Robert Newman

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 453-454, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Robert Newman, an extensive farmer of Cass county, Illinois, dates his birth in that part of Grayson county now included in Carroll county, Virginia, August 31, 1834. Jesse Newman, his father, was born in Botetourt county, Virginia. He learned and followed the trade of cooper, and in connection with his trade also operated a sawmill. He resided in what is now Carroll county for a number of years. From there he came to Illinois, resided in this State twelve years, and then went back to Virginia, where he is still living. His wife, the mother of Robert, was before her marriage Miss Nancy Bedsall. She was born in Virginia, and spent her whole life in that State. She reared six children.
  The subject of our sketch was reared in his native State, and was there married when he was nineteen years old. Accompanied by his bride, he came to Illinois the fall after their marriage, making the western journey via the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois rivers, at that time the most expeditious route, and landed at Beardstown. He was in very limited circumstances at that time, being unable to go to housekeeping for want of means. He was industrious and persevering, however, and at once found work on the farm, at $15 per month. Little of the land in this section of the country was then improved, most of it being owned by the Government. It was not long after his arrival here till Mr. Newman purchased a squatter's claim to eighty acres of land, in section 9, township 18, range 9, for which he paid $8 per acre. There was a rude log cabin on this place, the cover of which was made of boards rived by hand, there being no floor at all. They at once took possession of the place, and as soon as Mr. Newman could get the money, bought from the Government, under the graduation law, paying twelve and a half cents per acre. As there were no improvements on the land and he had no team, he continued working by the month a portion of the time, putting in his spare house in grubbing on his own land. This he continued for twelve years. At the time he located on it, his land was covered with a heavy prairie grass, prairie fires having run over it every year and checked the growth of timber. Deer and other wild game abounded here. There were no railroads in the county for some years, and all produce was marketed at Beardstown. The price of grain was low, corn selling as low as ten cents per bushel. Mr. Newman has been very successful as a farmer, has purchased other tracts of land at different times, and is now the owner of 554 acres. Of this amount 245 acres are in Mason county, the rest being in Cass county.
  The maiden name of Mrs. Newman was Mary Mangus. She was born in Roanoke county, Virginia. Their union has been blessed by the birth of two children, viz.: Sarah, who married Thomas Wortman, and has seven children; and Alexander, who wedded Ellen Cunningham, and has six children.

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