George Thomas Newman biography

GEORGE THOMAS NEWMAN. The rapid and substantial growth of El Paso in the last quarter of a century has provided a fruitful field to the real-estate operator and the improvements and substantial development of the city are due in no unimportant degree to those who have handled her property interests, among whom is numbered George Thomas Newman. A native of Carroll county, Missouri, he is a brother of E. S. Newman, also a real-estate dealer of El Paso. The parents, E. R. and Rebecca (Carrico) Newman, removed from Spencer county, Kentucky, to Missouri, settling in Carroll county, where both the parents passed away. There George Thomas Newman spent his early youth, and at the time of the breaking out of the Civil war he was a lad of fourteen years, being employed in the store of his brothers at Lexington, Missouri, to which place he had gone from the home farm. Lexington was the center of much excitement at the time of the outbreak of the war and a cattle occurred there, which was one of the first engagements fought on Missouri soil. General Milligan, of the federal army, had taken possession of the town, which was in a state of uproar and confusion. Later he was captured by General Price’s army and at that time, although but a young lad, Mr. Newman of this review joined the Confederate army and for three months was in scouting service under command of General Cockrell in the vicinity of Lexington.

Following this experience, Mr. Newman went to the west, crossing the plains through Nebraska to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, where he became connected with the contract business. He was in that country until about 1867 and visited Fort Laramie in 1867, when the noted Indian chiefs, Spotted Tail and Red Cloud, came to the valley under a truce and made a treaty with the military authorities there, an event which followed the Fort Phil Kearney massacre. Mr. Newman was an eye-witness of and participated in many of the exciting incidents of typical western life in those days, particularly at Julesburg, Colorado, which, when it was one of the headquarters of construction work on the Union Pacific, was one of the most lawless places ever known in the history of the west. In 1867 he returned to Kansas and it was about that time that the work of the Kansas Pacific was begun. In connection with his brothers he established a store at Newman Station, near Topeka, under the firm name of Newman & Hasten. About the same time H. L. Newman established a large grain warehouse at Newman Station, buying grain from all the surrounding country and supplying same under government contract to the forts in western Kansas and elsewhere. In 1876 Mr. Newman, of this review, went to Fort Sheridan, Nebraska, and was post trader there for some time.

Early in the year 1881, with others of the Newman family, George T. Newman came to El Paso and engaged in the cattle business in Western Texas with headquarters in this city, the ranch lands and leases lying in El Paso, Jeff Davis and Reeves county. They owned one of the old-time ranches which covered great stretches of territory and prairie under the name of the Gomaz Cattle Company, of which Mr. Newman of this review was manager. He remained in the cattle business for about fifteen years, successfully conducting the enterprise and at the same time taking up other lines of business and development in El Paso, particularly in real-estate, in which the Newman have always been heavily interested. He was for a time quite extensively engaged in furnishing railroad supplies for the Mexican Central Railroad building south of El Paso. He was a member of the real-estate firm of Newman & Russell, which afterward sold out to A. P. Coles & Brothers, and was one of the founders of the El Paso Ice and Refrigerator Company, the pioneer industry of that character in the city, and was an important factor in the shipment of refrigerated meats to California and other points. As a member of the firm of Newman Brothers & Nations he was engaged in the business of handling and shipping youth cattle from the Texas country to the northern pastures in Wyoming, Montana and other states. This it will be seen that he has been a most active representative of business interests which have developed the industrial and commercial, as well as agricultural, possibilities of this part of the state.

When the Newmans came to El Paso they built the first house lying in the district between Magoffin avenue and extending beyond Campbell street. They were then and have been since financially interested in most of the important additions laid out in El Paso, and as the present writing George T. Newman is a member of the real-estate firm of Newman & Sutherland, and is one of the financial promoters of Highland Park, a leading and attractive residential addition to El Paso, lying to the east in the pathway of the present development of the city. Much money has already been expended in the improvement of that district, which has become one of the most attractive residence portions of El Paso.

In 1876, in Missouri, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Newman and Miss Lillian Blachly, and to them have been born four children, but three of the number have passed away, the surviving one being Thomas B. Newman. Mr. Newman was formerly interested in politics, recognized as an influential factor in Democratic circles, and in 1893-4 was treasurer of El Paso county. While he is yet never remiss in the duties of citizenship and give his co-operation to many measures for the general good, his energies are concentrated more largely upon his individual interests, which make heavy claim upon his time and attention. He is constantly broadening the scope of his business interests and as the years have gone by was found in the rapidly developing western country opportunity for the exercise of talents that reach to large results and successful accomplishment.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 455-457.