Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 400-01.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Newell Barrows

After a long life of activity and usefulness Newell Barrows is living retired, deriving his income from a valuable farm property of one hundred and sixty acres, situated on section 12, Maple Valley township.  He was born near Montreal, Canada, February 7, l836, a son of John and Leonora (Freeman) Barrows, both of whom were born in Canada, of French ancestry.  In 1836 John Barrows removed with his family to Vermont, where he engaged in farming, being in the employ of one man for thirteen years.  They became the parents of ten children, of whom only four reached years of maturity, and spent their last years in Vermont.


Newell Barrows acquired his education in the common schools and remained under the parental roof until he had reached mature years.  He learned the trades of coopering and brickmaking [sic] and when a young man of twenty-one years made his way from the east to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he followed the brickmaker's trade.  He later engaged in farming and coopering, being thus engaged for twenty-two years.  He later contracted for the purchase of two hundred and twenty-four acres of land in Sac county, Iowa, paying for the same in brick, giving one thousand brick; per acre for the land.  Eventually he removed to his farm properly and improved it, operating the same for thirteen years.  Disposing of that land he invested his money in his present tract of one hundred and sixty acre, located on section 12, Maple Valley township.  He tiled the land, which he divided into fields of convenient size by well kept fences, erected a nice country home, good barn and outbuildings, and altogether made it a valuable properly.  In addition to carrying on general agricultural pursuits he was also engaged in raising good grades of cattle and hogs, and was thus busily employed for a number of years.  During this time he acquired the competency that now enables him to live retired, although he still retains his home on the farm but leases the land.


Mr. Barrows' family numbers three children:  Edward H., a resident of Storm Lake; Meda, the wife of L. G. Wagner, a railroad man of Iowa Falls, Iowa; and May, the wife of Cliff Beall, a merchant, who makes his home in the state of Washington.  Three children have departed this life.


Mr. Barrows cast his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln and has supported each candidate of the party since that time.   While he takes a deep interest in political questions he has never sought nor desired office for himself.  He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Storm Lake.  The year 1879 witnessed his arrival in Iowa and since that time he has seen Buena Vista county develop into a rich agricultural region, its well kept farms and attractive country homes making it one of the desirable places of abode in the northern part of the state.  Mr. Barrows has led an active, busy and useful life and now at the age of seventy-two years is enjoying in retirement the accumulation of a profitable successful and honorable career.