Slayton was surveyed and platted in 1881 and named after Charles W. Slayton, a land agent for the St. Paul and Sioux City Railroad. Others who were influential in the growth and development of Slayton were C. E. Dinehart, F. D. Weck, S. O. Morse, W. J. McAlister and George Woodgate. The village was incorporated in 1887 and became the official county seat in 1889. It acheived this distiction after a heated and lengthy battle with Currie which was the county’s first county seat by viture of being the only settlement in the county at the time.
The town of Slayton grew and developed rapidly. By 1925 it could claim that it had three banks, six churches, more paved streets than any other town its size (1045 residents) in Minnesota, two large lumber yards and two grain elevators, a modern 32 bed hospital, three general stores, two hardware stores and two haberdasheries, a privately owned telephone system that covered all of the county, two garages, five attorneys, three barber shops and two beauty shops. It could also boast of a new high school, a grade school, three recreation halls, a movie theater, a creamery, a modern bakery and various civic and fraternal organizations.
Located at the intersection of U. S. Highway 59 and State Highway 30, Slayton is the hub of the county. It still has three banks and six churches, a high school and elementary school and a business district that continues to hold its own.