Eakin, Stewart B

From Lane Co Oregon

Stewart B. Eakin (1846-1912), founding partner of the Hendricks and Eakin Bank, started out working the fields. “He was, in the truest sense, the architect of his own fortune,” said the History of the Willamette Valley, Oregon in 1927. “He advanced from a humble beginning to a place of large influence and great responsibility.”

He was twenty years old when he came to Lane County, and spent his first year on the family farm. He moved on to clerking in stores, including a stint at F.B. Dunn’s. When the Hendricks and Eakin Bank opened in 1883, Eakin served as cashier, holding that position for over fifteen years. He later became vice president if it as First National Bank of Eugene, and remained in office until his death in 1912. In 1874, he was nominated for sheriff of Lane County. Voters heavily favored the Democratic party at the time, and Eakin — the Republican candidate — won the election by a margin of one vote. It was the first political victory for a man who would go on to serve a number of years in the Oregon Legislature and the state senate — without ever losing an election.

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