Biography of Lewis S. East
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





LEWIS SHERMAN EAST. - A son of one of the pioneer families in Humboldt county, Cal., and one of the most progressive and successful farmers in the vicinity of Alton is Lewis S. East, a prominent man in the affairs of the county, where he has recently been chosen president of the Humboldt County Farm Bureau, being prominently connected also with many other interests and enterprises in that part of the state.

The father of Lewis S. East was John Samuel East, a native of London, England, where he was a farmer. Before his marriage he went to Australia, and at Adelaide was united with Miss Sarah Jane Sweeney, a native of Dublin, Ireland. In Australia Mr. East followed farming, giving it up in 1861, when he brought his family to California, by sailing vessel, landing at San Francisco. Until 1863 he resided in Margin county, in that year coming to Humboldt county. Settlement was first made on Eel river island at the mouth of the river; from there removal was made to Cuddeback, where Mr. East started to take up a claim, but the Indians were so troublesome that he had to take his family into Hydesville for safety, thence later going to Rohnerville. There he was engaged in making shaved shingles for about two years, after which he purchased a sixty five acre ranch on Eel river bottom, one mile below Alton, on which he made great improvements, residing there until his death, January 2, 1891, at the age of fifty five years. His wife died in 1895, at the age of fifty three.

There were nine children in the East family, the two oldest having been born in Australia: Daniel J. is a stock rancher residing at Iaqua, Cal.; Edward G., a commission merchant, resides in Eureka; Adeline, who was born in Margin county, became the wife of A. L. Zahner, proprietor of the Star Hotel, Fortuna; John R. is a farmer and retired rancher, residing near Alton; William J. is a dairyman and race horse driver at Rohnerville; Lewis S. is the subject of this sketch; Sarah J. died at the age of nineteen; Mary died at six years of age; Emily Theresa is now the widow of Seth Drake of Fortuna.

Lewis Sherman East was born at Rohnerville November 19, 1870, and grew up on the farm in the Eel River valley. He was married December 17, 1896, to Miss Elizabeth Ellen Davis, of Alton, the daughter of Harrison Davis, a native of Ross county, Ohio. Mrs. Davis was in maidenhood Margaret Keating, a native of London, England. She was raised in Australia until seventeen, when she came to Humboldt county, Cal. Here occurred her marriage to Mr. Davis. He became the owner of a farm on McDiarmidt Prairie, making his home there until accidentally killed by a train in 1906. His widow still makes her home in the vicinity of Alton. They were the parents of twelve children, ten of whom are living. Mrs. East, who was next to the oldest, was reared and educated here. Mr. and Mrs. East have one child, Ethel M., who is a freshman in the University of California at Berkeley.

Aside from the management of the East Brothers ferry, one mile below Alton on the Eel river, which he personally operated for ten years, Mr. East has been engaged in farming, dairying and stock raising; his present farm consists of one hundred ten acres of bottom land and sixty five acres of grazing land. He is breeding thoroughbred and high grade Jersey cattle, having a herd of forty two milch cows. He owns an orchard of seventeen acres where he raises fine apples, shipping fifteen hundred boxes per year.

Mr. East is the president of the Humboldt County. Farm Bureau, to which office he was elected in August, 1914. The other officers of this bureau are: H. E. Adams, of Carlotta, Cal., vice president; C. J. McConnaha, secretary and business manager; A. H. Christensen, farm adviser. The four directors at large are: F. A. Cummings, Ferndale; E. B. Bull, Ft. Seward; F. A. Newell, Fortuna; and F. E. Morrell, Arcata. Besides these there is a director elected from each of the thirteen farm centers in the county.

Numerous other companies claim the attention of Mr. East, for besides the above mentioned position, he is a director in the Ferndale Agricultural (Fair) Association, vice president of the Dairy Association at Ferndale, a member of the Ferndale Cow Testing Association and of the Rohnerville Percheron Horse Company, of which he is also treasurer, this company owning the celebrated gray imported Percheron stallion, Idumeen, five years old, weighing twenty one hundred and thirty pounds, and costing $4,800. Mr. East is also president of the Eel River Valley Chamber of Commerce, which was organized in 1914 for the purpose of promoting the best interests of the Eel River Valley. He is a member of the Republican county central committee.

Fraternally Mr. East is a member of Eel River Lodge No. 210, I. O. O. F., at Rohnerville, of Hydesville Encampment, I. O. O. F., and is past officer in both. He and his wife are members of the Rebekahs at Hydesville. Mr. East likewise holds membership in the Golden Star Parlor, N. S. G. W., at Alton, having been through the chairs.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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