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Madera Biographies: EASTIN

   JAMES T. EASTIN.  One of the most prosperous and respected members of the farming population of Madera County is James T. Eastin, whose well-kept homestead lies about six and one-half miles south of the city of Madera.  For many years he has been actively identified with the agricultural interests of this section of the state as a grain raiser and stock grower, and in the pursuit of his chosen vocation still finds his greatest pleasure.   Coming from substantial Kentucky stock, he was born in 1830, in Kentucky, which was likewise he birthplace of his parents, James and Docie (South) Eastin, who moved to Pike County, Mo., in 1834, purchasing a farm, on which they spent their remaining days.

    But four years old when he went with his parents to Missouri, James T. Eastin was reared on the home farm, and educated in the pioneer district school.  In 1850, following in the footsteps of his brother, the late Brutus Eastin, who had come to California with the gold-seekers of 1849, he crossed the plains to the pacific coast with an ox-team, proceeding directly to Weaver Creek, Mr. Eastin was there engaged in mining for ten years.  He met with excellent success, accumulating considerable money, which, like many other miners, he lost by investing in mines.  Locating in Tuolumne County in 1860, he embarked in grain raising in the San Joaquin Valley, where he lived ten years.  Moving thence to Fresno County, he was there engaged in he sock business for several years, making a specialty of raising sheep.  Disposing of the property, he went east, married, and soon after returned to California, where he resumed his agricultural labors.  About 194 Mr. Eastin bought his present ranch, which contained eleven hundred acres, and by dint of persevering industry and superior management has improved a valuable farm, which in its appointments and equipment compares favorably with any in the county.  He carries on general farming with marked success, raising large quantities of grain and stock.

    Mr. Eastin married in 1872, Susan L. Fortune who was born in Missouri and died October 30, 1904.  They had one child, Pulaski C.  This son married Katie C. Skaggs, and they are the parents of two children, namely: Mary and Arthusa. Politically Mr. Eastin is an earnest supporter of the principles of the Democratic Party, which he thinks is sure to advance the best interest of the county, if given the controlling power.  He is a man of deep religious convictions, and is a faithful member of the Presbyterian Church.

Guinn, J. M., History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California, (Chicago: Chapman Publishing, 1905), page 611.

   OSCAR H. EASTIN.   The family with which Oscar H. Eastin is connected is one prominent in the agricultural life of California, his father Octavius C. Eastin, having been for many years an extensive grain raiser.  At one time owning in Madera County eighteen hundred acres of wheat land, at the present time he has in his possession seven hundred and fifty acres which he has rented.  A native of Madison County, Ky., he is the son of James Eastin, who was in turn the son of Reuben, all of whom were farmers.  Octavius C. Eastin married Lucy J. Hope, also a native of Kentucky, and in 1833 re moved to Missouri, making their home in that state until 1854, when he, with his family, crossed the plains for California.  Locating first in Calaveras County he engaged in mining and later met with considerable success in the dairy and sheep business.   In 1879 he removed to Madera County and farmed south of Madera, cultivating his property of eighteen hundred acres.  Now in his seventy-third year he has retired from the active cares of life and is making his home with his son, Oscar H. of this review.  An influential man in the community where he has made his home for so many years, he enjoys the esteem and confidence of all who have known him in the past.  An honor paid him was the naming of the Eastin School District for him.

    A native son of the state, Oscar H. Eastin was born in Calaveras County, February 26, 1865, but was reared to manhood upon the paternal ranch in Madera County.  In September 1903, he located on his present property, which consists of eleven and a half acres of land just west of Merced, while he also cultivates thirty acres which he rents, this entire amount being devoted to alfalfa, fruits, especially berries, and a dairy.  In addition to this property he also owns other land in Madera County.  He married Rissa Mofett, a native of Sonoma County, and the daughter of Henry Moffett, of Tennessee, who came to the state among the early pioneers.  Mr. and Mrs. Eastin are the parents of three children: namely Ralph, Ethel and Naomi. In his political preferment Mr. Eastin is like his father, a Democrat, and is prominent in local affairs.  He was one of the five commissioners appointed b Governor Markham to act as officers of Madera County when it was separated from Fresno County.  A man of intelligence and great personal worth, Mr. Eastin is recognized as one of the substantial citizens of the community.

Guinn, J. M., History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California, (Chicago: Chapman Publishing, 1905), page 676.

Transcribed by Harriet Sturk.

Last update: September 5, 2000
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