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Benjamin F. Slater

Benjamin F. Slater was born May 30, 1857, in Illinois.

Benjamin’s father was John Slater born in 1804 in New York. Benjamin’s mother was Nancy Cruse born in 1824 in Indiana.

Nancy Cruse’s parents were Absolom B. ‘A.B.’ Cruse and Rebecca McCoy Cruse. Absolom Cruse was born November 1, 1799, in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina and was one of ten children born to Henry C. Cruse and Susanna Cress (Kressin). Absolom first married Rebecca McCoy, Nancy’s mother, on February 9, 1824, in Marion County, Indiana. From this union were born 11 children. Rebecca dies on January 26, 1853, at age 48. That same year Absolom marries Elizabeth Hines on September 6, 1853. From this union were born 7 children. When Elizabeth dies in 1868, he marries his third wife Jane Nix Castleberry in 1869 and they have 3 children.

Benjamin F. Slater’s parents John Slater and Nancy Cruse were married Sept 1, 1839, in Indiana or Illinois. They had 6 children. Their first two children, Absalam and Martin, died between 1840 and 1847 and are interred in the Cruse Cemetery in Marion County, Illinois. The same cemetery as the resting place of Nancy Cruse Slaters mother Rebecca McCoy Cruse.

John and Nancy Slater’s next three children, Susannah, John H., and Benjamin F. were born in Illinois before the family moves to Texas in 1860 where their son George Washington Slater was born in the Sowers area in 1865.

In the 1870 census John, Nancy, and sons John, Ben and George were living together and farming in the Sowers community.

Daughter Susannah had married Benjamin F. Hunsaker in Dallas and they lived next door. She and her husband would have 6 children.

John and Nancy Slater’s son and fifth child Benjamin F. Slater passes at age 15 on September 17, 1872.

His Headstone reads






Benjamin’s brother John H. passes in 1878 at age 28 and their father John Slater in 1879 at age 74.

Christopher’s grave is unknown but is believed that he is buried at Sowers though no evidence has been found to confirm it.

Nancy Cruse’s father Absolom Cruse dies in 1892 at age 92 and is buried along with two of his wives in Nelson Cemetery, Azle, Parker County, Texas. Parker County is the next county to the west of Tarrant County.

In the 1900 census Nancy Slater is living with son George, his wife Lela Ewalt Slater and their daughters. George and wife Lela would have 6 daughters. Nancy Slater dies in 1901 at age 76.

Benjamin’s brother George Slater is one of the original buyers of lots sold to establish the town of Irving in 1903. He was also a prominent merchant and owned a store for a time in downtown Irving around 1908. He passes in 1923.

Benjamin’s sister Susannah Slater Hunsaker moved to Elk City Oklahoma between 1880 and 1900 when it was still known as Oklahoma Territory. Her husband Benjamin died in 1879 in Dallas County, but the location of his interment is unknown. Susannah lived with son William H. Hunsaker in Oklahoma for a time but was living with daughter Nancy Hunsaker Read at the time of her death in 1928. Susannah and son William are interred in Fairlawn Cemetery in Elk City, Beckham County, Oklahoma.

Benjamin F. Slater


May 30, 1857


Sept 17, 1872

Gone home.

  • John and Nancy Slater and sons John, Ben and George are all buried at Sowers Cemetery.

  • Benjamin F. Slater’s resting place is in the western end of Sowers cemetery. He is approximately four rows East of the far west fence and NW of the Sowers family plot. On that same row with Benjamin buried side by side with similar small tablet stone markers are his parents John and Nancy, brother John H., and a 7-day old infant daughter of brother George.

  • John and Nancy Slater’s son George Slater his wife Lela Ewalt Slater and their other 5 daughters are buried at Sowers in a separate family plot. That plot is approximately 14 rows west of the drive-in entrance and about equal distance between the north and south boundary of interments. George and wife Lela were active Woodmen of the World members with the Ladies of the Woodmen Circle conducting the services at Lela’s graveside funeral in 1910. George and Lela have separate large Woodmen of the World style monuments.

  • Benjamin F. Slater’s memorial was restored by the Sowers Cemetery Association in 2021.

Historical information about this family was found in, and the Irving history publication ‘Irving: A Texas Odyssey’ by Joseph Rice’.

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