THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   REV. HENRY I. NEWITT. Among the well-known and honored citizens of Madison County, he whose name appears at the head of this biographical notice occupies a prominent place. He was born on Quaker Hill, town of DeRuyter, this county, May 30, 1827, and is a son of Samuel Newitt, a native of the town of Coventry, England, where he was born in 1795, and brought to this country by his parents when but two years of age. The father of Samuel Newitt was John Newitt, whose wife's maiden name was Hannah Harrison, He was a wool-comber, and followed his trade on Quaker Hill, this county, for some years. Their voyage across the ocean was made in a sailing-vessel, and occupied about three months. They first settled in Saratoga County, on a small farm of some seventy acres of improved land. Here they reared their children, their family consisting of two sons and two daughters. Of these was Samuel, father of the subject of this sketch, who, when arrived at mature years, married Catherine Irving, of Hudson. She was of Irish and Dutch parentage, her mother being a native of Holland. Three years after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Newitt came with one daughter to Quaker Hill, this being about the year 1820. Grandfather Newitt accompanied his son to the new settlement, and they took up their abode in a log house in the woods. With the energy of the typical pioneer they set to work to improve their land, clearing off the heavy timber and building two more log houses. The patient and laborious work of years bore fruit and in course of time Mr. Newitt found himself the owner of a good farm. The grandfather of our subject died there, when about eighty-three years of age, in a good frame-house, erected by his son John. His widow survived him some fifteen years, and died early in the nineties. Their children were as follows: Maria, who married a Mr. Nickerson, and died at the age of eighty, leaving one daughter; Samuel, who became the father of the subject of this sketch; John, a farmer, who died on Quaker Hill in 1876, leaving four children, all of whom are now living; and Elizabeth, who was the wife of David Wright, of this town, and died when about sixty years of age, leaving five children, four of whom were sons.
   Samuel Newitt and his wife were the parents of six children,--five daughters and one son,--all of whom grew up and married. Four of them are now living, namely: Jane, widow of Israel Tripp, of Scranton, Pa., who has three children; Henry I., the subject of this sketch; Esther, widow of John Wilcox, of DeRuyter; and Samantha, wife of George S. Mason, Esq., of DeRuyter. The father of those children was thrice married; and by his third wife he had one daughter, Emma, wife of John Rowe, of Cortland County. Mrs. Samuel Newitt died in middle life, May 29, 1839, and her husband in 1879, at Quaker Basin, when in his eighty-sixth year, leaving a small property.
   He of whom we write was reared to farm life and labor, receiving but a limited schooling in his youth, but improved his education in later years by reading and study. In 1848, when in his twenty-first year, he was united in marriage to Miss Huldah Wood, who was born on Quaker Hill in October, 1830, and is a daughter of David and Esther (Hunt) Wood, the former of Rhode Island and the latter of Washington County. Five children have blessed this happy marriage, namely: Eliza, wife of George S. Doane, proprietor of Stewart House, Georgetown, who has two sons; Elwyn S., a farmer near by, has two sons; David M., a cheese manufacturer of Otselic, married, but has no children; Irving, a railroad man at Bradford, Pa., has three sons; and Ettie M., wife of W. E. Ames-editor of the Broome County Herald--and mother of one son. Both our subject and his wife are of Quaker ancestry, but are members of the Christian church, in which Mr. Newitt has been a preacher for over thirty years. For the past sixteen years, however, a throat trouble has prevented him from assuming the duties of a regular charge; and he has occupied a place on the supernumerary list. In 1859 he went to Michigan, and while there purchased eighty acres of wildland in Gratiot County, for which he paid forty cents per acre, but finally decided not to make that State his home.
   Mr. Newitt is a Republican in his political views, and served as Town Collector during the war. He is now engaged in general farming, and keeps over one hundred sheep and a small dairy. In his life-work he has been earnest and conscientious, and has been aided and sustained by his faithful and devoted wife, who is still active for one of her years, and attends to her household duties, doing her own work, and well knowing how to entertain her many friends. Mr. Newitt gave himself to the service of his divine Master thirty-eight years ago, and has ever since endeavored to walk humbly in His sight and to live in accordance with the two great commandments, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," and "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Both he and his excellent wife have many friends, and occupy a warm place in the hearts of their fellow-townsmen.

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