Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Tales of the Family…The Paternal Grandfather of Milton, Norman, and David


     The Newton line entered into Boston Harbour in 1643 or 1644.  There were two or three brothers.   They were people with some…not massive amounts…but some significant resources.   One was a Congregationalist Preacher, and the other two were businessmen who were lured by the openings of property, businesses, banking, and such.  They were involved in the foundation of the city of Newton, Massachusetts.
     Some of the Newtons became commercialists and investors…land speculators…and the like.  One was a minister of the cloth, although we have record that he was a Congregationalist and an Anglican officiant.   The Old North Church, the one with the lanterns indicating "…one if by land and two if by sea…" had a Newton-surnamed ancestor as an officiant.
     All of the OROGs and other readers of this terribly interesting blog must be impressed that a city was named for the Newtons…especially since it was only seven or eight miles from Boston, where there was already a great burg being elaborated.   BUT! Please be aware that the name of the community now known as Newton was originally Cambridge…and the Newton name was entered in 1766 as the official monicker of the community, 122 years after the arrival of the my Newtons.
     Various elements of those Newtons who came into Massachusetts stayed and helped make  great a Colony to the favour of his Majesty back in London.  Others struck forth to Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire…as those places were surveyed and dispersed into the very English common law system of titled property…decent treatment by the Crown…in spite of the disorders at and around the time of King Charles 1.    Would that everything had been perfect at that time and later.  Would not that have been…loverly?


     The War Between the States was the costliest war effort fought by the United States of America, both in terms of lucre and in terms of the number of dead and wounded.   The separation between the two nations…the North and the South…along with the peculiar out-men…Texas, and the Cherokee and Chickasaw allies of the Confederacy…has never really been resolved.

     To-day perhaps it is easier to just not be bothered by it.  Most American students cannot tell a questioner whether the First World War followed or preceded the Second World War…nor do they know which World was involved.   They are certain that the enemies in those wars were Australia and Bogata…or somebody.  It is hard for them to remember all the names of Father Obamaham's fifty-seven (57) States in the American Union.

     My grandfather Norman N. Newton (we never learned what the initial 'N' stood for, but it showed up in the 1860 census when he was an infant), was born in 1860.  Even this date is disputed but we feel it is certain because of the family tale that was told that Norman could remember his two much older half-brothers as Christmas Dinner in 1862.   This leads immediately to the possibility that he was told about it and developed a memory of it, but…he was a powerfully intelligent person.  It would be reasonable to assume that his precocity allowed him to be more than able to delve into the recesses of his mind during later years and fully recall this Christmas event.
     Please remember another thing.  For twenty years after that horrid War, there were always men in view who were missing members (legs, arms, etc.).  Always.
     They began to thin out after the turn of the Century until finally the last Veteran died…a Confederate soldier from Texas…in 1953, if I recall correctly.   He made the cover of the LIFE Magazine.

     In the case of Norman N. Newton, however, he did not have relatives who were wounded or whole veterans to entertain him about their bravery and exploits against the dreaded Stonewall Jackson or the valiant and brilliant Bobbie Lee.  No…because his two oldest brother were killed in action…one on 3 May 1863 at New Salem Church, Virginia when Longstreet lurched out with three divisions of infantry and considerable cavalry and artillerydestination - Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
      The other was killed without knowledge of what had occurred to his brother before himon or about the 15th of August 1863.  He was part of a mounted infantry unit sent to harass Lee's rear guard during his retreat into Virginia following the events at Gettysburg.  My Great-uncle and many Yankee valiants learned that Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was wounded, but fully capable of wreaking massive casualties upon the Blue-clad invaderswhich they did.

    This caused…over the months…the steady demise of my great-grandfather "Banty" Newton.  He died in 1867 of atrophy of will to live.   He hated Lincoln and always felt that the South and North would have lived apart more amicably had they separated.  Each side would have needed the other more and each side had its strengths.  But Lincoln was determined to have his war…and Hubbard "Banty" Newton was doomed to lose his sons.   His losses, both psychologically and then metabolically, mounted up after a couple of emotional shocks.
  We plough back to the year 1862…which brings up something about the intelligence and precocity of Norman N. Newton.  Grandpa Norman declared to his son (my father) that he remembered clearly the Christmas dinner that included his older brothers, all dressed out in their fancy Union Blues…there was a large and bountiful table. This would have been at the age of two months less than three.  The two older brothers, both members of the Pennsylvania 96th Volunteer Infantry, entering the service at the beginning of the War Between the States…assured everyone that the War would be over before Summer and Lee would be in irons.
     It should be pointed out that the two boys were actually not brothers.  They were actually first cousins.  My grandfather probably never did learn that the younger of the two brothers who were born in the latter period of the decade of the 1830s lost his parents in a carriage accident of some sort.   "Banty" took him in as a father.  We have searched for the particulars concerning my great-grand uncle and his wife…("Banty's" brother, but to no avail at this point).  But, no one in the Newton family ever spoke of Charles's brother as being a true cousinhe was always a brother.

The oldest water-powered mill in the northeastern part
of Pennsylvania.  This almost certainly had Newton
 hands upon the labour and design.
     After two hundred years of milling around in the cold country, draining trees for their sap to make syrup, the bloodline moved into the still hostile and dangerous "French and Indian" country.   The Newton label had been associated with the building of water-wheel powered grist mills and covered bridges.   These people were known as "wood mechanics" and were in perpetual demand for anything that moved that required precision metal and wood work.  These activities are associated with the years of 1730 through 1900.

    Hubbard (Banty) Newton was the last professional "wood mechanics" of a line that had practice the skill, trade, and business from their time around Nottingham and in the county of East Anglia as Englishmen.  They continued the trade upon arrival in the New World in 1643.   We always declared that they did not come over on the Mayflower because it had been overbooked.
This is a fairly typical covered bridge in that area of
the Northeastern part of America.  This particular
one is in Pennsylvania near my Grandfather's place
of birth.  Of some interest might be that psychic
 researchers and ghosts hunters swear that almost
 all covered bridges seem to be haunted.
  You can be the judge when you travel
 to those precincts next time.

  We have one cousin…brother of my grandfather Newton, who was adopted out to a wealthy family in New York…along the Hudson.   The man was a surgeon who moved his family from Orange near the Hudson River,  and his newly minted son (adoptive), to the family estate in Clinton, Connecticut in the 1870s.
     This person, Leonard Sewell Newton, struck out on on his own and at the age of 19 became the chief officer Buffalo Station  of the Erie and Lackawanna Railroad…that ran between New York and Canada.   He had been provided a tutorial class of teachers for about five years, lecturing in everything from Shakespearean Theatre to the analysis of malarial re-transmission.  He would be my great-uncle.  He, like his brother, died in the early 1930s…neither really knew where the other one lived or even if that brother was living or dead.  In that he was adopted legally, his surname was Boyce.  His adoptive family were sainted people.

     My grandfather was likewise blessed.  First, his birthright included, like his older brother  Leonard Sewell,  massive raw intelligence.  My great-Grandfather died in 1867.  That death, at the age of 57 years, was caused by the person my great-Grandfather despised over every other human in the World…Abraham Lincoln.   My great-Grandfather would say frequently that it would be better to let the South go its way…because, "…it might be that being apart would keep us together more than a false and forced Union."

A more or less current picture of Montrose, Pennsylvania.
  It is perfectly idyllic.  Oddly, the town has lost about 40%
 of its population during the past 20 years.
   Seems a shame.

     His losses, both psychologically and then metabolically, mounted up after a couple of emotional shocks.  We plough back to the year 1862…which brings up something about the intelligence and precocity of Norman N. Newton.  Grandpa Norman declared to his son (my father) that he remembered clearly the Christmas dinner that included his older brothers, all dressed out in their fancy Union Blues…there was a large and bountiful table. This would have been at the age of two months less than three.  The two older brothers, both members of the Pennsylvania 96th Volunteer Infantry, entering the service at the beginning of the War Between the States…assured everyone that the War would be over before Summer and Lee would be in irons.

     My father's given (Christian) names…Milton Birchard…came from that family in Montrose that adopted  him and raised him up from the age of six to his time of departure.   It was Norman N. Newton's greatest complement to any man.
      Norman, as an eleven year old child, alone and committed,  left the comfortable confines of the Birchard family to seek out his brothers he understood to be in  Michigan and/or Wisconsin.  They were working in the lumbering and forestry business.    My grandfather named his first and only "Milton Birchard" because that was the man…a person of considerable wealth…who took my grandfather in.   And he was the man who taught him to readespecially material just a bit beyond his normal capacity.
My father with his pet racoon,
a 60 pound male who liked anything shiny
such as silverware and coins, which were,

 in those times, substantially silver. (1920 -
Ed Couch, Texas)


       He instructed the boy in the ways of the world and in the need to study and become a valuable personality.   He admired Mr. Milton Birchard…who was a true heavyweight mover and shaker…and social and political personality in northeastern Pennsylvania.
     It should be pointed out that Milton Birchard had a bit of French and English old-country in his veins.  Some of his family was involved in the creation of a fellow who would become a President of the United States of America.  Some of the folks who left America during the times of difficulty for the people of the overly-English orientation went to Canada.  Of course, in Canada, especially Quebec, there was and is a sizeable French component.
   Boys and girls meet, and things happen.  So, our best understanding is that Rutherford Hayes was probably birthed in Canada or of Canadian subjects (at that time) of the Crown…that perhaps he was drawn from the blood of the Birchard (pronounced:  Buhr -  SHARD) family, which was highly placed in the Dominion  (Commonwealth of Canada).  When the Hayes family established itself in Ohio, Rutherford became active in the American political scene.

     But, unlike folks who had the name of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or Ronald Wilson Reagan, it was the notion of the budding politician that he use the proper monicker of Rutherford B. Hayes.  Some thought that it might be a way to dismiss the importance of Rutherford's English and "Frenchy" connection.  However, all must be aware, the President of the United States was once named Rutherford Birchard Hayes.

On the road to North Dakota:

     Norman N. Newton  did not find his brothers in Wisconsin nor Michigan.   He worked as a roustabout there for an episode, but by the time he was turning at his majority, he decided to be a "lawman".   My father thought that he worked for Wyatt Earp in Tombstone, but such was not the case.
   The fact was and is that there is intertwining of the Earp Family and the Newton line.   My father had it confused, and that is because in the mores of the time, if an adult said "this", a child dared not to suggest that he should have said "that".
     My father suggested that Norman N. Newton worked for "Federal Marshall Wyatt Earp" in Tombstone. Arizona.   Later in life, my father declared that he wasn't really clear on that episode of my grandfather's life.   My best impression is that Norman N. Newton (first cousins to Newton Earp) despised Wyatt Earp from some trickling of current lore at that time (1880s - 1910) that trickled into family conversations from a distance.
       It turns out that a generation before, Wyatt and his brothers, and a blood relative of the people who lost their lives in the accident that killed them and left their male child abandoned by fate were connected by fate.   The baby in swaddling, Newton Earp, went with one of the Earps and Charles (or Max) Newton went with Hubbard (Banty) Newton to Pennsylvania.
      It turns out that the child that Hubbard (Banty) Newton took in after the carriage accident was  the brother of Charles Newton's blood first cousin who died in the carriage accident.   And that convolution is actually the way it was.   Unfortunately, Hubbard (Banty) Newton  had two wives who were sistersthe first one died after childbirth…after birthing Charles. The second one, sister to the first, also died of blood-loss after childbirth, but not before birthing, Isaac Newton.
   Then a very young girl, a noted preacher's daughter, married Hubbard Newton, to help with his peculiar Patchwork - Quilt of family…and from that time and occasion, she produced two babies.  One was Sewell Leonard Newton and the other Norman N. Newton.   Both boys came to look very much like their father and both prospered with the evangelical Mom and the prosperity of the moment.   The War Between the States dispelled that order and tranquillity.  
This is Newton Earp, cousin to the
 Earp brothers.  He also served as a
 lawman with them, but finished life
 as a farmer and contractor in the
 Midwest and in California. He lost
his wife in 1898 and he died in
1928…about the same time as
the death of Wyatt Earp.

Some have said that this image is
 a "dead ringer" of Wyatt Earp
but that Newton Earp was the
 better man.
  That is for the public to judge
because we just report the news.
My father seemed steeped in a
dislike of Wyatt Earp and would
not permit the TV-show in the
house, nor would he discuss the
 matter with people researching 
the complexities of this matter.
I have come to agree with my 
     InterestinglyHubbard, as pointed out above, had married this Spring Chicken who bore him a couple of children  (Sewell Leonard Newton and Norman N. Newton) perhaps because she was of a religious family,   We learned our research that this Protestant was actually derived from an aristocratic line of the Bolles.  She was aligned biologically with the most Catholic of all the non-Roman Catholic orthodox.  For instance, to this day, the official Church of the Reign and the Kingdom of England and all places Brittanic is the Anglican Church, presided over by an Archbishop of Canterbury.  To this day, even the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States is protestant because it says it is not subject to the Rule of the Crown (essentially the religious authority over all things Anglican).  It is an interesting paradox, anomaly, and incongruity, still unresolved.   We are not Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Greek Orthodox, or any of those convenient  "jidey-holes".   But we are, are an Orthodox Churchnot Protestant.
  So the Newtons AND the Bolles people in the mix in America were nephews and nieces of Archbishops of Canterbury and Sir Walter Raleigh.  The Newtons had their business people and a few Counts and many fewer Dukes that any Englishman might have in their background…but we never had such as the Bolles.   As an aside, Priscilla's father-in-law and all that family have stunning ancestors full of Chancellors, Bishops, Archbishops,  Dukes, Court of the Realm, Counts, etc.   The Newton Blue-bloods come from the Christians, the original arrivals in Boston (1642) as counts of the second birth, etc., and the Christians who began to dominate the liquor, beer, and brandy production in those days from their jidey-hole in the Isle of Manbetween England and Ireland 

   Priscilla's and Christian's family has a way-out-there amount of blue blood.   One of those produced was Norman N. Newton and the other was his younger sister who was last delivered.   She had married a German - American fellow, and later wound up living out in North Dakota with her brother and that other man who might have be her legal husband…that is something that is still percolating in the witches' cauldron.

     Diana's family is also blessed/cursed because most of her people came over to NoWhere Mexico because they were not first-borne - the rule of primogeniture.   Unless a person was willing to kill all those in the front of the line…it was best to take his / her blue blood and invest it in Northern Mexico and produce things like babies, sheep/wool, and crops…which my boss's Hebrew - Iberian people did…IN SPADES.   But that is another story…coming soon…at a theatre near you.

     We return somewhat quickly to this matter of Norman N. Newton.  He never suggested that he had a wife or help mate.  He learned the Lakota language, after leaving service with the Earps, thinking that he could build upon his uncles's good will.  He learned an ear-full from his uncle about the Earps, and decided he would strike north to a point in the Centre of Frigid Hell.   He made a claim to two sections (2 square miles) in a place adjacent to the territorially permitted districts of the LaKota Nation.   He knew that the southern group of these people had been dealt with dispatch, but the dealings with the northern LaKota nation in the Dakota Territory had been more genteel and predictable.
     1,280 acres was not anything comment-worthy in American terms, especially when it was considered that only one crop could be raised per year in the Dakota territory…and that would be wheat, and that grain was of a mediocre quality.   But Norman N. Newton dug his dugout home, with mud walls and with a mud roof and a certain calm due to the "ceramic closure" of the construction.  Without such a home, temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit-below-zero would solve all of the problems of any homesteader…permanently.

     These homes were named "Sod Houses" by the several hundreds of "settlers" in that windswept plain.  They were not built for comfortthey were built for survival!   Searching out buffalo and cattle dung for firewood during the winter was a normalcy.   Helping Indians when they had a family emergency because the Indians almost always helped when the Caucasian type needed intercessionwas something a person had to learn or forget about building a great estate.

 The inside and outside of a common sod house and a
 home of people with above average wealth, in the
 period around 1890.

Above, one sees the nature of the interior of a "sod house".   It is a clean but very austere dwelling.  The tough stuff was left to the men…the stuff that counted  in terms of "home" instead of "house"…was left to the females…guided by a woman who probably wondered, "What in the Hell have I gotten myself into?".

The above is an example of ''harrowing" which those
 who known everything about global warming/freezing
 have never had the pleasure to understand.  This team
 draw rake-like trailers that group up the
 wheat stems
 and seeds,that had been"scythed".

  Usually these deployments were done on farms that
 were 160 or more acres.  It was wheat, wheat,
 or nothing until they began to do barley and
 seed crops.   This is around 1902.

  My grandfather would have been the one charging

 for each of these horsed, at the rate of one Yankee
 dollar per day, each horse.The tiller-man made
 1.25 per day.
     Hollywood has not quite left the Michel Landon tale about  "Little House on the Prairie" in the best, true light.   The original settlers were veterans of the "Sod House".   They were neither ashamed nor proud.  Survival requires different resolve and definitions. My grandfather Norman N. Newton made his "empire" work, and at the beginning it was from his "Sod Palace".  He was well-read…had four different collections of recently published encyclopaedias and various books about current events.  He also had the "Little Leather Library", a collection of 50 English master authors' classics.   He went somewhat predictably, if not frequently, to people who wanted advice concerning seeds, or this or that, to give them advice about bugs, temperatures, and new seed strains.

    He would consult with those "experts" and then call his neighbour(s) to put the analysis to the test.   We say he would call, because he and others put together a fairly sophisticated telephone system in the southeastern part of rural North Dakota…in 1896.   Little did he know that he would have to wait for an even better long-distance communications system…a woman…when he married in 1910.

     His wife (my grandmother) Esther Lee Christian, married after living in Mexico and losing a suitor in 1895 to bandits in the transit of the train from Vera Cruz to Mexico City.   She did well as someone kookie-bongo enough to live in North Dakota.  She had had combat experience in Minneapolis - St. Paul during her younger days…(like when she was born, in 1870…like a lot of babies).

     She spent much time working with the Indians of the area…on and off the reservations.  She had a medical degree, but certain laws prevented her from an actual license to practice her GP training.  Among the aboriginals, however, they did not care if the witch-doctor medicine man or the White Lady helped them…frequently the two collaborated…or as the Democrats of to-day might say…entered into "collusion".   Her "no-charge" largesse was rewarded when the Indian women (Lakotas) noticed that her chimney had no smoke as they passed and they knew that the "White Lady" was about 20 months pregnant (okay…she was a little short of term)…and women somehow know how those things work.   They ploughed through the snow with their own pregnancies, babies, children, dogs, horses…all winding up in the Newton Parlour and delivering that which the Stork had delivered through the window.
     My grandfather Norman was in Minneapolis finishing orders for the coming planting season and just happened to be in the process of returning to Gwinner via the reliable Burlington Northern.  Norman Newton had a large reserve of Appaloosa and Morgan horses according to my father…evenly divided between the two groups that he used for his own substantial acreage, but also for let…to other farmers who  frequently spent their money on what the older Mexicans down here call "chucherrias", a term for  "senseless whims that simply cost money…a waste".


We do not wish to bore everyone with our dull details about something called "The Past".  It is recognised that my pitiable contribution to the advance of humanity is negligible.  But, at times, there are other generations who arrive upon this planet…whither from on High, or from some more alien place…who might appreciate knowing about "….back when".

El Gringo Viejo