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1899 Biographies

HOYT B. NEWCOMB


NEWCOMB, Hoyt B., of Atlantic, is the son of Joseph Carlton Newcomb, who was a volunteer in the late civil war and was promoted for gallant services on the field. He was a farmer and stock grower near Dansville, Steuben county, New York. His wife was, before marriage, Miss Martha Bradley, a teacher of more than ordinary ability and also an author of some local prominence in that section of the state. Their son, Hoyt, was born at Dansville, New York, June 30, 1858, where his boyhood days were spent. He attended the public schools, but never had the advantage of a college education. In April, 1870, his father moved his family to a prairie farm three miles from Red Oak, Iowa. It was a new country then without roads or bridges. Here Hoyt worked for several years to aid in making money to pay for the farm. He entered the high school in Red Oak and worked for his board, while his mother made butter and sold it to pay for his tuition. Hon. Alfred Heberd interested himself in behalf of the young man and aided him in his efforts to remain and finish the course in the high school. When he left school at seventeen years of age he began to teach and earned money to repay his friend who had kindly aided him to complete his course at the high school. For ten years he assisted his father on the farm during the summer season, teaching and attending the normal school each winter, until his health failed. He then went into Western Nebraska and took a homestead and in the dry atmosphere of that region he sought to restore his failing health by "roughing it," herding cattle and improving his homestead. He finally returned to school work, and for many years has followed teaching, serving as principal of the high school, superintendent of city schools and instructor in normal school work. He has worked for a higher standard of education for teachers, encouraged the formation of reading circles, the holding of educational mass meetings, the classification of rural school work, and the establishment of rural school libraries. He has served as editor of Cass County School and Educational publications. He is a member of the State Teachers' Association, D. DG. Master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Prelate of Kedron Commandery of Knights Templar, and a member of the Congregational church. In politics he is a republican and has been elected county superintendent of schools for Cass county.

He was married February 4, 1886, to Miss Nettie C. Smith. They have five children, Ethel Lucile, Dean Elizabeth, Carrie Jane, Annette and Harold Hoyt. Mr. Newcomb's life so far has been largely devoted to the promotion of education, in which work he takes a deep interest, giving it his best thought and effort.

Like so many of our successful men, his early life was filled with hardships. It was one of those hard struggles for existence which tends to broaden men's knowledge of their fellow men, to widen their sympathies, to know from experience the pinch of poverty, and to feel the common brotherhood of men which comes only with the knowledge that no matter how lowly the walk of life they have walked the paths themselves.


From Biographies and Portraits of the Progressive Men of Iowa Volume II, Leaders in Business, Politics and the Professions, Together with the Beginnings of a Western Commonwealth, by Benjamin Shambaugh. Des Moines: Conway & Shaw Publishers, 1899, pp. 359-360.

 
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