Slaton History The place where the city now stands was owned by Eli Stilson and J. I. Case during the 1880s. The town was established when the Santa Fe Railroad desired a division point for servicing trains. The site was purchased in 1911, and laid out emulating the Washington, D.C. formation. The community was named after O. L. Slaton, a local banker. Slaton's population grew when the employees of the railway moved in with their families. However, the growth slowed once the Santa Fe company relocated its offices elsewhere. The city now flourishes as an agribusiness hub.