Senator William Eaton View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 12/3/1920
Birth Place: Lee County, Iowa
Birth County: Lee
Party Affiliation: Republican
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 25 (1894) - 28 (1900)
Home County: Fremont
William Eaton
Fremont County


Senator Foskett, from a special committee, submitted the following report and moved its adoption:

MR. PRESIDENT—Your committee which was appointed to report resolutions commemorating the life, character and services of William Eaton of Fremont county, beg leave to submit the following report:

Senator Eaton was an Iowa product. He was born in Lee county, October 9, 1849, and died at his home in Sidney, Fremont county, Iowa, on December 3, 1920, aged 71 years.

The early years of his life were spent in Lee county. He was one of seven children; and, as his mother was left a widow while he was quite young, he early had heavy responsibilities to assume and some quite heavy burdens to bear. Nevertheless, he had the desire and found the time to attend the public schools of his day and generation and later the Denmark academy, from which he graduated in due time. Later he taught school and then yielded to the lure of the law profession, graduating from the law school of Iowa state university after taking a full course there in 1874.

He was married to Miss Annie E. Grundy of Morrisonville, Ill., August 4, 1874. To this union three children were born: Edgar, who died in infancy, Elmer E. and Mrs. Lillian Gore, both of whom reside in Sidney, and who with the widowed wife and mother survive to mourn the loss.

Immediately after his marriage, Senator Eaton came with his wife to Sidney in Fremont county, where he has resided ever since. He at once directed his attention to the practice of law and continued in the same without intermission until the spring of 1917 when failing health made it imperative that he should go to the hospital where he underwent a critical operation from which he never fully recovered. His law business was one of the most extensive in that part of the state; nevertheless, he found time to combine with it the pursuit of farming and the fortunes of politics. In the latter venture he served as district attorney, two terms as county attorney for Fremont county and he represented Page and Fremont counties in the 25th, 26th, 26th Extra, 27th and 28th General Assemblies.

Senator Eaton was a man of pronounced convictions and the moral courage to make them known. With him there was no middle ground. If an issue were worthy of consideration at all, he was either for or against it—for it whole-heartedly, against it the same way. With an eloquence possessed by few, he could plead the cause of right and justice in words that displayed the very soul of the man, and yet the selfsame tongue was capable of flaying wrongdoing with the most withering of sarcasm. In the espousal of any cause he threw into it his utmost energy, never lagging for a moment until he had seen his efforts bring success. Because of these traits his friends were many and they loved the man; his enemies were few and even these admired and respected him for the fact was traditional that William Eaton always carried his fight to fair ground. Fight he would and vigorously for what he believed to be right, but always in the open. There was no stabbing in the back, no thrust in the dark.

After serving his state in the Senate, he returned to the practice of law and to the care of his farm, in both of which vocations he was eminently successful.

A man among men has departed from the scenes of earth and in his going is left a void which will be long, very long, in filling.

Be It Resolved, By the Senate of the 38th General Assembly, that in the death of Senator William Eaton the state and county in which he resided lost a worthy and upright citizen and an honored statesman, and we hereby extend to the bereaved family and friends our sincere sympathy.

Be It Further Resolved, That these resolutions be entered upon the Senate journal and a copy sent to his family.




The resolution was adopted unanimously by a rising vote.