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Judge Robert Sloan


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/3/2001 at 12:42:33

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
Few counties, if any, in Iowa can boast of a larger list of talented men than Van Buren County. Her sons, natural and adopted, have distinguished themselves in every avocation of life, and especially in the learned professions. Among those she delights to honor is the well known jurist and attorney, Robert Sloan. Descended from Scotch-Irish ancestry, he has inherited the mental and moral qualities peculiar to that people. His paternal great grandfather served as a Lieutenant under Gen. Braddock in the French and Indian War, but when the Colonies declared their independence he espoused the cause of liberty and rose to the rank of Captain. Robert Sloan, Sr., the father of Judge Sloan, was born in County Antrim, Ireland, and when seven years of age, came to the United States with his parents, who settled near Philadelphia Pennsylvania. On reaching mature years, he wedded Miss Elizabeth Steapleton, with whom he moved to Columbiana County, Ohio, where he engaged in farming. The spring of 1853 witnessed the removal of the family to Davis County Iowa.
Judge Sloan was born October 21, 1835, and was therefore, nearly eighteen years of age at the time of his removal to this state. His scholastic training was confined to the common school and a year at the New Lisbon High School. Such was his diligence in the pursuit of knowledge that, with these meager advantages he qualified himself for the profession of teaching, which he followed after coming to Iowa until 1860, with the exception of about two years spent in mercantile life in Iowaville. In1860, he began to read law under Judge George G. Wright, then of Keosauqua, and was admitted to the bar in March of the following year. The young attorney soon took a front rank among his professional brethren, and his reputation as a judge of law became established. At the general election of 1868 he was chosen Judge of the First Circuit of the Second Judicial District. Four years later he was elected Circuit Judge of the Second Judicial District, and re-elected in 1876. Thus it will be seen that Judge Sloan has filled a judicial chair for twelve consecutive years, and this is the highest possible compliment to his ability and popularity. After leaving the bench he became a member of the law firm of Sloan, Work and Brown, and has since devoted himself assiduously to the practice of his profession.
On July 15, 1863, Judge Sloan wedded Miss Mary Brown, a native of County Westmeath Ireland, born January 11, 1838. Her parents, William and Eliza Alexander Brown, were both natives of Scotland, but in early life immigrated to Ireland where the mother died when Mrs. Sloan was a child of three summers. In 1847 Mr. Brown came to the United States and soon afterward located on a farm in Van Buren County, where he passed his remaining days, dying November 12, 1854. Mr. and Mrs. Sloan are the parents of seven children—Stella B., born November 26, 1864; Hugh B., September 1, 1866; Tede, September 13, 1868; Mary E. October 21, 1870; Della born July 17, 1873, died November 29, 1978; Io. G., born July 14, 1876; and Robert E, February 4, 1878.
Mr. and Mrs. Sloan are members of the Congregational Church. Politically, he has been a Republican since the organization of the party. For nearly thirty years he has been a member of the Keosauqua bar and the place he there occupies is second to none. Before a jury he is a forcible advocate, not so much on account of “honeyed eloquence” as the weight of character he brings to bear. Above the petty tricks of the profession, he is candid, dignified and earnest. But it is as a counselor and judge of law that he is best known and most highly appreciated.
I am not related and I am posting this biography for those who may find this person in their family history.


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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