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Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 10/3/2021 at 21:17:49

JAMES W. NEWBERRY is an honored pioneer of Des Moines Township, and an extensive landed proprietor, general farmer and stock-grower. He is the owner of 1,117 broad acres of land, and occupies a fine farm estate on section 8. He came to Iowa when a young man in 1838, accompanied by his parents, and has witnessed remarkable changes since his advent, having always thoroughly identified himself with the interests of his adopted State. He has assisted materially in the development of this section of country, and because of this is held in the highest esteem by his county and community. A part of his land, 312 acres, lies in Scotland County, Mo. It is mostly improved, as is also his land in this township.

James W. Newberry is the fourth child of his parents' family, and was born in Orange County, N. Y., Dec 9, 1817. He was therefore nearly twenty-one years of age when he arrived with his parents in this county, and soon afterward commenced life on his own account. About his first business was to secure unto himself a life partner, and he was shortly afterward married to Edith A. Benedict, a native of Canada West, born in September, 1830. They were married in Des Moines Township, her parents having emigrated to Iowa when she was only fourteen years of age. Her father, Ezra A. Benedict, was a farmer by occupation, and upon first coming to the United States crossed the Mississippi and located on a part of the old "half-breed" tract, in Des Moines Township. The maiden name of her mother was Edith Parish. The country was comparatively unsettled at the time they located here, and very little of the land was improved. They cultivated it for a time, then removed to Missouri, and afterward left there and went to Des Moines, Iowa, where they remained until their decease, both living to an advanced age. Mrs. Newberry remained at home with her parents until her marriage, and by her union with the subject of our sketch became the mother of ten children, three of whom are deceased. The record is as follows: Washington was united in marriage with Miss Ellen F. Washburne, and is occupied in agricultural pursuits in Des Moines Township; West W. married Miss Sarah E. Case and also lives in this township; Armantha became the wife of Robert M. Tweedy; Ella D. married Nels C. Nelson; these two also reside in Des Moines Township; Alta M. married Orson G. Sargent, and they live on the old Sargent homestead; Fred D. and Charles D. (twins) reside at home. The deceased are Smith B., Moline, and an infant unnamed.

Shortly after his marriage Mr. Newberry located upon his present homestead (a view of which is shown on another page), which has been his permanent residence since that time. He commenced with limited means, but possessed a rich fund of determination and industry, and has slowly and surely made his way to the top of the ladder. He lived economically, disbursed his means wisely and judiciously, was remarkably successful in all his undertakings, and is now reaping the rich reward of his earlier toils. He has attended strictly to business, and has done whatever he could toward advancing the educational and moral interests of his community. He has never dabbled in politics, although he has pronounced views upon political matters in general, and uniformly casts his vote with the Republican party.

Religiously Mr. and Mrs. Newberry adhere to the faith of the Latter-Day Saints, and Mr. N. has held the office of Elder in his church for a number of years. This class of Latter-Day Saints are termed Josephites, and are a distinct body and separate from the Utah Mormon Church. They are a law-abiding class of people, and do not believe in a plurality of wives.


Transcription typed/proofed as article was originally published in 1887

James W. Newberry Residence

Lee Biographies maintained by Sherri Turner.
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