Nelson Sleppy, successor to the firm of Sleppy & Bullis, is one of the representative business men of Colton. He is at the head of one of the largest hardware establishments in that city and the pioneer in the business in Colton, having established his store in 1882. He conducted the establishment alone until 1888, when he formed a partnership with William S. Bullis, now the mayor of Colton, and the business was conducted under the firm name of Sleppy & Bullis, with Mr. Sleppy as the chief and managing partner, until February 5, 1890.
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The subject of this sketch dates his birth in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, in 1845. His parents, George and Amelia (Kremer) Sleppy, were both natives of that State. His father was a carpenter and builder, and at twelve years of age Mr. Sleppy commenced his apprenticeship at that trade under his father. He was quick to learn and naturally a mechanic, and at the age of seventeen was a skilled workman. He started in life on his own account, and the next five years were spent in working at his trade in the Western States. In 1867 he commenced his journey across the continent with California as his objective point. He spent two years in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, in carpenter work, prospecting, mining, etc., and it was not until 1869 that he reached San Bernardino.
His first year in that city was spent in working at his trade. He then accepted the position as clerk in the drug store and post office under Dr. J. C. Peacock. He continued in that position until 1875, and entered the hardware business under the firm name of Emich & Sleppy. In 1876 he bought out his partner and transferred the business to Lake Port, where he remained two years, and then transferred the scene of his operations to San Diego. He conducted a hardware business in that city until 1882, when he established himself in Colton. He has been one of the leaders in public enterprise in Colton and the county. He was interested in the old Gas Light Company in San Bernardino, a stockholder in the Colton Land and Improvement Company, the Building and Loan Association, and one of the prime movers in establishing the Colton Water Company. In political matters he is a strong supporter of the Republican Party, in which he takes an active interest.
He has for several years been a member of the Republican County Central Committee and is president of the Republican club of Colton. He is a member of Colton Lodge, No. 137, Knights of Pythias. He has real-estate interests in the city consisting of residence and business lots. His twenty years’ residence in San Bernardino County has made him well known, and his consistent life and straightforward dealings have given him the confidence of the community.
He was married in San Bernardino, in 1871, to Miss Mary A. Stoddard, the daughter of Sheldon Stoddard, a well-known pioneer of the county. Mrs. Sleppy is a native of San Bernardino County. Mr. and Mrs. Sleppy have three children by this marriage, namely: John Sheldon, Mabel Eva and Walter.