Friday, November 20, 2020

Bovina Ex-pat - David Sloan


David Sloan was born in Belfast in what is now Northern Ireland in February 1843. He came to Bovina as child with his parents, Orr and Sarah Sloan in 1848. In March 1864, he married Margaret E. Hilson, daughter of William Hilson and Elizabeth Strangeway. Margaret and David had five children, all born in Bovina. Margaret died two years after the birth of her last child in 1876 when she was only 33.

Sloan lived in the house now owned by Dick and Carol Brannen, where he worked as a shoemaker. He was politically active while in Bovina. The October 06, 1886, Delaware Gazette reported that Sloan “was escorting candidate Thomson about Delhi, Monday evening. It is reported that they were looking after Prohibition votes.”

A few months later, his support of prohibition must have come into question when this report showed up in several local papers in August 1887: "David Sloan and Peter McNair went to Hobart last Monday, after Dr. McNaught to come and visit McNair's wife. They did not return that evening, as expected, nor the next. Alex. Hoy became alarmed about his horse and wagon and on Wednesday he sent David Finkle to bring the horse home. He found them at Bloomville, where they had driven through the rain on Tuesday. They had imbibed too freely at Hobart and had upset or in some way had broken the wagon, and were in a sorry condition. McNair came home with Finkle, but Sloan was not satisfied and went on to Delhi, and has not returned yet."

Sloan’s reasons for heading west are not documented, but it appears that around 1890 he moved to Colorado where he worked in the coal mines in the Gunnison area of the state, living mainly in boarding houses. He worked for several years as watchman for the Colorado Fuel and Iron Col at its Crested Butte mines.

He made a number of trips back to New York to visit family members into the first decade of the 20th century, making the trips almost annually. His daughter and son-in-law moved out west in 1909. A local Colorado newspaper reported on this move: “A daughter and son-in-law of David Sloan came here from New York recently and will make this their permanent home. The reason given was that there is work here in the mines every day in the year while in York state there is nothing to do during the winter months.” David’s daughters Clara and Sarah also moved to Colorado. His son William settled in Iowa sometime in the 1910s.  With his children moving west, it appears David’s trips back to New York ceased.

David’s son Leonard had moved to New York City in the 1910s and died there from pneumonia in 1916. At the time of his death, he was the manager of Sheffield Farms Milk depot. Leonard is buried in Bovina. His death was reported in the local newspapers in Crested Butte.

In later life, he was assistant sergeant at arms of the state senate in Denver. When the senate was in session, he stayed with his daughter, Sarah Gladstone in Denver. He was on duty at the state senate when he took ill and died at his daughter’s home of pneumonia on February 8, 1921. He was buried in Gunnison.

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