Newton Hawes Kingman was born in Geauga County, Ohio, on May 20, 1837, the son of Edmund Kingman and Hannah Hawes. The Kingman family moved to Walworth County, Wisconsin, in 1849, and Newton Kingman briefly attended Albion Academy until early 1861, when he enlisted in Company K of the 1st Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. The regiment mustered out in August 1861; Kingman soon joined Company I of the 13th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment, with which he served until September 8, 1865. He was commissioned a captain by the end of the war.
After working as a traveling salesman for several years, Kingman moved to Indiana, where he and a brother formed the publishing firm Kingman Brothers in 1876. In mid-1883, he moved to Walworth County in present-day South Dakota, where he built a homestead; his family joined him the following year. Kingman held local political offices in the mid- to late 1890s and became a land broker in 1899, moving to Selby, South Dakota, in 1900. In 1918, he retired to Eugene, Oregon. Kingman married Mary E. Davis (1842-1924) on November 26, 1866, and they had four children: May Louise (b. 1868), Arthur Judson (b. 1869), Newton Hawes, Jr., (b. 1871), and Edmund Bogardus (b. 1881). Newton H. Kingman died in 1937.