A Train-full of Slaton History - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/30/04

A Train-full of Slaton History

Here comes the train! It's because of the railroad that Slaton exists. Back in 1911 the town was the largest division of the Santa Fe system. 122 miles from Amarillo, 577 from Brownsville, 300 from El Paso, 286 from Dallas. The Santa Fe put Slaton on the map.

"This was the place where they serviced their rolling stock," said Mayor Don Kendrick, commenting on the project to renovate the Harvey House Depot to a bed and breakfast. "It's proposed to be finished early next year," he said.

Trains aren't the only thing that have come to Slaton. "This is an F-15," said veteran Bill Shannon, tour guide at an air museum with more than just planes. "We do have a one of a kind here," he smiled. A 75 mm WWII Japanese artillery cannon. "The terms of the surrender were that every offensive weapon would be destroyed," he said. But instead, a high ranking official had it boxed up and shipped back to the states. "As near as anyone knows, it's the only one of its kind," he said.

Rarities are common in Slaton. "This is a hog slapper," said Lisa Nowlin, President of the Slaton Museum Association. She tells the interesting story of Doc Adams. "He was shot by the father of a patient under his care," she said. A case of medical malpractice where both the patient and the doctor died.

The grave of doctor Samuel Houston Adams, buried October 13th, 1932. The story starts two months earlier, when 30 year-old Woodie Tudor was in an auto accident and sustained a broken arm.

His father took him to Doc Adams who diligently prepared a solution of ehter to knock Woodie out in order to set his arm. But Woodie had been told that he had a weak heart and that he should avoid ether. The doctor told him that everything would be ok, but 45 minutes later, Woodie was dead.

When his father found out about the ether he flew into a rage. A rage that would not subside over time. And two months later he burst into the doctor's office, pulled out a revolver, and shot Doc Adams dead. When police asked him why he did it, he said, "He killed my boy, and I killed him."

The trial lasted four days. The jury found him guilty of murder. But the judge only sentenced him to two years on account of the duress he was under when he shot the doc. He lived another 18 years as a free man, and was finally laid to rest next to his son, not 50 yards away from the doctor he killed.

Slaton, Texas. Trains made the town, people made the history.

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