Biography of Pleasant SLOAN

Pleasant SLOAN, known as "Plez", and Mary Ellen HARGRAVE were married January 4, 1904 in Graham, Young County, Texas. He was the son of Elliot SLOAN and Zelpha BEATY, early pioneers of Wayne County, Kentucky. Pleasant SLOAN was born November 16, 1873 near Albany, Wayne County, Kentucky. Mary Ellen HARGRAVE was the daughter of James Butler HARGRAVE and Martha Ellen KELLY. She was born near Graham, Young County, Texas.

Pleasant SLOAN and Mary Ellen HARGRAVE established their home on the 160 acre farm of James Butler HARGRAVE in the Medlan Chapel community, west of Graham. He farmed and they continued to live there until 1907, when they moved six miles northwest of Newcastle, Young County on California Creek. It was there that, on June 13, 1907, their first son was born. He was named Elliot SLOAN after his grandfather.

Jim SLOAN was born September 26, 1910, and John Lee SLOAN [was born] September 12, 1912. Jim was named for a brother of Pleasant, Jim Abner SLOAN, and John Lee SLOAN was named for his cousin Lee REEVES. By this time the family was living in the Belknap community, and the boys attended the Belknap school, near Grandfather SLOAN s place. Miss Marie LOGAN was one of the teachers, and the boys attended school with their cousins, Charlie, Mary Jane, and Zepha SLOAN, the JOHNSON children, the DIX children, the JORDAN children, and other children of the local families.

Community activities revolved around church and school activities. The SLOAN family attended church services at the Tabernacle across from the home of Grandfather SLOAN and near the Wray Cemetery. In later years Grandfather SLOAN was to be buried there.

Mary Ellen HARGRAVE-SLOAN managed the household, cooking, mending, tending a vegetable garden and orchard, and assisted Pleasant with chores around the place. Mary Ellen was affectionately called May, since her cousin was also named Mary Ellen HARGRAVE. This Mary Ellen had married a brother of Pleasant named Marion SLOAN, and she was known as Mollie. [Elliot Sloan and Zelpha Beaty had the following children: Sarah J, James A, Marion, Philip, Pleasant, and Amanda SLOAN]

Many a summer evening was spent with family and neighbors gathered for fellowship and visiting, enjoying homemade ice cream and homemade desserts.

A desire for more opportunities and a better life for his family in the somewhat unsettled west caused Pleasant to begin making plans to move his family to Donley County, near Roaring Springs, Texas. They left in the summer of 1915 and traveled by covered wagon across ranch and and open country, taking with them their belongings on a journey that lasted three weeks. They made camp each night near water and Pleasant tended the livestock as Mary Ellen prepared the evening meal on a campfire. The boys usually helped their father and played until supper was ready.

Upon arrival in the Roaring Springs area, Pleasant located land that could be leased from a local landowner and began making plans for his Spring crop. The Sloan family was a self-sufficient farm family who grew most of the food that they consumed, including vegetables, fruit, hogs, and poultry for both consumption and eggs. Their home was heated by coal. since there was very little wood available on the prairies of west Texas. There was no electricity, so light was from a kerosene lamp. The winters were bitterly cold with a great deal of snow. Drifts sometimes reached the house-tops.

With the birth of Arthur Henry SLOAN, March 26, 1917, near Roaring Springs, the family now consisted of four sons, all under the age of ten years old. The boys attended the Chamberlain School, and the family participated in neighborhood activities.

Later, the family relocated to Knox County, Near Benjamin, and it was there that Edgar Edwin was born on January 26, 1921. In 1923, the family moved to Donley County, living near Clarendon until 1925 when they moved to Lakeview, Hall County. It was there that Lula B SLOAN was born on April 2, 1925. In 1927, Pleasant rented the old Donnal place, and it was there that the last three children were born: Frank James on May 5, 1928, George Clyde on February 4, 1930, and Bessie Bernice on August 27, 1931.

During their stay in west Texas, the SLOAN family quickly made friends and worked to make their community a better place to live. They had many friend: the Johnsons, the Mangrums, and the Birds just to name a few. During this time Elliot had major surgery on this left ankle due to an injury and almost lost his leg. It was only through the insistence of his father and the good care of their family doctor and the local hospital that he was able to survive. He was diagnosed with osteomylitis, or White Swelling of the Bone.

With the ill health of Mary Ellen and a desire to return to family and friends, the family returned to the Graham area in 1935. Pleasant had returned, previously, to Young County in 1917 for the funeral and burial of his father, and he did not want Mary Ellen to be away from her parents, since they were both in declining health. While in west Texas, Marion, the brother of Pleasant,, some of his children and his sister Amanda , from Jefferson County, Oklahoma, had visited the family. It was now time to come home and renew acquaintances with old friends and family.

Amanda DONWERTH, the youngest sister of Pleasant, had remained in Indian Territory and her oldest son, Henry was engaged in farming with his father-in-law, Sam CLEVELAND. Henry notified the family of work on the CLEVELAND farm. In August of 1938, the family located to the CLEVELAND farm, south of Fleetwood, Jefferson County, Oklahoma, Pleasant and the older boys worked for Mr. CLEVELAND. Pleasant was so exited that he and his family could spend time with Amanda, since they had not lived close since they were children.

In January of 1939, Pleasant became ill and died of double pneumonia on February 18, 1939. He was treated at home by Dr. TYLER from Ringgold, TExas, who made house calls in a horse drawn buggy. The weather had been extremely cold and rainy, and the roads were almost impassable. Several members of the family were ill with the flu, and EArl Reynolds and other family members took turns caring for them.

The funeral of Pleasant SLOAN was held in the family home with the burial in the Terral Oklahoma Cemetery. Grantham Funeral Home of Ryan, Oklahoma was in charge of the funeral arrangements, and the funeral was conducted by the Reverend James SIMMONS, of the First Methodist Church.

Since this was a very close and loving family, it seemed impossible to go on without a husband and father. Mary Ellen called her children together and let them know, in no uncertain terms, that they would go on, doing the best that they possibly could with what they had, and that they would remain together, their love for each other and the memory of Pleasant to guide them.

Mary Ellen was a strong, Christian lady who believed that there was only bland-and-white, with no gray areas. Right was right, and wrong was wrong, and with her guidance the family was to survive.

© 2009 Bill Sloan. This work may be reproduced and redistributed, in whole or in part, without alteration and without prior written permission solely for genealogy research purposes, provided all copies contain the following statement: "© 2009 Bill Sloan. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Bill Sloan, his heirs, or assigns."

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