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Below is a family biography included in the book,  Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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AARON NEWMAN, the subject of this memoir, is one the earliest settlers in the Republican valley, in Harlan township. He was born in Monroe county, Iowa, January 9, 1849, and is one of a family of twelve children born to Philip and Julia (Grouse) Newman, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania; the former, by profession a United Brethren minister, was born in 1803 and lived a long and useful life, dying at the age of eighty-four years. He moved to Iowa in an early day and there spent the greater part of his eventful life, riding over the then new country as an itinerant, and preaching the gospel and establishing churches. A few years before his death he was struck on the head by a piece of flying timber in a saw-mill and received a fracture of the skull, from which he never fully recovered. The mother of our subject was born in the year 1804 and lived a long and useful life, being noted for her christian piety and benevolent acts, and died at the age of eighty-five years.

Our subject moved with his parents to Marion county, Iowa, when about one year old, where he lived until he came to Harlan county, Nebr. In early life he attended school in the district where he lived, and through assiduous application obtained a good education, considering the advantages at hand. When the war of the rebellion broke out, he was but a stripling of a boy and too young to be taken into the service of his country; but later, January 1, 1863, he enlisted in Company E, Eighth Iowa infantry, and was sent direct to Vicksburg, but arrived after the hardest of the battle was over. His next service was at Memphis, Tenn., where for nearly a year he did duty as provost guard. The regiment then went down the river to New Orleans and across the gulf to Spanish fort. During their transit on the gulf they were in a four-days storm and at one time life was entirely despaired of. The ship was finally landed on Dolphin Island, where for ten days the soldiers recruited, their only food being oysters which they caught along the shores of the island. From there the regiment crossed to Spanish fort, and in a twelve-day battle succeeded in capturing it. For a considerable time thereafter, our subject did duty as guard at Montgomery, Ala., after which he was on duty at Selma, Ala., and later, in May, 1866, was discharged and returned home. He engaged in farming in Marion county, after the war, until he came to Harlan county, Nebr., in May, 1872, being one of the first settlers to file claim in the county. At that early day buffalo, deer and antelope were plentiful, and his meat for the first few years consisted principally of the same. He homesteaded a quarter section in section 29, township 2, range 18 west, and constructed a 12 by 16 foot dugout, where he “bached” it until August 12th of the same year, when he returned and brought out his family. For the first four years his crops were successively destroyed by the grasshoppers and drought, and as he had comparatively little to begin with, he saw some very hard times. He was enabled to earn some money, however, for the first few years, by freighting goods from Lowell, distant about seventy miles to the north, and in this manner managed to live. He finally sold his farm and moved into town, and for several years ran the mail coach from Alma to Kearney and later to Holdrege. He afterwards purchased his present farm in the valley of the Republican, and has prospered since. He was married in February, 1861, to Amanda Ferguson, a most estimable lady, by whom he has had fourteen children, eleven of whom are now living, viz. — Chas. T., John M., Nora, Rosa, Edward, Bertha, Franklin, Clarence, Thomas, Joseph, Nellie, Earl, Mary and Benjamin. Mr. and Mrs. Newman are both active members of the Free Methodist church. Politically, he is a prohibitionist, and since coming to Harlan county has held various local offices.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the book, Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company. 

View additional Harlan County, Nebraska family biographies here: Harlan County, Nebraska Biographies

View a historic 1912 map of Harlan County, Nebraska

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