Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of
Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead


JOHN GLENN NEWBILL. The gentleman whose name heads this sketch is the only son of Greene County who fills an editorial chair in Springfield. He is well known as an active and unflinching advocate of Democratic principles, and the founder of one of the most reliable Democratic weeklies in southwest Missouri. Mr. Newbill springs from an old Colonial family, members of which were soldiers in the Revolution. His remote ancestors were of Anglo-Saxon origin, and came to America from London, England. Tyree Glenn Newbill, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a planter of Franklin County, Va., and the owner of a large plantation which was cultivated by slaves. He was also a merchant. His mother was Sallie Glenn, a daughter of Dr. John Glenn, professor of Therapeutics in King's College, London, England, and therefore the name "Glenn" was given Mr. Newbill, and has been perpetuated from father to son for four generations. To himself and wife the following children were given: Patrick H., Nathaniel P., Tyree Glenn, Samuel D. and Sarah R. Tyree Glenn Newbill, the eldest son of this family, was born on his father's; plantation in Franklin County, Va., May 17, 1822, received a good common-school education for his day, and when a young man became a clerk in his father's store. December 1, 1846, he was married to Nancy A., daughter of James M. and Elizabeth Johnson, and the following year came to southwest Missouri. Shortly after he located about two and a half miles west of Springfield, where he remained until December, 1860. He was a man of great energy and ambition and accumulated a handsome property, making a specialty of stock raising, and to him the credit is due of importing the first Durham cattle, Cotswold sheep and Chester white hogs into the county. In 1854 he crossed the plains to California with a wagon train of goods and a drove of cattle, and made the journey in safety. He was twice elected president of the Southwest District Agricultural and Mechanical Association, a position which he held two years prior to the war, at which time the society was in a very flourishing condition. He was also prominently associated with this society as a member of its board of directors from its inception. He was a Royal Arch Mason, a stanch Democrat politically, and in later years a strong advocate of Democratic principles as promulgated by Stephen A. Douglas. When the Civil War came up he joined his fortunes with the Confederacy and went to Texas. On visiting St. Louis he was arrested as a Confederate emissary and was kept a prisoner for a short time. After his release he again went South, engaged in cotton speculation, and there died in 1864. He was a man who possessed excellent business qualifications and was widely known throughout the entire southwest. John Glenn Newbill, his son and the immediate subject of this sketch, was born on the old farm near Springfield, March 16, 1848, and was first given the advantages of the common schools and then the famous college of Charles Carleton on College Street. Afterward he studied three years under the tutorship of Dr. William V. Allen, formerly of Bates County, Mo., and also attended other schools in Illinois as well as in Missouri. While gaining his education he worked on the home farm and learned those lessons of industry and per-severance without which success in the business world is impossible, and he also taught in the public schools of Greene and Bates Counties. In 1874 he went to California, where he spent two years, then returned to Missouri and engaged in newspaper work. On April 1, 1881, he established the Springfield Express, a weekly Democratic newspaper, and he has edited and published it continuously ever since. This paper is widely read throughout the southwest, and, as its editorials are able and the subjects treated are handled with ease and power, it wields a wide influence in molding public opinion. It is faithful to its principles, and, besides giving its numerous readers the news of the day, it provides literary features which render it a home paper which cannot be surpassed. Mr. Newbill is one of the most active and uncompromising Democrats in Greene County, and as a public speaker advocates the principles taught by Jefferson and Jackson in a vigorous and masterly manner. For nearly fourteen years he has been continuously Secretary of the Democratic Central Committee of Greene County, and besides looking after his editorial work he is a valued correspondent of some of the leading metropolitan journals and agent of the Associated Press. January 4, 1881, he was married to Carrie L., daughter of B. T. and Ottilie Rhoades, of Montgomery County, Ill., and their union has resulted in the birth of a son, Albert Glenn, who was born February 1, 1882. Mr. Newbill is au active member of the A. O. U. W., has filled the office of master workman, and is past commander of the Select Knights, Springfield Legion, No. 39, a higher branch of the same order.

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