At the time the county of Newton was organized, and while it was a part of Jasper county, it consisted of five townships, viz.; Iroquois, Jackson, Lake, Beaver and Washington. Iroquois township embraced all of towns 27 and 28, range 8, and one mile off the west side of towns 27 and 28, range 9. Jackson township embraced all of towns 29, 30, 31 and 32, range 8. Lake township included all of town 30, ranges 9 and 10. Beaver township embraced towns 29 and 30, ranges 9 and 10. Washington township embraced towns 27 and 28, ranges 9 and 10, except a strip one mile in width on the east side of said towns 27 and 28, range 9, which had been stricken off and added to Iroquois township.
The first business transacted after the organization of the commissioners’ court was the following, as shown by the records:
“Monday, April 23, 1860. Commissioners met pursuant to adjournment and the first business in order was the petition of Ralph Swiggett and others for the division of Washington township, so that all north of the Iroquois river remain as Washington township and all south of said river may be formed into a new township. Ordered by the commissioners that said township be divided, and that the name of the new township be called Jefferson, and that the boundaries of the township be as follows: Commencing at the Benton county line, at the southeast corner of section 35, town 27, range 9, thence north on the section line to the middle of the Iroquois river. Thence westwardly, down the middle of said river to the west line of Newton county. Thence south on the west line of said county to the south line of said county. Thence east on the line dividing Newton and Benton counties, to the place of beginning.”
It will be noticed that at this time Jefferson township lacked one mile of running to the line dividing ranges 8 and 9. The division of the county into townships was not further disturbed until March 5, 1862, when John Franklin presented the petition of Thomas Griffith and others, asking to be set off from Iroquois township into the civil township of Washington. It was ordered that said petition be granted and that the civil townships of the county should be as follows :
“That said civil township No. i, Iroquois, shall consist of towns 27 and 28, range 8; that Jackson township No. 2 shall consist of towns 29, 30, 31 and 32, range 8; and that township of Lake, No. 3, shall consist of town 31, ranges 9 and 10; that Beaver township, No. 4, shall consist of towns 29 and 30, ranges 9 and 10; that the civil township of Washington, No. 5, shall consist of town 28, ranges 9 and 10, lying on the north side of the Iroquois river; that the civil township of Jefferson, No. 6, shall consist of town 27, ranges 9 and 10, lying south of the Iroquois river.”
“Tuesday morning, December 2, 1862. Z. T. Wheaton presented the petition of himself and others to be set off into a civil township from the civil township of Beaver. Ordered that the prayer of the petitioners be granted and that the said township be called McClellan, and that it consist of the following territory, to wit: all of town 30, ranges 9 and 10.”
Afterward, on December 6, 1865, on petition of R. C. Currens, Blake Wilson, F. C. Pierce and thirty others. Grant township was organized by striking off of Iroquois township all of township 27, range 8, and that “A. L. Martin be appointed to act as trustee of said township.”
March 9, 1871. Philip Miller and others presented a petition for a division of Jackson township, said division to be made on the line dividing towns 29 and 30, range 8, setting off towns 30 and 31 and fractional part of 32, range 8, into a new civil township to be known as Colfax township. Ordered by the court that the prayer of the petitioners be granted, and that there be a new civil township formed embracing all the territory in townships 30 and 3 1 and fractional part of 32, range 8, to be called Colfax township, No. 9. And that Philip Miller be appointed trustee of said Colfax township.
June 8, 1872. M. D. Kay and fourteen others presented a petition for the division of Colfax township, to be divided at the town line, dividing towns 30 and 31, range 8, to be called Lincoln township. The commissioners not being satisfied with the petition it was continued until the next term.
September 2, 1872. It was ordered that the prayer cf the above petitioners be granted and that the territory be embraced in the following bounds, to wit: commencing at the south-east corner of section 36, town 31, range 8. Thence north on the line dividing Newton and Jasper counties, to the center of the Kankakee river. Thence westwardly following the meanderings of said river to a point where the range line, dividing ranges 8 and 9, crosses the said river. Thence south along said line, dividing ‘ranges 8 and 9, to the town line dividing townships 30 and 31. Thence east along said township line to the place of beginning. To be known by the name of Lincoln township, Newton county, Indiana^ No. lo. And that Aaron Wilson be, and is hereby appointed trustee of said Lincoln township.”
This completes the organization of the several townships in the county, ten in number, viz.: Iroquois, No. i; Jackson, No. 2; Lake, No. 3; Beaver, No. 4; Washington, No. 3; Jefferson, No. 6; McClellan, No. 7; Grant, No. 8; Colfax, No. 9; and Lincoln, No. 10.
Source: Ade, John. Newton County: a collection of historical facts and personal recollections concerning Newton County, Indiana, from 1853 to 1911. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., c1911.