3 Sep 2005
Source: Past & Present of Bureau Co., Illinois
George B. Harrington
Pioneer Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois 1906
Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society
George M. Lews, one of the leading men of the village of Neponset, who is now living a retired life but for many years was identified with farming and stock-raising interests, was born in Pottsville, Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, April 8, 1837. He is a representative of one of the old families of the Keystone state. His father, Benjamin M. Lewis, was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, and in that state was connected with railroad interests, being superintendent of the Mine Hill Railroad Company. Coming to Illinois in 1859 he located in DuPage county at Wheaton, and dealt quite extensively in lands up to the time of his death, which occurred when he was eighty-four years of age. In his native state he married Sarah Robinson, who was born in Burks county, Pennsylvania, and also died when eithy-four years of age. In their family were twelve children, of whom eight are now living, nameley: George M., Rebecca M., Benjamin F., Morgan J., Amelia L., John B., Jefferson and Carrie.
George M. Lewis acquired a public-school education and came to Illinois in 1851, when fifteen years of age. He resided in Dupage County from that time until August, 1861, when he came to Neponset, Bureau county. He was one of the organizers of this village and has ever been active in fostering its interest, its upbuilding and its welfare. He located on one hudred and sixty acres of land, which he secured through a soldier's claim. It was all wild prairie at that time and in the midst of the tract he built a home and upon the farm planted the first maple seeds in this locality. As the years passed he carried on the active work of cultivating the soil and raising stock and was particularly active as a breeder of black polled Angus cattle. In his business affairs he was very energetic and diligent, carrying forward to successful completion whatever he undertook. He contnued upon the farm until 1895, when he retired to private life and has since been living in the village, enjoying in a pleasant home a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves.
On the 1st of June, 1865, Mr. Lewis was married to Miss Esther F. Newman, who was born in Jamestown, New York, February 21, 1846, a daughter of Stephen F. and Lovina (Klock) Newman. The father was born at Wilson, Niagara county, New York, and was a farmer in the Empire state. He also engaged in the conduct of a meat market there and he filled the office of justice of the peace. His last days were spent in Iowa, where he died at the age of seventy-two years, while his wife passed away at the age of seventy-eight. In their family were five daughters: Juliette, the wife of C. D. Martin, a resident of Los Angeles, California; Nellie, the wife of David Kennedy, of Logan, Iowa; Margaret, the wife of F. Patt, of Los Angeles, California; Mrs. Lewis; and Minnie.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Lewis have been born six children, of whom five are now living; Benjamin M., who resides in Reno, Nevada; Rinnie L., the wife of A. L. Klock, of Los Angeles, California; Scott S., who follows farming near Neponset; Carrie E., the wife of O. E. Slates, of Neponset; and G. Noble, at home.
Mr. Lewis has served as president of the village board and gave to the town a public-spirited, practical and beneficial administration. He votes with the democracy and fraternity is connected with Neponset lodge, No. 803, A. F. & A. M., while both he and his wife are members of the Eastern Star lodge of Neponset. A resident of this locality from the age of twenty-five years he has witnessed many changes here as the work of transformation has been carried forward through the effective labors of the enterprising citizens, in which class he is accorded a place through public opinion.