I've been doing a bit of research lately on my Sloan ancestors who arrived in Itawamba County after the Civil War, settling in the Peaceful Valley community in the southern part of the county. Like many of my ancestors, they merely moved from just across the state line in Marion and Lamar counties in Alabama. Prior to Alabama, they were in South Carolina. Possibly they stayed a while in Georgia, or Tennessee, before arriving to Alabama in the mid-1830s. I really don't know, at least not yet.
Samuel Sloan, born about 1780 in South Carolina, is the earliest known ancestor of this branch of the Sloans. In the 1850 census for Marion County, Alabama he was indicated to be a cooper which is fairly unusual for any of my ancestors during that time, as most had occupations as farmers like most of the males of the rural South. A cooper was someone who made or repaired wooden barrels or casks, kegs. Samuel's son, William, was the Sloan ancestor who came to Itawamba County. William's son, Jackson Samuel Sloan, owned land along the Tombigbee River between old Van Buren and Barrs Ferry, actually just up from the Barrs Ferry landing.
According to the census records, Samuel, William and Jackson Sloan - three generations - were unable to read and write as were most of their families. What is really remarkable however, is that William Alfred Sloan, the fourth generation and son of Jackson Sloan, graduated from the University of Nashville Medical School (now Vanderbilt Medical School) in 1907. Alfred was born in 1884. He attended the local school at New Bethel in Itawamba County, then school at Oakland Academy, before going to Nashville. The photo above is of Alfred in his cap and gown following his medical school graduation when he was 22 years old. Not only was he smart, he was a good looking fellow too.
Following graduation, Alfred returned to Itawamba County to practice medicine for a short period of time before marrying Effie Lewis, daughter of John B. Lewis who once served as sheriff of Monroe County. Alfred and Effie moved to Amory where they had a family of six children before Effie's untimely death in 1928. Alfred then moved to Caledonia in Lowndes County and set up a practice there before 1930. Unfortunately, Alfred himself was beset with serious medical conditions that necessitated his withdrawal from the practice of medicine. He died in 1952 and was buried in the Amory Masonic Cemetery.
Alfred was my great-great uncle, brother to Ethel Dee Sloan Pennington.