Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 71] prominent citizens and influential residents of Mahoningtown borough, are sons of Archibald and Mary L. (Frisbee) Newell. Their father was born in County Down, Ireland, in 1815, and when twenty years of age came to this country, making his way to Pittsburg, where he became employed on the surveying corps of the canal through the Mahoning Valley. Eventually, he settled in Mahoningtown as one of its earliest citizens. He was for many years the proprietor of the leading store in that place, but at last retired from active work, leaving his business to his sons, and calmly passed away from earthly scenes in 1887, with a consciousness of having lived his life nobly and well. His father, Archibald Newell, Sr., lived the whole of his life in Ireland, where his death took place, when he was aged ninety-nine years. Of six children born to Archibald Newell, Jr., but two survive—Archibald D. and John D. F.

The mother of our subjects was born in Pittsburg, and was a daughter of Samuel and Jane (Davis) Frisbee. Samuel Frisbee was a native of the State of Connecticut, where he was born in 1772; he was married the first time in New Haven to a Miss St. John, and after her decease, he came to Pittsburg in 1809, in the interest of Robert Fulton, and was instrumental in building the first fleet of steamers that plied the Western rivers. In Pittsburg, he was united to Jane Davis, whose father, William Davis, owned the land on which stands the village of Davisville, now a suburb of Allegheny City, but then located what seemed a long distance in the country. William Davis was the proprietor of some 6oo acres of land in the rich bottoms, and provided each of his four sons and three daughters with a valuable farm. He married Jane Johnson, a native of County Tyrone, Ireland, whose brother, Samuel Johnson, was the first silversmith to locate in Pittsburg. Samuel Davis, a son of the aforesaid William Davis, learned the trade of silversmith in the shop of his uncle, Samuel Johnson, and afterwards took to manufacturing clocks, and many fine, old specimens of tall hall clocks, bearing his name, are in existence at the present day through the Ohio Valley. William Davis was a native of Ireland, and came to this country in 1801, landing at New York City, after a long and tedious sea voyage. On the passage the vessel sailed by a far southern route, and touched at Fayall, the largest of the Azores, and while there the Consul presented Mrs. Davis with a plume of spun glass of a rich wine color, that is treasured very highly by her granddaughter, Mrs. Newell, the mother of our subjects.

Archibald D. Newell was born in Mahoningtown, Jan. 3, 1858, and was reared in his native borough, securing a practical education in the schools of Mahoningtown, and in the private schools of New Castle; this splendid foundation was supplemented with a course in the New Castle Business College. At an early age he took his place behind the counter in his father's store, and upon the latter's retirement from business, Archibald D. became one of the firm of Newell Bros., which succeeded to the former firm. He did not long retain his interest in the store, but sold out, and took a trip to Colorado for his health, from which place he returned to Pennsylvania after several months "roughing it" on a hunting expedition. He then became a clerk in the store of his uncle, J. D. Frisbee, at Cornellsville, where he remained six years. On his return to Mahoningtown at the expiration of his stay in Cornellsville, he was employed a few months in the offices of the Pennsylvania Co. at Lawrence Junction. On July 12, 1893, he was appointed postmaster of Mahoningtown. He was married in Youngstown, Ohio, June 17, 1895, to Miss Minie Lemlie, daughter of G. Lemlie, the proprietor of the large carriage works of Youngstown. Mrs. Newell is a member of the Episcopal Church. Politically, Archibald D. Newell is a stanch and loyal Democrat, and socially is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and has been advanced to the Uniformed Rank.

John D. F. Newell was born in Mahoningtown, April 28, 1860. His childhood was passed in Mahoningtown, and his education included the instruction imparted to him in the public schools, in the high school of New Castle, and in Geneva College of Northwood, Ohio. As a last finishing touch, and as a fitting preparation for a business life, he took a course in Duffs Business College of Pittsburg. When but a mere lad of but ten or twelve summers, he began clerking in his father's store, and has grown up in the business, his whole career having been identified with mercantile pursuits. In 1882, with his brother, he purchased his father's store and business, which was conducted under the firm name of Newell Bros. until 1888, when John secured the entire control of the store, and has since figured as its sole proprietor. The store is the largest of its kind in Mahoningtown, and the stock carried, in quality and neat disposition, would do credit to stores in cities of many times Mahoningtown's size, and, in consequence, Mr. Newell enjoys a large patronage from his fellow-townsmen and the residents of the surrounding country. He was married in Mahoningtown, Oct. 24, 1889, to Miss Helen Sword, a native of New Castle Junction, and daughter of John and Nancy (Shields) Sword, who were of Scotch-Irish descent. To Mr. Newell and his wife has been born one daughter, Sarah S. Mrs. Newell is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Newell is a Democrat in politics, and a member of Amazon Lodge, No. 135, Knights of Pythias, of Mahoningtown.

Messrs. Newell have distinguished themselves as excellent business men, and public-spirited citizens, for whom nothing is more pleasant than the performing of some useful service for the community. They are blessed with exceptional talents in every branch of a broad culture and so take a high place in society and politics.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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