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Biography of Abel E. Eaton

ABEL E. EATON. – The extensive reputation and wide influence of Mr. Eaton bespeak for him a candid notice in any work touching upon the lives of our responsible men. The seventh son in a family of eleven children, he was born May 30, 1834, at Conway, New Hampshire. The father, Simeon Eaton, a lawyer from Maine, and the mother from the same state, whose maiden name was Bessie Paine, made their home upon a farm. During the first eight years of his life, the boy Abel found opportunity for but seven weeks’ schooling. This was his annual stipend of educational advantages until his eighteenth year, when he secured eleven weeks in the South Conway Seminary. Nevertheless, having an active New England brain, he eagerly imbibed ideas and information from all sources, utilizing the evening hours by the torchlights and fireplace to peruse books. At the age of twenty, he obtained the consent of his parents to go to Ohio, and in this then somewhat remote region experienced the many adventures, and tried the numerous shifts and turns of the youth away from home, realizing his greatest profit in a business way form a pair of calves purchased with money that he had hoarded as a boy from the proceeds of his bean patch. In 1854 he penetrated the West as far as Huntsville, Indiana, and although having no literary effects, except a family dictionary purchased some time before with a bushel of his white beans, he was able to secure a school and to teach it successfully, although heretofore regarded as one of those practically unmanageable schools of...

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