Family Sketches


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Taken from History of Herkimer County by George A. Hardin and Frank H. Willard, published in 1893.

NELSON, Edwin J., Newport, was born in Little Falls February 11, 1855, a son of Henry C. and Gertrude A. (Wemple) Nelson, the former a resident and native of Little Falls and the latter of Manheim. In 1849 Henry and his brother, William Nelson, started in the mercantile business in Little Falls under the firm name of H.C. & W. Nelson. Later Edwin J. was admitted as a partner, continuing until the death of William Nelson, February 19, 1881, when for two years he conducted the business, when he sold a part interest to W.A. Pepper, the firm being E.J. Nelson & Company. In 1885 Edwin J. sold his interest, and in 1886 he, in company with William F. Lansing, bought the property and started the knitting-mill under the firm name of Nelson & Lansing. This continued until 1890, when Edwin's mother and two brothers, Arnold and Seymour, moved to Middleville, where Mrs. Nelson died April 11, 1892. Her children were Edwin J., Carrie, wife of William Feter (she afterward married Frank Thomas); Emma, wife of S.W. Dillenbeck; Seymour and Arnold. Henry C., their father, died Novemebr 25, 1876.

NEWBERRY, Samuel H., Little Falls, school commissioner. Important as are the industrial, mercantile and professional avocations that constitute the commercial life and wealth of the nation, they are less paramount than the educational interests of the people, for upon these a foundation of our moral and social systems are built. The schools of Herkimer county are admittedly equal to the best anywhere in the Union similarly located, and much of this excellence is due to the thorough and intelligent oversight which supervises, directs and governs them. Mr. Samuel H. Newberry, the school commissioner of the first district, is especially worthy of mention for the great zeal and enthusiasm, as well as high intelligence, with which he performs the duties of his responsible office, and in commenting upon the school system and schools of Herkimer county more than passing mention is due and is accorded to him. Samuel H. Newberry is a native of the town of Newport, Herkimer county, and after receiving a thorough education entered the teaching profession, and during four years of active life as a teacher he attained a high standard and an enviable reputation in his profession. In 1887 he was elected school commissioner for three years, and was re-elected in 1890, a proof of his popularity and fitness for the office, to which he devotes all the energies of a superior and earnest mind.

NEWELL, J.R., Little Falls, one of the leading dealers in grocers' supplies, wall papers, stationery, etc., in Little Falls, is a native of Oneida county, N.Y. After receiving a thorough public school education he began his business career as a book-keeper. Previous to embarking in his present enterprise he was a clerk in the National Herkimer County Bank. He began his present business January 1, 1891, and on July 1 of the same year formed a partnership with J.C. Bellinger, which still exists. Mr. Newell has been village treasurer of Little Falls, and is highly regarded by all the business men of the county. Socially he is also well known, and belongs to the Royal Arcanum, in which he is a past regent, and has had all the honors of the society.

NEWELL, Selim, Little Falls, was born in New England, from where his father removed to New York State when Selim was but a child. His earlier years were spent upon a farm, and about 1852 he established himself in the general mercantile line of dry goods, groceries, grist and saw-mills, etc., with which Mr. Newell has since been identified. He located in Little Falls in 1868, and conducts both a wholesale and retail business. He is ably assisted by his sons, who are prominent in the best social and political circles of the village. Mr. Newell married Miss Fanny B. Barnum, by whom he has four children, all sons. He is a prominent member of the Methodist church and is much respected and esteemed throughout this vicinity.

NEWMAN, Horace S., Russia, was born in Russia March 16, 1848, a son of Sylvester B., who was a son of Ebenezer Newman. The latter was born in Salem, Westchester county, in 1780. February 7, 1805, he married Lydia Taylor, a native of Reading, Conn., born December 4, 1785, by whom he had seven sons and five daughters. Mr. Newman was a farmer. About 1807 he came to Russia, settled on the royal grant and there lived and died January 9, 1865. He was drafted in the war of 1812. He and his wife were Baptists. She died February 11, 1865. Sylvester Newman was born December 22, 1817, in Russia. He married October 7, 1838, Sallie A. Pettingill, a native of Brookfield, Oneida county, by whom he had two sons and one daughter, Emma J., Morris and Horace. Mrs. Newman died April 6, 1864, and Mr. Newman married second Sarah C. Crittenden, a native of Massachusetts. She died November 12, 1872. Mr. Newman is a farmer and a Republican. He is a member of Northern Light Lodge, No. 464, of Poland. Horace S. was educated in the common schools. March 13, 1873, he married Emma J., a daughter of Henry L. and Sarah C. Crittenden, of Conway, Mass., who came to Herkimer county about 1854. Mr. Crittenden enlisted in the 121st New York Infantry and was killed at Chancellorsville in 1863. They had three daughters and one son. The subject and wife have three children, Edgar H., Fred S. and Lulu S. He has been a farmer and a butcher, but at present is engaged in farming exclusively. He is a member of the A.O.U.W. of Poland, No. 183, and is a Republican. Morris Newman enlisted in the First Berdan's Sharp Shooters, Company B. He died December 25, 1863.

NEWMAN, Milton J., Fairfield, is a native of Boonville and was born December 9, 1845. He has been a farmer nearly all his life. He now works 300 acres, stocked with a herd of fifty cows, and has been on the place nine years. He is one of the leading tenant farmers of Herkimer county. In 1870 Mr. Newman married Savilla E. DuBois. He is a Republican in politics and a member of the Knights of Honor. His grandfather was a native of Manheim, and his grandfather, Peter Newman, took part in the war of 1812.

NEWTH, N.J., German Flats, was born in Litchfield May 10, 1840. He enlisted in the Eighth New York Cavalry August 11, 1862, and served three years. After the war he went into the hat-bleaching business in Troy, N.Y. In 1874 he came to Ilion, embarked in the hardware business, which is still continued by him. He is a member of the First Presbyterian church and trustee, for seven years superintendent of its Sunday-school and a member of the G.A.R. In politics he is a Prohibitionist. In 1878 Mr. Newth married Miss Ophelia E. Smith, of Troy, and they have three children, one son and two daughters.

NICHOLS, C.W., M.D., Fairfield, is a native of Fairfield and studied medicine at Albany. He graduated in 1889 and began practice in Fairfield village. The Nichols family came to this country from Rhode Island. The grandfather of Dr. Nichols was Horace Nichols. His father was Caleb Nichols. All the family were farmers down to Dr. Nichols. Horace Nichols's grandfather settled in Providence, R.I., before the Revolutionary War. In 1875 Dr. Nichols married Miss Elizabeth Stevens, and they have four children, three sons and one daughter. Dr. Nichols is a Republican and a member of the State Medical Society.

NICHOLS, H.C., Norway, was born in Norway September 6, 1845. His father was Joseph Nichols, son of Horace Nichols, of Rhode Island, born in 1794. His wife was Phoebe Bly, born in Rhode Island in 1799. They had six children. Horace died January 31, 1875, and his wife died in 1834. Joseph Nichols was born in Norway in 1819, and married Louisa Handy, who bore him five children. Louisa Handy Nichols was a native of Salisbury. She died in 1859, and Mr. Nichols married Anna Hughes, who had three children. Mr. Nichols's third wife was Silva Bell, and by her he had two children. H.C. Nichols was reared on a farm and educated in common schools and in Fairfield Seminary. In 1869 he married Libbie Johnston, daughter of Charles and Rachel (Emery) Johnston of Oppenheim, who bore him three children, namely: Alice I., Edith L. and Homer J. Mr. Nichols followed farming a short time, but for many years has manufactured cheese. For the last fifteen years he has been in the Norway cheese factory. He is a Republican, and has been excise commissioner a number of terms and is now justice of the peace. He is a Baptist.