US GenWeb

This biography is from Landmarks of Albany County, New York, edited by Amasa J. Parker of Albany, N. Y., Syracuse, N. Y.; D. Mason & Co. Publishers, 1897.

The Newman Family

Charles Newman, when a young man, came with his widowed mother from near Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany, and settled in Albany, then a city of 1,000 or 2,000 inhabitants. As early as 1770 he established himself in the wool and leather trade on Broadway, near State street, where the business has ever since been conducted by the family.

Henry Newman, his son, was born in Albany September 20, 1780, and upon reaching a responsible age entered his father's establishment, of which he subsequently became sole owner. This business he personally conducted at No. 457 Broadway, the present location, for about seventy years. He died May 24, 1874, at the advanced age of ninety-four, probably being at that time the oldest native of Albany. His career was one of uninterrupted success, and he exemplified the sterling qualities of industry, perseverance, steadfastness of purpose, and strict honesty, in his business and in private life. His word was always good; his integrity was never questioned; his character was above reproach. Modest and unassuming in his manners, he enjoyed unbounded confidence and the highest respect, and was often urged to accept positions of honor and public trust, but always declined them in view of the higher duties recognized as due to his family and his business. One of his chief characteristics was unswerving fidelity to duty in every department of life. He was an exemplary Christian, a loyal friend, and a true citizen, taking a keen interest in the advancement of all public affairs and the prosperity of his native city. In politics he was a staunch Democrat and never failed to vote. For more than thirty years he was a trustee and treasurer of the First Lutheran church, whose financial prosperity was largely due to his sagacity and foresight. He was one of the first shareholders and long a director of the Mechanics' and Farmers' Bank, and for many years an active member of the Albany Fire Department.

Mr. Newman married Miss Elizabeth Humphrey, sister of George and William Humphrey, old-time merchants of Albany, and after her death he married Miss Mary A., daughter of Aretas and Jane (Humphrey) Lyman, of Sand Lake, Rensselaer county, N. Y. Mary Lyman was descended from (1) Richard Lyman, born at High Ongar, England, in 1580, who came with Elliott, the missionary to the Indians, in the ship Lion to New England in 1631. Her great-grandfather, Capt. Joshua Lyman, born February 27, 1704, died September 11, 1777, was fourth officer at Fort Dummer under Captain Kellogg between 1728 and 1740, active in the French and Indian wars, captain in Col. Israel Williams's regiment in the campaign of 1759, and held important offices in Northampton and Northfield, Mass., being selectman from 1747 to 1768. Her grandfather. Col. James Lyman, born June 9, 1748, died January 25, 1804, entered the Revolutionary army as corporal in Capt. Samuel Merriman's company of Col. Phineas Wright's regiment September 32, 1777, was present at the battle of Saratoga and Burgoyne's surrender, served at Fort Ticonderoga, became lieutenant in Capt. Seth Pierce's company of Colonel Murray's regiment at Claverack and West Point in October, 1780, being there at the time of the Arnold treachery, ranked as colonel in 1795, and was selectman of Northfield from 1782 to 1804. Capt. Aretas Lyman, father of Mrs. Newman, was born in Northfield February 4, 1773, and settled in Sand Lake, N. Y., where he conducted a lumber and milling business. Henry Newman was survived by his wife and nine children.

Charles Newman, his eldest surviving son, was born in the capital city April 21, 1828, received his education in the Boys' Academy, and read law with J. & I. Edwards. He was admitted to the bar about 1849, but soon afterward associated himself in business with his father, becoming successively the latter's partner and successor. In 1866 his brother, John L. Newman, became a partner with him, retiring in 1880, when his sons, William Page and Henry Newman, were admitted under the firm name of Charles Newman & Co., making the fourth generation of the family that has been connected with the house, which has had a continuous existence of more than one hundred and twenty-five years, being the oldest wool house in the United States. Charles Newman is one of Albany's representative business men. He is a director in the Mechanics' and Farmers' Bank and vice-president and trustee of the Mechanics' and Farmers' Savings Bank, was formerly president of the Albany and Watervliet Railroad, was trustee for some years of the Second Presbyterian church, and is a member of the Sons of the Revolution, a charter member of the Fort Orange Club, and a member of Masters Lodge No. 5, F. & A. M., and Temple Chapter No. 5, R. A. M. In 1850 he married Mary E. Page, daughter of Rev. William Page and Francis Sheldon Page, and their children are Mrs. Willis G. Tucker, William Page, and Henry Newman.

Major John Ludlow Newman, son of Henry and Mary A. (Lyman) Newman, was born in Albany on the 21st of February, 1836, was educated at the Albany Academy, and when eighteen entered his father's wool and leather store, with which he was identified for twenty-six years. In 1866 he became a member of the firm of Charles and John L. Newman, under which name the old established wool business of his father was conducted until 1880, when he withdrew and engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods at Cohoes, N. Y., in partnership with William P. Adams. The firm of Newman & Adams consumed about half a million pounds of wool annually and employed a large force of skilled workmen. Major Newman retired from active business in 1891, after a successful career covering thirty-seven years. He is president of the National Bank of Cohoes, having been a director since 1878 and vice-president since 1893 until his election to the presidency in January, 1895. This is the oldest and most successful banking institution in Cohoes.

Being a descendant of ancestors who had fought in the French and Indian wars during the Colonial times, and in the War of the Revolution, Major Newman felt it his patriotic duty to "fight in defense of the flag" in the Civil war. In 1862 he recruited a company for the Forty-third New York Volunteers, and with the regiment joined the Third Brigade, Second Division, Sixth Army Corps (General Sedgwick's), as captain of his company. He served under McClellan in the Army of the Potomac, and also under Burnside at Fredericksburg December 13-15, 1862, and under Hooker in the Chancellorsville campaign May 2-4, 1863, being wounded in the charge on Marye's Heights on May 3. On this occasion Major Newman was recommended for honorable mention in "General Orders" for gallantry and bravery. On May 4 he was at Salem Church fight and Banks Ford, and on June 9 in another skirmish at Fredericksburg. Then commenced the memorable Pennsylvania campaign, culminating in the decisive and brilliant victory at Gettysburg. Major Newman's regiment, the Forty-third New York, commanded by Lieut. -Col. John Wilson, held in this battle an important position near Wolf's Hill, at the right of the Union line, in front of the confederate General Ewell, and participated in that terrible battle of the 2d and 3d of July, 1863. November 7 he was at the battle of Rappahannock Station and November 27 at Locust Grove. He participated in the Mine Run campaign, and in the spring of 1864 made a forced march with the Sixth Corps to Madison Court House. He was promoted major of the Forty-third regiment and in June, 1864, was honorably discharged. He received the "Gettysburg Medal" from the State of New York.

He was one of the first members of the Albany Zouave Cadets (now Co. A, 10th Battalion N. G. N. Y.) in 1861, an oiganization which had the proud record of sending eighty commissioned officers to the Union army. Some years afterward he was elected vice-president and later president of the Old Guard, an organization formed of men and officers of the old Albany Zouave Cadets, and has ever since been one of its leading members. He is also a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, the Society of the Army of the Potomac, and the Society of the Sixth Army Corps, of which he was elected vice-president during the reunion at Gettysburg. He is a charter member of George S. Dawson Post. No. 63, G. A. R., and was appointed ordnance officer on the staff of Gen. T. Ellery Lord, Third Brigade, N. G. N. Y., but declined the honor. He is a member of the Sons of the Revolution through his great-grandfather, Col. James Lyman. He was vice-president and curator of the Albany Young Men's Association, a trustee of the Albany City Homoeopathic Hospital, a trustee of the First Reformed (Old North Dutch) Church, and secretary of the old Albany Club. Many of these positions he resigned when he engaged in business in Cohoes. He is a member of the Fort Orange Club, a trustee of the Albany Historical and Art Association, and has always taken an active interest in the advancement and material welfare of his native city, where he has always resided.

Major Newman was married on the 8th of October, 1872, to Miss Evelina Egberts Steele, daughter of Oliver Steele, of Albany. Mrs. Newman's mother was Anna Egberts, a daughter of Anthony Egberts, a descendant of Rip Van Dam, one of the early colonial governors of New York; she was a sister of Egbert Egberts, a merchant of Albany and "the father of the knitting industry of the United States," being the inventor of the knitting machine and a wealthy manufacturer of Cohoes. Major and Mrs. Newman have two children: Clarence Egberts Newman and Evelyn Newman.

Rev. Frederick Mayer Newman, youngest .son of Henry Newman, was born in Albany October 31, 1840, was educated at the academy and Professor Anthony's Classical Institute, and in 1860 entered Union College, from which he received the degrees of A. B. and A. M. He was graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in l867, and for two years was missionary pastoral Port Henry, Essex county, having been licensed and ordained by the New York Presbytery. He spent a part of the year 1871 traveling in Europe, and for four years thereafter was pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Saratoga Springs. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Society of Union College and the Albany Institute, a life member of the Albany Young Men's Association, and a member of other honorary societies. Since 1880 he has resided in Albany, being engaged in literary pursuits.

Send comments or suggestions to:
Debby Masterson

Go Back to Albany County Biographies
Go Back to Home Page