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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Alberto Lincoln Eastman - by Eleda E. Spencer Stacy

Alberto Lincoln Eastman 27 Nov 1867 – 25 Jan 1934

Alberto Lincoln (Bert) Eastman was born in Auburn Oxford Co. Maine, 27 Nov. 1867 to George and Betsy J. Phibrick Twombly Eastman. He came to Utah with his parents, a sister Sadie and children by his mother’s first marriage, also a half brother Vincent and Arbury Eastman and his family in 1869.

In the spring of 1870 his father and Vincent and Arbury went to Woodruff where his father built a frame house and then returned to Bountiful for the family, returning to Woodruff in November 1870. They were the first white family to winter in Woodruff.

He married Mary T. McDonald April 17, 1888 of Smithfield, Utah. My father built a 2 story house from hand hewed logs up Woodruff Creek, this house is still standing, and here is where their first four children were born.

He worked with his father in his blacksmith shop for 2 years after he was married and later worked for Joseph Neville. About 1894 he started his own Blacksmith shop. He did difficult brazing and welding, was an expert gunsmith, and locksmith and repaired watches and clocks.

Rich County had been strong Democratic but in 1900 when Bert was first elected sheriff it went all Republican. He was Sheriff for 18 years. When he was elected sheriff he moved his family to Woodruff in what was known as the Yellow house, it was across the street from the one we had lived in for so long. In the yellow house 3 daughters were born. In the later house the last child, a boy, was born.

In December 1905 he was notified that a man had escaped from the Mental Hospital in Evanston. As Bert and his deputy stopped at the river by some willows, he was shot in the back at close range with a shotgun. He was very ill for some time and the Dr. never did get all the shot pellets out.

More details of this account are found in the book: Randolph, A look back, as follows. In all his years as sheriff, Bert never had to shoot anyone, but on December 13, 1905, he got word that E. McMinn was on his way to Evanston with a gun to kill someone and was mentally ill. McMinn was a close friend of his, so they thought that Bert was the best one to go for him. Bert got another man to go with him, and they caught up to E. McMinn at Almy, but he did not know Bert and made him get in front of him. Bert saw the stage coming and thought McMinn would be looking at the stage as it passed, so he tried to get out of the buggy to get a drop on McMinn, but McMinn shot him in the shoulder, side and back with a shotgun. The people on the stage thought McMinn was the sheriff and Bert was the one he was after. Bert was taken to Evanston and Dr. Wicks took care of him. Sheriff James at Evanston arrested E. McMinn. The only shell in his gun was the one that shot Bert. He was able to come home just before Christmas. Bert lived 29 years after that but he still had shot pellets in him.

Being a very good gunsmith he made a wooden gun with all the working parts, a man named Cap. Witherall said he knew a man in Ogden who would finance a patent for him, the gun was never returned and when the patent came out there was only a slight change. Later when the gun was put on the market it was called the Browning Rifle, but Bert never got anything out of it.

When the Randolph Bank was robbed 23 July 1913, Bert’s brother George was Sheriff. Bert went with him and they caught the robber.

He was in the National Guard for 3 years about 1894. He was United States Marshall, Justice of the Peace and Game Warden; he planted thousands of fish in the streams around Woodruff.

He was not a church attendee, but he always donated to the church generously and when Pres. Baxter went to conference or on church trips to others towns he knew his cows would be milked and taken care of by Bert and his family. When the General Authorities came for meetings in Woodruff, or on to other towns Bert always had a fresh team ready for them and would shoe their horses and feed them for the return trip to Salt Lake City.

He loved to fish and hunt and many times he furnished trout or meat for the visitors from the General Authorities.

He could splice rope and tie all types of knots.

He went hunting with Joseph Dean, Dan Corbett, ---Fackrell, Bill Spencer east of Randolph in the Crawford Mt. A shell exploded in his hand and he lost the first joint of his middle finger. The men insisted they bring him back to a Dr. but Bert would not hear of it. He used hot water, sterilized his knife, and picked out all foreign parts of the shell, bandaged it, and stayed on the trip and killed a deer the next day.

He was shoeing a horse and it kicked him making a deep gash in his upper leg. He came into the house, heated water, put in carbolic acid, and had his wife Mary thread him a needle with silk thread which he sterilized, and sewed up the cut himself, and it healed without any infection.

Several children got ringworm at school including my sister Ava. He mixed up a salve and cured it. He also pulled teeth for many people.

His daughter Crystal accidentally shot herself. She was talking to other young people standing at the gate and had the butt of the gun on her foot. It went off and the shot went through her thumb, glazed her side and through her right breast. He took care of it and it healed without infection. Another time she broke her wrist, he soaked bandages in strong salt water and bandaged it so when it dried it was almost as hard as a cast, it healed perfectly.

In the spring of 1914 it was decided by Rich Co. that the Sheriff should be in Randolph. We moved to Randolph and he was also City Marshall. Very soon he noticed that the children seemed to be afraid of him, he soon settled that. He had a baseball game going and won the trust, affection and respect from all of them. He loved children and had a natural talent with them. He also loved baseball, and all sports. He was a man of large stature with a twinkle in his eye and an always ready smile. He did weight lifting and wrestling.

Every time Dr. Reay had to make a trip to Lake Town he would ask Bert to go with him. He had a Model T and sometimes it couldn’t make the canyon and Bert would push and when the Dr. got it going he didn’t stop and Bert walked. Those remembering the Model T know that when you got it going you didn’t stop. But Bert loved these trips; he and the Dr. were special friends. He loved helping people; he was a very kind man, a very prayerful man and was always ready to help anyone in need.

We moved to Evanston Wyo. May 30 1916. He had a small shop where he kept up his guns. Old friends from Rich Co. and new ones from in and around Evanston brought their guns to be fixed.

He worked a few months in the Railroad Shops as a Blacksmith, and then was a Special Watchman – a job he held until his death 24 Jan 1934 in Evanston, from a heart attack.

I remember my father telling me of playing with the Indian children. He was a fascinating story teller and I am still telling the same stories to my grandchildren. In those days we had home evening but didn’t realize it as the families do today. We all sang around the piano played by Crystal, Ava played the Violin, there was reading aloud, story telling, always prayer. My father was a firm believer in prayer.

He taught all of his children how to use a gun and gave each of us one on our 12th birthday. My grandchildren are still using mine and taking very good care of it, as keeping a gun clean was sort of an obsession with him.

To Bert and Mary were born the following children: In Woodruff Utah

Mary Lessie 26 Aug 1891 (Lorin Lowe Johnson) both deceased

Cloyd Alberto 11 Dec 1893 (Sarah Brown) he deceased

Crystal Lala 5 Mar 1896 (John Ward) both deceased

Ava Lyda 8 May 1898 (Earl Ragland) he deceased

Audrey 21 Dec 1900 infant deceased

Eleda Alberta 7 Mar 1902 (Howard Spencer-Morris Stacy) both men deceased

Bessie Vendella 13 Oct 1904 (Louman Emert)

Emmette Kermit 8 Nov 1909 (Emma Rasmussen) she deceased

Written by Eleda E. Spencer Stacy {sometime before 1971 (when Emmette died)}

1 comment:

  1. I have a copy of the Record of Marriage Certificate for Alberto and Mary. 17 April 1888.


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