One of the notable families in our local annals was the Slaven relationship, whose ancestor was John Slaven, who came from Tyrone, Ireland, about the middle of the previous century. He first settled in Rockingham County, and then came to what is now Highland County, Virginia, and located permanently at Meadow Dale, on property now held by Stuart Slaven and James Flesher. His wife was a Miss Stuart. Traces of the old home are still to be seen near James Flesher's residence, who is a descendant by the fifth remove.
In reference to John Slaven's sons, we learn that Henry and Reuben went to Ohio and settled in the famous Scioto Valley. Daniel Slaven located his home on the Clinch River, Tennessee. Isaiah Slavens married Martha Stuart and went to Montgomery County, Kentucky in 1792, about the time that state came into the Union, and settled at Mount Sterling. William Slaven settled in Smith County, Tennessee.
Stuart Slaven remained on the homestead. His wife was a Miss Johnston, a daughter of Jesse Johnston. He was one of the most prominent and influential citizens of his time. Stuart Slaven's children were Reuben, for so many years one of the leading citizens of this county, and perhaps celebrated more marriages than any magistrate that ever held the office in his section; Jesse, William, and Stuart; Nellie, who became Mrs. Adam Lightner; Mrs. Thomas Campbell; Sallie, who was Mrs. Alexander Gilmore; Rachel, who became Mrs. Givens and went west; and Mrs. Matilda Wade.
Margaret Slaven was married to the late Benjamin B. Campbell. Her daughters are Mrs. S.P. Patterson and Miss Mattie Campbell of Huntersville. Stuart Campbell of Bellington; Brown Campbell, late of Monterey; and Luther Campbell at Dunmore are her sons.
John Slaven, son of John from Tyrone, was twice married. The first wife was a Miss Wade. There was one son, John Slaven, who never married. The second marriage was with Elizabeth Warwick, a sister of Andrew and William Warwick, on Deer Creek. Not long after the marriage he settled on the head of the Greenbriar, and he is the ancestor of the Pocahontas branch of the Slaven relationship. By the second marriage there were five daughters and two sons.
He was a man of remarkable muscular powers, and was a Revolutionary veteran, a noted hunter and successful trapper. He had thrilling descriptions to give of the many bloody engagements he passed through, the hazardous risks he ran, and the bitter privations he endured in the service of his country. He lived to an advanced age, and was so weakened by the infirmities of age as to make use crutches in moving around in his closing days. In reference to his children the following particulars are available:
Sallie Slaven became Mrs. Dinwiddie, and lived for a time at the head of Jackson's River; thence west to Hardin County, Ohio.
Priscilla Slaven was married to Joseph Woodell of Green Bank, and lived in Pike County, Ohio.
Anna Slaven married Patrick Bruffey, and lived near Green Bank, on property occupied by John Hevener. Patrick Bruffey was a very useful and prominent citizen; a skilled workman in stone, iron, and wood; and filled most of the official positions in the gift of the county.
Mary Slaven became Mrs. John Wooddell, near Green Bank. The late Mrs. M.P. Slaven, Hon. W.J. Wooddell, and J.S. Wooddell, Esq. were her children.
Margaret Slaven became Mrs. Samuel Ruckman.
William Slaven, son of John the pioneer, was born July 6, 1798, and was married in 1819 to Margaret Wooddell, daughter of Joseph Wooddell, at Green Bank. She was born June 29, 1800.
They were the parents of six sons and two daughters. Their names were Charles, who died seeking gold in California; William Patrick, James Cooper, Henry, Nathan-- a Confederate soldier killed at Fort Donelson; and Elizabeth, who became Mrs. Osborne of Gilmer County.
William Slaven's second marriage was with Nancy Cline, of Lewis County, and there were five daughters and four sons by this marriage: Mary, Sarah, Caroline, Martha, Lucy, Frank, Lanty, Roland, and Perry. William Slaven's descendants mainly live in Jackson, Wirt, Lewis, and Gilmer Counties, and are reported to be prosperous and good people of that section of West Virginia.
While living in Pocahontas County, William Slaven was a person of marked prominence-- a member of the Virginia Legislature, magistrate, and Assessor. More than sixty years ago he concluded a move to Lewis County. Assisted by John Wooddell, his household effects were carried over Cheat mountain to Lawyer See's near Huttonsville on pack horses, there being only a bridle path at the time. He lived awhile on Leading Creek, Lewis County; thence west to Wirt County, near Burning Springs; and finally to Jackson County, a few miles from Ravenswood. In his new places of residence, after leaving Pocahontas, he was honored with places of trust, served the public as magistrate and deputy sheriff, which at that time meant the full, active duties of sheriff. He leaves the reputation of being always an efficient, trustworthy business man.
Jacob Gillespie Slaven, son of the pioneer of that much named region, Head of Greenbriar, Upper Tract, Travelers Repose, married Eleanor Lockridge, daughter of Lanty Lockridge, Senior, on Knapps Creek. These persons passed the most of their married lives on the head of the Greenbriar, in a widely known and attractive home. In their time there was an immense travel along that road, Staunton and Parkersburg Pike. The most of communication between western and eastern parts of Virginia was by this route. Governor Joe Johnson and Stonewall Jackson have stopped over here to enjoy trout and venison. Everything seemed prosperous and pleasant with Jacob Slaven until the terrible ravages of war laid his home in ashes, and exiled the happy inmates. The family consisted of eight daughters and four sons. We lay before our readers the following particulars concerning these sons and daughters.
Harriet, who was greatly admired for her personal attractions, became Mrs. Patrick Gallaher and went to Missouri.
Elizabeth was married to Colonel William T. Gammon, a citizen of marked prominence. She now lives in Odessa, Missouri.
John Randolph Slaven, late of Huntersville, married Margaret P. Wooddell, lately deceased.
Lanty Lockridge Slaven married Isabella Burner, and settled on Back Allegheny, where his widowed wife with her sons, Jacob, Charles, and Gratz, resides.
Mary P. Slaven was married to Jesse B. Slaven, at Meadow Dale, where she died and is buried.
Warwick Slaven married Mary Riley and lives near Green Bank.
Martha Slaven became Mrs. J.T. Hoggsett, and lived near Mill Point at the time of her death a few years since.
Adalaide Eleanor Slaven was first married (by the writer) to Washington Arbogast. He died in 1864, of wounds received in the battle at Spotsylvania Courthouse. Her second marriage was with William L. Brown, Esq., and lives at Green Bank.
Margaret Eveline Slaven, now Mrs. J.H. Patterson, lives at Marlinton. Mr. Patterson is the Clerk of the Pocahontas Circuit Court. He was a Confederate soldier from start to finish, and shared the perils of those who were first in battle and last in retreat.
Sarah Slaven was first married to Peter H. Slaven and lived at Monterey, Virginia. Their son Emmett lives in Nebraska. Her second marriage was with Arista Hartman, now living in Kansas.
Winfield T. Slaven married Nannie P. Ruckman and lives near Marvin.
In reference to the daughters, it is interesting to note that Eleanor and Margaret were twins. Mildred and Alice were also twin sisters.
John Slaven and wife, the ancestral pioneers that had their home on the beautiful banks of the upper Greenbriar, had a married life of fifty-two years, ten months, and twenty-one days. It would be well could their graves be identified, where unheeded o'er their silent dust the storms of the eventful present and the recent past have raged in such ominous fury. The story of their lives helps us very much towards a proper understanding of what it cost to make it possible for the comforts that gladden our lives.
Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County, West Virginia
William T. Price, Price Brothers Publishers, Marlinton, West Virginia, 1901.