See additional articles and photographs on Thinkerslodgehistories.org
Charles Aubrey Eaton was Cyrus Eaton’s uncle. Just fifteen years older than Cyrus, Charles was more of a brother than an uncle. The youngest of ten children, he was born in 1868 and moved to Pugwash Junction after the family’s farm burned down. His brother, Joseph Howe, was Cyrus’s father. Sadly, three of their siblings died in infancy due to diphtheria. Cyrus’s four older siblings also died of the dreadful, contagious disease. Both Cyrus and Charles grew up in rural Pugwash with strong Baptist roots. Daily life for both boys involved strenuous farm chores.
Charles recalled, “I cannot recall an unhappy day in all those golden years of childhood. In those primitive days it was taken for granted that everyone would pull its own weight, and in our family at least everyone did. I do not remember when or how I learned to milk a cow, or harness a horse, or yoke and drive a pair of oxen, or swing a scythe or axe, or tow and sail a boat, or plant, cultivate, and harvest the various farm crops.”
Charles attended school in Truro but returned to help on the farm after his father’s shipbuilding business failed. His father departed for Colorado for two years to work in the mines and help the family’s finances. Upon his return, he suffered a massive stroke, and Charles became head of the household since his older siblings had farms and jobs of their own. Charles also worked on the railroad to supplement his income. While attending Amherst Academy, he worked in a shoe store and as a store clerk.
He took one small trunk with him. Charles recalled, “It was not an impressive and elaborate inventory. My school books, the New Testament, a clean shirt or two, a pair of overalls. After paying my fare from Thompsons Station at Amherst, I had a $.25 piece left as my entire monetary capital. Measured by modern standards, I was traveling light” (Miller 17).
Charles found his calling for the ministry at Acadia University in Wolfville. He landed a job preaching for $1.20 at a small local church, but his first preaching job was short lived due to lack of ideas for sermons. He co-edited the college newspaper, which prepared him for his work later as a newspaper editor. He moved his mother close so he could provide for her.
Charles became a US citizen, married Marion, and they had six children. After his work as a minister in New York, he bought a dairy fall in New Jersey, and ran for congress. Her served 14 terms.
Always, Charles put first the well-being of his parishioners, his New Jersey constituents, and the peoples devastated by war in Europe and World War II. He was chosen to be a signer of the United Nations charter. A close advisor to President Roosevelt, he was instrumental in "shepherding" the Marshall Plan through the House of Representative in his role as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
The Marshall Plan was intended to rebuild the economies and spirits of Western Europe devastated by the enormous loss of lives and massive destruction of World War II. Marshall believed that in order to restore political stability, it was crucial to assist in the revitalization of national economies. Marshall also believed that political stability in Western Europe was crucial to containing the advances of communism in that region.
He and Cyrus remained life-long friends often visiting each other. He was a frequent visitor of Thinkers Lodge until his death in 1953 at the age of 85. Charles Aubrey Eaton never compromised his principals or his efforts to seek peace and end war.