From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren
Counties – 1890 Mr.
NEWTON L. CALHOUN
Newton L. Calhoun is a representative of one of the pioneer families
whose history is inseparably connected with that of
Van Buren County. Throughout southeastern Iowa the name is known as representing men of sterling worth, engaged in
agricultural pursuits, who in many ways have also labored for the best interests of the community and for the welfare of
town, county and State. His honored parents, Newton and Esther Saunders Calhoun, are mentioned more fully in the
sketch of his brother Vurnum. His birth occurred on the homestead farm July 31, 1840, succeeding the arrival of the
family in the Territory of Iowa. He acquired his education in the Birmingham schools, and having attained his majority on
the last day of July 1861, he enlisted the following month in Company H, Third Iowa Cavalry, for three year’s service in
the War of the Rebellion. The first two years his regiment spent in Missouri, where the troops were engaged in
dispersing rebels, capturing supplies, etc. Proceeding southward they afterwards participated in the capture of Little
Rock Arkansas. Mr. Calhoun did not veteranize at the close of his term of service but remained in that city until sent to
Keokuk, where he received his discharge September 19, 1864. During the last year and a half of his service he held the
office of Commissary Sergeant.
Returning to Birmingham, Mr. Calhoun spent the following winter in school and then devoted himself to the occupation
of farming, by which he has since not only gained a livelihood but which has proved to him the means of securing a
handsome competence. On March 1, 1866 he was united in marriage with Margaret E. Farrer, a native of Ohio, born
April 30, 1844. Three children graced their union—Orange S., who is now a farmer of Van Buren County; M. Nellie,
wife of Charles S. Walker, son of Maj. Walker; and Joseph F. Mr. Calhoun was called upon to mourn the loss of his
wife, who died on October 26, 1886. She was a faithful member of the Presbyterian Church and was beloved by all for
her excellent character. On November 14, 1889, he was again married, his second union being with Eliza J. Torrence, a
native of Lick Creek Township. She also is a member of the Presbyterian Church and a lady of culture.
Forty-four years have passed in which Mr. Calhoun has known no other home than the farm upon which he yet resides.
It is endeared to him by many associations of his boyhood, his youth and of mature years. Here his children were born
and here he has become a prosperous citizen as the result of his industrious and thrifty efforts. Socially, he is a member
of the Grand Army of the Republic, and in political sentiment supports the Republican Party by which he was several
terms elected Assessor of his Township. He is engaged in farming on an extensive scale also is one of the large
stock-raisers of the county and is the oldest native citizen of his township.