Biography - Lawrence G. Newton

LAWRENCE G. NEWTON, who belongs to the younger generation of business men of Southern Illinois, is proprietor of the Newton Jewelry Company, of Vienna, a firm established twenty-eight years ago, which is widely and favorably known to the jewelry trade throughout this part of the country. Although still a young man, Mr. Newton has mastered every detail of the business with which he is connected, being an expert watchmaker, optician and engraver, and as a shrewd business man has won a place for himself among the leading men of this city. He was born in Vienna, December 24, 1889, and is a son of William N. and Anna (Harvick) Newton, and a grandson of James K. Newton.

James K. Newton was born in Pope county, Illinois, October 25, 1845, a son of Isaac and Phoebe (Murphy) Newton, natives of Rhea county, Tennessee, a grandson of Joseph Newton, of North Carolina, and great-grandson of John Newton, who, with his brother Isaac, came from England about the year 1700 settling in North Carolina, where they became large land holders and slave owners. When sixteen years of age Joseph Newton went into the American army as a substitute, fighting in the battle of the Cowpens and in the march of the Bloody Trail, his service during the Revolutionary war covering three months, although he belonged to the patriot army six years and nine months. He married Ann Stephens, of North Carolina, reared a large family, and died in Johnson county, Illinois, in 1842, at the age of eighty years, his wife passing away in 1847. James K. Newton was reared on a farm in Pope county, Illinois, and at the age of twenty years was married to Melissa C. Allmond, who died, leaving one son, William N. He was married (second) to Julietta Fulkerson, and they had two sons: Thomas J. and Miles G. Mrs. Newton died May 25, 1883.

William N. Newton was born in Pope county, and as a young man established the present firm of the Newton Jewelry Company, of Vienna, with which he was connected until 1909, in that year removing to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on account of failing health, and there established himself in the jewelry business, and he has since prospered and accumulated quite an estate. He married Miss Anna Harvick, and they have had two children: Lawrence G. and Eugene, the latter a photographer of Vienna.

Lawrence G. Newton was educated in the Vienna public and high schools, and began learning the watchmaking and jeweler's trade in boyhood, since which time he has continually advanced himself in his chosen work. His establishment, in the conducting of which he succeeded his father in 1909, will compare favorably with any of the concerns in the large cities, being fitted with every known appliance and equipment of the trade, and having a large, varied and up-to-date stock. The engraving department is one of the principal features of this store, Mr. Newton himself being an expert engraver by hand, and a graduate of the Horological Institute of Chicago. He makes a specialty of optical and technical work, being a graduate of the Chicago Engraving School and the Detroit School of Optics, commonly known as the Detroit Optical College. The business is systematized to an exactness rarely excelled, and quality predominates in the twelve thousand dollar stock of watches and ornamental jewelry carried in the store. Mr. Newton enjoys a large trade, and it is his purpose to further extend the wholesale and commission end of his business, which already covers a wide territory.

Mr. Newton is one of the new school of business men, being progressive in all things, an adherent of modern methods and enterprising in all matters that he undertakes. He is active in movements having for their object the advancement of Vienna, and is alive to all topics of a public nature, although the extent of his business interests has prevented him from entering politics. He is a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and is fraternally connected with the Jr. 0. U. A. M. and the M. P. L., in both of which he is very popular.

Concerning the marriage of Mr. Newton the following excerpt is quoted from one of the local papers:

"Within ten minutes after the New Year was ushered in, and immediately after the bells stopped ringing on Sunday night last at 12:10 a. m., at the Methodist parsonage in Vienna, Larry Newton and Miss Maudie Beals were made husband and wife, the Rev. Mr. McKown of the Methodist Episcopal church officiating. Mr. Newton is one of our home grown young men who stands high in the community, his whole life being known to us all. Successful in business, sober and industrious always, he has won lots of friends. Miss Beals, too, is well known to our people. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Beals, who have resided here about five years. She, like her parents, is deservedly popular and entirely worthy the hand of any young man. Both pretty and intelligent, she will know how to create sunshine in their new home, and with their many friends and well-wishers the News joins in extending them its best wishes for a long and happy married life."

Extracted 14 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 711-712.

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