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The city of Newton, Mississippi is in Newton County. The earliest document referring to the town of Newton was a property deed for a house on Railroad Avenue, dated September 20, 1837, a house that was still standing as late as 1986, although it had been renovated several times. Although its early history is uncertain, it is likely that the community grew up around a cotton plantation and a stage route. When the railroad came through in 1860, Newton was the terminus of the rail line, built by the Southern Railroad Company, which went from Enterprise to Newton. Although the town was not laid out until 1860, when a post office was established there, a country store was operated a mile southeast of the railroad depot in 1855. Rogers William Doolittle is credited as being the town’s founder, having contributed much of the land upon which the town was built. At one time, the town was known as Doolittle. The Newton post office was closed from 1861 through 1866, as the postmaster was a Northern man. In 1863, Union soldiers under the command of Colonel Benjamin Grierson burned several buildings in the town, captured two freight trains carrying Confederate ammunition and artillery, and burned the railroad depot, but they did not destroy any private homes or property, and left the hospital untouched. A report from a Newton resident claims that the Union cavalrymen were dressed in Confederate uniforms when they entered the town. By 1895, Newton had twelve businesses, three livery stables, two newspapers, and two hotels. The country singer, Paul Overstreet, was raised in Newton. US Highway 20 runs east-west through the northern section of Newton. West of Newton is Lawrence, while the town of Hickory is to the east. The small community of Bethel is southwest. Meridian, Mississippi is about twenty-eight miles east of Newton.

 

 

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