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Newton, Texas

History

Newton. Located in the easternmost county of Texas, this town was little more than a forest of oaks and beeches when laid out in 1853. Due to its central location, it was elected county seat the same year, winning over Burkeville, the former county seat. Maj. John Moore, an early settler, built the first house in Newton and also the first courthouse-- a two-story frame structure. It was finished in 1856. The second (present) courthouse was finished in 1903. With the arrival of the Orange and Northwestern Railroad in 1905, Newton began to grow. Buildings increased from four in 1859 (two homes, a store, and a saloon) to 15 in 1913. The town was incorporated (1935) and is the county's only incorporated town. A formal education system began with the W. H. Ford Male and Female College in 1889. It became part of the public school system in 1906. The first bank-- Newton County Bank-- was established in 1906. The "Newton News" was printed prior to 1920. Over the years forest products have been the basis of town's chief industries. Sawmills provided employment, as did plants for manufacturing baskets, turpentine, tool handles, and furniture. The town is now the county's main trade center.- Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 1970.

First Baptist Church of Newton. The earliest record of this congregation dates to 1861, when the Newton Baptist Church with a membership of about 35 was accepted into the Bethlehem Association. The first known pastor was the Rev. R. F. Fancher. Baptisms were held in Caney Creek. The fellowship built its first sanctuary about 1882 near the corner of Court and Rusk streets, but has worshiped at the present site since 1949. The name First Baptist Church was adopted in 1915. The congregation is a significant part of the religious heritage of Newton County. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986. - Historical Marker Text. Marker erected 1986.

Newton Cemetery. This cemetery has served the town of Newton since it was officially set aside in 1903. The first burial, however, dates to 1864, when the landowner, G.W. Robinson, buried his young son. After Robinson passed away, a Newton resident bought the land and later donated it for use as a burial ground. Many Newton citizens are interred here, including veterans of the Civil War, the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Since 1943, an association of concerned citizens has cared for the graveyard, helping to preserve the history of the community. Historic Texas Cemetery - 2005.  - Historical Marker Text.

Location

Newton, TX 30° 50' 54.7224" N, 93° 45' 26.6436" W