James Stanley & May (Orht/Morral/Morril) Slauson

Contributed by Crystal Wendt & Janet Schwarze


James S. Slauson set up a saw mill in Greenwood, Wisconsin near the Soo Line tracks in April of 1937.  He began his business by cutting ties and contracting for maple, rock elm and oak timber. He was the son of James Wallace & Susan E. P. Emery/Emory of Arena, Iowa Co., Wisconsin, born Dec. 28, 1870.  His father first settled in Wisconsin in 1845 in the town of Union, Rock Co., WI with his own parents when they moved to the Midwest from Orange Co., NY where he was born in September of 1836.  Susan E. P. Emery was the daughter of Robert Emery who emigrated from England to Massachusetts with his family, and thence to Wisconsin to settle in Grant County about 1844. 


James W. and Susan Slauson moved to Iowa County, WI in the spring of 1867 and purchased a 160 acre farm.  They had seven children: Charles E., Ada L., Edwin M., James S. (the subject of this sketch), Herbert W., Daniel R. and Clarence Garfield.


James S. was in partnership with his father-in-law, Mr. William J. Orht who was also a former resident of Arena, Wisconsin.  As proprietors of the company, they were here highly recommended both in ability and character which together with their friendly dispositions won them many friends. Both produced a feeling of confidence wherever there business relations were concerned.  At its inception the The new mill will employed about 17 men while others were soon employed to do woods work and hauling. 


It was named, "The Slauson Tie and Lumber Company" began operations and in August of 1937, producing ties and lumber with great rapidity.  Their building was fashioned of all galvanized steel construction was situated near the banks of Rock Creek south of the city in a very favorable location because of the close proximity to the railroad tracks.  The tie piles along the track grew at the rate of better than 400 ties per day. Visitors were always welcome at the mill to watch the operations which proved both interesting and educational.  A new 50 horse power electric motor ran the main saw and machinery and several smaller motors furnished power to other parts, doing away with hazardous belts and pulleys. By the time they opened for business, everything was set up in a neat orderly condition and had been given a coat of green paint, probably in honor of Greenwood.


Their new industry was surely a boom to the community as it employed fourteen men at the mill alone, besides the cutting, skidding and hauling of the timber. Not only that but farmers received substantial checks for some of the wood that has been a long time waiting to be turned into cash.  Greenwood once ranked high among the logging towns for white pine and but by 1937, it was most favorable for the hard wood timbers of maple, some oak and rock elm.  Improvement in the roads had also been made and proved a great asset to the haulers who placed over 600 logs a day at the mill skid way.


James and May (Morral/Orht) Slauson  were married in 1893.  She was the adopted daughter of William J. Orht of Arena, WI, born March 30, 1893 in Mazomanie, Iowa Co., WI.  James and May were the parents of Lola May (b. 31 Mar 1894); Russell S. (b. 7 Nov 1895-d. Aug. 1971, WI); Mabel F. (b. 1900); Lucy A. (b. 1902); Pearl B. (b. 1905) and Dale S. (b. 23 Jun 1907-d. Feb 1985, OR).


Mr. and Mrs. James Slauson belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church where they sang in the choir, both for Sunday services and many funerals and weddings.


James belonged to the prestigious Greenwood Commercial Club and he was present for the unveiling of the Peace Monument given to the city by Ernest Durig in 1937.



1910 Census Wisconsin, Sauk County, Spring Green


Slauson, James S. (head) age 39, married 1 time, for 17 years, born Wisconsin, father born New York, mother born England, occupation farmer.

Slauson, A. (wife) age 38, married 1 time, for 17 years, 6 kids born, 6 kids living, born Wisconsin, father born United States, mother born New York

Slauson, Lola M. (daughter) age 16

Slauson, Russel S. (son) age 13

Slauson, Mable F. (daughter) age 10

Slauson, Lucy A. (daughter) age 8

Slauson, Pearl B. (daughter) age 5

Slauson, Dree S. (daughter) age 2


1920 Census Wisconsin, Sauk County, Spring Green


Slauson, James (head) age 48, born Wisconsin

Slauson, May (wife) age 46, born Wisconsin

Slauson, Mabel (daughter) age 19, born Wisconsin

Slauson, Lucy (daughter) age 17, born Wisconsin

Slauson, Pearl (daughter) age 14, born Wisconsin

Slauson, Dale (son) age 12, born Wisconsin



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