Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 516-19.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Oscar W. Eaton

Oscar W. Eaton, who is successfully conducting business in Sioux Rapids under the firm name of the Oscar Eaton Grain Company, is one of the enterprising men of this city.  He was born in Green Lake county, Wisconsin, April 9, 1863, a son of William and Hannah (Barrett) Eaton, natives of Cattaraugus county, New York, the former born January 19, 1840, and the latter October 30, 1843.  In 1877 the father removed with his family to a farm near Fonda, Iowa, where he continued to engage in agricultural pursuits until 1890, when he took up his abode in Fonda, where he has since made his home.  He is a republican in his political views and takes a lively interest in all public matters pertaining to state or national welfare.  He is a member of Enterprise Lodge, No. 332, I. O. O. F. at Fonda, while in religions faith he is a Scientist.  His family numbered eleven children, of whom six still survive.  The record is as follows:  Freddie, who died in infancy; Frank, who wedded Maggie Olkger and resides in Fonda; Oscar; Lucy, who became the wife of Frank Moulton, residing three miles north of Fonda, and passed away in 1888; Viola, who became the wife of Stephen Norton, residing on a farm seven miles from Fonda, and who died in 1896; Nettie, the wife of George Dixon, a resident of Fort Dodge, Iowa; Myrtle, the wife of Charles Cheney, a resident of Boone, Iowa; Jennie, who is engaged in teaching in the public schools of Spokane, Washington; Eugene, who died in infancy; Albert, who is married and resides in Audubon, Iowa; and one who died in infancy.


Oscar W. Eaton, the third in order of birth began his early education in the public schools and completed the high-school course at Ripon, Wisconsin.  After completing his education he returned to the home farm, for in the meantime the family had taken up their abode in Pocahontas county, Iowa.  He assisted his father in the work of the fields until the time of his marriage, which occurred February 25, 1891, when he led to the marriage altar Miss Anna Olkger, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. P. Olkger, natives of Denmark.  Ill 1869 they emigrated to America and first settled in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where they spent one year but subsequently removed to Newell, this state, where the mother passed away.  The father still survives and now makes his home in Oklahoma.


Following his marriage Mr. Eaton located in Fonda and engaged in the grain business, which he conducted successfully for six years.  He then located in Laurens, this state, where he was employed by the Allen Land & Loan Company until 1896, when he came to Sioux Rapids, and for seven years he was associated with the firm of Wells. Hord & Company, and after severing his connection with that firm spent a time with the Alton Milling Company, Gifford & Manley and the Douglas Grain Company.  In the summer of 1906 he engaged in business on his own account under the firm name of the Oscar Eaton Grain Company.  He has a large and commodious elevator, well equipped for the handling of grain.  He annually buys and sells a large amount of grain and his trade is gradually increasing from year to year, until now he is numbered among the successful and substantial business men of this city.


The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Eaton has been blessed with six children, as follows:  Gussie, who died when thirteen months old; Cecil, who was born August 16, 1893; Fay, born September 28, 1895; Ruth, born February 4, 1902; Ross, who died at the age of one year; and Otis.


Mr. Eaton is a member of Buena Vista Lodge, No, 574, I. O. O. F., at Sioux Rapids, is a Mason, belonging to Enterprise Lodge, No, 332, A, F, & A. M., and also a member of the chapter, and he likewise belongs to the Yeomen, while both he and his wife are identified with the Rebekahs.  Their religious faith is indicated by their membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, of which they are liberal supporters.  They have many friends in Sioux Rapids and are highly esteemed for their many good traits of character, while in business circles Mr. Eaton has also won the confidence and good will of all with whom he is brought in contact.  He has served as justice of the peace four years and has recently been reelected for two years more.  He had a novel experience in October, 1908, when an old friend, P. F, Petty, called at his office and informed him that he had caught a chicken thief and wanted a warrant for his arrest.  Mr. Eaton promptly issued the same and instructed the marshal to go out and bring the culprit in, but Mr. Petty informed the officer that he and his son would bring the thief as they felt equal to any emergency that might arise.  They returned to the farm and on the following day brought in for trial a Mr. Opossum, whom Mr. Eaton sentenced to immediate death after a short trial.