"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Newell, James A. proprietor of the Irma Creamery, located in the village of Irma, Lincoln County, was born in Canada, Jan. 6, 1859, son of Foster and Margaret (ALWARD) NEWELL. The father, a native of the north of Ireland, came to Canada when a young boy, grew up in the Dominion, and after arriving at maturity followed farming. He died at the comparatively early age of 36 years. His wife, who was born in Canada, is now living there at Medicine Hat with her daughter, Mary. There were six children in the family, of whom five are now living, namely; Andrew, James, Frank, Reuben, and Mary, the last mentioned being the wife of Alexander WOOLLEY of Medicine Hat. The one who died was Robert. James A. NEWELL was reared on a farm in Canada, where he went to school. After working on farms until 14 years of age, he entered a cheese factory to learn the business and after doing so followed it in the Dominion until he came to the United States in 1880, at which time he located at Whitewater, Wis., where for a few years he worked in a creamery. From there he went to Dundee, Ill., where also he worked in a creamery, and he was later occupied in a similar manner in Rock and Jefferson Counties, Wisconsin. In 1891 he came to Merrill, Lincoln County, and started a cheese factory, which was the first, or almost the first, in the county, and later he started a creamery on Pine River. He came to Irma in 1911, taking over the co-operative creamery here, which he has since successfully operated. Having started in the manufacture of dairy products at the age of 14 years, as above noted, he is now one of the oldest creamery men in the county, and has made a good reputation, having received the first prize from the Elgin Butter Board for the highest grade butter. Mr. NEWELL was married at Whitewater, Wis., in 1887, to Imogene SHIREFF, whose parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles SHIREFF, were early settlers in that place, and well known farmers. They have both passed away. Mrs. SHIREFF dying at the remarkable age of 97 years. Mr. and Mrs. NEWELL are the parents of four children: Elizabeth, who is a teacher in Minnesota; Foster, who is studying chemical engineering in the University of Wisconsin; Lawrence, who is associated with his father in the creamery; and Dorothy, who is attending the Merrill High School. In 1917 Foster NEWELL enlisted in the Aviation Department of the United States army, in which he rose to the rank of lieutenant, but did not get overseas. He is now employed by the Northern Indiana Gas & Electric Co., doing chemical work, with headquarters at Hammond, Ind.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 673-674; History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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