Mayhew W. Eaton


Mayhew W. Eaton, one of the earliest residents of Allamakee county and today one of the most successful business men of Waukon, is extensively engaged in the buying, selling and shipping of live stock. He is interested also in the grain business and connected through investment with many of the most important business and corporate interests of the city, his activities forming valuable element in the general municipal development. He has resided in Allamakee county since 1857 but was born in Wisconsin, August 1, 1852. His parents were born in Nova Scotia, where they grew to maturity. After their marriage they came to the United States and about the year 1848 settled in Wisconsin, where they resided for a number of years, removing later to Illinois. In that state they made their home in De Kalb county but later returned to Wisconsin, whence in 1857 they moved to Allamakee county, Iowa. Mr. Eaton purchased land in Franklin township and developed there an excellent farming property, upon which he continued to reside until his death, which occurred when he was eighty-three and a half years of age. He had survived his wife a little over nine years.

Mayhew W. Eaton was a boy of five years when he came with his parents to Allamakee county. He was reared upon his father’s farm in Franklin township, acquiring his primary education in the district schools and supplementing this by a three term course in the Waukon high school. After he laid aside his books he engaged in teaching during the winter terms, spending his summers working upon the farm, but eventually he left Iowa and went to South Dakota, where he took up a homestead claim of one hundred and sixty acres. Upon that property he spent a part of one year and then returned to Waukon, where he formed a partnership in the conduct of a boot and shoe business. During the three years in which he was interested in merchandising he engaged also in the grain and stock business, owning an interest in a grain elevator. He later formed a partnership with J. B. Jones, purchasing elevator No. 1 in Waukon, of which the firm is still the proprietor. Mr. Eaton, however, is not personally active in this branch of the business, Mr. Jones supervising the conduct of the elevator and the buying and selling of the grain. Mr. Eaton gives all of his time to his extensive live-stock interests. He has by his energy, industry and success made secure for himself a place of prominence among men of marked ability in Waukon State Bank, an institution with which he has been connected for an number of years.

In 1879 Mr. Eaton married Miss Ella Minert, a native of Allamakee county and a daughter of John Minert, a pioneer in the section. He located in Post township in early times. Mr. and Mrs. Eaton are the parents of seven children: Nellie, the wife of Ray Slitor, who is connected with the Great Northern Railroad in St. Paul, Minnesota; Dora, who is an accomplished vocalist and teacher; Arthur J., who is practicing law in South Dakota and who married Lisle Steward, daughter of Colonel A. G. Stewart; Guy W., also engaged in the practice of law in Waukon; Ruth, the wife of Dennis Cota, proprietor of the Cota Theater of Waukon; and Lucile and Marion, who are students in the Waukon high school. Immediately after his marriage Mr. Eaton purchased a residence in the southern part of the city and made his home there for twenty-five years. At the end of that time he sold his property and purchased Judge Granger’s residence, which is one of the most attractive in the city.

Politically Mr. Eaton gives his allegiance to the republican party and has been affiliated with it since casting his first vote. For a number of years he served as a member of the city council and was for seven years mayor of Waukon. He served as delegate to both state and county conventions and for ten consecutive years was a member of the board of supervisors, holding the record for length of continuous service in Allamakee county, Fraternally he is connected with the Masonic order, holding membership in the blue lodge, chapter and commandery, and he has served in various important official capacities in the blue lodge and chapter. Mrs. Eaton is a member of the Waukon Methodist Episcopal church and active in church and Sunday school work. A resident of Allamakee county since his childhood, Mr. Eaton is well and favorable known in this part of Iowa, where his business activity has effected general business growth and his progressive spirit influenced political standards in an important and beneficial way.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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