Dr. R. P. Eaton, a practicing physician, was the son of Col. Andrew Chamberlain Eaton (1804-1880) and Susannah M. Donaldson (1807-1878). In 1859, he married Cornelia Narcissa Boyd (b. 1839), with whom he had eight children. Like many inhabitants of E. TN, he opposed secession and supported the Union. He was a Republican, a member of both the TN State Senate (1867-69) and House (1889-91), and a trustee of the University of TN. In 1891, he was named postmaster of Eaton's Crossroads, TN.