James Villanueva

It was 66 years after the state of Texas entered the union, 48 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, 46 years after the Civil War, 3 years before the start of WWI and the year the Titanic was launched in Belfast; when a determined group of people made their way by team & wagon, by train, and on foot in hopes of a new town. A new beginning. A new prosperity. A new hope.

It was 1911 and Slaton’s history began.

It was Cicero who once said, “To remain ignorant of things that happened before you were born is to remain a child.” For me, it seems, history happened moments before I was born in 1981. For many in my generation, that same feeling resonates as we take hold of the future but every so often, in this case as Slaton prepares to celebrate its Centennial, we are given an opportunity to pause and reflect, remember and try to understand those that came before us.

Whether one arrived to Slaton by buggy, train, foot, or, in my case, a Greyhound Bus from Chicago in a failed attempt to leave the South Plains, we are now here to usher in the next 100 years as we reflect on the past 100.

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7 Responses to James Villanueva

  1. Melissa Locke Roberts says:

    If only my Daddy Deacon were here to sit down with you and tell you a few stories. J.W. “Deacon” Henry was born in Austin in 1900, but by 1915-16 or so, his family (12 or 13 of them) had moved to Slaton to farm cotton. During the Depression, he had a gas station; and before WWII he became an engineer on the Santa Fe Railroad. He was known around Slaton as quite a storyteller. Even though you may leave wondering what was fact and what was fiction, you’d nevertheless be entertained! Good luck to you…I’ll be reading.

  2. Pingback: 2010 in review: Not too shabby! | Slatontx's Blog

  3. Betty M Busch says:

    James – your stories on Samuel Houston Adams are just facinating. I have just started getting in depth on my great grandmother’s family history – Susie Holland Adams Metcalf. Samuel was her nephew. I have never heard this story in the family – Susie ended up in northern Florida, but several of her siblings moved to Texas. So when I started searching and updating my Ancestry tree, I found your writings. My dad, Susie’s grandson, is still living in Florida and I will be leaving for Florida to spend his 91st birthday with him this weekend. I have a family story to read to him. He loves hearing about his family history. You know your story, it is tragic without a doubt, but it also tells so much more.

    I want to post the story to my ancestry site, I want to make sure that I get proper permission and properly give credit on the stories. Can I do that, as long as I reference you as the writer (ie: Credit to the writer: JAMES VILLANUEVA
    https://slatontx.wordpress.com/about/)
    Look forward to hearing from you soon. If you give me permission, please provide me with the proper wording for credit. Thank you so much for keeping history and the people of Texas alive in your writings.

    Betty Mitchell Busch
    Spring, TX

    • slatontx says:

      I do not mind at all… That is one of my favorite stories. Just credit me as the writer because of copyright purposes with the publisher. That should be fine. This story, along with others, will be included in the book, “Remembering Slaton, Texas; Centennial Stories 1911-2011”. Thank you so much for your kind words and I hope your family members enjoy the stories.

      • Betty says:

        Thank you James. When will the book be published? what month is the official centennial? Were you in touch with Sam’s descendants; I see where one dau died I think in 2002, but wasn’t sure about the other daughter.

      • slatontx says:

        Actually, I’ve been working closely with Dr. Sam Houston Adams grandson. He wants me to send you his email address… You can email me at Jamesvillanueva2001@hotmail.com and I will forward you his email address.

  4. Dave Walker says:

    Not sure how this works. However, I read through the blog and it brought back a lot of memories from my years in Slaton (early 1940’s thru 1956) and those years mostly in the school system. My dad and my grandfather were both very familiar with Slaton having lived there for a number of years. They had come as many did to work in the cotton fields or the railroad. It was interesting to read about the yearly years and the founding of the town. My dad was one of the trustees when the Methodist Church was built in the early 50’s. I attended the 100 year celebration as well as my classes 50th. Ours was the first to graduate out of the new high school in 1956.

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