Biography of L. C. Eastman
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The quality of a man’s manhood has everything to do with not only the degree but with the quality of his success. In point of magnitude a man’s success may be great, but it may be of a character pitifully weak, if not dangerous to the public weal. The sold, substantial, honest and admirable success which brings a man not only money but the respect of his fellow men is the kind of success that has crowned the endeavors of the man whose name appears as the title of this article.
L. C. Eastman, postmaster at Soda Springs, Idaho, and pioneer and leading druggist of that city, was born at Oskaloosa, Iowa, August 22, 1855, a son of Hon. Enoch and Caroline (Greenough) Eastman. The founder of this family of Eastman in America was Jeremiah Eastman, an English gentleman who had a fine place near some of the landed property of the king of England. Frequently, it is related, he was annoyed by the sheep belonging to His Majesty breaking into his grounds and injuring them. Remonstrance was vain. One day the animals invaded Mr. Eastman’s garden and destroyed it, and in driving them out, not any too gently perhaps, the wronged subject shot one of them, greatly to the displeasure of those who were presumed to have them in charge and to His Majesty’s personal displeasure also, it appears likely, for he was menaced with such serious trouble and personal danger because of this trivial occurrence, that he was obliged to seek safety beyond the borders of his native land. With his two sons he escaped to New England, embarking from Liverpool, and settled in Haverhill, Massachusetts, where his wife joined him not long afterward. He and his descendants were active in making our early history. Some of them did patriotic service for the cause of the colonies in the seven-years fight for American independence, and John Eastman, L. C. Eastman’s paternal grandfather, served his country in the war of 1812-14, and Mr. Eastman has this ancestor’s honorable discharge from the United States army. He lived to a good old age and died respected and regretted.
Hon. Enoch Eastman, L. C. Eastman’s father, was born in Epsom, New Hampshire, and married Miss Caroline Greenough in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He became a lawyer and removed to Iowa, where he practiced his profession and became a prominent citizen and leading Republican. He long represented his county in the Iowa legislature and was lieutenant governor of that state. He died in Iowa, in 1885. His wife died in 1 86 1, aged forty-four years. They had eight children, of whom four are living and of whom four died in infancy or early childhood.
L. C. Eastman was educated in the public schools of Iowa, and at sixteen years of age faced the world with a demand for a living, which he was quite willing to earn. He found employment as an assistant on the survey of the Iowa Central Railroad, and in 1882 went west as far as Colorado, where he engaged in quartz mining with little success and in the drug trade at the same time with more satisfactory results. His partner in the drug business was N. J. Brown, M. D., and their store was at Kiowa, Colorado. In 1884 he came to Soda Springs and opened the pioneer pharmacy in the town. He has been quite successful in this enterprise and has a large establishment, in which he carries a full line of drugs and medicines, paints, oils and stationery. His trade is large and constantly growing and extending over a wider area, and he is so popular personally that, notwithstanding he is a Republican, he was appointed postmaster at Soda Springs under President Cleveland’s first administration. In 1897 he was again appointed to the same office, under President McKinley’s administration. The people of Soda Springs have implicit confidence in him as a businessman and know him as a thoroughly public-spirited citizen, who has the important interests of the town close to his heart and is always ready to promote them, financially or otherwise, to the extent of his ability. He has erected and fitted up one of the pleasantest and most comfortable homes in the city. He was married, in October 1885, to Miss Caroline Dorrien, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. Their union has been blessed by four children: Elbert W., Loretta, Marguerite and Richard Gorton, the latter having been named in honor of Mr. Eastman’s neighbor and personal friend, the late Hon. George W. Gorton, one of whose sons bears the name of Eastman.