Charles D. Eastman

Charles D. Eastman is the president and general manager of the Plymouth Refrigerating, Water, Light and Power Company of Plymouth and also the well known and popular president of the Plymouth Exchange Bank. He was born on May 24, 1861, and is the son of Enos and Miriam (Carpenter) Eastman. His father was a native of Jefferson county, New York, his birth having occurred on October 27, 1821. He was by occupation an agriculturist and removed to Wisconsin from his native state May 1, 1849, settling upon a farm adjoining the town of Plymouth, where he continued to live during the remaining years of his life.

The beautiful farm selected by Mr. Eastman consisted of three hundred and twenty acres of choice agricultural land and is still in the possession of his sons. Mr. Eastman was one of the important factors in securing the line of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad to establish its permanent survey so as to pass through the city of Plymouth. In 1871 he was elected as a member of the state legislature and in 1874 and 1875 he served as one of the state senators of Wisconsin.

For twenty years before his death he lived a retired life upon his beautiful homestead, where he closed his earthly pilgrimage on June 4, 1907. His wife is still living at the very advanced age of ninety years. Enos Eastman was united in marriage to Miss Miriam Carpenter on January 11, 1844. She is a native of Sandy Creek, Oswego county, New York, and became the mother of two children before her removal to Wisconsin, while four children were born to her and husband after they established their home in the Badger state, Charles D. Eastman being the fifth in order of birth. The record of the children is as follows: Vasti, who is the wife of Reuben Gardnerand resides in Plymouth; Sarah, who passed away at the age of twenty-one years; Miriam, who died in 1884 and who was the wife of A. F. Warden, by whom she had two children; Lillie, the wife of G. W. Zerler, of Plymouth; Charles D., of this review; and Enos, now a resident of Los Angeles, California.

Charles D. Eastman is a native son of Wisconsin, having been born in Plymouth. He was reared in his parents' home and educated in the public schools of Plymouth and has the distinction of having graduated in the first class after the organization of the Plymouth high school in 1879. He later attended the Milwaukee Business College during the winter of 1881 and the spring of 1882. On leaving school he was employed on his father's farm until February 15, 1895. At that time he removed to the city of Plymouth to enter upon the duties of postmaster of that place, having received the appointment to that office under President Cleveland, and continued in the office of postmaster for Plymouth for four years. On February 1, 1899, he purchased the interest of H. E. Dow in the Plymouth Refrigerating, Water, Light and Power Company and was elected to the office of president and general manager of that concern, a position in which he still continues.

Mr. Eastman has been singularly successful in his administration of the business interests of this corporation. Since his connection with the company its business has been increased more than four hundred percent. The company has the largest cold storage facilities for cheese in this part of the country. On January 1, 1905, Mr. Eastman was elected by the board of trustees of the Plymouth Exchange Bank to the office of president of that financial institution. The bank was organized on May 1, 1896, its first president being W. C. Saemann. Mr. Saemann died in 1904 and during December of that year Mr. Eastman was invited to accept the office made vacant by the death oi its former president. Signifying his willingness to assume the responsibilities connected with that position, he was accordingly, as above stated, regularly elected by its board of directors on January 1, 1905.

During the first seven years after Mr. Eastman became president of that institution the bank showed a very considerable increase in the volume of its business, having trebled the total amount of its general banking operations during that period. At the time he assumed the office of president of the bank its business was being conducted in an old building located at an unfavorable point from the central business district of the town. He at once called the attention of the board of directors to the desirability of changing the bank's location and constructing a better and more suitable building in which to conduct its business. After a thorough consideration of this proposition had been made by the board of directors and stockholders the present site of the bank was purchased and thereon was constructed a handsome three-story bank building.

Building operations on this property began in 1906 and the Plymouth Exchange Bank moved "out of the old house up into the new" on April 2, 1907. The building in which the bank is now installed is one of the most complete and modern in every detail in this part of the state and would be a credit to any city. The success of the entire enterprise is largely due to the energetic activities of its president. In addition to his banking interests Mr. Eastman is interested in a number of the leading business industries in Plymouth and he is still in possession of one-half of the old homestead of three hundred and twenty acres, which is located immediately beyond the city limits of Plymouth.

On the 24th of September, 1885, Mr. Eastman was united in marriage to Miss Amy Mead, a daughter of Clark R. Mead, who was a native of Putnam county, New York. She removed with her father's family to this state in the early '50s and settled upon a farm in the township of Lyndon. The land upon which Mr. Mead established his home was acquired from the Indians, who at that time were in possession of the title by government allotment. The interested parties in the deal made the journey to Milwaukee on horseback, where the transfer of title was effected, Solomon Juneau signing the guarantee of title on behalf of the Indians.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Eastman have been born two daughters. Miriam, born on May 15, 1888, was graduated from the Plymouth high school in the class of 1904 and from the University of Wisconsin in 1908, specializing in her studies at the state institution in Latin and mathematics. She is now engaged in teaching in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Marjorie, born April 17, 18g1, is a graduate of the Plymouth high school in the class of 1908 and later for two years was a student of the Milwaukee-Downer College. At present she is a student of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. By completing her special course at the university in the spring she will be prepared to teach English and history.

Fraternally Mr. Eastman is identified with the Masonic order, having attained the commandery degree. He is also a member of the Royal Arcanum and the Equitable Fraternal Union. Mrs. Eastman is a member of the Episcopal church, in which she takes a very active part in religious and social work. She is also a member of several local organizations of Plymouth and a member of the Eastern Star and also of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Charles D. Eastman is one of the leading men of northeastern Wisconsin and among the most influential citizens of his county and the town in which he was born and where he has lived during all his life. He has been a man who has always associated himself with every meritorious enterprise affecting the well-being of his state and county and his well known reputation for integrity in all business matters, together with his varied experiences in successful business enterprises, has long since caused him to be recognized as one of the leaders among the representative men of this county.


Information gathered and adapted from History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Past and Present
Carl Zillier, Editor
Pubished by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Chicago, IL