Was born in Rodman Township, Jefferson County, New York, August 11, 1784.
In June 1817, he came west to select a home, arrived in Uniontown, now Ashland, in July, after a long and toilsome journey. After examining the country in and about Montgomery Township, he concluded to make the vicinity of Uniontown his residence. In October he returned east for his family. In this trip he was accompanied by George W. Palmer, a Mr. Lucas and a Mr. Butterfield. In the meantime the families of the foregoing pioneers remained in the vicinity of Black Rock, somewhat noted in the Indian wars and the war of 1812, and in January 1818, after having attempted to make a passage up the lake, but having been driven back by the tempestuous storms then prevailing, commenced their journey overland, and arrived in Uniontown in March, after continuous travel of near two months, over rugged hills, down narrow valleys, along winding paths, often crossing deep streams. Mr. Slocum purchased of George Butler, one of the sturdy pioneers, one hundred and six acres of land, two miles east of Uniontown, on section sixteen, and also jointly with Alanson Andrews, and George W. Palmer, who accompanied him with his family, three acres on Montgomery's run, in Uniontown, and erected a distillery, and institution prior to that time unknown in Uniontown. His family resided in a cabin on the farm, to which Mr. Slocum returned from his daily toils at the village of Uniontown. At that time there was not a physician in the present limits of Ashland County; and schoolhouses were equally rare. "Old Hopewell," Presbyterian, one mile west of the village, was the only church in this region. Log cabins were the order of the day, and Mr. Slocum, like other pioneers, often spent the whole week at cabin raisings, and log rollings, traveling several miles from home to do so. All were anxious to increase the number of settlers, and great exertions were made to aid in raising cabins and preparing lands for culture. When Mr. Slocum settled on section sixteen wild animals, such as deer, bear and wolves, were quite numerous, while the latter proved quite destructive to sheep and hogs. Wild turkeys were also very plenty, and an expert hunter could easily procure an abundance of wild meat.
Mr. Slocum, at a later period, purchased a lot and house where the town hall now stands, and removed into it, and kept hotel a number of years. He accumulated property quite rapidly, and was very shrewd in money matters. At an early day he became quite expert in legal disputes, and was the principal attorney in this region, although never regularly admitted to the bar. Many anecdotes evincing unusual sharpness in practice, are related of him. At an early day he had a suit before "Squire Solomon Sherradden, who resided where James Newman now lives. It was for the price of a certain "crow bar," which had disappeared from a quarry two and a half miles east of Ashland, and was in possession of a certain citizen. The ownership was in dispute, and the question of identity was to be raised by the defendant. On the morning of the trial Mr. Slocum visited the residence of the justice, and finding him absent, obtained permission from Mrs. Sherradden, who was at a spring a short distance from the cabin engaged in washing, to go to the house and examine the bar, as he was the attorney for the defendant. Having done so, he replaced it beneath the bed where he found it, and returned at the hour of trial. He was confronted by the late Silas Robbins, jr., as attorney for the plaintiff. The trial proceeded regularly until proof was made that the bar in question was new, unmarked, and of the usual style. After cross-questioning the witnesses sharply, to avoid equivocation, Mr. Slocum requested the production of the bar in court. It was drawn from under the bed, and upon examination was found, not to be smooth and unmarked; but on the contrary, was deeply indented. Mr. Slocum demanded judgment for the defendant, and the court readily granted it, to the great chagrin of Mr. Robins and the plaintiff. The facts were, that on the examination in the morning, Mr. Slocum had taken the bar to the shop of Mr. Sherradden, who was a blacksmith, and made in indentations that defeated the claimant. These tricks, then perfectly allowable among country attorneys, constituted a large proportion of the strategy of litigation.
The relation of these incidents of practice furnished a good deal of amusement to those outside the quarrel. He often met Mr. Sterling G. Bushnell, of Hayesville, as a country practitioner in legal contests in justices' courts. Mr. Bushnell had the reputation of being decidedly sharp, was fluent, extremely sarcastic, and untiring in his efforts in behalf of his clients.
Before the establishment of the county of Ashland, Mr. Slocum often conducted appeals in the courts at Mansfield with considerable ability and success. In person, he was commanding in appearance, was about six feet in height, hair light brown, eyes a bluish gray and very expressive. In disposition he was kind and rather disposed to conciliate; but when aroused ,exceedingly sarcastic and unyielding. As a businessman he was very shrewd, insinuating, and successful. He was a good judge of values, and was not easily overreached in his purchases and exchanges. He arrived in Montgomery when it was sparsely settled, and lived to see it the most populous and thrifty township in the county. He passed through all the struggles from a poor and humble pioneer to that of thrift and wealth, and at the advanced age of seventy-eight years, April 17, 1862, deceased at his residence in Ashland, and his remains now rest amid the tombs of his pioneer neighbors, who passed away before him.
He was twice married, having lost the wife of his youth in 1829. He had no children by his second wife. His family consists of Sarah, married to John Lafferty, of Stark county, Illinois; Mary, married to Joseph Palmer, of Galesburgh, Illinois; Elizabeth, married to Daniel Carter, of Ashland; Lyman, deceased; Wealthy, married to the late David Bryte, of Ashland; Ephraim, who resides on the old homestead, near Ashland; Willard, an attorney, who resides in Ashland; Mahala, married to Johnson Carson, of Galesburgh, Illinois; Eli, of Ashland; Alfred, near Ashland; and Cordelia, deceased. His descendants are all thrifty, intelligent, and influential people.