Joseph Eaton

A community called Eaton, or Eatonville, named for the Joseph Eaton family, was a popular destination for some settlers in the 1880s. This was established where Rock Creek flows into the East Fork of the Lewis River, north of present-day Battle Ground.

But the Eatons had settled first on the Lewis River, about four miles from Woodland.

Joseph and Charlotte Eaton crossed the Plains in 1852, and reached Portland with six children and $5. In 1853, the year Washington Territory was split away from Oregon Territory, the Eatons took a donation land claim on the Lewis River.

A son, Joseph E. Eaton, was born there in 1854.

The family was flooded out in 1873, losing practically everything, including a flock of sheep. So the Eatons decided to leave the claim and go to a homestead on Rock Creek. The elder Eaton died sometime in the ’70s.

In 1878, a post office named Yacolt was established at the Eaton home one mile north of the East Fork. The name apparently was a misspelling of Yacolt, a name already in use for a nearby prairie. The post office in the Eaton home one mile north of the East Fork was used for more than two years.

Joseph E. Eaton, the son, swapped his house in 1881 for a place at Chelatchie Prairie but moved back several years later. He raised livestock.

About the time of World War I, Eaton moved to 1714 Fourth Plain in Vancouver. He was still there in 1925 when he was interviewed about early bear hunting and other experiences.

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