Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 05:00:55 :
The Marin Journal
Thursday, January 4, 1900
Death of a Pioneer
Tuesday, January 2, WILLIAM H. EASTMAN, a prominent pioneer of this county passed away at his home at Corte Madera. Deceased was 84 years of age and a native of Norway, Maine. Up to the time of his death he was a member of the school board of Corte Madera district.
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The Marin Journal
Thursday, January 11, 1900
The Passing of a Pioneer
WILLIAM H. EASTMAN passed away peacefully at his home in Corte Madera, on the morning of Jan. 2nd, after a lingering and painful illness.
This noted pioneer of California, was born in Norway, Maine, in 1816, of Scotch and English extraction, a fact which accounts for his untiring industry and unusual stock of good common sense. When he was 21 years of age his family moved to Boston, where he sometime after married a lady of strong and noble character like himself.
In 1849 he started for Calif. via Panama arriving in San Francisco Dec. 1st. He had spent his winters on the bleak New England Coast and to his amazement on this eventful day, he found a spring sun shining on the fair shores of the Pacific. The sun however failed to warm him for he contracted the Panama fever, and used laughingly to recount how for weeks after his arrival he continued to shake the shingles of the roof.
His first purchase in Calif. was a stove, for which he paid the sum of $145. When told it would cost $5 to have the article delivered, he bought a scantling for 50 cents and running it through both the oven doors he carried it home with the assistance of a friend. (the stove was a forty-niner also)
Not being his intention to go to the mines, and seeing the rapid development of San Francisco, he at once devoted himself to his occupation of contractor and builder. In a short space of time he had amassed a considerable fortune, and many of the noblest structures in our world renowned city today bear testimony to his taste and skill.
He was one of the 13 original organizers of the Society of Calif. Pioneers and fashioned for them their first table. He assisted in the formation of the state government and was a prominent member of the Vigilence Committee.
He felt it a man's chief duty, he said, to take part in public affairs, though he repeatedly declined the honors of public office.
For the past 24 years he resided in Marin County, in the development of which he had always taken an active interest.
To the cause of education he was increasingly devoted serving on the Board of Trustees almost without intermission, sparing neither time nor money for the success of the school department which on its part regarded him as its friend and guide. There was a movement on foot, (just as he was taken ill), to celebrate the golden jubilee of his arrival in Calif. with gift, speech and song. To his efforts, chiefly do the young people of Corte Madera owe their present commodious school house, an ornament to the county and a lasting souvenir of a generous minded, noble-hearted pioneer. Over this building the flag now waves at half mast in loving and loyal memory.
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