WILLIAM FRANKLIN SLATON was born 3/6/1831 in Meriwether County, Georgia to John Slaton and Nancy (Harris) Slaton. He grew up in Autauga County on the Slaton plantation just west of Prattville. Major Slaton (as he preferred to be called) founded the Slaton Academy, a boys' preparatory school in Auburn, and later was a founder and professor of East Alabama Male College at Auburn, the college which today is Auburn University. He was a decorated officer of the Confederated States Army, superintendent of schools of Atlanta, and father to several distinguished children including a governor of Georgia.
Colonel William Franklin Slaton (3/6/1831-11/29/1916)
Extraordinary Educator, Civil War Hero, and Father

William moved to Autauga County with his parents and siblings in 1835; he grew up in a household that emphasized education and a love and respect for God. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Among the early schools that William attended was Dr. Archelus Mitchell's school in Summerfield, Alabama.
Nancy Slaton sent her son William at age 15 to Mt. Zion, Georgia for preparatory education to study under Carlyle P. Beman. Nancy herself had been educated at Mt. Zion, under Carlyle's brother, Nathan S. Beman. The foundation in discipline that was emphasized in these schools came to William naturally, as his mother was known for being kind, but quite firm. A family story reported in an article says that when Nancy sent her son off to school she told him, "My son, take first honors and I'll give you a handsome watch; fail to take it and I'll give you a whipping." Not surprisingly, he chose the watch.
(c) Elizabeth DuBois 1999
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