Bronston KY 1822-1899

John Beaty Newell lived at Waitsboro for twelve years when his grandparents, Samuel and Jane Newell, moved from Clio to Indiana. His other grandparents, John and Polly Beaty, still lived at Bronston, not much farther on the other side of the river. JBN was 23 when his other grandpa died. JBN moved to the John Beaty house to care for his grandmother and work the farm.

JBN’s dad, Wm Montgomery Newell at Waitsboro, and Uncles Samuel Newell at Nancy and Joseph Newell at Clio, were running the ferry, the lumber mill, the warehouse, and the barge business in addition to their farms. They decided to get into the coal business with one son each. Aunt Margaret Newell Owens husband William and one of their sons were part of the partnership in the Phoenix Mining and Manufacturing Company. JBN was a principal in the company. They used the Buck Creek saw mill’s lumber to build barges. The Waitsboro dock and the freight from New Market warehouse gave them business hauling barge loads down the Cumberland to Nashville. Instead of hauling barges back against the current, they sold the barges and bought horses from Belle Meade for the ride back home.

When the Newells added coal mining to their business, the barges were seventy five feet long and could haul about 15,000 bushels of coal. They accumulated loads until the “Spring Tides” when the river was deeper so that there were fewer snags and the barges were less likely to get hung. Experienced pilots would handle rafts of tup to twenty four barges.

In 1863 Grandma Polly Forgy Newell died.

Stay tuned.