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Early Settlers - Patrick J. and Mary Ann Slattery, St. John’s Cemetery, Spearville, Ford, Kansas

Updated: Mar 31, 2021

There are 20 headstones in St. John’s Cemetery with the surname Slattery. An additional 12 headstones are related by marriage. All of them are the descendants of Patrick J. Slattery who came to America from Ireland in 1866. During the US Civil War, he served in the merchant marine. Patrick brought his family to Ford County in 1878.

Patrick John Slattery was born in Ireland in 1839. At the age of 28, he came to America and settled in Brooklyn, New York. His first year in New York was quite eventful as he became severely ill. “At one point during his sickness he was pronounced dead. His friends went as far as having him in a coffin when it was noticed that he was breathing.”1 It took some time for Patrick to regain his health. Eventually, he decided to move west as it might help him recover.

Mary Ann Spaight became his bride on September 20, 1868. Mary Ann was also born in Ireland in 1841. Seven of their nine children were born in Brooklyn. The two oldest children died and are buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

The Slattery family settled on a homestead nine miles southwest of Spearville. Patrick paid $106.23 for the property. Their first home was a two-room house, one room sod and the other of wood. As the family prospered, a six-room house was built.

In 1915, Patrick and Mary Anna built a house in Spearville. He sold his property to his son, Patrick James Slattery. Mary Anna passed away in 1928. Two years later, Patrick John suffered a heart attacked and died. They share the same stone in St. John’s Cemetery.

Note: “Their farm was located on the Butter and Egg Road, two miles south and five miles east of Wright, Kansas. Their home was known as the halfway house for the people from the Windthorst area. They would stop there to water their horses.”

1 Dodge City & Ford County, KS 1870-1920 Pioneer Histories & Stories – Ford County Historical Society – 1997 pgs. 306-307

You can read more about the family or many others by checking out the above book located at the Spearville Township Library.

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