George A. Slayton - Civil War Veteran
By the last years of the Civil War, state governors in the north were having trouble finding men to draft into the Union Army. George enrolled as a substitute in Co. F of the 15th Michigan Infantry at the end of March in 1865 and was discharged in early July of that same year.
Following his discharge, George came to Hillsdale and worked his way through college through manual labor: digging potatoes, cutting firewood, plowing fields and shearing sheep. Following college, in what his wife Abby Dunn Slayton, the daughter of Hillsdale College president Ransom Dunn, described as a wanderlust common to veterans of the war, the Slaytons traveled to Ohio, Iowa and Nebraska, as well as Jonesville and Quincy in Michigan. George was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and served as commander of the Salem, Nebraska Post and as adjutant and quartermaster of the Hillsdale Post after he and his wife returned to Michigan to farm.
George was considered an accomplished horticulturist. Dr. Bertram Barber asked George and Abby to donate the 14 wooded acres of their property, located at the end of Union Street, to be used as an arboretum. As a gift to the college, on their fiftieth anniversary the Slaytons did so, making possible a lovely and varied nature preserve for generations to enjoy for years to come.
JoAnne P. Miller