A member of a family widely and favorably known in the business circles of Bristol, Mr. Newman himself has been for many years one of the leading business men of his native city. As a partner in the firm of Newman Brothers, he has taken a very active part in the management of this well-known and successful business establishment, founded by his grandfather in 1866, and ranking today as the oldest grocery and meat store in Bristol. He is also prominently active in fraternal and religious affairs, and is regarded as one of the substantial and representative citizens of Bristol.
Howard Russell Newman was born in Bristol, December 29, 1885, a son of A. Russell and Zoa (Peckham) Newman. His father, likewise a native of Bristol, who is now retired from active business, was for many years a partner in the firm of Newman Brothers. Mr. Newman’s mother was born in Providence. Mr. Newman received his early education in the public grammar and high schools of Bristol and, after graduating from the local high school in 1904, he attended Brown University, Providence. After leaving college he was with the Namquit Worsted Company, one of the leading woolen mills of Bristol, for two years. In 1908 he became associated with the firm of Newman Brothers, of which he has been a partner since 1923. This enterprise was started in 1866 by Mr. Newman’s grandfather, the late Captain Allan M. Newman. Six years later, in 1872, Captain Newman formed a partnership with one of his sons, A. Russell Newman, the father of Howard Russell Newman, and a few years later, another son, James A. Newman, was also admitted to partnership. When Captain Newman died, his two sons continued the business under the firm name of Newman Brothers. In 1922 James A. Newman died, and soon afterwards Howard Russell Newman became a partner of his father. Since the latter’s retirement from active business, Mr. Newman has continued to direct the enterprise with great success. Since 1890 the firm has been located in the same building, at No. 296 Hope Street, which has become a landmark of the city. Newman Brothers is known for the high quality of its goods, for the courtesy of its personnel and for the efficiency of its organization, characteristics which have gained for it a very large measure of good-will and an equally large patronage. Mr. Newman is a member of St. Albans Lodge, No. 6, Free and Accepted Masons, of which he is a Past Master; Hope Chapter, No. 6, Royal Arch Masons, of which he is a Past High Priest; St. John’s Commandery, Knights Templar; and Palestine Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of the Zeta Psi Fraternity, and president (1931) of the Bristol Rotary Club. In politics he is a Republican; and in religion he is affiliated with St. Michael’s Protestant Episcopal Church, of Bristol, of which he is a vestryman and clerk of the parish. He is greatly interested in horticulture, especially the cultivation of dahlias, and he is also fond of motoring.
Mr. Newman married, in 1909, Clara Louise Henning, like himself a native of Bristol. Mr. and Mrs. Newman are the parents of three children: Charles H., Shirley, and Barbara R.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.