John Stoughton Newberry

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John Stoughton Newberry
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1881
Preceded by Alpheus S. Williams
Succeeded by Henry W. Lord
Personal details
Born (1826-11-18)November 18, 1826
Waterville, New York, U.S.
Died January 2, 1887(1887-01-02) (aged 60)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Resting place Elmwood Cemetery
Detroit, Michigan
Citizenship US
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Harriet N. Robinson
Helen P. Handy Newberry
Relations Walter Loomis Newberry
Henry Bourne Joy
Children Harry R. Newberry
Truman Handy Newberry
John S. Newberry
Helen H. Newberry
Alma mater University of Michigan
Profession Industrialist

John Stoughton Newberry (November 18, 1826 – January 2, 1887) was an American industrialist and politician. He served as the first provost marshal for the State of Michigan and as a U.S. Representative from the state of Michigan.

Early life[edit]

Newberry was born in Waterville, New York, the son of Elihu Newberry and Rhoda (Phelps) Newberry. He moved with his parents to Michigan when a child, residing in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Romeo. He completed preparatory studies at Romeo Academy and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1847. He spent two years in civil engineering working with the Michigan Central Railroad, then studied law in Detroit. He was admitted to the bar in 1853, and specialized in maritime law. He played with the Detroit Base Ball Club for a short time.[1]


He published the first volume of admiralty reports of decisions of cases arising on western lakes and rivers.[2] In the early 1860s, Newberry joined the railroad car manufacturing firm of Dean and Eaton, renaming it Newberry, Dean and Eaton Manufacturing Co. When James McMillan joined the firm in 1864, the company was reorganized as the Michigan Car Company.[3] With McMillan, Newberry also established the Detroit Car Wheel Company. He was appointed the first provost marshal for the State of Michigan by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 with the rank of captain of Cavalry.[4] Newberry resigned in 1864 and engaged in several large manufacturing and railroad enterprises.

Newberry was elected as a Republican candidate to the Forty-sixth United States Congress, serving Michigan's 1st congressional district from March 4, 1879 to March 3, 1881.[5] He declined to be a candidate for reelection in 1880. He served as director of The Detroit and Cleveland Steam Company, Detroit, Bay City and Alpena Railroad and the Detroit National Bank.[6]

Death and legacy[edit]

Newberry died in Detroit on January 2, 1887, and is interred in Elmwood Cemetery.

The town of Newberry, Michigan is named after Newberry, as a consequence of the congressman's business interest in the Detroit, Mackinac and Marquette Railroad.[6]

An impressive Romanesque building was built from native fieldstone on the campus of the University of Michigan between 1888 and 1891. Nearly half of the building's cost was covered by a gift from Helen H. Newberry, and in recognition the building was named Newberry Hall in honor of her husband.[7]

The landmark Newberry Memorial Organ was constructed in his honor at Yale University, where his son Truman graduated in 1885.

Family life[edit]

Newberry was the nephew of Walter Loomis Newberry and Oliver Newberry.[8][9]

Newberry was married in 1855 to Harriet N. Robinson. She died the following year, 10 days after giving birth to their son Harrie R. Newberry.[1] On October 6, 1859 he married Helen P. Handy, the daughter of Truman P. Handy, a well-known financier and banker in Cleveland. They had three children, Truman Handy Newberry, John S. Newberry and Helen H. Newberry. His daughter was married to Henry Bourne Joy, President of the Packard Motor Car Company.[6][10]


  1. ^ a b Morris, Peter; Ryczek, William J. (2012). Base Ball Pioneers, 1850–1870: The Clubs and Players Who Spread the Sport Nationwide. McFarland. p. 182.
  2. ^ Hannan, Caryn; Herman, Jennifer L. (2008). Michigan Biographical Dictionary. North American Book Dist. p. 163.
  3. ^ Dunbar, Willis F.; May, George S. (1995). Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State, 3rd revised ed. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans. pp. 413–414.
  4. ^ W.S. George & Company (1879). Red Book for the ... Legislature of the State of Michigan. W.S. George & Company. p. 507.
  5. ^ Herringshaw, Thomas William (1914). Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography. American Publishers' Association. p. 288.
  6. ^ a b c Whitehouse, Robert Treat (1915). Michigan Judicature act of 1915 and New Jersey Chancery act of 1915. Callaghan and Company. pp. 87–90.
  7. ^ Chmura, Michael and Consoling, Christina M., "Remembering the University of Michigan," copyright 2010 by Turner Publishing Company, p. 19
  8. ^ Davies, Pete (2014). American Road: The Story of an Epic Transcontinental Journey at the Dawn of the Motor Age. Henry Holt and Company. p. 19.
  9. ^ Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John (1888). Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography: Lodge–Pickens. D. Appleton and Company. p. 502.
  10. ^ Collins, Si. U. (1914). Successful Men of Michigan: A Compilation of Useful Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men. Si. U. Collins,. p. 115.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Alpheus S. Williams
United States Representative for the 1st Congressional District of Michigan
Succeeded by
Henry W. Lord