Newton is the largest and oldest town in Jasper County, Illinois. Because of its favorable location within the county, it was named county seat in 1835.
Jasper County was formed in 1831 and approved on December 19, 1834. The county was
named after American Revolutionary War hero, Sergeant Jasper. He and his close friend,
Sergeant Newton, were patriots that saved American prisoners of war from certain death at
the hands of British soldiers. Thus, the county and town became their namesakes.
A post office was established in Newton in March of 1883. The post office was not established in a building, but rather in a man's hat. A rider brought the mail from Vincennes, Indiana, made a stop in Newton once a week, and then continued delivering mail on his route north of Newton.
By 1841 the town had increased to five families. Lawrence Hollenbock and Samuel Garwood
built a saw and grist mill and Benjamin Harris opened the first grocery store in Newton. In
1855, Newton had Miller's Hotel and a small inn known as The American House, that is now
Yesterday's and Today's Pub.
By 1865, the population of Newton grew to 300 and a decade later reached 400 people. In 1874 Joe Litzelman's Hack Express began traveling daily to and from Olney on what is now Illinois Route 130.
The U.S. Census reports a 2010 population of 2,849 in the City of Newton. The community is
made up of local businesses, industry, a high school of more than 450 students and many
organizations and churches.
Also In This Section...
Catch the Spirit...