Friday, December 6, 2013

Remembering Grandfather Charles Newton Cone on the 115th anniversary of his birth.

Charles Newton Cone was born December 6th, 1898 in Worthington, Minnesota. Son of Frederick Naaman and Helen Brown (Newton) Cone. He was their fourth child following older brother William, and sisters Molly and Flora.
Charles Newton Cone in Seattle Circa 1932
photograph from family collection.
Since yesterday was the anniversary of the 1933 passage of the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution (it repealed the 18th amendment which had instituted a nationwide Prohibition on alcohol in 1920), I thought it might be interesting to provide a little information about Worthington and why our ancestors chose to live there. The truth is many of our ancestors would not have celebrated the repeal of Prohibition.

John Champion and Lydia (Hornell) Clarke and their daughter and son-in-law Charles Shepard and Mary Elizabeth (Clarke) Newton were among the first families to settle in "National Colony" a community founded on the principles of temperance and education. The Illustrated History of Nobles County, lists them as Charter Members of the Union Congregational Church in Worthington.

Today we might think those who would participate in this kind of settlement as reactionaries. In their time, living in a community focused on temperance and education would have been considered the goal of the educated, liberal class. In an advertisement that appeared in the Thursday, July 20, 1876 edition of the "Worthington Advance" seeking settlers, the community is described as,
"Temperance and Education... were among the chief inducements which brought to this locality the intelligent class of people, who have located here....The educational interests of the town and county are in the hands of advanced men, who appreciate the importance of superior education facilities and who will have them whatever they may cost."
The entire advertisement, including map can be found on the Worthington Minnesota website. It makes quite interesting reading.
This is the site of home of Charles Shepard Newton and family just outside Worthington
photo taken by Granddaughter Cecily Cone Kelly in 2009. House is no longer there.
Though many of the family maintained the temperate ways of the National Colony, Charles was not among them. He continued to enjoy an 'old-fashioned' each evening until the last days of his life.

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