Friday, July 19, 2013

Charles Shepard and Mary Clarke Newton Obituaries

Dear Grandparents,
In researching your lives, I have learned to explore all leads and to never be surprised at the direction from which they come. Today while reading the weekly online newsletter from the New England Historical Genealogical Society entitled "The Weekly Genealogist", I found a column by Assistant Editor Valerie Beaudrault. Her article, "Spotlight: Various Resources: Wisconsin, Oregon, and Illinois" mentioned that the Wilsonville Public Library in Clackamas County, Oregon has made their Northwest Heritage Index available on its website. The collection contains more that 16,000 obituaries.

I know that several of you already know where this discussion is going. A quick search of their data base revealed obituaries for Chas. S. Newton in 1912 and Mrs. Newton in 1929. As soon as I found those listings, I contacted the library and after sending the information from the Northwest Heritage Index, I promptly received pdf files of the obituaries. Many thanks to Librarian Greg Martin for his help.

Chas. S. Newton Obituary from the
Canby Irrigator, Canby, Oregon
04 Apr 1912
Page 1, column 2
The image is difficult to read so here is the transcription:
"Chas. S. Newton died at the home of his son, John R. Newton, at 9:40 p m, Wednesday. Mr. Newton has been very low for several weeks and but little hope was held for his recovery. He was born in New York and was 70 years old at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife, one son, John R. Newton, and two daughters, Mrs. R. N. Cone, of Springfield, Utah and Mrs. H. H. Hart, of Whit(e)s Plains, New York. The funeral will be held from the home of John R. Newton, Friday April 5th at 10:00 a. m.

Previously, I had found an obituary for Great Grandfather Newton in the General Catalog of Officers and Students for the University of Michigan in 1912. Charles Shepard Newton had been at student at the Ann Arbor campus from 1860-1862.

It is interesting that the Canby notice mentions that the funeral would be held from the home of his son John R. Newton. Since Charles Newton had been an elder in the Presbyterian Church, I had expected that your service would have been held at a church. Perhaps, a church in Canby was not available at the time.

Charles S. Newton's Headstone photo courtesy of Sue Barnett and

When I requested the obituary listed for Mrs. Newton, I was crossing my fingers that this referred to Great Grandmother Mary Elizabeth Clarke Newton. The dates seemed to be correct but then Newton is a fairly common surname. I knew I had the right person, when the obituary stated that she had died at the home of her daughter Mrs. Cone of Salem.
Obituary of Mrs. Newton from the Canby Herald, Canby, Oregon
07 Feb 1929, Page 1, Column 2.
Because the image is difficult to read... here is a transcript of the article:
"Former Canby Woman Buried Here Thursday
Mrs. Newton, former resident of Canby, who died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Cone of Salem, was buried at Canby Thursday, and Interment was in Zion cemetery where her husband was buried some time ago. Mr. and Mrs. Newton formerly owned a place that is now the Fir Lane Poultry farm, property of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Thompson. They made a specialty of strawberry production years ago."
Wow.... strawberries! Not what I expected from an Oregon farmer. It will take some additional research to determine where the farm was located.

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