Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JOB NEWTON. It is proper to judge of a man's life by the estimation in which he is held by his fellow citizens. They see him at his work, in his family circle, in church, hear his views on public questions, observe the operations of his code of morals, witness how he conducts himself in all the relations of society and civilization and are therefore competent to judge of his merits and demerits. After a long course of years of daily observations, it would be out of the question for his neighbors not to know of his worth, for, as has been often said, "Actions speak louder than words." In this connection it is not too much to say that Job Newton, well-known business man of Springfield, has ever stood high in the estimation of his acquaintances here, during his residence of forty-five years, for his conduct has been honorable in all the relations of life and his duty well performed whether in private or public life, and that he has ever been industrious, never waiting for some one else to perform his tasks. He is one of the surviving band of the famous "forty-niners" in Greene county, and his reminiscences of his various experiences in the pioneer days when he was a young man are indeed interesting.
Mr. Newton was born five miles from Georgetown, Delaware, July 28, 1826. He is a son, of ______ and Mary Ann (Mariner) Newton, each parent of English descent. Mr. Newton's father died when he was an infant, and he has no recollection of him. His mother brought him overland through a long stretch of wilderness from Delaware to St. Louis, Missouri, in the year 1838; her other two children were Ann and Benjamin. Soon thereafter a brother of our subject's mother came to St. Louis and removed her and her children to Wabash, Indiana, in 1839, and there she spent the rest of her life, dying in 1848.
Job Newton grew to manhood in St. Louis, was educated there in the public schools and married there, remaining in that city until 1869, when he removed his family to Springfield, where he has since made his home. He first engaged in the woolen mill and fur business in St. Louis, but upon reaching Springfield, he went into the dry goods business in which he remained about eight years, enjoying a good trade, then he started a produce business which gradually grew with advancing years until it reached extensive proportions and he is still thus engaged, with the exception of one year spent in Kansas City. He now handles not only produce but grain, hay and seed under the firm name of the Newton Grain Company, of which he is president, Dwight E. Newton being secretary and treasurer. They have a large substantial building and their operations extend over a vast territory. Although our subject is now advanced in years, being nearly eighty-nine years old, he is hale and hearty and is still actively engaged in business.
Mr. Newton was married in the fall of 1856 to Minerva C. Ault, a native of Ohio, from which state she removed with her parents to Missouri when she was a child. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Newton, three of whom are still living, namely: Harry C. is the eldest; Joseph and Jefferson are both deceased; Emmitt and Dwight E. are the two youngest, the latter being associated with his father in business, and the former is manager of the Lander theater of this city.
Mr. Newton is a member of the Masonic Order, United Lodge No. 5, Royal Arch Chapter No. 15, is past commander of St. John's Commandery, No. 20, and is also a member of the Chapter, also the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and is past grand patron of the Eastern Star of Missouri; he has long been prominent in Masonic circles. Politically, he is a Democrat and has been more or less active in public affairs, and has been a member of the city council twice, and in the earlier years of his residence here he was chairman of the Democratic committee.
One of the most interesting chapters in Mr. Newton's life is that relating to his trip to the far West, when he crossed the plains with the gold seekers in 1849, and had the distinction of taking the first goods into Salt Lake City, Utah, after the Mormons had settled there. He started on his long journey from St. Louis on March 17, of that year, and arrived in California the following October, going the Truckee route, and he built the second house in the city of Grass Valley, California. He returned to St. Louis in 1851 by the Nicaragua route, on a Vanderbilt vessel, the first line run in opposition to the Pacific Mail route, Mr. Newton being one of the first passengers to come over this route. He crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1855 en route to San Francisco, California, and in the spring of 1856 he returned to St. Louis, coming back via the Nicaragua route. In the spring of 1868 he came to Springfield, having sold his business interests in St. Louis. He immediately took up activities in the dry goods business, and in the spring of 1869 he moved his family here, where they have since remained with the exception of one year, which was spent in Kansas City. In the spring of 1854 he again crossed the arid and wild lands of the western territories, freighting to Salt Lake City, having charge of about twenty-five wagons, and he took a large herd of cattle on into California.
Springfield-Greene County Library