Odillon Slane

Princeville Telephone, Aug. 1936
Transcribed by Mike McMullen



Odillon B. Slane, 82 fro many years a widely known educator and historian of Peoria and Princeville, passed away at 1 o’clock Monday afternoon at the Seven Oaks sanitarium here following a long illness which followed injuries suffered last summer in an accident in Joplin, Mo., where Mr. Sloan was visiting a sister.

Struck by an automobile at a street crossing, he suffered a broken leg and was confined to a hospital for several months. He never completely recovered from the accident. He had been a patient at the Seven Oaks sanitarium for the past several months.

Funeral services fro Mr. Slane were held at the Tretheway funeral home in charge of Rev. J. C. Craine, pastor of the Princeville Methodist church. Burial was in Princeville cemetery, where services at the grave were conducted by the Princeville Masonic lodge, assisted by the Knights Templar order of Peoria.

Born in Princeville

Born in Princeville, April 23, 1854, Mr. Slane was the oldest child of Benjamin F. and Sarah Henry Slane, who were pioneers in the state of Illinois. The Slane family came from Virginia by the way of Ohio, the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, landing at Old Fort Clark, Peoria in November, 1831. The family continued to be residents of Peoria county until the present time.

In the Benjamin J. Slane family there were six children, three boys and three girls. They lived and grew to manhood and womanhood on the old Slane homestead south of Princeville. Odillon being the oldest, well remembered the many incidents and experiences of pioneer life.

Became a Teacher

Early in life, Mr. Slane determined to fit himself to become a public school teacher. His education was received in the country schools of that day, in the grammar school at Elmwood and then in the Peoria County Normal school.

He began his lifelong service as a teacher in 1877 at the Wilson school house, south of Princeville. For several years, as was the custom, he taught school in the winter and farmed in the summer.

Throughout Mr. Slane’s long career as a teacher, he became increasingly interested in the tales of “early days” and in the teaching of history and was recognized as an authority on local history.

He taught school under the supervision of seven different superintendents. During these years he was at one time appointed and acted as the presiding officer of the Peoria County Teacher’s Association. Later, he served as one of a committee of inquiry to visit nearby cities and bring back a report of the methods and work in other schools. It was under his supervision that the “school garden” first proved a success in Peoria county.

During the last 15 years of active teaching, Mr. Slane was employed as a teacher in the elementary department of the Peoria public night school. This work brought him into contact with many kinds of pupils, both young and old, all struggling against the odds to obtain a better education. In this work he found a peculiar satisfaction. Many opportunities to inspire and help were his, and he took advantage of them. He made a record of punctuality and faithfulness to duty that has been rarely been equaled in the public school system. He retired from active teaching last year.

Was Past Master of Masonic Lodge

During his early manhood Mr. Slane became a member of the Masonic fraternity. He was a past master of Princeville lodge no.360, a thirty-second degree Mason, a Knight Templar, member of the Mystic Shrine and of the Order of the Eastern Star. In his work as a Mason, he spent much time in “research” work and collected a valuable library of books bearing upon Masonry.

Mr. Slane is survived by one brother E. P. Slane of Princeville and two sisters, Mrs. E. A. Perkins of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Mrs. F. C. Ralston of Joplin, Mo.

He leaves four nephews, Carl P. Slane, publisher of The Peoria Journal Transcript; Merle Slane, Evanston, Ill; Benjamin and Free Slane of Princeville, Ill, and three nieces Mrs. Don Wilson, Evanston Ill.; Mrs. G. L. Babson, Syracuse, N. Y. and Ruth Perkins, Chicago.


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