Newton Booth

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Newton Booth
Newton Booth - Brady-Handy.jpg
United States Senator
from California
In office
March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1881
Preceded byJohn S. Hager
Succeeded byJohn Miller
11th Governor of California
In office
December 8, 1871 – February 27, 1875
LieutenantRomualdo Pacheco
Preceded byHenry Huntly Haight
Succeeded byRomualdo Pacheco
Personal details
Born(1825-12-30)December 30, 1825
Salem, Indiana, U.S.
DiedJuly 14, 1892(1892-07-14) (aged 66)
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Anti-Monopoly (1874)
Greenback (1876)
SpouseOctavine Glover
EducationDePauw University (BA)
Booth Gravesite[1][2]

Newton Booth (December 30, 1825 – July 14, 1892) was an American entrepreneur and politician.

Early life[edit]

Born to Hannah (née Pitts) of North Carolina[3] and Beebe Booth[4] of Connecticut, Quakers,[3] in Salem, Indiana, he attended the common schools. In 1841, his parents Beebe and Hannah Booth moved from Salem to Terre Haute, Indiana. In 1846, he graduated from Asbury College (later renamed DePauw University), in nearby Greencastle, Indiana.[5] He studied law in Terre Haute, was admitted to the bar in 1849, and became a partner in Griswold's law firm.[3]


Terre Haute[edit]

Booth worked in his father’s Terre Haute store, then studied law in the office of attorney William Dickson Griswold (1815-1896).[3] Booth traveled with Walter W. Reynolds,[6] from Terre Haute, by ship to Panama, continuing, by ship to San Francisco, arriving 1850-10-18.[3]


Central Pacific Railroad founder,[7] Lucius Anson Booth (1820-1906), a cousin, and New York native,[3][8] and Thomas Morton Lindley, Sr. (1819-1896),[9] in 1849, began the firm of Lindley & Booth.[10] When Newton Booth arrived in Sacramento, the first cholera epidemic was spreading, and he went to Amador County, where he was sick for some time.[8] The epidemic, reportedly, ended in three weeks.[3] In May 1850, John Forshee, Lucius Anson Booth and John Dye established Forshee, Booth & Co.[11][8] In the Spring of 1851, Lucius Anson Booth and John Dye retired from Forshee, Booth & Co.[11] In February, 1851, Charles Smith and Newton Booth established a business of Smith & Booth., on J Street, between 4th and 5th streets.[3][11][8] Kleinhaus & Co., established in 1852, Theodore P. and David W. Kleinhaus as partners.[11]

The firms suffered from the Sacramento Fire of 2 November 1852.[12][8] Soon after Lucius Anson Booth, one of the organizers of Lindley & Booth, became a partner, and the firm assumed the name of Booth & Co. and continued until 1856, when Newton Booth retired and returned to Indiana, while the firm consolidated with Kleinhans & Co., but the name was not changed from Booth & Co.[8] In 1856, C. T. Wheeler and T. L. Barker were admitted as partners.[11] The Kleinhaus retired in 1860, and Newton Booth again entered the firm.[11] Lucius Anson Booth and T. L. Barker retired in 1862, and Joseph Terry Glover (1832-1886), of San Francisco, became a partner in the firm.[11][3] In 1869, Lucius Anson Booth was working in SF and living in Oakland.[13] In December, 1871, business was established in San Francisco in connection with W. W. Dodge.[11] The firm in 1878 was composed of Newton Booth, C. T. Wheeler, Joseph Terry Glover and W. W. Dodge.[11]

Newton Booth made his fortune as a saloon keeper.[citation needed]

Terre Haute[edit]

He returned to Terre Haute in 1856 and engaged in the practice of law with future U.S. Congressman Harvey D. Scott.[3] In the summer of 1857 Booth traveled through Europe.[3]


In 1860, he returned to Sacramento, campaigned for Abraham Lincoln for president,[3] and returned to the wholesale mercantile business.[11][8]

In 1862, he was on Leland Stanford's (1824-1893) gubernatorial inauguration ball general committee.[3]

In 1862, Booth was elected to the California State Senate, serving in 1863.

From 1863 to 1866 Booth was a resident of San Francisco.[3]

From 1867 to 1892, Booth lived in Sacramento, on Front Street, between J and K streets.[3]

In the 1871 California gubernatorial election, Booth became the eleventh governor of California, from December 8, 1871, to February 27, 1875. Booth openly sought black support.[14]

Booth was later elected to the United States Senate, resigning his governorship.

U.S. Senate[edit]

In 1873, Booth helped to organize the Dolly Vardens political party,[15] and with their support he was elected as an Anti-Monopoly Party member, serving as a Senator from March 4, 1875, to March 3, 1881. He was not a candidate for reelection in 1880. During his time in the Senate, he served as chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Manufacturers and the U.S. Senate Committee on Patents, both during the 45th Congress. In 1876, the Greenback Party nominated him for Vice President of the United States on the ticket with Peter Cooper. However, Booth declined the nomination and Samuel F. Cary replaced him. As of 2021, Booth remains the only senator from California who served as a member of a third party.


After serving in Congress, he returned to his wholesale mercantile business in Sacramento.[11][8]

Personal life[edit]

He married the widow of Joseph Terry Glover,[11][16][17] his business partner, Octavine C. Glover[18] (1833-1907) on 9 February 1892, in Sacramento, where he died, in July 1892.[19] His wife, Octavine C. Booth (1833-1907), Glover’s mother-in-law, Eliza Payne (1810-1873); his sister-in-law, Julia E. Dunn (1839-1923); and his brother-in-law, William Henry Payne (1848-1919); are interred in the Newton Booth plot[3] in Sacramento Historic City Cemetery.[1][2]

He was the uncle of author Booth Tarkington, son of his sister Elizabeth Booth, who was raised in Terre Haute.[20][21]


Dolly Vardens (political party)[edit]

The Dolly Vardens was a new, independent, republican, Anti-Monopoly political party.[25] The party was named for a calico pattern composed of many different colors and figures, alluding to a political party made up of "sore heads from any party or by any name".[4]

Further reading[edit]

  • Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
  • Melendy and Gilbert. The Governors of California: From Peter H. Burnett to Edmund G. Brown, Talisman Press, 1965
  • Governors of California 1849-2002 Archived 2010-06-15 at the Wayback Machine California State Assembly
  • Schaechtele. The Governors of California and their Portraits, California State Capitol Museum Volunteer Association, 1995
  • Tinkham. California Men and Events: Time 1769 – 1890, Record Publishing, 1915
  • FLASHES FROM THE WIRES. Los Angeles Times; Feb 10, 1892


  1. ^ a b Self Guided Tour (PDF). Historic City Cemetery, Inc. January 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 9, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Newton Booth, Sacramento City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento CA 95818". Historical Marker Database. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Armstrong, Lance (January 23, 2020). "Former Gov. Newton Booth is among historic figures interred at city cemetery". Valley Community Newspapers. Sacramento, California. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  4. ^ a b Newton Booth Biography at the California State Library
  5. ^ "Newton Booth". National Governors Association.
  6. ^ McCormick, Mick. "TH's Booth family's wide accomplishments". Terre Haute Tribune-Star. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  7. ^
    • Fulton, Robert Lardin (1924). Epic of the Overland. A. M. Robertson. p. 14. D. W. Strong , Charles Marsh , and L. A. Booth as the other four directors . ... Sacramento , was a cousin of Newton Booth , afterwards Governor of ...
    • Fulton, Robert Lardin (1924). Epic of the Overland. A. M. Robertson. p. 14. D. W. Strong , Charles Marsh , and L. A. Booth as the other four directors . ... Sacramento , was a cousin of Newton Booth , afterwards Governor of ...
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h
  9. ^ "Register of the Lindley Family Papers, 1890-1928". Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  10. ^ Willis, William Ladd (1913). "Newton Booth". History of Sacramento County, California: With Biographical Sketches of the Leading Men and Women of the County who Have Been Identified with Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present. Historic Record Company. pp. 239–243. ISBN 9783849675011.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l
  12. ^ "This Day in History". Sacramento History Museum. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2022. November 2, 1852 On this day in 1852, Sacramento's great fire, known as the Great Conflagration, burned more than 80 percent of the structures in the city.
  13. ^ Langley, Henry G. (1869). The San Francisco directory for the year 1869. San Francisco: Commercial Steam Presses, S.D. Valentine & Sons. p. 106. Booth, Lucius A., real estate, office room 4, 402 Front, residence Oakland
  14. ^ Hendrick, Irving G. (March 1975). "Public Policy Toward the Education of Non-White Minority Group Children in California, 1849-1970. Final Report" (PDF). Retrieved 9 February 2022. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. ^ Newton Booth Biography at
  16. ^ "Sacramento Daily Union 21 April 1871 — California Digital Newspaper Collection".
  17. ^ "Sacramento Daily Union 18 July 1874 — California Digital Newspaper Collection".
  18. ^ "Octavine Booth, the widow of ex-Governor Booth, for the fine oil portrait of him which she presented to the State last winter". Sacramento Daily Union. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 4 May 1895. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  19. ^ "NEWTON BOOTH. Death Overtakes Him Suddenly and Unexpectedly". Sacramento Daily Union. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 15 July 1892. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  20. ^[bare URL PDF]
  21. ^ "The Booth Family of Terre Haute". Terre Haute Tribune-Star. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  22. ^ City of Sacramento - Newton Booth Neighborhood Association City of Sacramento
  23. ^ "38°34'58.8"N 121°30'20.0"W · Front St, Sacramento, CA 95814". Google Maps.
  24. ^ "Booth Building - Sacramento, CA". Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  25. ^ "Dolly Vardens". Pacific Rural Press. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 1 June 1872. Retrieved 7 February 2022. Volume 3, Number 22

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for Governor of California
Succeeded by
New political party Greenback nominee for Vice President of the United States

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of California
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. Senator (Class 1) from California
Served alongside: Aaron Sargent, James T. Farley
Succeeded by

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.