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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Hon. La Fayette Eastman

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 381 - 382

Hon. La Fayette Eastman, one of the pioneer settlers of the town of Plymouth, Sheboygan County, was born in Ellisburg Township, Jefferson County, N. Y., January 22, 1819. He is a son of Enos and Vashti (Green) Eastman, a more complete account of whom will be found in the biography of Enos Eastman.

La Fayette Eastman was reared on a farm and educated in the district schools of his native county. He early became acquainted with the uses of the axe, and could swing it with a will. To his father he gave his services until he was twenty-one years of age. After his majority was reached, in 1840, he hired to work eight months for $100. For the succeeding years until his marriage, he worked for wages, and at the time of his coming to Wisconsin had saved about $1,150.

On the 9th of May, 1848, Mr. Eastman was married to Lydia T. Marsh, who was born in Arlington, Vt., on the 5th of March, 1828. About a week after their wedding they took passage on the old propeller "Syracuse," and two weeks later landed in Sheboygan. On coming to this county, Mr. Eastman bought three hundred and sixty acres of land, lying south of Plymouth, of which some fifteen acres were cleared. Here he built a log house and began in pioneer style. On this farm he had ample opportunity to exercise his skill with the axe, clearing forty acres of heavily timbered land. From time to time he sold sections of the original purchase, until the three hundred and sixty acres were disposed of. Mr. Eastman moved to Plymouth, and in 1854 built the sawmill now owned by William Schwartz. Having operated the mill about two years, he sold it for $1,500 and bought one hundred and sixty acres in sections 8 and 9 in the town of Plymouth, where he has since lived. To the one hundred and sixty acres he has added, until he now owns a fine farm of two hundred and eighty acres.

Mr. and Mrs. Eastman's family consists of three sons and one daughter. Herman is a railroad engineer and resides in Milwaukee; Fred has charge of the Wisconsin Central yards at Fond du Lac; Charity, the only daughter, became the wife of Thomas Ford, of Plymouth; and Fay, who wedded Mary Vanderhoof, has charge of his father's farm.

Mr. Eastman has quite an interesting political record. Being reared a Democrat, he cast his first Presidential ballot for Martin Van Buren, but since the rise of the Republican party has supported the principles advocated by that party. He has served his township, county and State in various official positions, though not an office-seeker. Of the County Board he was a member some six terms, but at the expiration of that time refused to serve longer; he has been Township Assessor for a like number of terms. In 1878, Mr. Eastman was elected to the Legislature (the position coming unsought) by three hundred and thirty-six majority. He received one of the largest votes from his town ever given to an assemblyman.

On July 26, 1887, Mr. Eastman was called upon to mourn the death of his wife, who had for so many years been a faithful companion and helpmate. Mrs. Eastman was a woman much beloved for her many excellent traits of character. To the sweet, hallowed influence of such women, the home is indebted for its charms, and society for its moral worth.

Mr. Eastman is an honored citizen and pioneer, having served faithfully and well in every public position to which his fellow-citizens have called him: as a result, he has always received their hearty support, and has won for himself a name that stands above reproach. In his business undertakings he has met with more than ordinary success, having by industry and determined effort accumulated a good property.


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