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Slaton, Texas

History

Slaton. The town of Slaton traces its history to the Santa Fe Railroad. O. L. Slaton, a Lubbock businessman and banker, was instrumental in securing the right-of-way for the railroad through this area. When the new town was laid out in 1911, it was named for him. The Pecos and Northern Texas branch of the Santa Fe Railroad line reached Slaton in May 1911, one month after the first town lots were sold. The official opening day of Slaton was held on June 15, 1911, when the first of Santa Fe's four daily passenger trains arrived. Slaton grew rapidly as the railroad established a division point here which included a Harvey House, roundhouse, machine shops, and a two-story freight and passenger depot. A post office was opened in 1911 with Annie Higbee as postmistress. Buildings were quickly erected on the square as businesses were established. The Santa Fe hired Dr. Samuel Houston Adams as surgeon for the Slaton Division. Slaton was incorporated in 1912. R. J. Murray was elected mayor, and Joe H. Teague, Sr., served as first city marshal. Located in one of Texas' foremost agricultural regions, Slaton continues to have an economy based on ranching and farming. Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 1988. Located at FM 400 at Garza Street, City Square, Slaton.

Slaton is the division point of the Santa Fe Railroad for this division, with a population of 1,590 in 1920, as compared with less than 300 in 1910. - History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.

Slaton Harvey House.  The city of Slaton has historic ties to the railroad. For decades the site was ranchland until the Santa Fe Railway sought a location for a division point to service trains. The Santa Fe bought the land in April 1911, naming the townsite for rancher and banker O.L. Slaton. Passenger and freight service became central to the economy, and the company built a passenger depot and Harvey House the following year. Scottish immigrant Fred Harvey created the Harvey House chain in 1876, partnering with the Santa Fe Railway, which built the restaurants and provided space on their trains for food and supplies. Harvey provided the equipment, management and hospitality staff, including hostesses known as Harvey Girls. The Slaton Harvey House served efficient but elegant meals to 42 passengers at a time around a horseshoe-shaped counter on the first floor, which also house the kitchen, bakery, gift shop and manager’s office. The manager and his family and the Harvey Girls roomed on the second floor. The Slaton Harvey House, a commercial and social center, operated for thirty years, briefly reopening to serve troops during World War II. The building remained a passenger depot until 1969; the railroad later converted it to a freight depot and operations center before vacating the property in the 1980s. Slaton citizens coordinated the preservation and restoration of their landmark building. The two-story Mission Revival Slaton Harvey House features one-foot thick concrete walls, an arcaded trackside pavilion with stepped parapet, overhanging eaves with brackets, divided light windows and a flat upper story parapet decorated with the Santa Fe Railway company symbol. Record Texas Historic Landmark – 2007.  Marker located at 400 Railroad Avenue, Slaton.

Slaton Bakery.  Slaton Bakery in 1923, Blue ribbon Bakery and City Bakery, each of which had opened in 1921, consolidated. By 1925, this establishment was known as Slaton baking company. In 1943, the Wilson family purchased the business. The Wilsons overcame rationing during World War II to continue a thriving business. Slaton bakery introduced sliced hamburger and hot dog buns to the area, and distributed Mrs. Baird’s products while continuing to produce pastries made on site. The bakery later added homemade flour tortillas to their menu. In 1982, the business moved to its present location. Today, Slaton Bakery is a community institution, and continues as one of the oldest still-operating bakeries in the State of Texas. Historical Marker Text. Marker erected 2009. Marker located at 109 S. 9th Street, Lubbock.

Location

Slaton, TX 33° 26' 14.3196" N, 101° 38' 36.5712" W