Biography of James Lines Slocum of Falls City

James Lines Slocum, born December 1, 1844, in Linesville, Pennsylvania, was the president of the Richardson County Bank in Falls City, Nebraska, and a former mayor. He moved west at age ten and settled in Richardson County in 1865. Starting in the grain business, he later joined the Richardson County Bank in 1882 and became its president. Slocum also owned over three thousand acres of farmland and held interests in multiple banks. He married Ida E. Hoops in 1874 and had three children. Active in the Christian church and a Mason, Slocum was a prominent figure in Falls City.

James Lines Slocum, president of the Richardson County Bank of Falls City, former mayor of that city and a large landowner in Richardson county, is a native of the old Keystone state, but has been a resident of the West since he was ten years of age and of this county since he was twenty-one. He was born on a farm in Linesville, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, December 1, 1844, son of Samuel E. and Mary V. dine) Slocum, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of New Jersey.

Samuel E. Slocum, who became a resident of this county in 1865 and whose last days were spent in Falls City, was born in the state of Vermont of January 1, 1815, a son of Samuel Slocum, who was born in Rhode Island and the greater part of whose active life was spent as a sailor on the high seas. Samuel Slocum was a cousin of Commodore Perry, the hero of the decisive naval battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, and for years he served as first mate on a sailing vessel. Upon his retirement from the sea he made his house with his son, Samuel E. Slocum, and died in the vicinity of Shubert, Nebraska, in 1865, shortly after coming here with his son, when the latter settled in this county. Samuel E. Slocum went to Pennsylvania, where, in Linesville, in Crawford county, he married Mary V. Line, who was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1817, a daughter of Amos Line, who was born in that same state in 1774 and who had emigrated to northwestern Pennsylvania early in the days of the settlement of that part of the state and had pre-empted a tract of land where the town of Linesville (named in his honor) now stands and where he spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring there in 1851. After his marriage Samuel E. Slocum established himself on a farm in the neighborhood of Linesville and there his wife died in 1851, leaving five children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the third in order of birth, the others being as follows: Mrs. Mary Cornelia King, living at Shubert, this county, widow of John P. King, who died in December, 1916, at the age of eighty-three years; Mrs. Phoebe A. Storm, now living at Clinton, Oklahoma, widow of George I. Storm; George L., a retired farmer, now living at Stella, this county, and Rachel, deceased wife of Warren Hutchins, of Falls City. In 1855, about four years after the death of his wife, Samuel E. Slocum emigrated with his family to Iowa and bought a farm in Clayton county, that state, where he remained for eight years, at the end of which time, in 1863, he went up into Minnesota, where he farmed for a couple of years and then, in 1865, came down into Nebraska and settled in this county, in the vicinity of Shubert, where he spent the remainder of his life, an honored and useful pioneer citizen. Upon coming here Mr. Slocum bought a tract of unimproved land in the neighborhood of Shubert and proceeded to improve and develop the same and as he prospered he added to his holdings there until he became the owner of two hundred and forty acres. On that place he lived for eight years, at the end of which time he moved down to Falls City, adjoining which city he also owned a farm, and spent the rest of his life there, making his home with his sons, his death occurring in 1906, he then being past ninety-one years of age. Mr. Slocum was an earnest Methodist and helped to build the church of that denomination in Falls City.

As noted above, James L. Slocum was ten years of age when he came West with his father and he was about twenty-one when he came to Richardson county with his father from Minnesota in 1865. From the days, of his boyhood he was a valued assistant to his father in the labors of the farm and he continued farming with his father until his marriage in 1874 when he located at Falls City and there engaged in the grain business, erecting a grain elevator at that place. In 1882 he disposed of his elevator and became connected with the Richardson County Bank, of which institution he was made president and has ever since occupied that position, long having been recognized as one of the leading bankers in this part of the state.

For several years Mr. Slocum also was president of the State Bank at Stella and he still retains an interest in that bank and is a stockholder in several other banks hereabout. In addition to his extensive banking interests Mr. Slocum has made considerable investments in farm lands and is the owner of several improved farms in this county, his holdings in that line aggregating more than three thousand acres. Mr. Slocum is a Republican and has ever taken an active interest in local political affairs, but the only public office he has held was that of mayor of Falls City, an executive position he occupied for two terms and during which period he did much to advance public improvements in the city.

It was in February, 1874, that James L. Slocum was united in marriage to Ida E. Hoops, who was born in Pennsylvania in October, 1852, daughter of George P. Hoops, a pioneer of Richardson county, who died in 1886. To that union three children were born, Jennie, who died at the age of six years; Mary S., wife of H. M. Jenne, merchant, of Falls City, and Carrie, wife of B. K. Baker, assistant cashier of the Richardson County Bank, who has a daughter, Virginia, and who makes her home with her father. The mother of these children died in February, 1912. Mr. Slocum is a member of the Christian church and is treasurer of the local congregation of that church. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the local lodge of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and takes a warm interest in Masonic affairs.


Edwards, Lewis C., History of Richardson County, Nebraska : Its People, Industries and Institutions, Indianapolis : B.F. Bowen, 1917.

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