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Posted By: volunteer
Date: 3/22/2009 at 05:50:21

THOMAS NEWELL, a farmer residing on section 34, Wapello Township, came to Louisa County in 1840: he was born in Logan County, Ohio, on the 26th of May, 1823, and is a son of Thcmas and Rotanna (McEllhenny) Newell, who were natives of Kentucky, but at an early day removed to Ohio. His father served in the War of 1812, participating in many of its hard-fought battles. He was a farmer by occupation, nnd on his removal to Logan County. Ohio, entered a claim in the heavy timber on Mad River. As time went on more land was cleared, until he had a large farm. The Indians were then numerous in the county, and during the War of 1812 the settlers had to live in a block house in order to be protected from them.

To Mr. and Mrs. Newell were born ten children, six sons and four daughters, and four are yet living: Jane is the wife of James M. Barker, who settled in this county in 1840; George is living in Calhoun County, Iowa; Robert died in Louisa County, in 1860; Catherine is the wife of Wilkeson Diltz, of Henry County, Iowa; Stephen died in Iowa, in 1845; Felix died in Calhoun County, in 1885; Andrew is one of the pioneers of Louisa County of 1840; Sarah became the wife of Moses Gallespie, but both died in California; and Thomas, of this sketch, is the youngest of the family. The parents of these children both died in Logan County, Ohio, the father in 1824, and the mother fifteen years later, in 1839. In his political views Mr. Newell was a Whig, and a great admirer of the leaders of that party. He was always strongly opposed to slavery, though himself reared in its midst, but removed to Ohio, as he did not wish to bring up his children under its influences. He was a man of prominence in the community where he resided, and received the highest respect of all.

Our subject grew to manhood in Logan County, Ohio, there receiving his education in a log school-house, such as many of the most noted men of our nation were educated in. Determining to try his fortunes in the then Far West, on the 4th day of August, 1840, he crossed the Mississippi River at New Boston, [Illinois] and located in Wapello Township, Louisa County, since which time he has been identified with its growth and prosperity. The settlements then were widely scattered, and the nearest market place was at Burlington. Ten years after his arrival in the county, in the year 1850, Mr. Newell and Miss Sarah J. Mock, a daughter of Peter and Sarah J. Mock, were united in marriage. Her parents were natives of Pennsylvania, but emigrated to Iowa in 1844, where the father died one year later, but Mrs. Mock afterward married Mr. John Henry, and is still living, and resides in Johnson County, Iowa.

Mr. and Mrs. Newell are the parents of ten children: Elizabeth, now the wife of George Hensley, of Muscatine, Iowa; Josephine, wife of Thomas Wiser, of Adair County, Iowa; Hugh T., also a resident of Adair County; Samuel P., who is located near Denver, Col.; Robert, who is living in Louisa County; Benjamin, residing near Denver, Col,; Ida M., William, Vira and Abe, who are yet at home.

In his political sentiments Mr. Newell is a Republican, and cast his first Presidential vote for Zachery Taylor. When he came to this county he was in limited circumstances, but determining to make for himself a home, he immediately commenced to labor, and by industry and eqonomy has secured a comfortable property, and now has 198 acres of land, 100 of which are under a fine state of cultivation. For forty-eight years Mr. Newell has been one of the leading farmers of Wapello Township, and during that time has gained an enviable place in the hearts of the people.
Source: Portraits and Biographies copyrighted by Chapman Bros. 1885


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