Courthouse

A Brief History of Newton

College Ave in 1915Newton's first residents established themselves around the first county courthouse in late 1843, and in 1855 gained their town charter.

In those fruitful 12 years, early citizens set up stores and houses around Court Square, and opened Catawba College.

Despite many obstacles, Newtonians acquired a railroad, weathered four hard years of Civil War, and a decade of Reconstruction.

Those ordeals over, townspeople welcomed the coming of trains and factories during the Gilded Age. In the early 20th century, Newton lost its college, but deepened its commercial base and expanded its industrial infrastructure.

Townspeople served well in both World Wars and their children grew up with the nation to be more inclusive and individualistic during the Cold War decades.

Newton celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2005 with a well-received Sesquicentennial Celebration. The City continues its diversification of business and industry, shifting from its successful history of textiles and furniture manufacturing to become home to a number of large, well-known industries.

Newton's current population of approximately 13,000 is also diverse, and our people are what makes Newton truly shine as the County Seat of Catawba County. As City leaders strive continually to improve Newton, "She Is Not Yet Finished."

* Excerpts taken from "She Is Not Yet Finished: A History of Newton, North Carolina," by Dr. Gary R. Freeze, as commissioned by the City of Newton and the Catawba County Historical Association.