Clayton O. Slater

CLAYTON O. SLATER, now serving his third term under presidential appointment as postmaster at Latrobe, Pennsylvania, is a native of the state, born in Ligonier, August 29, 1861, son of Samuel and Drucilla (Lowrey) Slater.

Samuel Slater was born in the Ligonier Valley in 1819. During his entire life he followed his trade as a carpenter and builder. He was a Presbyterian, and a Republican in politics. He married Drucilla Lowrey, born in Ligonier Valley, a daughter of Jacob Lowrey, a farmer there. Mr. Lowrey died 1886, and his wife died 1883. They were the parents of eleven children: R. A. deceased; Mary, wife of J. H. Bair, and residing in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; John L., deceased; Albert C., residing in Pittsburg; Charles A., residing in Latrobe; Nettie J., widow of Max Bach; Mattie, deceased; Clayton O., of whom further; Harry, deceased; and two other children who died in infancy.

Clayton O. Slater was but three years of age when his parents removed from Ligonier to Latrobe, where he was reared and educated. He attended the public schools until he was fifteen years old, when he entered the Latrobe post-office in the capacity of clerk, and subsequently became assistant to Colonel Oursler, postmaster, and conducted the office for him during his entire term. Shortly after the inauguration of President Cleveland the appointment as postmaster of a Democrat necessitated the retirement of Mr. Slater, who entered the employ of the H. C. Frick Company at Mount Pleasant. He subsequently opened a notion store in Latrobe, on the site of the present postoffice, and conducted the business for about twelve years, discontinuing his connection with it when he entered upon his duties as postmaster, under appointment by President McKinley, October 1, 1897. He proved a most efficient officer, and has been continued in the office to the present time, under two successive reappointments, both by President Roosevelt, the last in January of 1905. Mr. Slater well earned this recognition of his ability and signally meritorious service. When he first entered upon the duties of postmaster he brought to them ample experience, acquired in a subordinate position, though several years before. He was, moreover, thoroughly aware of the opportunities and necessity for improving local postal facilities, and he at once set himself to the work of instituting various reforms and improvements. As a result of his effort was the establishment of free delivery in Latrobe, the securing of additional clerical assistance in the office, and the creation of three important rural delivers' routes, to the great advantage of a large rural population. The extent to which the business of the office has been developed under the new conditions is more clearly to be apprehended when the fact is stated that when Mr. Slater entered upon the duties of postmaster, a little more than eight years ago, the aggregate receipts of the office were about $6,200, and the allowance for clerk hire was $300; while in 1904 the receipts had been nearly trebled, reaching a sum exceeding $16,000, while the amount paid out to clerks and carriers amounted to $7.000. Five postoffice clerks are employed, four city letter carriers, and three rural delivery carriers, who cover a distance of seventy-five miles. Mr. Slater is a progressive citizen, and has constantly borne a full share in the advancement of community interests. During two terms he rendered efficient service as burgess. He is affiliated with Lodge No. 275, F. and A. M. In politics he is a Republican. Mr. Slater married, March 31, 1886, Sadie Shadle, of Latrobe, daughter of Amos Shadle, a scion of one of the old Westmoreland county families, and a skillful photographer. Mr. and Mrs. Slater are members of the Presbyterian church. They have no children.

Source: History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Volume II, by John N. Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906, Page 268-9.
Transcribed by Carol C. Eddleman for the Westmoreland County History Project.
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (

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