Vela (Slaton) Turpen, along with her husband, O.L., and two daughters, came to Dickens County from Denison, Texas, in 1922. Mr. Turpen died at an early age, leaving her to rear five girls, ages 3 - 15. She farmed 9 years in the Soldiers Mound Community, but due to World War II, farm laborers were not available and she was forced to find another means to provide for her family.
She received her education from what is now North Texas State University and had previously taught school in Red River County. She was elected County Treasurer of Dickens County in November, 1942. She served four terms.
Birth: 20 May 1898 in Bairdstown, Lamar County, Texas Death: 24 Nov 1963 in Spur, Dickens County, Texas Father: Andrew Jackson Jr. Slaton b: 12 Feb 1874 in Montague Co. Texas Mother: Ollie Franklin Pierce b: 13 Oct 1876 in Swanville, Red River County, Texas Marriage 1: Osie Lee Turpen 7 Jan 1917 in Red River County, Texas
DICKENS - (Special) Mrs. Vela Turpin, a resident of Dickens County since 1915, died at West Texas Hospital in Lubbock Sunday afternoon an illness of two weeks.
Mrs. Turpin moved to Dickens in 1942, the same year she was elected county treasure. She was a member of the First Baptist Church.
A native of Annona, she moved to this area from Clarksville.
Services will be at 2:30 p.m. today in the First Baptist Church at Spur, with burial in Spur Cemetery under direction of Campbell Funeral Home.
Officiating will be the Rev. Victor Crabtree and the Rev. John Jenkins, minister of the First Baptist Church at Spur.
Survivors include five daughters, Mrs. Hazel Williams; Mrs. Ruth Caplinger, both of Spur; Mrs. Donnie Doyle Rankin, Idalou; Mrs. Patsy East, Abilene, and Mrs. Pansy Welborn, Dallas; her mother, Mrs. A.J. Slaton, Spur; eight sisters, Mrs. W.J. Harvey and Mrs. Lona Adams, both of Spur; Mrs. Gillie Heard, Mrs. Ollie Bele Cato and Mrs. Icie Bethel, all of Lubbock; Mrs. Bob Spear, Brownfield; Mrs. Cloe Simms, Eunice, NM and Mrs. Peggy Stewart, Bradyville, Iowa; and five brothers, Doc Slaton, Abilene; N.E. Slaton, Afton; W.D. Slaton, Lubbock; Ben Slaton, who is in the Army in Germany, and Arnold Slaton, Great Bent, KS.
©Lubbock Avalanche Journal, November 24, 1963
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