Clarence Matthew Newton

Written By: nppladmin - Jul• 02•22
Originally published to on July 1, 2022.

Welcome back to another Facebook Friday History! 

Today’s FB History looks at a man who began his working career in the book and stationary business in North Platte, Clarence Matthew Newton.

Clarence’s contribution to North Platte and Lincoln County was actually quite significant. Researchers could not find any pictures of Clarence, his family, or his North Platte Business.  While he led a quiet life, Clarence was dedicated to providing books and information to our community, some 15 years before North Platte had a public library. The North Platte Public Library didn’t open until 1912 and the local Book Store was a place for entertainment, communication, and information.

Clarence was born on July 4, 1855 to Pitt and Huldah (Matthews) Newton in Sandy Creek, New York. Clarence was the third child of five sons born to Pitt and Huldah.

Clarence received his elementary education in the public schools of Sandy Creek, New York. He then attended High School at the Mexico Academy in Mexico, New York. Later, furthering his education at Eastman’s Business College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Researchers are not sure if he graduated from the Business College, but according to his obituary, after attending business school, he worked for his father in the mercantile business in Sandy Creek, New York. After that, he spent three and a half years in the construction of the waterworks in Cornwall, Canada, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and other places.

In November 1880, Clarence married Alvinette E. “Nettie” Rich.  They had two sons:

1. Ralph Earl Newton (1881-1970). Became an electrical contractor and lived most of his life in Casper Wyoming.; and

2. Karl Newton (1884-1901). Karl died at the age of 17, from pneumonia.

According to “An Illustrated History of Lincoln County Nebraska and her people,” Nettie Newton died in 1885. Researchers could not confirm her death or burial location.

Clarence came to North Platte in 1890. He worked in the E. W. Hammond Book Store. Hammond opened his book store in approximately 1874!!  Clarence’s brother, Earl J. Newton, also came to North Platte and purchased the Book Store from Hammond.  The brothers, Clarence and Earl worked together and created the Newton Book Store.

For the next few years, Clarence owns several different businesses, but when his brother Earl died in 1901, from consumption, Clarence went back into the Stationery and Book Store Business. He eventually owned and operated Newton’s Book Store.

In 1894, Clarence married again, to Louise “Lucy” Laubenheimer (1865-1950). Lucy and Clarence had one son, Donald Beyerle Newton (1902-1959). Donald graduated from the North Platte High School in 1919. He continued his education at the Nebraska State University, graduating with a degree in engineering. As an adult, Donald became the vice president for the Pittsburgh Bridge & Iron Company in Rochester, Pennsylvania.

Clarence passed away in his home at 615 West Fourth Street on October 19, 1933, at age 78. He was a member of the BPO Elks, Masonic Orders-including the Knights Templar and Shrine; and Maccabees. Lucy passed away in 1950. Clarence and Lucy were members of the Presbyterian Church in North Platte.

Clarence, wife Lucy, sons Donald and Karl, and brother Earl J. are all buried in the North Platte Cemetery.

Thank you for reading!


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.