Rev. George Sluter, Shelbyville.
Above medium height, with broad, rather square shoulders,
high check bones, nose approaching the Roman or aggressive type, forehead prominent over the eyes and broad in
outline, large mouth, and marked development of nearly all the muscles of expression --- showing that the mind
has kept them in constant use --- Mr. Sluter is by constitution and culture a masculine or manly man. Practical
judgment, will executive force, industry, perseverance, firmness --- amounting to still more of it when opposed
-- earnestness, much analytic ability, love of phenomenal and objective information, and a capacious memory, are
among his most obvious characteristics. Ten or fifteen years ago, ambition was a leading constituent, too,
but now it is not; he nether desires nor expects fame or wide celebrity, but is sincerely desirous of accomplishing
much good. In the full flush of animal vigor, there was relatively more power expressed than delicacy or
suavity --- a tendency to convince by intellectual demonstration and then to enforce by strength of warning and
appeal, rather than, as now, to reach the heart through love and sympathy. Naturally a great brain-worker,
intellectually persistent and methodical, with an ever-present consciousness of the value of minutes and half-hours,
those who did not come into his personal sphere looked upon him as unsympathetic, worldly and arbitrary. No
doubt he was considerably merged in the external and intellectual, so that these qualities measurably eclipsed
surface sociality, geniality and the more interior and soulful traits. Having a definite lifework to perform,
he energies were concentrated upon it, not diffused.
It is said that the best boys resemble their mother
strongly, and the best girls, their fathers. We know nothing of Mr. Sluter's ancestors except what we gather
from his own organization, but think he is indebted to the maternal side of the house for his light, soft hair,
bluish eyes, soft, fine skin, and the width of the head at the temples. These are womanly, and though not
predominant in Mr. Sluter, are splendid modifiers of the masculine qualities above enumerated. Through them
he is allied to poetry, to song, to the beautiful in nature and in art, to social institutions and to devotional
influences. He cannot be said to be, prominently, an emotional man; and yet, less prominently, he has much
of these qualities. His method is to build an intellectual structure, and then to decorate it with appropriate
sentiment and warm it with emotion. If he were rounder he would be more magnetic, more eloquent, and smoother
in action --- he might please more persons at first hearing; but he could ill afford to diminish his present stature
in soul and heart growth, for the sake of more superficial elegance. As the years roll by, under the mellowing
influences of devotional work, the Christian graces will still further tone and subdue the whole nature, and beam
through the countenance even more impressively than now.
Mr. Sluter was born in Rodenberg, Hesse-Cassel, Germany,
May 5, 1837, but while yet a child his parents removed to St. Louis, Mo. There is was brought up. He
graduated at Westminster College in 1860, and at the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1863. He was licensed
to preach by the Presbytery of New Brunswick in 1863, and ordained by the Presbytery of Palmyra in 1865. Under
his pastorate the Webster Street Presbyterian Church, in St. Louis, was built. His published writings are
the following: Funeral Sermon of Joseph Hamilton, of Rushville; Memorial Sermon concerning the Life and Character
of Mrs. Alfred Major, of Shelbyville; Our Beloved Church; an Historical Review of the First Presbyterian Church
of Shelbyville; History of Shelby County, from 1822 to 1876; A Treatise concerning the Acta Tilati; and the introductory
history in this work.
Mr. Sluter never enters the pulpit without thorough
and conscientious preparation, his hearers are never offered second-rate sermons. Those of his congregation
who have heard him most, like his discourses best. Like most other clergymen, he has some slight defects
in oratory, but they are scarcely noticed or thought of by persons of sufficient mental caliber to grasp the subject-matter
he presents, which is always of a high order, and attractive to intelligent listeners.
Atlas of Shelby Co., Indiana, Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co, 1880, pg 35.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming
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