Colonel Frank F. Eastman

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Frank French Eastman

Birthdate: (81)
Birthplace: Illinois
Death: July 4, 1935 (81)
Portland, Oregon
Immediate Family:

Son of Calvin Livermore Eastman and Elmira French
Husband of Susan Jane Colby
Father of Guy Warner Eastman; Clyde Leslie Eastman; <private> Eastman; May Louisa Eastman; <private> Eastman and 1 other
Brother of Charles Walter Eastman; <private> Eastman and <private> Eastman

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Colonel Frank F. Eastman

Colonel Frank F. Eastman, U.S. Army

Frank French Eastman the second son of Calvin Livermore Eastman, was born in Toulon, Stark County, Illinois, on March 4th, 1854. He was of the seventh generation from Roger Eastman who emigrated from Wales to the Colonies, and who died in Salisbury, Massachusetts in 1697.

Frank F. Eastman's boyhood was spent on an Illinois farm and his early education was acquired in the local schools. Appointed to West Point he entered the Academy on July 1st, 1875 and graduated on June 12th, 1879. He joined the 14th Infantry as a 2nd Lieutenant at Fort Douglas, Utah, on September 30th, 1879, and left the post the next day on the Ute Expedition into Colorado and Wyoming after the massacre of Agent Meeker and the Thornburg Command by the Ute Indians. The expedition was in the field for nearly ten months returning to Fort Douglas in July 1880. His regiment changed station to the Camp on Snake River, Wyoming, in September 1881; to Fort Sidney, Nebraska in July 1883, and to Vancouver Barracks, Washington, in July 1884. For three months in the summer of 1887 he was on detached service with the U. S. Geological Survey in the Crater Lake country in Oregon. He served with the 14th Infantry from 1879 until 1901, four years of this period (1890-1894) being spent at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. While at this latter station he was Secretary of the Army Cooperative Fire Association and did much to establish that Association in the position which it has since held in the Service. He rejoined his regiment at Vancouver Barracks, Washington, in December 1894. In February 1898, he commanded two companies of the 14th Infantry sent to Skagway, Alaska, at the time of the gold rush into the Yukon Territory.

Returning to the United States three months later, after the declaration of war with Spain, he sailed from San Francisco, California, May 25th, 1898, with his regiment, which was a part of the first expedition to the Philippines. Arriving in Manila Bay, June 30th, he participated in the battle against the Spanish forces defending Manila, August 5th, and in the operations following which terminated with the capture of Manila, August 13th, 1898. He commanded a battalion of the 14th Infantry in hostile engagements with Filipino Insurgents on February 5th, 1899, and for several months subsequent thereto. On sick leave and detached service in the United States that summer, during which period he was Adjutant General of the District of Columbia National Guard, he returned to the Philippines in December, via the Suez Canal, in command of a battalion of the 47th U. S. Volunteers. Upon arrival in the Philippines he rejoined the 14th Infantry and, in July, 1900, participated in the China Relief Expedition, the battle of Yang Tsun, August 6th, the capture of Peking on August 14th and the surrender of the Imperial City on August 16, 1900.

Promoted Major and assigned to the 28th Infantry in March, 1901, he returned to the United States and assisted in the organization of that regiment at Vancouver Barracks, Washington, returning with it to the Philippines in November, 1901. He transferred to the Subsistence Department in June 1902, and served successively as Depot and Purchasing Commissary of Luzon, and as Chief Commissary of the Department of Luzon. Returning to the United States after more than six years of nearly continuous service in the Orient he served successively as Chief Commissary, Department of California; Department of the Lakes; Department of the Missouri; and as Purchasing Commissary at Omaha, Nebraska. Promoted Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Commissary General, October 13th, 1907, he served as Chief Commissary and later as Assistant to the Quartermaster, Central Division at Chicago, Illinois; Assistant to the Quartermaster, Southern Department at Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Quartermaster at Portland, Oregon, and Depot Quartermaster, Chicago, Illinois.

He was promoted Colonel, Quartermaster Corps, August 1st, 1916, and retired at his own request, April 30th, 1917, after more than 41 years of active service. After retirement Colonel Eastman made his home in San Diego, California and in Portland, Oregon. He died suddenly from a heart attack at Portland, Oregon, on the evening of July 4th, 1935; the anniversary of the birth of the nation he had loved and served so loyally.

Colonel Eastman was married on July 29th, 1880, to Susan J. Colby of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Their 55th Anniversary was to have been celebrated in the month in which he died. Six children were borne of this union of whom five survive, the eldest, Guy Warner, having been killed in an accident while he was an instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston in 1907. Besides his widow the other survivors include two sons, Colonel Clyde L. Eastman, Signal Corps, Eugene Eastman of Portland, Oregon, and three daughters, Miss Susan Eastman and Mrs. Aels M. Lander of Portland, Oregon, and Mrs. John B. Fitzgerald of Seattle, Wash.

Throughout Colonel Eastman's long career his assignments kept him far from his Alma Mater, but none loved and revered West Point more than he. One of the happiest days of his life was that on which he visited the Academy to see his second son graduate. It was his only return visit with the exception of a brief one the year after his graduation when he took his bride there to see the scenes he loved so well. Reminiscent of that visit his eldest son bore the name of Warner, in memory of the family that had so influenced his life during his cadet days when he was accustomed to visit the Warner home on Constitution Island. In later years he never tired of hearing that beautiful song of West Point, "The Corps" for "or living or dying" he honored the Corps.

He has joined the "long gray line" in the shadows, but those who knew him and loved him will long remember the clasp of his hand, his cheerful smile and his indomitable spirit,-the Spirit of West Point. His ashes rest for the present in a beautiful spot in Portland, Oregon, in the heart of the great Northwest, the country which he, as a young man, helped to claim from a wilderness and which he loved deeply. Many were the touching tributes paid after his passing. One who had known him from earliest boyhood; who had seen him as a serious minded farmer lad struggling to make his way in the world, wrote: "I saw Frank develop from a child into a rich young manhood and to know the sterling qualities he developed; qualities that made him loved by his intimates and honored in his honorable profession." But the tributes which he would have appreciated most of all were those of the officers and men who had served under his command. They loved him, for to them he was more than a commander, he was their friend.

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Colonel Frank F. Eastman's Timeline

March 4, 1854
Age 24
West Point
October 7, 1881
Age 27
Lawrence, Massachusetts
May 14, 1883
Age 29
Worthington, Nobles, Minnesota
January 30, 1888
Age 33
April 30, 1917
Age 63