This venerable citizen of Centralia ranks with Marion county's
conspicuous figures, having been one of the sterling pioneers from Eastern
Tennessee, from whence so many men came to this state and did so much in its
upbuilding, William D. Newman having been born in Blount county, that state.
August 13, 1833, twelve miles south of Knoxville, the son of Louis J. and
Rachael (Logan) Newman, both natives of Blount county, Tennessee, the former
the son of David and Elizabeth (Phillips) Newman, also of the above named
county, who came to Illinois in 1833 and settled five miles west of Richview
in Washington county, where he secured three hundred acres of land, which he
later added to, dealing extensively in stock growing and general farming,
and he became a prominent man in that locality. Daniel died in 1840 and his
wife followed him to the silent land in 1852. He was a cooper by trade.
Twelve children were born to them, the only one now living being Campbell
Newman, in Chanute, Kansas. The subject's maternal grandfather was William
Logan, of Tennessee, who married a Miss Edmonston, of Tennessee. They both
died in that state. He was a farmer and he and his wife were the parents of
four children, all deceased. The subject's father, Lewis J. Newman, was
educated in the public schools and in 1854 came to Illinois, settling in
Richview, Washington county. He was a carpenter and cabinetmaker by trade.
In 1861 he located in Patoka, Illinois, and lived there many years, and in
1873 went to Collins, Texas, and he died there in 1876. His wife died
September 5, 1863. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal church,
South. He was Justice of the Peace at Patoka and active in politics, being a
Democrat. Twelve children were born to them as follows: Alexander, who
formerly lived in this county, went to Texas in 1874 and died there. He was
a preacher for many years in the Methodist Episcopal church, South. He was
in the Thirty-first Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. The second child was
William D., our subject; Elizabeth, who is deceased, married Charles Smith,
living at Patoka, Illinois; Sarah, who remained single, is deceased;
Eveline, who also remained single, is deceased; Lorenzo D. lives in Patoka.
He is a carpenter and he married Fannie Rice. He was in Company F, One
Hundred and Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry; Martin is deceased; Mathew
C. is deceased; Henry is also deceased; George W. and Andrew J., twins, are
both deceased; James lives in Dallas, Texas.
William D. Newman, the subject, had only a limited schooling in the home schools. He lived at home until he reached the age of twenty-four years, and he came to Illinois in 1855, locating at Richview. He learned the carpenter's and cabinetmaker's trade with his father. He married February u, 1858, Mary E. Gray, who was born October 3, 1840, in Tonti township, Marion county, the daughter of J. H. and Nancy M. Eddington, the former having been born in Maury county, Tennessee, in 1817, and died in Patoka, Illinois, September 2, 1878. His wife was born in Clinton county, Illinois, October 27, 1819, and she died in 1905. J. H. Gray, a farmer, was the son of Joseph and Agnes (Denton) Gray, the former a native of Tennessee and the latter a French woman. They married in Tennessee and came to Marion county, Illinois, in 1820, settling near Kinmundy. They died near the above named place. To them were born the following children: Rev. James D., of the Methodist Episcopal church; John H., Samuel, Abner, William, Martha Jane, Joseph. The children of John H. Gray and wife are as follows: James D. was in Company F, One Hundred and Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry; Captain A. S. lives in Patoka, Illinois (see his sketch); Mary E. is the wife of the subject; Thomas Benton was clerk for Col. James S. Martin during the Civil war; Jane is deceased; Amanda, deceased; Henry, deceased; Samuel died in infancy; Albert is deceased; Alfred is deceased; Sarah, deceased; Hattie lives in Memphis, Tennessee; Emma, deceased.
Eleven children have been born to William D. Newman and wife, as follows: Lina, deceased; John A., who is in the office of the first vice-president of the Burlington Route, Telegraph Operators' Association headquarters in Chicago, who married Maria Wertz; Jennie, deceased; Alice, deceased; Ella, de ceased; Nellie, deceased; Fred, who died in Kansas City in 1904, was a telegraph operator, and he married Evelyn Brooks, who is the mother of three children, Claude, Floyd and Esther; Lillie, who is deceased, married Clyde Soots. She was an accomplished musician, both in vocal and instrumental music. Mattie, the ninth child in order of birth, is deceased; W. D. is a carpenter by trade. However, he now runs a meat market in Centralia, and he married Ethel Ralston, who is the mother of one son, Arthur, and a daughter, deceased; Jesse B. married Mary Hollinger and they have two children, Harvey and Bessie. He is a carpenter and contractor in Centralia.
After his marriage our subject and wife lived in Richview, Illinois, for three years and then went to Patoka. Marion county, where Mr. Newman engaged in the undertaking business for over thirty years, having been very successful in this line of work. In February, 1901, he came to Centralia and has since that time been a successful contractor and builder. He is a Democrat and has long taken an active part in politics. He joined the Masonic Order in 1870 at Patoka, the Blue Lodge No. 613. Mrs. Newman is a member of the Eastern Star. Mr. Newman is also a Good Templar. He and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and they have always been active in church and Sunday school work. Mr. Newman has a fine voice and is a great singer. He is a leader in the local church and is very prominent in church work. His past record is that of a man of genuine worth and honesty, and because of his many good qualities he is highly respected wherever he is known.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 604-606.