NEWTON, the county seat [Jasper County, Iowa], is a flourishing town of near 2,000 inhabitants, and is the centre of a heavy trade. The town is well supplied with mercantile houses and the ordinary kinds of manufactures, but a woolen factory is much needed. There are two newspaper offices, a national bank, and not a single “doggery.” There are three good public school houses and a good private seminary. Also four good church buildings. The following church organizations exist in the place: O. S. and N. S. Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, German Methodist, Universalist and Christian. Houses are building and population increasing rapidly.
Newton can boast of one of the finest grist mills in the west. Its cost is over $31,000. It is constructed for four pairs of four feet burrs, two of which are now in use. The mill, when pushed to its utmost capacity, can turn out 240 barrels in 24 hours; 192 barrels would be average work. The mill is a noble piece of work, complete in all modern improvements. It has been pronounced, by competent, experienced mill-wrights, to be second to no other mill west of the Mississippi.
There is one of the finest court houses in the State at this place. The Free Press speaks of it as follows: “We have received from Mr. Huskins a statement of the dimensions, &c., of the splendid building that adorns our public square. Our town and county have reason to be proud of this edifice. It will cast into the shade ninety-nine out of every hundred of the court houses west of the Mississippi, and is inferior to very few east of it. The cost of erection is between $26,000 and $27,000.  It is located in the centre of the public square; its form is oblong, being 50 feet wide by 62 feet long, with porticoes projecting from each front 12 feet; it is three stories high—the first, or basement story, is 7 feet in the clear; the walls of this story are built of sandstone—that portion above ground is faced with white limestone; the bases of the columns are also of white limestone. The walls of the second and third stories are built of brick; the second story is 14 feet high, and contains four rooms, each 17 by 28 feet, and two halls, each 10 feet wide; these rooms are occupied by the county officers. From the floor of the second story are two stairways leading to the third or principal story, which contains the court and jury rooms. The court room is 37 feet wide by 47 feet long and 19 high. The jury rooms are each 10-1/2 feet wide by 16 feet long and 14 high. The entire height of the building from the ground to the top of the cupola is 83 feet. The edifice has been built in the most substantial manner, after the Ionic order of architecture. From the cupola on the court house can be seen almost the whole of Jasper county. East, west, north and south, the eye will rest upon objects in the adjoining counties, and within discerning reach, in wonderful beauty, lies the body of the county, dotted with villages and farm-houses; traversed by its many streams, fringed with their borders of fine timber growth; while here and there, all over the county, can be seen noble groves of timber standing out in fine contrast with the rolling prairie, clothed in its russet brown, or its spring dress of new-sprung grass and gorgeous flowers; in all, a panorama of which the eye never tires— such as the limner rarely pencils.”  (Hair's Iowa State Gazetteer..., 1865)

Total Population 1860
City or Town