REV. ABRAHAM EADS. – It is very fitting that in the history of the county with which we have to do at the present time, their should be incorporated a resume of the career of the beloved and esteemed gentleman, whose name appears at the head of this article, and whose life of usefulness has been so intimately and potently connected with the affairs of the county and the country in general adjacent to our borders until now he has grown venerable in the service and the silver threads remind that the toils, hardships and vigils are nearer done and victory is at hand.
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In Cole county, Missouri, in the year 1829, commenced the pilgrimage of our subject and five years before the memorable “Forty-nine,” accompanying his parents, he came overland with teams. While enroute to the Willamette valley, they camped on the present site of Lagrande, but continued their journey until they had reached their destination in Yam Hill county, where the parents, Samuel and Susana H. (Collett), settled to make an honest living from the soil, and there they toiled and fought the battle of life until the time of home going came, and they rest peacefully beneath the sod there today. From his portion of the estate, our subject erected a monument to their memory. Until twenty-three years of age, Abraham remained with his parents and then took a donation claim for himself and wrought as an agriculturist for two years, his claim being in the edge of Polk county and consisting of three hundred and twenty acres. Like many who have made the most sterling successes and wrought on the most substantial achievements, he began to turn his mind to the acquiring of an education rather late, as it appears to some. He was twenty-five when he fully decided that he was called to the ministry and then he went to the Willamette University and commenced a course of preparation for his life’s work. Well and faithfully he toiled until he had a fair education and then commenced the grand calling of telling out the gospel. His instruction had largely been under President F.S. Hoyt, D.D., and President T.M. Gatch, and the course was completed in 1862. In 1874 he joined the East Oregon and Washington conference, now known as the Columbia river conference, the noted and widely known H.K. Hines being presiding elder. He served Union, Lagrande, Milton, Canyon City and Centennial charges, buckling on much of the time the harness of the real circuit rider, which worthy character is less seen now than one could wish. In 1884, his Alma Mater, conferred upon him the degree of A.M., and the same year Bishop Fowler transferred him to the Idaho conference and appointed him to the Boise City district, the leading district of the conference. Following this he served in Umatilla, Canyon City, and various other places until three years, since when he deemed that it was time for him to retire from the more arduous and active duties of his work and so settled in Lagrande upon property that he had bought in 1880. He is on the superannuated list and is content to pass the remainder of his days in the quiet retreat that he has prepared for himself wife who has been his constant companion during the years of service in the fore front of the battle in promulgating the gospel of the grace of God.
In was in 1874 that the marriage of Mr. Eads and Miss Emily, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Saxby) Killich, natives of England, was celebrated. Mrs. Eads had come to this country to visit her sister, Mrs. Henry Hall, near Prairie City, Grant county, and there the marriage occurred. Mrs. Eads has shared in the toil and service of her husband being the true and Christian helpmeet and gracious lady, which character has always been exemplified in her life. The golden years of the noble and faithful preacher of the gospel are beginning to run apace and in conformity to the teachings of the Master of whom he has told for these years, he is rounding out his life with faithful testimony and praiseworthy deeds.