Robert Eaton, one of the leading businessmen of Debeque, Mesa county, began life with the shadow of a double bereavement, losing both his parents when he was but four years old, and has had a varied and interesting career, worked out mainly by his own efforts and capacity. He was born in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1850, and is the son of Joseph and Susan (Carey) Eaton. His father was a Scotchman and his mother a Pennsylvanian by nativity, and both died in 1854. The father came to this country early in the ‘forties and settled in Pennsylvania. Later he moved his family to Zanesville, Ohio, where he and his wife ended their days together. Their son was one of twins, a son and a daughter, born to them, their offspring numbering four in all. After the death of his parents he was taken to the home of an uncle in Illinois, and there he grew to the age of twenty and received a fair district-school education. In 1870 he came to Colorado, and after spending a few months at Denver, moved in 1871 to Weld county, where he remained three years employed in herding cattle and riding the range. In 1874 he went to Boulder county and turned his attention to mining, and in 1878 followed the same pursuit at Leadville, continuing his operations in this line at that place until 1882. He then came to Mesa county and settled on Roan creek, being one of the first dwellers on that fruitful stream. Two years later he moved to Gunnison county, and was engaged in mining in that prolific region until 1885. At that time he returned to the creek and went into the cattle business for awhile, then moved again to Leadville, and while there was elected a member of the lower house of the legislature. At the end of his term he returned to his ranch in Mesa county, and after living there a short time, sold it and opened a real estate business at Debeque. This he has prosecuted vigorously and built up into an enterprise of considerable moment, being always ready to meet the demands of an exacting though active market, and directing its course along lines of healthy development. He is one of the leading men of this part of the state.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.