JAMES B. NEWMAN.
An expert stone cutter may be as truly an artist as he who paints a canvas or composes a symphony, and in James
E. Newman is found one whose abilities along this line have gained him widespread recognition, for over a period
of years he has successfully executed some of the most notable ornamental stone and marble work that has been erected
in central California. Not only has he gained distinction in his special line of work, but as a man and citizen
he has won the unbounded respect and esteem of the entire community honored by his citizenship and is therefore
eminently entitled to specific reference in the permanent record of the annals of his locality.
James B. Newman was born in Essex, England, on the 21st day of September, 1851, the son of John Newman. He attended
the public schools of his native land and then learned the trade of stonecutter. In 1872, the year in which he
attained his majority, Mr. Newman came to the United States, locating first in Chicago, but the following year
he came to California and obtained employment with Lasner & Sherron in San Francisco. Later he assisted a Mr.
Donnelly in the construction of the monumental work in the Tulocay cemetery in Napa, and then, in association with
Messrs. Wing and Rogers, took the contract to cut stone for the windows of the Napa State Hospital. Later Mr. Newman
was employed on the stone carving for that same building. In 1875 he and others formed a company to quarry stone
in the hills east of Napa for paving the streets of San Francisco. They received one hundred dollars per thousand
for these paving blocks and furnished about two hundred thousand of them in four years. In the meantime he had
formed a partnership with H. W. Wing and established a granite and marble works in Napa, an association which continued
until 1900, when Mr. Newman became the sole owner of the business.
During the many years of his operation of this business Mr. Newman has furnished the cut stone for most of the
public and business structures of this section of the state, executing all kinds of special designs in ornamental
carving for the best buildings in San Francisco and other cities of the coast region. He has also built a great
many of the stone bridges in Napa county. During later years Mr. Newman has specialized in monumental and mortuary
vault work and has executed some large and expensive contracts along that line. His skill as a technical workman
has long been generally acknowledged and as a designer he is both artistic and original, his designs being the
equal of any found throughout this section of the country. Honest work has characterized his performance of all
his contracts and he is painstaking and reliable in handling any job entrusted to him. His plant, at Third and
Brown streets, Napa, is fully equipped for handling the work and he takes a justifiable pride in turning out good
work quickly. Mr. Newman has always supported the republican party and has taken a good citizen's interest in local
public affairs, having served as a member of the board of school directors and on the city council. He is a member
of Yount Lodge No. 12, Free and Accepted Masons; Napa Chapter No. 30, Royal Arch Masons; Napa Commandery No. 30,
Knights Templar; Napa Lodge No. 18, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in its several branches, and is a past patriarch,
and was district deputy; the Daughters of Rebekah, of which order he instituted the lodges of St. Helena and Sonoma;
and was a charter member of the Napa Lodge, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. For twenty seven years he was
the financial secretary of the Odd Fellow lodge.
In 1888 Mr. Newman married Miss Minnie Mitchell, who was born and reared in California, and they became the parents
of two sons, Raymond Webster and Harold Merritt, the latter of whom died at the age of eleven years. Raymond W.
Newman is a bacteriologist and during the World war he was sent by the government to Yale University for special
study and research work. He is now a bacteriologist for the state of California. Mr. Newman's life has been one
of untiring activity and has been crowned with an abundant measure of success, while at the same time he has won
and retains the confidence and esteem of all who know him, because of his clean life and his fair dealing with
his fellow men in all the relations of life.
History of Solano County, California
BY: Marguerite Hune
Napa County, California
BY: Harry Lawrence Gunn
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Napa County, CA
For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium