Jefferson County Historical Society

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Newell H. Bissell, locomotive engineer on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain
& Southern Railroad, with headquarters at De Soto, is a native of Windham
County, Vt., and was born in 1839. His father, Horace Bissell, of Scotch
descent, was born in Vermont in 1814, and followed farming the greater
portion of his life, which, with the exception of three years passed in
Minnesota, was spent in his native State. He was married to Fanny Newell,
also a native of Vermont, who is now aged about seventy-two years; her
grandfather, Samuel Hammond, was one of the fourteen men who threw the
tea into Boston Harbor, in 1773; he was also an active soldier of the
Revolutionary War. To Mr. and Mrs. Horace Bissell seven children were
born as follows: Newell H., Augusta, Albert, of Baltimore, Md.; Carrie,
wife of Miron White, also of Baltimore; Edward, in Vermont; Ida, wife
of Edward Brigham, of Vermont; and Jessie, wife of Filmore Slawson, of
De Soto. Newell H. Bissell was educated in the common schools, and grew
to manhood on a farm. In 1855 he went to Minnesota and worked for his 
father in a brickyard, and farmed two years. In 1858 he moved to Carondelet,
and for one and one-half years was employed as brakeman on the St. Louis,
Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad, and the following eighteen months as
baggage man. In 1861 he became a fireman, and two years later was promoted
to engineer, in which capacity he has since been employed. During the past
thirty years he has never missed a single month without drawing some pay, 
his name appearing on the payroll each month.  With one exception, he is
the oldest engineer on the road, and has met with remarkably good success.
In 1864 he married Miss Susanna Martin, a native of Baltimore, Md., and a
daughter of James and Charlotte Martin. They have seven children, viz.: 
John, Lottie (wife of J. R. Van Frank, civil engineer in Little Rock, Ark.),
Edward, Fanny, Lizzie, Jessie and Chester. Mr. Bissell has resided in De Soto
for the past eighteen years. He is a Republican in politics, a member of the
I. O. O. F., and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. He and wife are members
of the Presbyterian Church.