Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
EDWARD F. NEWTON. Why is it that railway magnates, presidents of banks and heads of great enterprises who must perforce do business in cities, almost all try to have homes on farms in the country, where they develop soils, plant crops and breed animals? It is because there is wearisome monotony in piled up brick and stone. There is confusion in crowded streets and clanging trolley cars and hot smoky railways. These things man has made, and they are needful, but they are not life, much as the farm boy may imagine them to be. It is the dream of millions of country bred boys to get established in some city, but after they have tried urban life a few years and see the many objectionable phases of it, they begin to have other dreams of returning to the farm, where there is more freedom, better health and greater happiness. Edward F. Newton, well known farmer and breeder of live stock of Franklin township, Greene county, has been wise enough to establish himself in the country.
Mr. Newton was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky, March 2, 1864. He is a son of Hiram and Caroline (Kite) Newton. The father was born in Massachusetts, from which state he came with his parents to Bowling Green, Kentucky, when voting and there spent the rest of his life, engaged principally at the carpenter's trade, his death occurring in 1865, when about fifty-two years of age. Politically, he was a Democrat. He owned valuable property in Bowling Green. His wife was born in Warren county, Kentucky, and her death occurred also in the year 1865, when forty-four years of age. To these parents fourteen children were born, named as follows: Richard, James, John, Hiram, Jr., are all deceased; George lives at Beaver Dam, Kentucky; Andrew Jackson and Silas are both deceased; Edward F. of this sketch; Mary, Fanny, and Eliza are deceased; the next child died in infancy; the two youngest, twins, also died in infancy.
Edward F. Newton was reared by his sister, Mrs. Elizabeth McCrary, with whom he came to Greene county, Missouri, when a child, the family locating near Ebenezer, and bought a farm of one hundred and twenty acres on which our subject remained until he was twenty-two years of age. He received a common school education.
Mr. Newton has been twice married, first, to Nettie Berry, a daughter of William and Martha (Latham) Berry. She was born in Franklin township, this county. William Berry was born in Tennessee, from which state he came to Greene county, Missouri, when young, making the tedious overland journey with an ox team, bringing his wife and household effects. He settled on rough land, which he cleared and developed by hard work, and here he and his wife spent the rest of their lives, dying on the farm now, owned by our subject. Mr. Berry purchased one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land, later took up other railroad land. He devoted his active life to general farming.
Mr. Newton was married again in 1909 to Mrs. Elva (White) Massey, which union has been without issue, but he is the father of seven children by his first wife, namely: Roy, born September 20, 1886, married Mazie Murray and lives in Springfield; Ethel, born March 28, 1889, married John Jacoby, lives in Springfield and they have one child, Kenneth; Theodore, born August 5, 1892, married Bertha Goetz and they live in Franklin township; Ralph, born November 4, 1894; Maver, born August 13, 1897; Harold, born July 13, 1900; and Thelma, born October 24, 1903. Their mother died February 6. 1903.
Mr. Newton moved to his present farm in 1885, after his first marriage. He has prospered through his close application, sound judgment and honest dealings, and he is now owner of one of the choice farms of the township, consisting of two hundred and fifty-three acres, of well improved and productive land, all under cultivation, but ten acres in timber. He built his present substantial residence, also outbuildings, in 1904. In 1912 he built a modern breeding barn, thirty-two by forty feet, with box stalls and other conveniences found only on up-to-date farms. In connection with general farming he makes a specialty of breeding live stock and owns some fine animals which are greatly admired by all. At present he has three jacks and two stallions—Black Eagle, Blue John and Silver Song, Skelix and Young Roman. Black Eagle is a fine black jack with mealy points, fourteen and one-half hands high, heavy bodied, high headed, large flat heavy boned. He was sired by old Ratter, a large breeder, well known in the southern part of Polk county. Black Eagle's dam was a mammoth jennett, stood fifteen hands high. Eagle's sire and dam were both high bred animals, making Black Eagle a well-bred jack. Blue John is a blue jack, fifteen hands high, jack measure, and is well known throughout Greene county to all breeders. His colts are heavy-boned, with good heads, and always make big fine mules that never fail to top the market. Silver Song is a fine black jack, weighing about one thousand pounds, and is fourteen and three-quarters hands high; he is sired by Big Eagle, dam, Lad M. Skelix is a dark bay stallion fifteen and one-half hands high, black points, weighing eleven hundred pounds. His sire is Kiosk, No. 21359, Vol. 12, page 88. Trotting record, 2 31, sire of five trotters in the list; chestnut, star, one white hind foot: sixteen hands high; weight over twelve hundred pounds; sire, Kremlin, 2:07 3/4, trotting; champion of the world in 1892. Dam, Ellsta, 2:20; dam of Elison. 2:17, trotting; second dam Green Mountain Maid; dam of nine 2:30 trotters. Young Roman is a draft stallion, eight years old in 1915, sixteen and one-half hands high, weight seventeen hundred pounds. He is three-fourths Percheron, has fine style and action, is an extra well made horse with large heavy bone. He is an entirely black stallion. Young Roman was sired by Roman Prince, an imported and thoroughbred Percheron. He weighed two thousand pounds and was as fine a breeder as the southwest has ever afforded. His dam is a large black mare, one-half Percheron, and weighs fifteen hundred pounds.
Politically, Mr. Newton is a Republican, but he has never been active in public affairs or held office. He is a member of the Anti-Horse Thief Association. Fraternally, he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, at Springfield, also the Royal Neighbors. He and his wife are members of the Methodist church at Pleasant Valley. He is a great lover of good horses and mules and is a good judge of them. He is a home man, is sociable, is well acquainted over the county and has hosts of friends everywhere.
Springfield-Greene County Library