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George C. Newton (1824-1903)

George Newton was a shoemaker in Prescott in 1860, according to the 1860 federal census.  He spent most of his life, however, in the hotel business.

Following is Newton’s obituary from the August 6, 1903, Pierce County Herald:


Geo. Newton, Sr. another old and respected citizen of Red Wing, passed away Monday at 11:55 o’clock p. m at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Thomas Thompson, on Fourth Street.

The deceased was 78 years old and had lived in Red Wing about twenty-five years, and by reason of his quaint humor and jolly disposition, was well known and liked by everybody.  He was a familiar figure on the streets ever ready to stop and chat with acquaintances and friends.

He was born in Chepstow, England, and came to Philadelphia in 1852.  In 1855 he moved to Prescott, Wis. At that time that village had large prospects and Mr. Newton went into the hotel business.  He remained in Prescott 24 years, when the place declined so much in a business way that he was moved to Red Wing in 1879.  His whole life here, up to within about two years, has been spent as a hotel proprietor and restaurant keeper, having successfully kept the Central Hotel, the Hickman House, the Newton House and the Newton restaurant.

Since the death of his wife, which occurred about a year and a half ago, and whose loss he deeply mourned, he has been growing more feeble day by day, and therefore was an easy victim of pneumonia, which disease attacked him only last Friday.—Red Wing Republican, July 29.

The following article is from A History of Prescott, Wisconsin: A River City and Farming Community on the St. Croix and Mississippi, by Dorothy Eaton Ahlgren and Mary Cotter Beeler (Prescott Area Historical Society, 1996).  F 589 .P84 A47 1996 in the UWRF Archives.


George C. Newton, b. Chepstow, England, 1824 – d. 1903; m. in Philadelphia, Pa., Nov. 18, 1853, Sarah Ann Neary, b. Castle Rhea, Ireland, Apr. 22, 1834 or 1835 – d. Apr. 17, 1902.  They met on shipboard before they landed in the U.S.  George had a shoe repair shop in Philadelphia, a trade he continued in Prescott when he came in 1856.  In 1858, they returned to Philadelphia for a visit and while there, son George was born.  George Sr., next went into the hotel business in Prescott, and operated the Merchants Hotel.  In 1879, he moved to Red Wing, Minn., where he purchases a hotel.

George and Sarah had the following children:

  • Mary Jane (1856-1910), married George Matthews
  • George W. (1858-1939), married Johanna Manning
  • Sarah Ann (1860-1885), married Charles Beckman
  • William Neary (1862-1920), married Christine Reichert
  • Joseph (1866-1892)
  • W. Henry (1872-1890) – he drowned in the Sea Wing disaster on Lake Pepin
  • Elizabeth (1872-1908), married Thomas Thompson

For more details on the Newton family, see Tales from Buffalo Land: The Story of George “W” Newton (old-time buffalo hunter of Dakota and Montana), by Usher L. Burdick, in the library of the Wisconsin Historical Society.


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