From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 565-566, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
Nathaniel G. Slack, M. D., deceased, stood at the head of his
profession in Schuyler county, and it is fitting that his name should
be recorded in this history as one of the most skillful and benevolent
practitioners. He was a native of England, born April 9, 1830, a son of
John and Ann Slack; the father spent all his life in England, but after
his death the mother emigrated to America and settled in Fulton,
Illinois; she had married a second time, a Mr. Potts, who died a few
years after they came to this country. Nathaniel G. was a mere lad when
his father died, and still in his youth when he came to the United
States with an older brother; he first settled in Rhode Island, and
thence removed to Fulton county, Illinois. He attended Farmington
Academy, and afterward went to Cedar Rapids; but the funds to defray
his expenses were raised through his own efforts; possessing natural
talent for painting, he secured pupils in this art, and taught until he
had saved sufficient means to carry him through his literary course; he
then taught school for a time, and choosing the profession of dentistry
he was in due time engaged in practice. All his leisure time, however,
was given to study, and he attended medical lectures at Keokuk later
on; he finally abandoned the profession of dentistry, and began
practicing medicine in Fulton county, Illinois. In 1859 he removed to
Rushville, Schuyler county, and in November of that year entered upon a
career, every action of which reflected honor upon his name. He was
very successful in the practice of medicine and was a skillful surgeon.
The poor found in him the truest and kindest of friends, and the best
knowledge was as freely given to them in their distress as was expended
in the care of the wealthiest patient.
In addition to his professional duties, Dr. Slack found time to
engage in mercantile pursuits, and was also interested in the woolen
He was united in marriage November 12, 1858, to Eliza C. Berry,
a native of Fulton county, Illinois, and a daughter of Henry C. Berry,
who was a native of Berkshire, England; the grandfather, Joseph Berry,
also a native of England, emigrated to America, accompanied by his
family, and settled in Canada; he removed from the Dominion to Fulton
county, Illinois, about 1839; he purchased a tract of land there on
which he resided until his death; his wife's maiden name was Elizabeth
Blanche; her death occurred in Fulton county. Henry C. Berry was a
miller by trade, having mastered this vocation in England; he followed
this pursuit after coming to America, and also engaged in farming.
Later he disposed of his land and embarked in mercantile business in
Fulton county, Illinois. Thence he removed to California, and lived in
Santa Ana for a number of years; his death occurred there. He married
Elizabeth Temple, a native of England, who emigrated to this country
with an uncle. Dr. and Mrs. Slack had born to them six children:
Clement L., Sheridan Grant, Flora M., Bessie, Clara and Henry.
Politically, the Doctor affiliated with the Republican party.
During the war he was United States Marshal, and passed through many
dangers and perils in the discharge of his duty. He was a member of the
Rushville Lodge, I.O.O.F., and also belonged to the Encampment. He
continued in the active practice of his profession until overtaken by
death, August 9, 1887. The country lost a loyal, noble-hearted citizen,
the medical profession a skilled practitioner, and the family a beloved
husband and indulgent father.