Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm. Scanned from a copy held by the State Library of Kansas.
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Another of those old landmarks of Solomon township is Adrastus Newell, whose present good financial standing has been attained entirely through his own perseverance. His reputation for honesty and integrity is an enviable one, his hospitality is well known and his friends are legion. He lives one mile east of Glasco in one of those good old-fashioned farm houses whose exterior and interior bespeak all the comforts a well-to-do farmer and his family can enjoy. His home is presided over by Mrs. Newell, who is a true helpmate to her husband and who possesses that most desirable attribute, an excellent housewife, as the neatness of their home testifies.

Mr. Newell is a native of Jefferson county, New York, born near Sackett's Harbor in 1831. He is a son of Origen Stores and Sarah (Baker) Newell. His father was born in Vermont, October 4, 1802, and when five years of age moved with his parents to the state of New York. Arriving at mature years he became a farmer, emigrated to Wisconisn[sic] and settled in Jefferson county, forty-five miles distant from the city of Milwaukee, where he died In 1868. Mr. Newell's grandfather was In the war of 1812, Mr. Newell says he remembers him distinctly, as he occasionally applied the chastening rod to him, an occurrence often made indelible on the memory of a boy. His paternal great-grandparent emigrated from England to Vermont and was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. Newell call on]y recall his mother as she was robed for burial. She died when he was but four years of age. He remembers his maternal grandfather who was very much of a recluse, hence Mr. Newell knows but little of his maternal ancestors other than they were of Holland origin. Mr. Newell was one of eleven children. There were seven by a second marriage. Of these he only knows of a brother, living in Wisconsin, and a sister in Idaho.

Mr. Newell began at the foundation when he entered upon a career for himself. He worked at anything he could find to do, on the farm, teaming, and gathering wood ashes for a soda factory (In those days ashes were collected for the manufacture of soda). Later he worked in the Wisconsin pineries for $17 per month. Out of his earnings he saved enough to buy the undivided half of a three hundred and twenty acre tract of land seventeen miles from Green Bay, and fourteen miles from Appleton, Wisconsin. he paid $150 in gold for a yoke of oxen. The land was heavily timbered. He cleared one hundred acres in one year, employing five men. Mr. Newell says he worked so hard and tried to accomplish so much that he shingled a barn by moonlight. He would start to market with a load of wheat at 5 A.M. Perhaps his breakfast would be a biscuit frozen so hard he could scarcely eat it. There he lived thirteen years and 1866 came to Kansas.

He had served his country the last year of the war in Company A, First Wisconsin Cavalry, under General Wilson of Cuban war fame, who had command of all the cavalry of the army of the Tennessee. Mr. Newell was promoted to commissary sergeant. He was discharged in Wedgefield, Georgia, returned to Wisconsin and the following year sold his farm. Mrs. Newell's people had preceded them to Kansas and he had heard a great deal about the state during the war. These were the inducements which brought them here, and at the persuasion of friends he filed on a homestead three miles north of Glasco, which he sold later with the intention of going to California, but when the opportunity presented itself he realized more forcibly than ever before that Kansas was a great and prosperous state, and, concluding to remain, he bought his present valuable farm in 1883. Mr. Newell has improved this place, making it one of the finest in the country. His residence is a commodious one of eight rooms, splendid barns, sheds for vehicles and implements, shelter for his cattle and a capacious granary.

When in Wisconsin, Mr. Newell with his sisters, attended the Oneida Mission church, where he met Mary A. Frost, a teacher in the Mission school, whom he married in 1856. Mrs. Newell was born in the state of Ohio. When she was five years of age her parents moved to New York where they remained seven years and their removed to Wisconsin. Her father was Aaron Frost, a native of New Hampshire. He emigrated to New York, where he married, and afterward settled in Ohio. He was burned to death in 1845 along with his residence or burned so badly that he died as a result. A band of robbers were infesting the neighborhood. A man whom he knew to be one of the party was tolled into the Frost residence and his attention occupied until another party who had received a signal from Mr. Frost summoned an officer. The man was arrested, found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison. At the expiration of his term Mr. Frost's residence was burned to the ground and six weeks later his saw mill, undoubtedly the work of an incendiary. Their home was in Ashtabula county, on the shores of Lake Erie.

Her mother was Almira Sterling of New York. Mrs. Newell's maternal grandmother was a Whittlesly, who was married in Connecticut, and made the trip to Vermont four times on horseback. The first time she traveled alone, the second with one baby, the third with two; after that they became too numerous to travel on horseback. Mrs. Newell's great-grandfather was a member of the famous "Boston Tea Party," a name popularly given to the famous assemblage of citizens in Boston, December 16, 1773, who met to carry out the non-importation resolves of the colony. Disguised as Indians, they went on board three ships which had just arrived in the harbors, and threw several hundred chests of tea into the sea. The Whittleslys were of English origin, as were also the Sterlings.

To Mr. and Mrs. Newell five children were born, four daughters and one son, viz: Alice, wife of Gilbert Fuller (see sketch). Helen Agnes, wife of James Pilcher (see sketch). Fannie A., wife of D.F. Sheffield (see sketch). Hattie H., wife of Elsworth Woodward, a farmer of Osborne county, Kansas. Seth Paul is associated with his father on the farm. He is a graduate of the Glasco high school and took a two year's preparatory course in the Wesleyan College at Salina. The two eldest daughters took a two years course in the Concordia Normal School and taught until their marriages. The daughters are intellectual women, good wives and mothers.

Mr. Newell is a Republican and takes an active interest in political issues. The family for years have been members of the Methodist Episcopal church. The Newell residence is a home for all the pastors. When the church is in need of finances or work to be done, Mr. Newell is called upon. He is generous, public spirited and a supporter of every worthy cause. Has been post commander of the Grand Army of the Republic of Glasco for the past five years.

Mr. Newell is one of the few pioneers left of 1868, who gathered together for work while others stood guard upon some high point of ground where they could scan the country over for a glimpse of the wily red man. The first thing in the morning, with gun in hand, was to take a survey for the Indian and at night the same thing was repeated: During the times of Indian scares they would often join the settlers at the stockade. The buffalo and antelope furnished an abundance of meat. On one hunt Mr. Newell and his party brought in several quarters of buffalo and seventeen wild turkeys.

Their first Christmas dinner in Kansas was distinguished by wild turkey, and no finer roast could be produced from out the barnyard flock of domestic fowls. The country resounded with the yelp of hungry coyotes and often while milking the cows these hungry beasts would come within a few feet of them and lick their chops like dogs.