dollar. He worked on farms at monthly wages for several years, and his wife also did work outside her own home in order to get a start. They lived in that locality as renters for several years and then became farmers on land of their own and enjoyed a moderate prosperity.
In coming to Kansas in 1878 they made the trip by rail to Russell County. At that time there were eight children in the household. Thomas E. Sloan entered a homestead in Big Creek Township. There came along a familiar character of the time, a "claim jumper," and took away the land which Thomas Sloan had already begun to develop. Having lost his claim he then bought some railroad land in the same county and developed in course of time a very fine farm in Big Creek Township. For a number of years he was one of the successful farmers and stock raisers. He brought with him a considerable stock of implements from Illinois, and though at times he paid twenty-four per cent interest on money borrowed for his enterprise he prospered and at his death he owned half a section of land. He was especially well known as a breeder of Percheron horses. He was killed by one of his stallions at Pawnee Rock, Nebraska, in 1888, when only fifty-three years of age. He was one of the first to become identified with the Farmers' Alliance Movement, though essentially he was a democrat in politics. He was of the Presbyterian Church and a man of upright life and principles. His wife survived him over twenty years and died in Larned in 1908. Their children were: Thomas E., of Burdette, Kansas; John W., of Russell County; William, of Garfield; Robert P.; Hugh R., of Garfield; and Gilbert B., of Rozel, Kansas.
The first schools attended by Robert P. Sloan were in Will County, Illinois. He also attended school to some extent in Russell County, but as soon as his strength permitted he was making a hand on the homestead and helped improve the old farm. He left the home place to engage in farming in the same vicinity, and was successfully identified with wheat growing and stock raising in that county from 1888 to 1900. On leaving the farm he served as postmaster at Gorham for three years, and in 1900 he removed to Pawnee County and was again engaged in farming, wheat growing and stock raising until 1904.
In that year Mr. Sloan disposed of his country property and set up a blacksmith shop at Larned. He followed this trade three years. He has long been an active member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and in 1907 he succeeded Frank Pulver as district deputy in charge of the Seventh District. That work of administration and upbuilding of the fraternity engaged him until February 1, 1917, when he resigned to take the office of postmaster at Larned. The ten years he devoted to boosting the interests of the Modern Woodmen were very prolific in results. He always attended the head camp meetings and was among the ranking deputies as to beneficial work for the order. During the time he was deputy the membership was increased by from 800 to 1,000 every year. Mr. Sloan was succeeded as deputy by C. A. Griffith.
Besides his active affiliations with the Modern Woodmen Mr. Sloan is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Royal Neighbors, the Rebekahs, the Loyal Order of Moose. As has been true of his family for many generations, he is a Presbyterian in church faith. At the present time he is serving as a member of the board of education at Larned from the first ward.
When he became of age Mr. Sloan began voting the democratic ticket. In 1888 he voted for Mr. Cleveland for president and has supported every presidential candidate since that time. He has taken a sufficiently active part in democratic affairs to help make local tickets, and was a delegate to state conventions at Topeka and at Hutchinson.
Mr. Sloan has a very happy home life, and he and his wife planned and largely built their modern bungalow at 916 Topeka Street. It was in Russell County, Kansas, on November 21, 1888, that Miss Chloey E. Fagen became Mrs. Sloan. Her father, Thomas E. Fagen, was a native of Chicago and of Irish parents, was a farmer by occupation and was employed in the early days of the West as a "mule whacker" on the frontier and across the plains. Mr. Fagen was originally a republican but became active in the Farmers' Alliance movement and subsequently with the populist party. He married Elizabeth Butcher, who died in Larned in June, 1918, and of their four sons and four daughters seven are still living. Mrs. Sloan was born in Will County, Illinois, near Lockport. The only child of Mr. and Mrs. Sloan is Nettie E., a graduate of the high school, and now the wife of Harry F. Grove. Mr. Grove was captain of Company F of the Kansas National Guard until the United States went into the World war and is now in France and captain of Company F, One Hundred and Thirty-Seventh Regiment, Third Division. He was on the Mexican border during 1916. Mr. and Mrs. Grove have two daughters, Roberta and Harriet.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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