Henry Smith Van Eaton
Van Eaton was born and raised in Anderson Township, Ohio. In 1848, he graduated from Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois, where he studied law. During this time, he became a founding member of Phi Alpha Literary Society. While an active member, he served as president and recording secretary.
In 1857, Van Eaton was elected district attorney. In 1859, he served as a member of the State House of Representatives.
When the American Civil War broke out, he enlisted in the Confederate States Army and served throughout the country, earning the rank of captain. In 1865, following his service in the war, he resumed the practice of law in Woodville.
In 1880, he was appointed chancellor of the tenth Mississippi district. He was then elected as a Democrat to the Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth Congresses (March 4, 1883 – March 4, 1887). In 1887, he was appointed to the Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, by President Grover Cleveland. He served as a member of a commission to examine and report upon the last completed portion of the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1888.
Van Eaton died in Woodville, Mississippi, May 30, 1898. He was interred in Evergreen Cemetery.
Further reading 
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.