Biography of Hon. William W. Eaton
Connecticut Biographies





HON. W. W. EATON, HARTFORD: Ex Congressman.

William W. Eaton was born at Tolland, October 11, 1816, and received a public school education there, preparing him for business life. His father, Hon. Luther Eaton, was a man of notable honesty and integrity, possessing the fullest confidence and respect of the community in which he resided. He was also a man of political influence and control, at one time representing the old twentieth district in the state senates. Mr. Eaton inherited the strict probity and independence of conviction of his father, and from the earliest period of his life his course has been one of fearless adherence to what he has believed to be right. On arriving at his majority he engaged in mercantile pursuits at Columbia, S. C., and spent three or four years there in business. The strong individual views which characterized his subsequent course in public affairs were established in part at least by his residence at the South. At the conclusion of his commercial career, which lasted upwards of four years, he returned North and commenced the study of law at his old home in Tolland, and was admitted to the bar in Tolland county. In 1847 he was elected a member of the Connecticut house of representatives from Tolland, and was returned the following year from that town. From that time until now he has been a prominent figure in Connecticut politics. In 1850 he was elected to the state senate from the old twentieth district. At the end of the session of the general assembly that year Mr. Eaton remoted to Hartford, and has since been a resident here. He received the appointment of clerk of the Hartford county court, and proved himself a thoroughly competent official. In 1853 he was elected a member of the house from Hartford and was chosen speaker, a position for which he was amply qualified both by reason of ability and experience. Mr. Eaton was also a member of the house from Hartford during the sessions of 1863, '65, '70, '71, '73, and '74. In 1873 he was elected speaker for the second time, and discharged the duties of the position with characteristic efficiency and success. Mr. Eaton possessed special adaptation for the legislative function, and his career in the general assembly was marked by the highest personal integrity and uprightness. During the session of 1874 he was elected United States senator from Connecticut, succeeding Hon. William A. Buckingham, whose term expired March 4, 1875. Upon the death of Senator Buckingham in February, 1875, Mr. Eaton was appointed United States senator, filling the vacancy caused by Mr. Buckingham's death, and assumed the duties of the office February 13, 1875. Commencing his full term on the 4th of March following, he remained in Washington during the succeeding six years, establishing for himself a record in which the state might experience a just sense of pride. During the concluding years of his senatorial life he was senate chairman of the committee on foreign relations, one of the most important in congress. He was opposed to the appointments of the electoral commission by which, in 1876, the election of President Hayes was ratified, and was the only democrat in the senate who voted against the measure. Mr. Eaton was one of the strongest advocates of tariff reform during his term in congress, and was the author of an important measure providing for the appointment of a tariff commission. His term expired March 3, 1881, before his bill could be made a law, but the subsequent congress enacted a measure covering the main provisions of Mr. Eaton's act. He was a hard money democrat, and held positive views with regard to the greenback controversy which agitated the country a few years ago. In the fall of 1882 he received the democratic nomination for congress from the first district, and was elected by a handsome majority. At the close of his term he retired from active political life, though his voice is still heard and his influence felt in the councils of his party.

From:
Illustrated Popular Biography
Of Connecticut
Compiled and Published by J. A. Spalding
Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co.
Hartford, Conn. 1891


Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies

NAVIGATION
Connecticut
Biographies

Online
Biographies

California
Biographies

New York
Histories

New York
Biographies

Maine
Histories

Pennsylvania
Histories

Pennsylvania
Biographies

For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium

Family Tree Maker 2012