This ex-merchant, retired farmer and prominent citizen of Buck Creek township, Hancock county, Indiana, is a native of this township and was born November 2, 1844. His father, John N. Eastes, was born in Indiana and his mother, Sarah Elizabeth (Casey) Eastes, was a native of South Carolina.

John N. Eastes was a son of Phillip Eastes, a native of Kentucky, and Phillip was a son of Obadiah Eastes, who was born in England, and who on coming to America first located in South Carolina, thence went to Kentucky, and finally came to Indiana and located on the Whitewater river. He later came to Buck Creek township and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of government land, which he converted into an excellent farm on which he passed the remainder of his life and died in 1852, his son, Phillip, having been killed by being thrown from a horse in 1820. John N., who was born on the banks of the Whitewater river in 1818, came to Buck Creek township with his step-father, Mr. Scott, in 1830. Until he was twenty-one years old he had worked for his step-father, and then located on a tract of land that had been purchased by his grandfather from the government, and this land he improved and lived on until 1849, when he sold it and purchased another. Ten years later he again sold and engaged in merchandising at Mt. Comfort, a vocation he followed with satisfactory results fro two years, when he sold his business and removed to a farm, on which he passed the remainder of his life, dying in 1881.

John N. Eastes was three times married and became the father of eighteen children. His first wife, who bore the maiden name of Charlotte Woods, bore her husband two children, of whom one died in infancy; the other James A., is a resident of Brandywine township. This lady died and in 1842 Mr. Eastes married Sarah Elizabeth Casey. They had eleven children, of whom eight survive, namely: John C., the subject of this sketch; Mary E., wife of Dr. Bell, of Philadelphia, this county; William W., a farmer in Buck Creek township; Monterville, farming in Marion county; Fremont, farming in Buck Creek township; Oliver P., a teacher at Greenfield; Mahala, wife of John F. Shelby, a farmer in Buck Creek township. Ella, wife of Manuel Stone, also a farmer in this township.

Mrs. Sarah Eastes died February 12, 1863, and in 1865 Mr. Eastes married Mrs. Mary J. Dillman, widow of James Dillman, of this township, and they had five children, four of whom are still living: Bell, wife of John Hall, a farmer in Sugar Creek township; Charles N., a painter, living in Sugar Creek township; Laura, wife of Daniel Stoner, a farmer in Buck Creek township, and Daisy, the wife of Arthur Marsh, of Vincennes, Indiana.

John C. Eastes, with whom this sketch has most to do, was educated in the public schools and for one term attended the graded school at Knightstown, but this attendance was during the winter months only, as his summers were devoted to work on the home farm. At the age of twenty he purchased the store of Robert Chruch in Mount Comfort and conducted it with reasonable success for two years. He then, in 1869, sold his business and purchased his present farm of hundred and sixty acres. Here he is engaged in growing, buying, fattening and shipping stock, as well as in general farming. He now runs three farms in Buck Creek township comprising three hundred and fifty acres. He deserves more credit than can here be given him, as he started in his business career without a dollar, not even having the cash with which to pay for the internal revenue stamps to place on the deed to his land and which were necessary to make it valid.

Mr. Eastes was joined in matrimony May 9, 1869, with Miss Sarah J. Harvey, who was born December 11, 1852, daughter of Obadiah and Permelia (Craig) Harvey, the latter of whom was the first white child born in Buck Creek township, and is still living at the age of seventy-three. He was a wealthy and influential farmer and died in July, 1901. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Obadiah Harvey resulted in the birth of eight children, seven of whom are living, in the following order: William T., a farmer in Coles county, Illinois; Samson D., farming in Vernon township, Hancock county; Sarah J., wife of J. C. Eastes; Andrew M., an employee of the Atlas works in Indianapolis; Everett B., a farmer in Buck Creek township; Ella, wife of William G. Hopkins, who resides in Carthage, Rush county, Indiana; Anna, married to Charles Bell, a farmer in Buck Creek township. To Mrs. And Mrs. J. C. Eastes six children have come to bless their home, namely: Eva, wife of John W. Griffith, a farmer of Buck Creek township; Edward, similarly situated; Nettie, wife of Charles H. Stoner, also a farmer in Buck Creek township; Frank, Walter and Dora P.., all three still under the parental roof.

Mr. Eastes is a member of Oakland Lodge No. 140, F. & A. M., and he and wife are members of Eastern Star Chapter No. 156. Although residing in a Democratic township, he is so popular with the entire community that he has twice been elected township trustee on the Republican ticket. He is a gentleman of critical and refined taste and has ample means for gratifying his inclination toward the artistic and beautiful. He occupies one of the most elegant rural residences in the county. He is an affable and pleasing gentleman, being a fine conversationalist and possessing a desire to place all those about him at their ease.

Transcribed from Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902 Pages 240-242.

Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI June 2, 2002.

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Tom & Carolyn Ward / Columbus, Kansas /

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