Many of the small communities that exist today were large ones in earlier times. They have dwindled for economic, social, and educational reasons. Probably the greatest factor in causing the decline of the population of communities was the consolidation of schools, but the search for ways to make a living, and the development of faster ways of traveling all affected the decline.
Even if the people get their mail from a distant post office, their children travel several miles to school via bus, and the wage earners commute to larger towns, the names of the old communities still linger. One such community is Hartburg.
Hartburg is a small place on the Kansas City Southern Railroad in southeastern Newton County. It became a post office in 1895. It was named for John Hart, an Orange attorney who had helped secure the office. The railroad reached there in 1897, and in 1903 the Williams Lumber Company built a sawmill which operated until 1929. In 1940 the Storm Lumber Company erected a new mill with a daily capacity of 20,000 feet. An oil field was discovered at Hartburg in December 1948. It now has one store, two churches, and lies within the Deweyville School District.