Biography of George A. Newman
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

GEORGE ARMSTRONG NEWMAN. The Newman family has been in Cleveland over eighty years. It is one of the old and honored names of influence and prestige, both in the early days and later times. George Armstrong Newman, of the third generation of the family in Cleveland, is identified with the county government, and in former years was active in the real estate business.

He was born at the old home on Newman Avenue in Lakewood. His father, James T. Newman, and his grandfather, Rev. John Newman, were born in London, England. Rev. John Newman became a preacher of the Swedenborgian Church, and in 1842 brought his family to America, making the voyage in a sailing vessel. He was the second minister of the Swedenborgian Church in this section of Northern Ohio. His home was in Ohio City, as the locality west of the river was known, remaining in that locality until his death. He and his wife, Mary, reared three children: James, Thomas and Ann.

James T. Newman was born in London, England, in 1831, and was eleven years of age when brought to the United States. He grew up on the West Side, made use of his limited opportunities to obtain a good education, and as a youth showed commendable habits of industry. He frequently rowed people across the river for a few cents fare. Most of the land included in the modern City of Cleveland was when the Newman family located there either forest or farm, and James T. Newman had as one of his regular occupations the duty of chopping firewood used for fuel. He served an apprenticeship at the printer's trade, and was associated with the Edward Cowles newspaper, which finally merged with the Leader. After retiring from the newspaper business he moved to Ithaca, New York, and for nineteen years was a merchant selling musical goods there. He then returned to Cleveland, where during his former residence he had invested his means in a large tract of land designated by the modern streets of Detroit at Newman and Franklin avenues. He plotted this land, built sidewalks and laid out streets. Much of this has been sold and built upon, and his children still own other parts of it. He was one of the progressive men of his day, possessed good business ability, had implicit faith in Cleveland's future, and eventually achieved prosperous circumstances. He died at the age of seventy four years. James T. Newman married Elizabeth Armstrong, who was born at Ogdensburg, New York, of pure Scotch ancestry. Her father, Allan Armstrong, was born in Scotland, came to the United States when a young man, and at Ogdensburg, New York, was engaged in the civil engineering profession until his death. Edward Armstrong, brother of Elizabeth Armstrong, commanded a company of cavalry in the Union Army, and died in the service. Mrs. Elizabeth Armstrong Newman died. in 1901, having reared three sons, Edward, James Thomas and George A.

George Armstrong Newman lives in a home that is about a hundred yards from his birthplace. He first attended the school now known as the Garfield School, and continued his education in a private school known as Devereaux Hall and in the Kentucky Public School and the West High School. He finally completed his education with a course in Caton's Business College. For several years he was associated with his brothers in the management and sale of their father's real estate interests. Later he entered the service of the People's Gas Company, in charge of the appliance department, and continued in that position with the first company and its successor, the East Ohio Gas Company, until 1921. After many years of faithful and efficient service to this public utility he resigned and in 1921 was appointed purchasing agent for Cuyahoga County.

Mr. Newman married, in 1908. Mary M. Trvak, who was born in Bremen, Germany, daughter of Frank and Anna (Younge) Tryak, her father being of German and her mother of French ancestry. Mr. and Mrs. Newman have two sons, George Armstrong and Robert Whittaker Newman. Mr. Newman cast his first presidential vote for William McKinley, and has been staunchly aligned with the republican party ever since. He is affiliated with Halcyon Lodge No. 498 of the Masonic Order, Thatcher Chapter No. 101, Royal Arch Masons, Forest City Lodge No. 40 of the Knights Templar, of which he is past commander and past captain general, and is also a member of Lake Erie Consistory of the Scottish Rite and Al Koran Temple of the Mystic Shrine.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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