Mary Ann Newton

MRS. MARY ANN NEWTON, widow of the late William Carroll Newton, is one of the old pioneer settlers of Cherokee County, coming here in 1866, and she has resided on her farm of 160 acres in section 8, township 34, range 23, in Lyon township, for almost 40 years. Mrs. Newton was born in North Carolina, December 14, 1830, and is a daughter of James and Mary (Foster) Carroll.

The father of Mrs. Newton was born in Virginia and died in Tennessee, and her mother was born in North Carolina, and died in Arkansas. They lived many years in Tennessee. Mrs. Newton had four brothers and one sister.

Mrs. Newton was a babe in arms when her parents moved to Tennessee and located some five miles distant from Paris, and there she grew to fair young womanhood, and in 1851 married William Carroll Newton. Mr. Newton was born near Paris, Tennessee, February 11, 1828, and died in Lyon township Cherokee County, Kansas, March 13, 1894. Soon after their marriage the young couple drove overland to Marion County, Arkansas, and engaged in farming there until the outbreak of the Civil War, when they again fitted up their conveyances and made a second overland journey in search of a new home. After a short time spent in Illinois, they continued on their way until they reached a point in Kansas, opposite St. Joseph, Missouri, where they spent the winter of 1865 and in the spring of 1866 entered Cherokee County. Mr. Newton took up a claim of 160 acres in section 8, township 34, range 23, in Lyon township. The first summer in Kansas was spent in a tent, but by the time cold weather came on a cosy[sic] shanty of logs, 16 by 18 in dimensions, was ready for occupancy.

Those were busy days for all members of the pioneer family. The father managed to break his land the first summer, but this was only a small part of his work. The family was kept supplied with food as turkeys and prairie chickens were very plentiful and an occasional deer could be killed but in order to get other supplies a week or 10 days was the shortest time that could be made in the round-trip journey between his home and Carthage and Springfield, Missouri. He went as far as Fort Scott to get his meal ground and Kansas City was the nearest railroad center. When Mrs. Newton receives the government official at her door with her mail she can not help recalling the days when a long trip to Baxter Springs had to be made, through almost a wilderness, to get the letters and papers. Mr. Newton was a good farmer and a very industrious man, and Mrs. Newton materially assisted by her cheerful bearing of hardships and contriving to make the family comfortable by those little expedients a tender mother alone knows.

The 10 children born to this marriage were: Seely Elizabeth (Mrs. Thornton), of Nevada, Missouri, who has five children; James Jasper, who died aged 21 years; Mrs. Maria Narcissa Dennis, of Cherokee County, who has two children; Mrs. Parelee Turner, who has three children and resides on the homestead with her mother; Miranda Clementine (Mrs. C. E. Marlette), of this county; Solomon D., of this county, who has five children; Frances (Mrs. Willie Frank), of Cherokee County, who has five children: William, of Cherokee County, who has two children; Lulu, a successful teacher for the past 12 years, who lives at home; and Mrs. Orpha McEwen, of Cherokee County.

Mrs. Newton has a happy, united family, the greater number of whom are settled near in homes of their own. She has 20 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren and they find much entertainment in the stories she can tell of the early days when Indians were her most frequent, if unwelcome, visitors.

Mr. Newton was a Democrat politically and fraternally was a Mason. He was a member of the Baptist Church and an honest, upright man, a devoted husband and a loving father.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 3/11/97.


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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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