Slavens, Luther Clay, lawyer, was born August 13, 1836, in Putnam County, Indiana, and is of Scotch-Irish descent. His great-grandfather, John Slavin (the name has been changed to Slavens), who was a native of the North of Ireland, immigrated to Augusta County, Virginia, and from there went to what is now Highland County, Virginia, where he settled prior to the Revolutionary War. Members of the fifth generation now reside on and till the land which this immigrant first brought under cultivation. He married Elizabeth Stuart, of Scotch descent, and they had ten children, three daughters and seven sons. The daughters, Comfort, Elizabeth, and Naomi, married respectively into the Higgins, Ingraham, and Galford families of Virginia, and remained in the old Dominion. The sons were William, who settled in Smith County, Tennessee; Daniel, who settled in Claibourne County, Tennessee; Isaiah, who settled in Kentucky; Reuben and Henry, who settled in Pike County, Ohio; John, who settled on Greenbriar River, in what is now Pocahontas County, West Virginia, and Stuart, who remained at the old homestead in Highland County, Virginia. Isaiah Slavens, the grandfather of Luther C. Slavens, was a true patriot, and with other members of his family shouldered his "flintlock" and joined Washington's illustrious army, serving through the Revolution. In the War of 1812 he and three of his sons served their country in the second struggle with Great Britain. In 1792 he emigrated to Montgomery County, Kentucky, and his son Hiram B. Slavens, father of the subject of our sketch, was born there. The mother of Luther C. Slavens, whose maiden name was Sarah Holland, was also born in that State. The parents removed to Putnam County, Indiana, in 1826, and the son grew up on a farm in that State. He received good educational training in his youth, and when fitted for college entered Asbury University (now DePauw University) from which institution he graduated at the end of a classical course in 1858. he was graduated from the law department of the same institution in 1860, Bishop Thomas Bowman being then its president. On the 8th of January, 1861, He married Miss Sally Boggs Shelby, daughter of Isaac Shelby, of Tippecanoe County, who came of a Welsh family which first settled in this country near Hagerstown, Maryland. David Shelby, the grandfather of Mrs. Slavens, was raised in what is now Rockingham County, Virginia, but settled in Pickaway County, Ohio, where he acquired much prominence and represented his county in the Ohio Legislature for twenty years. While under age David Shelby enlisted in the Revolutionary Army, and saw considerable service during the contest of the Colonies for independence. His father was also named David, and his grandfather, who came from Wales, and founded the family in America, was named Evan Shelby. After his marriage Luther C. Slavens began the practice of his profession at Covington, Indiana, from which place he removed to Kansas City in 1865. He has since been a member of the bar of the last named city, and has devoted his attention exclusively to the law. He served as city counselor of Kansas City one term, and subsequently was a member of the board of public works for that city. He is one of the ablest members of an able bar, and, guided always by his sense of right, he is unswerving in his devotion to principle. He was one of the famous "306" delegates of the national Republican convention of 1880 who voted steadily for General Grant for a third term until Garfield was nominated for the presidency. He is a Republican in politics, but does not hold party fealty above public interest. He and his family, as were his parents before him, are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Slavens has three daughters, who are the wives, respectively, of George L. McNutt, H.W. Immke, and John Slavens.
Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri, A Compendium of History and Biography for Ready Reference. Vols.5.
Haldeman, Conard & Co., New York, New York 1901 p. 597-8