Newton County, Texas

 Scenic Miles...Friendly Smiles

The historic information on the various communities listed here is from the book Glimpses of Newton County History by the Newton County Historical Commission, 1982, and is available through the Commission for $20 plus $3.00 shipping (price subject to change - shipping fee quoted is for one book) at the following address:

Newton County Historical Commission
P. O. Box 1550
Newton, TX 75966
(409) 379-2109

Newton County Historic Facts

Newton County was formed from Jasper County April 22, 1846 and organized July 13, 1846. It was named in honor of Sergeant John Newton (1752-1807), a hero of the American Revolution

The county seat has changed from Newton (1846) to Burkeville (1848) and then back to Newton (since 1855).

Other Historic Facts...

  • Supply and military center in the Civil War. Target area for Federals trying to move up the Sabine or across Louisiana and take Texas. Confederates built breastworks and maintained arsenal at Burkeville.
  • Major supply route, "The old beef trail", begun 1823 through area later known as Newton County, was road taken by thousands of cattle being sent from Texas to feed armies and civilians as far eastward as Mobile, AL. Sabine ferries were equipped with cattle pens. Also, ferrymen kept oxen trained to lead herds swimming across the river. Some local beef went eastward, too.
  • Farrsville, a town founded about 1850 on Cow Creek, had a military campground and corrals furnishing fresh stagecoach teams. Its tanning vats and shops made boots and shoes for the Confederacy. Its water mills ground corn for bread, sawed lumber, ginned cotton; all products used in supplying the South.
  • The Commissioners' Court made appropriations to outfit military units such as buying horses for men unable to furnish their own, aid dependent families, and supply the people with cotton cards to turn the lint into batts for spinning, weaving, and knitting.
  • The county, which had voted 178 to 3 for secession, sent about 400 soldiers to the Confederate army.

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