Joseph B. Eastman: Servant of the People

By Claude Moore Fuess | Go to book overview

II
Growing Up

IN THE SPRING OF 1875 John H. Eastman, about to be graduated from Union Theological Seminary, was so persuasive a "supply preacher" in a newly organized Presbyterian Church in the tiny village of Katonah, New York, that the congregation spontaneously decided to call him as their first pastor. At that date there were only fourteen church members, of whom five removed from the neighborhood before the year was over. Nevertheless, the youthful student accepted the challenge, began his duties in May, and was ordained and installed within a few weeks. Three years later he had built up the membership to almost a hundred. On July 11, 1879, when he was well established, he married Lucy King, daughter of Andrew L. King, of Binghamton--a slender young lady of twenty-seven, with dark eyes and hair, pleasant features, and a sensitive nature. They had two children--Elizabeth, now living in Washington, D.C., and Joseph Bartlett Eastman, born June 26, 1882, and proudly named for his versatile grandfather. During his first thirteen years young Joe was an outdoor boy among the Westchester County hills.

The Katonah of Joe Eastman's childhood was, however, a very different place from the scientifically laid out suburb which now harbors commuters to the metropolis. Old Katonah was originally a primitive hamlet called Cherry Street, on a height above the Pepeneghek River, now Cross River, about forty miles from Manhattan. In 1812 members of the Whitlock family moved down the incline to the valley, where their new settlement came to be known as Whitlocksville. A further transformation occurred in 1847, when with the coming of the New York and Harlem Railroad another business center sprang up, to be called Mechanicsville. Then the inevitable local antiquarian discovered that an Indian sachem,

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Joseph B. Eastman: Servant of the People
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • I - Yankee Background 3
  • II - Growing Up 8
  • III - An Amherst Education 19
  • IV - Apprenticeship in Public Service 37
  • V - Transition to Power 61
  • VI - From State to Nation 80
  • VII - The Independent Commissioner 96
  • VIII - The Prosperity Era 126
  • IX - Valuation Is Vexation 153
  • X - Problems and Policies 166
  • XI - Federal Coordinator of Transportation 180
  • XII - The Coordinator's Task and Achievements 211
  • XIII - Eastman and the New Deal 245
  • XIV - The Last Big Job 270
  • XV - The End of the Road 297
  • XVI - The Measure of a Man 312
  • Index 345
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