W. S. “Billy” Newell, (1921-2009) was born in Birmingham, Alabama.
In 1935, , the Newell family moved to Pintlatla, AL, where he attended Pintlala School. After graduation from Lanier High school, he worked on the family farm prior to joining the US Navy. He served his country as a Seaman First Class during World War II aboard the USS Vincennes Indiana in the Pacific Fleet. After the war, he returned home to continue working with his family in the road construction business. Billy married Sadie Pridgen in 1947 and then began W. S. Newell Construction in 1951. After W. S. Newell Construction was founded in 1951 and renamed W. S. Newell, Inc. in 1963, the corporation grew into one of the Southeast’s leading road building companies. Under his leadership, W. S. Newell, Inc., helped build sections of I-65 and I-85 through Montgomery, as well as numerous projects throughout Alabama and the Southeastern United States. Governor Don Siegelman renamed a portion of I-65 near Prattville as “W. S. Newell Highway” during a ceremony in September, 2011.
W. S. was one of the founders of First Montgomery Bank, which later became Aliant Bank. He served on the Board of Directors of Aliant Bank for many years. He was involved in several residential developments in the Montgomery area. He founded Towne Lake and co-founded Deer Creek.
In 2001, he was honored as Businessman of the Year by Auburn University-Montgomery. He was a long time supporter of the United Way, Auburn University, Faulkner University, and Ridgecrest Baptist Church.
His legacy in the road building industry continues to be carried on through his sons, Keith and Sam Newell.