Newman Lake

Spokane, Washington

History of William Newman

William Newman

William Newman

About William Newman

According to his army records, William H. Newman was born about 1835 in Liverpool, England. His father was born in Ireland and his mother in England. Somehow he ended up in New York and entered the U.S. Army there. National Archive records show that he enlisted on February 25, 1857 at the age of 22 years. The records state further that he was a blacksmith in civilian life and had enlisted for a period of five years. He was assigned to the 9th Infantry, Company HC at the San Juan Islands in Washington Territory as a private. His term of service ended on February 25, 1862. Company HC may have meant Headquarters Company, although he probably was transferred to another company out west. In fact, to have been a part of the escort for the boundary commission that was surveying the American and Canadian boundaries of Washington Territory and British Columbia, he would have been in F Company of the 9th Infantry.

His army records describe him as, blue eyes, brown hair, with a blond complexion, and 5 feet 7 inches tall. Major Robert S. Garnett and Captain Henry M. Black, with their wives and 121 recruits, sailed from New York, April 5, 1857, to Aspinwall, crossed the Isthmus by train, boarded ship again and reached San Francisco on April 30. On May 5 they debarked at Fort Vancouver, remained overnight and proceeded up the Columbia to Fort Dalles. Here they remained nine days, while the 121 recruits drilled and prepared for the 65 mile march to Fort Simcoe. They arrived at Fort Simcoe May 17, 1857.

From the HISTORY OF SPOKANE COUNTY, WASHINGTON, Rev. Jonathan Edwards, 1900, p.49:

"William Newman came to this (Spokane) country as early as 1860 as an escort to the boundary surveyors. He was in the United States Army, and had come this way from Fort Simcoe. He settled near the lake bearing his name, probably as early as 1865."

Continued from "Bugles in the Valley":

"In the last of May, 1857 Captain Dickinson Woodruff took his Company F of the 9th Infantry from Fort Simcoe to serve as an escort for the American Northwest Boundary Commission."

Page 130:

"Captain Archer and Company I of the 9th and Frazer with Company C of the 9th relieved Woodruff's Company F on April 17, 1859. Fort Simcoe was turned over to the Indian Affairs Department for Washington and Oregon."

What the 9th was doing while William Newman was serving with it, is told in the following summary from FORT COLVILLE 1859 to 1869 W.P. Winans, Washington Historical Quarterly, Vol.III, No. 1; Oct. 1908, pages 78 82:

"Spring 1859: A post was to be established in Colville Valley and several companies of the 9th United States Infantry were sent into that area. Two companies under Major Pinkney Lougenbeel went to the Colville area, they settled on the flat near Mill Creek, about three miles from the Colville River. Here they commenced at once to build a four company post, out of hewn logs. At the same time as Lougenbeel was at Colville, James J. Archer, commanding Company C and Captain John W. Frazier, commanding Company I went to Okanogan Valley to protect Captain John G. Parke of the American Boundary Commission. They scouted over the section all summer, then in the fall went to Fort Colville to find the post practically built, which they helped to finish. These four companies C, I, and Lougenbeel's two companies, wintered at the post, as did the engineers under Captain Parke. This would be the winter of 1859 1860."

"By August 6 1861 Captain Parke had finished his survey duties and headed back east. It is assumed that the 25 man escort detail from the 9th Infantry returned to their regular unit. The four companies of the 9th occupied Fort Colville until the spring of 1861, when Archer's Company I and Franzier's Company C were ordered east to take part in the Civil War. November 17, 1861 Major Lougenbeel and his command were relieved at Fort Colville by the Second California Volunteers and the 9th returned to Fort Walla Walla."

In a letter from Jan Heathman (March 9, 1997):

"Lincoln Co., WA. A Lasting Legacy 1988 Lincoln Co. Centennial Committee. In 1861, William Newman came to the present site of Sprague. He established a station for travelers and for government express animals. Sprague became a watering place for freighters out of Fort Walla Wall: a major stop for the old military trail between Fort Colville and Fort Walla Walla."

Copy of the First 100 Marriage Records in Stevens County, Territory of Washington. Secured by Esther Reed Chapter, D.A.R. of Spokane , Washington. 1922, pg.19. From the LDS Spokane Genealogical Library:

"This is to certify that this 12th day of February 1872 at the house of Guy Haines in Stevens County, W.T. in presence of Guy Haines and Thomas Ford attesting witnesses, I joined William Newman and Elizabeth Barnaby both of Stevens County in the bonds of matrimony. Given under my hand this 12th day of February 1872. Witnesses: Guy Haines Thomas Ford F.W. Perkins Justice of the Peace."

William and his family were listed on the following census:

1880; The 10th US Census; Spokane County; Washington Territory; dwelling #278:

William Newman white male age 42 farmer born in England

  • Elizabeth, female, 26 keepinghouse, Oregon
  • Emily, female, 5 daughter
  • Elliot, male, 3 son
  • Sarah, female, 2 daughter
  • Jas., male,1 son
  • Joseph Barnaby, male, 76 father in law, Canada
  • John , male, 28 brother in law

1885; Spokane County; Auditor's Census; #3:

  • Wm Newman age 45 farmer
  • Elizabeth 30
  • Emily 10
  • Elliot 9
  • Sarah 6
  • James 5
  • Lettie 3
  • Jane 2
  • Ellen 1
  • Joseph Barnaby 75 from Canada

1887; Spokane County; Auditor's Census; #20:

  • Wm. Newman age 48
  • Elizabeth 31
  • Emily 12
  • Ellen 11
  • Sarah 9
  • James 7
  • Lettie 5
  • Jane 4
  • Ellen 3
  • William 1
  • Peter Barnaby 39
  • Note: Elliot is on 1885 but not on 1887

William H. Newman died in December 1887 at the age of about 49 years.

From "Place Names of Washington", Robert Hitchman, Washington State Historical Society, 1985, page 208:

Newman Creek (Ts.26N;R.45E)

"The stream of the creek heads in northeast Spokane County, near the Idaho boundary; flows 5 miles south and southwest to Newman Lake."

Newman Lake (s.26.27N;R.45E)

"A 2 1/2 mile long lake, average width 1/2 to 1 1/2 miles wide, 13 miles"

"Northeast of Spokane, 2 miles west of the Idaho boundary, east central Spokane County. It was named for William Newman who settled on the lake in 1865 after serving in the escort of the American surveyors who worked with Canadian surveyors in determining the boundary between the 2 countries. The lake has many bays."