Biography of Newell H. Webster
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Newell H. Webster, now a prominent and affluent resident of Helena, Mont., was born November 29, 1836, in Henniker, a son of Jesse and Susan C. (Newell) Webster. An account of his Newell was known as a remarkably bright lad, showing even then the vigor of intellect and strength of character inherited from his mother. After leaving school he learned the tailor’s trade from his father, subsequently spending two years as a clerk in Boston. His health failing, a change of climate was advised; and, little thinking what the future years had in store for him, he bade farewell to his friends, and started westward, arriving in Minnesota early in 1861. At Hastings he joined a party engaged in surveying for a railway, being employed as chain carrier. His investigating turn of mind and natural desire for knowledge caused him to note the transit’s record in a book of his own. Soon after he became expert in the use of the instruments, whereupon the engineer in charge placed him in charge of the transit. When the surveying in that State was completed, he received and accepted a flattering offer of an engagement in the same line of business in Colorado, where he went in 1863. He was subsequently selected to lead an exploring party into Idaho and Montana; and he was at East Bannack, Montana Territory, when the settlement of the district was beginning.
Deciding at once to locate in the new and undeveloped region, Mr. Webster identified himself with its interests. Eventually he established himself in business in the future city of Helena, where he erected the first frame house. He opened a store for general merchandise, and was until recent years one of the leading merchants of that and surrounding towns. Making judicious investments of his money, he has accumulated a large property, reaching close to the million mark, and holds a high position among the most substantial and highly esteemed men of Montana. On May 21, 1876, Mr. Webster married Miss Ella M. Adams, of Helena. He makes annual visits to his old home, coming here nearly every summer, and bringing cheer to his aged father before the latter died, for whom he entertained a loving and loyal affection.