Slater, Iowa 


By 1883 the Chicago and Nothwestern Railroad and Chicago, Milwaukee and St Paul Railway Company had built a crossing 1-1/2 miles north of Sheldahl with regular trains scheduled. Due to a state requirement a depot was constructed at the crossing's southeast edge that became known as Sheldahl Crossing.  A small settlement began to spring up around the depot.  At one time as many as 10 passenger trains made daily stops at this depot.  Over the next 5 years approximately 50 homes and businesses moved from Sheldahl to Sheldahl Crossing.  These structures were moved in their entirety with the help of circular horsepower.  Sheldahl Crossing was renamed Slater and the town was incorporated in 1890. 


"The Palimpsest" by S. Richard Shook
 "In 1887, where cattle had leisurely grazed the land and the sod laid undisturbed by the plow, a small settlement was born. The untouched land was quickly transformed into well-laid streets and alleys, grain elevators, a schoolhouse, a church, and a train service. By 1890, this steady growth had resulted in a busy little town with a population of 450 consisting of 20 businesses, 3 churches, and many commodious homes. They decided to name this busy little town Slater, "A Community United for Progress.' "
- Phil and Mary Rood, 1970 History of the Town of Slater

Today's Slater offers a small town atmosphere (pop.1489 in 2010) but is close to larger cities. Slater is located on Highway 210 approximately 20 miles north of Des Moines and 10 miles south of Ames (home of Iowa State University). With many parks and recreation opportunities, Slater openly invites all of those interested in visiting their community to share in one of Iowa's best kept secrets. (Check out our 4th of July celebration!!!)