We're Here and We're Going to Stay with Margaret Sloan (2009)

Printer: Today Magazine, Book Composition: Today Magazine

I wrote an article for the Generations of Today magazine in 2007 about Margaret Sloan teaching country school in the small town Eldon, Iowa. Following that article, which put her on the magazine’s cover, she asked if I would help her write her family history.


Here I sit in my apartment staring at all of the Sloan and Bishop family history materials I have inherited and collected over the years. I wonder what I should do with the stuff, since I have not found any immediate family members interested in carrying the torch into the next generation. What to do! What to do!

The collection consists of several scrapbooks from my grandparents, parents, other relatives, and those I have put together. There are photos from various sources, obituaries, extensive genealogical charts, census reports, materials from my paternal and maternal relatives, as well as the usual supportive materials. How should they be organized? Where should they be located for the best use by interested persons?

After considering this matter for a long time, I have decided to write a book that could be printed and shared with those interested. It is my hope that those who are interested in the project will be able to add additional content so that the project can grow with use. In fact, I’ve included some leads that newcomers could use.

The content of the book, for the most part, traces the migration of the Sloan family members from Scotland, to Ireland, to Pennsylvania, to Ohio, and to Iowa where they branch out and individually create new homes in the new land.

The book contains researched facts, opinions, unusual customs, memorial speeches, and family letters—a potpourri of ideas shared in unusual ways.

Another objective I have for the reader is to appreciate the work ethic of our Sloan and Bishop ancestors—their willingness, even courage, to speak out and fight for worthy causes, their honesty, their loyalty. They shared. They worked together for the common good and to form cohesive fun-loving families. I hope you will appreciate their hard work without modern tools as they paved the way for us to enjoy the good life we have today. Many of the adventures in this book actually happened, some did not happen but could have. I have tried to give history the light touch to avoid an overload of facts and to focus on the unusual stories often overlooked that tend to tickle the funny bone.

I am deeply indebted to the many who offered material and assisted in this project. I received help from friends, relatives, past acquaintances, former students, and perfect strangers. So if I am going to write a book about the past, there is no time to waste. There’s no better introduction needed than, “Let’s get going!”

2009 We're Here - front.jpg