RG 60: Eastman - Fenwick Family Papers, 1860-1980

Collection Number
RG 60
The Eastman-Fenwick Family Personal Papers detail the history of four generations of these Arlington families. The Eastman family settled in Arlington in 1876 and soon enmeshed themselves in local civic affairs, business, and government. Eleanor Eastman's marriage to Charles Fenwick united these two prominent families.

Albert P. Eastman (1841-1915) born in Derry, New Hampshire chose to settle in Washington D.C. following his service in the Union Army during the Civil War. In 1864, after being discharged from the Army because of wounds received in battle, he worked as a clerk in the Pay Master General's Office. He married Sarah Russell in 1869 and the two moved to East Falls Church in 1876. Sarah Russell (1847- 1939) moved to Washington D.C. in 1865. Her recollections of Washington D.C. at this time include memories of being in attendance at Ford's Theater the night of Abraham Lincoln's assassination.

Albert and Sarah had two sons, William Russell (1873-1946) and Frank Hall (1877-1960). William served in the Army Medical Corps during both the Spanish American War and World War I. The collection includes correspondence from William to Sarah describing his experiences while stationed in Texas, the Philippines, Mexico, and France. Following his military service, William moved to La Jolla, California where he had his own medical practice.

The collection material for Frank Hall Eastman depicts a man very involved in his community. For 15 years, he served as the chairman of the Arlington Selective Services Board, and for 25 years he served as the Superintendent of the Falls Church Presbyterian Church Sunday school. His business records relate to his service as a representative for Kinney Electrical Manufacturing Company In 1903, Frank married Elizabeth McKay (1880-1933).

Frank and Elizabeth had two daughters, Eleanor (1906-1987) and Carol (1913- ). Following her graduation from Mary Baldwin College, Eleanor married Charles Rogers Fenwick (1900-1969). In 1925, Charles graduated from the University of Virginia with a law degree and joined his father's law firm, Mason, Fenwick, and Lawrence. In 1940, he successfully ran for Virginia's House of Delegates. He served as a Delegate until 1945 and as a State Senator from 1948 until his death in 1969.

Fenwick’s family resided in East Falls Church, Virginia. Besides his parents, Edward T. (1890-1942) and Clara Fenwick (died 1942), Charles had several siblings, including sisters Louise and Mary, younger brother Lawrence, and older brother Edward G. Fenwick (1898-1956). This brother served as an ambulance driver in World War I before returning to East Falls Church. Edward G. Fenwick had a son, Edward G. Fenwick, Jr.

Carol Eastman attended the College of William Mary and in 1938 married William J. Tate. Tate, a businessman, was involved in many different enterprises including Tate's Seafood Restaurant on Wilson Blvd. and as a real estate developer.

The fourth generation of the Eastman family consists of Carol and William's children; William (1940-1998), Frank (1943- ), and Carol (1946- ).
Scope and Content
Record Group 60 is a family collection, measuring 35 linear feet, ranging from 1948 to 1986, with the bulk dating from 1885 to 1975. This collection is a reflection of the Eastman and Fenwick families’ daily lives, with diaries, financial information, business records for the Eastman family, Fenwick campaign materials, photographs and postcards, correspondence, personal manuscripts, and ephemera. The collection as a whole will benefit a patron researching the Eastman or Fenwick families. In parts, the collection will be used by researchers not focusing specifically on the families, but rather on subject specific topics. For example, the letters written by Albert during the Civil War and by both William Eastman and Edward G. Fenwick during World War I tell about their military experiences. Researchers interested in economic subjects will find a wealth of information related to early 20th century bank records and household expenses. The numerous sermons written in the 1800's by Reverend William Russell, Sarah's father, will provide information for religious study. The Eastman genealogy material including the book That Man Eastman by Charles John Eastman will serve genealogical researchers.
Arrangement and Description
RG 60 is divided into twenty Subgroups. The Subgroups re broad topics such as finance and religion or represent a particular type of document such as correspondence, diaries, and photographs. Within each Subgroup the material was where appropriate separated by the creator, usually family members.
The library received this collection in 1994. A subsequent donation regarding Edward G. Fenwick and his siblings and parents was donated in 2003.
This collection has no restrictions.


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