History

Outline Map of Newton County Indiana

The New Court House of Newton County Indiana

At the regular term of the commissioners’ court of Newton county, held at the court house in Kentland, April 3, 1905, the commissioners, David Hess, James A. Whaley and Elmer Skinner, made a contract with Eric Lund, of Hammond, Indiana, to furnish all material, construct and complete a court house on the public square in the town of Kentland, for the sum of $26,195, said building to be erected according to plans furnished by Joseph T. Hutton, architect and superintendent of construction. Bonds were issued to pay the cost of construction and sold to J. F. Wild and Company for …

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Outline Map of Newton County Indiana

The Old Court House of Newton County Indiana

At the time of the organization of Newton county the town of Kent consisted of one store, one dwelling house, erected by David McHolland (now owned by Thomas Moore, one square west of the Catholic church), and a couple of unfinished store buildings. Through the courtesy of the owner of one of the latter buildings we were allowed possession of same for the transaction of county business, all of the officers occupying the one room. We at once opened up the books and from that time on were ready to discharge the duties devolving upon the several officers of Newton …

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Outline Map of Newton County Indiana

Justifiable Larceny

I recall an interesting trial held at Morocco. James Moore had missed several hogs, and he suspected one of his neighbors of having stolen them. On searching the premises of the suspected party, evidence was discovered which satisfied Mr. Moore that his suspicions were well founded. He then went to the justice of the peace, James Murphy, and swore out a warrant for the arrest of the suspected party. This warrant was placed in the hands of the constable, Thomas Starkey, who came to my house and asked me to go with him to assist in making the arrest. When …

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Outline Map of Newton County Indiana

A Few Stories about Newton County Indiana

Our history, thus far, has consisted of rather dry statements of facts, and it may not be entirely out of place to rest a while and give a little spice to the story by reciting a few personal incidents in the lives and characters of some of the prominent citizens living in the neighborhood of Morocco during the time the writer was a resident of that place. I presume every neighborhood has had some few men who, by reason of their peculiarities, were different from the common run of their associates; who, because of their talk and actions, deserve to …

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Outline Map of Newton County Indiana

Roads and Markets in Newton County Indiana

When roads were first made in this country they went by the most direct routes from one point to another, without regard to section lines. Travel was seldom guided by any roadway, the traveler steering for some landmark, such as the cutoff for the crossing of the Iroquois river, indicated by a gap in the timber at what is now known as the Strole bridge, or else the lone trees standing northwest of where the town of Brook is now located. The “north timber” and Pilot Grove also showed prominently from the prairie. But, as the country settled up, roads …

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Outline Map of Newton County Indiana

Some Early Settlers of Newton County Indiana 1831-1859

Before the time when railroads began to open new territory for settlement, it generally took three classes of citizens to open up and develop a country. The first class was made up of what might he called squatters — they were the adventurous frontiersmen who came before any lands were regularly offered for sale. They lived by hunting, fishing and trapping, and moved on farther west when the second class came in and purchased the land from the government at the uniform price of one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre. This second class generally held on to their land …

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Outline Map of Newton County Indiana

The Brandon Trial

One day in the summer of 1860 I heard that a murder had been committed in Jackson township and that the prisoner had been brought to Kent, he having been bound over by the examining justice. At that time the county officers were in temporary quarters in a store building fronting the railroad, near the present site of the Fletcher blacksmith shop. I went from my office to the room in which the prisoner was said to be under guard, and there I found three of my old neighbors and friends — Elijah Shriver, Calvin Hough and Samuel Brandon. From …

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Outline Map of Newton County Indiana

Township Organization of Newton County

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 …

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Outline Map of Newton County Indiana

Storms On The Prairie

The old settler always has the special privilege of talking about the weather of bygone days. Perhaps the weather itself has not changed since fifty years ago, but the conditions under which we were compelled to face the storms have been entirely altered. It is hard at the present day to realize the contrast between the open prairie as we first knew it and the stretches of farming country as we see them today, with their groves, hedges, houses, fences and other serviceable windbreaks. Before settlements were established outside the timber, there was nothing to check the force of the …

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Outline Map of Newton County Indiana

Organizing Newton County Indiana

To to the northern part of the state of Indiana was unorganized territory. The legislature of the state, meeting the latter part of that year, passed an act for the organization of fourteen new counties. Included in this number were the counties of Newton and Jasper. The boundaries of Jasper county were defined as follows: Beginning at the southeast corner of section town 24, range 6, west; thence west to the state line; thence north thirty miles; thence east on the line dividing towns 28 and 2g, to the northeast corner of section 4, town 28, range 6, west; thence …

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