Jackson County, Illinois
Lewis H. Easterly
While Lewis H. Easterly is prominently identified with and actively engaged in the ranch and stock business of western Colorado, and is winning a substantial prosperity in it, that line of activity does not constitute the whole of his title to esteem and consideration as one of the essential factors in the development and progress of the section in which he lives. His interest in the cause of public education here and elsewhere has been of prime importance to the people around him and has resulted in the establishment of the educational forces of his community on a broad and stable basis. His live began at Murphysboro, Illinois, in November 1852, and he is the son of Philip and Sarah (Jones) Easterly, the former a native of Greenville, Tennessee, and the latter of Columbus, Ohio. The father was a blacksmith and machinist by trade and also followed farming. He died in 1897, aged eighty-two. His wife preceded him to the better world nearly thirty years, dying in 1868, aged thirty-seven. Their son Lewis remained at home until he reached his twenty-second year, aiding on the work of the farm and in his father’s shop, and eagerly employing the limited opportunities for education at his disposal. On starting out in life for himself, he taught school for six years and attended the IllinoisState University in the intervals between the terms of his teaching to secure a higher degree of efficiency. In 1878 he came to Colorado and during the next three years taught school in Douglas and El Paso counties. At the end of that period he settled on the ranch of three hundred and twenty acres which he now owns and occupies, located about seven miles north of Gunnison. Here he at once began to take an active interest in the affairs of community and give his attention especially to the enlargement and improvement of the school facilities of the neighborhood, building the first schoolhouse on Ohio creek, along which his ranch is locate4d, and becoming secretary of the local school board, a position he has held for twenty-five years. Being a practical teacher, he has been able to see the needs and find the means of providing them to make the school system effective, and to his enterprise and breadth of view as well as his technical knowledge in this respect the Community is greatly indebted for much that is valuable in its schools. He has not, however, been wanting in attention to other interests wherein the welfare of the people is involved. He is secretary of the Gunnison Stock Growers’ Association, which has been largely augmented in usefulness and power through his intelligent efforts, and has been connected with other enterprises of value in the industrial and commercial circles in which he move. In politics he is a Populist and Socialist, being in favor of the better principles espoused by the parties so named, and having broad views on public questions generally, and is a man of influence in all matters of public interest. On September 15, 1881, he was married at Salina, Kansas, to Miss Cynthia Husband, a great- granddaughter of Col. Herman Husband, of the First Colonial Regulators of North Carolina. The great-grandfather of the subject, Conrad Easterly, was with Washington at Valley Forge and in the campaigns before and after the winter of terrible suffering.
(Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Nancy Overlander)
Submitted by Linda Rodriguez - GT Host
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