About This Place
Newton is a city in Newton County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,459 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Newton County.
Both Newton County and its county seat, Newton, were named after John Newton, a supposed hero of the American Revolutionary War. However, John Newton's heroics are said to be a product of Parson Weems, who also fictionalized the story of George Washington and the cherry tree. In 1853, disputes led to the building of a courthouse and town in the county's geographical center instead of in Burkeville, a community 11 miles north northeast of Newton. A second courthouse in Newton, a Second Empire style structure, was built in 1902-03 with bricks from nearby Caney Creek, according to a Texas Historical Commission marker. The town was incorporated in 1935 and remains the only incorporated city in the county. The town's public school began when the W.H. Ford Male and Female College was chartered in 1889. The site of the college later became the Powell Hotel and now serves as a museum and houses the city's chamber of commerce. The growth of the city during the first half of the 20th century was largely due to the dominant timber industry in East Texas. The town had at least one newspaper prior to 1920s. The county courthouse, a focal point of a city square that featured extensive Christmas lighting in the early 1990s, was severely damaged by a fire in August 2000. Various funding and other problems pushed back the time frame for the restoration of the edifice for several years. Completion of the rebuilding is estimated to be sometime in 2008. Although almost 80 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, Newton suffered extensive damage in September 2005 from Hurricane Rita. The National Weather Service estimated wind gusts in the vicinity of Newton to be between 80 mph to 100 mph. Some residents were without electricity for at least one month.
Newton is located at 30°51′1″N 93°45′15″W / 30.85028°N 93.75417°W / 30.85028; -93.75417 (30.850397, -93.754149).