Everett Eakin, “Intox driver”, 11 October 1946

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Before the war, Everett Eakin was the assistant superintendent of the Jordan game farm, east of New Castle, one of dozens of game farms that kept the woods stocked with birds for small-game season in the fall. Each year, Everett would release around twenty thousand birds into the wild, and Lawrence County’s twelve thousand licensed hunters would kill their share of the quarter of a million pheasants, woodcocks, doves, wild turkeys and Hungarian partridges that were shot in Pennsylvania between November and January, along with two million or so rabbits, squirrels, woodchucks and raccoons.

On the eleventh of October, 1946, not long after he had come home from the army, Everett was driving down South Jefferson street on the first rainy evening in weeks when Dominick Ross stepped out in front of him as the lights changed to green. Ross was a seventy-two-year-old retired carpenter. He had lived in New Castle since he left Italy in 1891, and had worked at the Pennsylvania Engineering plant for most of his life. When he was younger, he had earned some money on the side from selling bootlegged liquor. In 1900, he had founded the first Italian fraternal organisation in the city, the Casa Savoia. He was knocked to the ground by Everett’s car, breaking both of his arms and cracking his skull. He died in hospital a few hours later.

Everett was charged with driving while intoxicated. He pled not guilty to the charge, which no one had done since the thirties, and spoke vigorously in his own defence at the trial. The jury found him innocent.

By the time Everett retired, he had left the game farm and was working on an assembly line in south New Castle. He lived long enough to see his son become a professor of mathematics in Ohio and a chancellor of a university in North Carolina. He died in 1995, at the age of eighty-two.

Sources: Sources: New Castle News (5 March 1941, “Men’s Club Hears Kenneth Brenneman”; 23 July 1943, “Collect 70,000 Pheasant Eggs”; 12 Oct 1946, “Man Is Fatally Injured When Struck By Auto”; 12 Dec 1946, “Copple Case Is Now With Jury”; 13 Dec 1946, “Joseph Copple Freed By Jury”; 28 April 1947, “Kill 35,519 Deer And 325 Black Bears”; 3 Nov 1950, “Outdoor Rambles”; 19 Sept 1973, “County Report”); media.lib.ecu.edu, “President/Chancellor Bios”.

3 Comments

  1. Linda says

    I’ve found one mugshot on each side of my family now! “Zeke” married my dad’s cousin and they lived on Sheep Hill. I remember him as an easygoing, personable family man always at the family reunions. After the accident reported here he never drank again. He was also a vegetarian which was rare in those days. A man who didn’t drink or eat meat was unusual in our family so I got it in my young head that he must belong to some unusual religion. When I asked him he said, “Oh no, it has nothing to do with religion. I just don’t like the taste of meat.” Funny what a person remembers.

  2. He was a vegetarian?! He hated the taste of meat?! How bizarre that he should be in charge of a game farm! That’s fantastic – thanks for letting me know.

    • Linda says

      Yes, Diarmid, Zeke was a vegetarian, the first I ever knew.

      He did NOT say that he HATED the taste of meat (HATE is not a word he would use – he
      was a low key and gentle person) but just that he didn’t “like” it.

      He had 3 children – Richard, the university provost you mentioned; his daughter Patty who was a librarian who would be perhaps 72 or so now, and another son Tommy who died rather young.

      I have early 8 mm wind-up Brownie camera movie films of him at a family reunion.

      Good people. Salt of the earth.
      .
      Linda

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