T. C. Van Eaton may be known as Eatonville’s founder. But what about his wife? Because everyone knows that behind every man there’s a great woman.
Meet that great women, Nellie Van Eaton. She’s pictured here in her garden, where she obviously had a green thumb. Her grandson, Terry Van Eaton says that among other things, she ran the family restaurant during her younger years, in addition to raising a family.
She’s also pictured here in 1912 when T.C. ran for congress.
Here is information (that was posted below) by Margaret Nell Van Eaton. Thank you so much for sharing!
“Nellie Van Eaton was my grandmother. She grew up on a farm in Kansas. She graduated from Cedar Vale High School in 1903. I have her graduation diploma. She was married to T.C. Van Eaton in 1910, she was his third wife. His first wife died in an epidemic and his second wife died of breast cancer.
Nellie came to work for T.C. as a housekeeper after the death of his wife Mary Jane. Nellie had a young daughter who came with her from Kansas, Jennie Miller. Nellie had been married to a Mr. Miller, who went off to find work in the Oklahoma Territory and was never heard from again. She was was a very hard worker all her life. She ran a restaurant, sold insurance, always had a huge garden, had two boarders and cared for her sister until she passed in (1961?).
In the 1950s after T.C. died, she managed a herd of approximately 20 Hereford cattle, a milk cow, a large flock of chickens, ducks, an occasional pig and she helped take care of me while my parents were at work. I went to her house every day after school through the 4th grade.
She was also a very accomplished in the needle arts. She did beautiful tatting, crochet, knitting, sewing and quilt top making. I have a tablecloth she made that won a blue ribbon at the Western Washington State Fair in Puyallup.”
Photos courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.
Click on images to enlarge.