This veteran of the Civil war, and one of the representative men of
Washington Township, was born March 18, 1842 in Butler County, Ohio, being a son of John and Malinda (Clark) Newton, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively. The Newtons came originally from England, the subject’s father was born in Philadelphia shortly after the family landed in this country, and he spent his early life in that city. Later he moved to Hamilton, Ohio, where he engaged in merchandising, and from that place, about the year 1852, transferred his business to Norristown, Shelby County, Indiana, where he built up a large and lucrative trade. Being very liberal and always ready to assist his friends, he could not resist granting favors, with the usual result of losing heavily by injudiciously endorsing for unreliable parties. This good man, who measured up to a very high standard of citizenship, departed this life in 1876. By his first wife, Malinda Clark, he had four children, viz: David, deceased; John C. of Indianapolis; William H., of Tipton County, this state, who died in 1906; Eliza, deceased, was the wife of William W. Diwort, and George W., whose name appears at the head of this sketch. Mr. Newton’s second marriage resulted in the birth of two children, the older of whom, Thomas E., became an influential Republican politician, and at one time served as Sheriff of Shelby County; Raldo, the second in order of birth, was also well known and stood high in the esteem of his fellow citizens.
George W. Newton was about ten years old when his parents left Ohio, and since the year 1852 he has been an honored resident of Shelby County. He received a practical education in the public schools, grew to maturity in Norristown, and, at the breaking out of the great rebellion, tendered his services to the government, enlisting May 14, 1861, in Company A, Sixteenth Regiment Indiana Infantry, which regiment his brother, John A., also joined, the latter subsequently becoming a captain in the Seventieth Indiana Volunteers. William Newton, another brother, was a private in Company D, of the Seventh Indiana, and rendered efficient service for the national Union during the period of enlistment. George W. shared with his comrades the vicissitudes and fortunes of war during the early operations of the army of the Potomac, his regiment forming a part of Banks’ division and participating in several engagements, including the battles of Ball’s Bluff, Winchester, and other actions which made that period historic. Upon the re-organization of the Sixteenth, he joined the One Hundred Seventieth Indiana, with which he served until the expiration of his term, seventeen months later.
On quitting the army, Mr. Newton returned to Shelby county and took up the
carpenter’s trade, later becoming a contractor upon quite an extensive scale. He erected a number of dwellings, public buildings and other edifices, in Norristown and throughout the county, and achieved a wide reputation as a builder. In 1864 he located in Norristown, and since that time has been one of the leading men of the thriving little city, contributing much to its growth and progress, and taking an influential part in public affairs. His wife, formerly Martha J. Robinson, daughter of Hon. John W. Robinson, was born in Washington township, and is the mother of three children: Effie, who married Ira McCartney, of Bloomington, Indiana. Thomas W., deceased, and Ed. C. Newton, bookkeeper in the First National Bank, of Shelbyville.
Mr. Newton is a Republican in politics, a member of the Grand Army of the
Republic Post, at Flat Rock, and belongs to Lodge No. 147, Free and Accepted Masons, at Norristown. In religion he is a Methodist, with which denomination the entire family are identified. Mrs. Newton is one of the active and influential workers in the church at Norristown, and at the present time a member of the board of trustees. She is also a leader of the Ladies’ Aid Society, under the auspices of the church, and an able and zealous teacher in the Sunday school, besides holding an important official position in the latter organization, and making her influence felt in the religious circles of the town and elsewhere.
Mr. Newton has been successful financially, and is comfortably situated, owning, in addition to his commodious home and other property in Norristown, a fine farm of seventy-one acres in Washington township, besides his investment in various enterprises and private capital. He has been a leading member of the Flat Rock Building and Loan Association, and at this time is president of the organization, the success of which is very largely due to his efforts and judicious management.
Hon. John Robinson, father of Mrs. Newton, was for many years a distinguished
lawyer, of Indiana, and a man of a very high order of intellect. He served six years as Judge of the Howard and Tipton Circuit Courts, rose to an honorable position among the eminent jurists of his day, and his death, which occurred in 1894, removed from the bar of the state one of its leading and useful members. Judge Robinson reared a family of four children, whose names are as follows: Mrs. Martha J. Newton; Lewis, who served with distinction in the Civil war and gave his life for his country; John M., ex-postmaster of Tipton, also a veteran of the Civil war; and Cora, who died in youth.
Edward Chadwick’s History of Shelby Co., Ind., pages 766-768.
Submitted by Kathy Ridlen
Notes: Phlinda Clark is the correct name of the mother of George Newton. The death date of John Newton (George’s father) is 19 April 1870. The husband of sister, Eliza, is William M. Deiwert. - KR