John Henry Newton was born on November 7, 1870 in Highgate, VT. Known throughout his life as "Henry," he came with his parents to Bismarck, Dakota Territory in 1883, where he completed his grade and high school education. During Henry's early days in Bismarck, he served as a page at the second session fo the territorial legislature in 1887.
Shortly after leaving school, he took a position as government telgraph operator at Camp Hancock. The US War Department maintained garrisons at Fort Abraham Lincoln, Mandan and at Fort Yates at that time. Later, he went to work for Western Union in Bismarck working with J. M. Carnahan, Bismarck's first telegraph operator - famous for telegraphing the story on the return of Custer's troops from the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
Newton went to Missoula MT in 1892, continuing in the employment of the Western Union. He was one of the first telegraph operators proficient enough to take wire reports directly.
On June 28, 1893, he was united in marriage to Louise Cornish, at Duluth. Mrs. Newton was born in Bradford, Ontario Canada. To this union one daughter born, Marion (Mrs. Charles Heater) who resided for most of her adult in Chicago, IL.
Henry Newton was one of the most enthusiastic outdoorsmen in the Mandan area. From his early days when he hunted upland and migratory game for the Northern Pacific, all through the years, opening of fishing and hunting seasons always found him equiped and out to the field, stream or lake bank. His taking of a 50 pound salmon in Washington State was one of the highlights of his sports life - but he spending the majority of his life around Square Butte Creek and Cannonball River.
Newton was among the party of Mandan men who hunted in the Badlands to secure special specimens of deer for the State Historical Society. He was among the founders of the "Prowlers Club" and also included Lewis Lyman, John Bowers as well as Jack Harding. These sportsmen who converted the upper floor of a branary on the Pete Hutchinson farm near Tuttle into a game lodge. Not a hoity-toity place with steam heat and running water, just a bare big room with reasonably comfortable beds cooking and heating equipment. The Tuttle area in those days was a paradise for the migratory game hunter.
He was a stong booster for game conservation and management. Early in the state, there were no limits placed on game hunting. As their populations dwindled to scarcity, Newton did much to reverse it and lay the foundations to ensure hunting for future generations including promoting stocking the area with pheasants to replace the reduction in grouse population.
Newton died in his sleep on March 9, 1953 in St. Petersburg, Florida where he and his wife had been vacationing. Services were held in St. Petersburg. His wife Louise returned to North Dakota and lived in Mandan and later Bismarck. She died there on December 28, 1960. The couple is buried beside each other in Union Cemetery, Mandan.
The MHSoc's museum and office is located at 3827 30th Avenue NW; Mandan, ND 58554 Contact us at email@example.com