Oscar Eaton

Term Served

  • 1900 to 1911
  • 1913 to 1917

Accomplishments in Office

Eaton became the city’s first popularly elected mayor in 1909. Before that, mayors were elected by vote of the Aldermen. He was initially opposed to consolidation but was elected by residents of both Winston and Salem as the first mayor of the combined cities and guided the city through the early years of the 20th Century. During his tenure, Eaton made the following accomplishments:

Oscar Eaton
  • A department of Public Works was established to be responsible for streets, the water system, public parks and street lighting
  • The first police cars were purchased in 1915
  • The first sewage disposal plant was built in 1915 and the first solid waste incinerator constructed
  • First Street was paved
  • The Salem Water Plant was opened

Eaton was very much a hands-on mayor who oversaw details of city government much like the City Manager does today.