Newton, Utah was first settled in 1869. A bridge was built over the Bear River in 1871 and it was at that point that many of the inhabitants of Clarkston, Utah moved to this "new town". Newton has two reservoirs nearby: Newton Dam to the north, and the much larger Cutler Reservoir to the south.
In February 1869, a meeting was held at the new town-site to take action on the proposed move. Bishop William F. Rigby presided at the meeting. Nearly all of those present favored moving the settlement of Clarkston to the new location. A later meeting was held in March of the same year. Most of the settlers of Clarkston were present and it was decided to make the move. Stakes were driven for the present public square and Bishop Rigby was instructed to lay out the townsite. In a few days James H. Martineau, County Surveyor, surveyed the townsite and fields. In the north field the lots were five acres each, in the south field ten acres each and in the meadow lands on Bear River, five acres each.
A few families wintered at the new location in 1869. John Myler built the first house in the New Town, as it was called back then. This house was built two and one-half blocks south and one and one-half block east of the present schoolhouse.
Other early settlers to arrive that spring and summer were the families of Bishop William F. Rigby, Peter Benson, Jonas Beck, Arthur Goody, William Bell, Swen Jacobs, William Griffin, John Griffin, John Jenkins, Peter Larson, James Larsen, James Nelson, Hyrum Curtis, Lee Whitaker, Richard Godfrey, Amos Clark and perhaps others.
As spring and early summer approached, some of the Clarkston people who had favored the move, began to change their minds. They decided they would remain at Clarkston. In fact, some who moved to the New Town, later moved back to Clarkston. This complicated conditions in a number of ways, especially with the rights to the irrigation water in the Clarkston Creek, which flowed down through the New Town and was called the Newton Creek.
As it now stood, those families who remained in Clarkston and those who desired to return maintained that Clarkston should remain as the Clarkston settlement. Those who had moved to the New Town (Newton) maintained that it should be the Clarkston settlement. A serious contention arose and President Brigham Young was asked to come and settle the matter. President Young held meetings at both places in the summer of 1870, and encouraged the people to build up both settlements. Those who desired to remain at Clarkston should do so, and those who desired to remain at the New Town should do so. At the suggestion of William F. Rigby the word New Town was shortened to Newton. It became the official name of the settlement. Bishop William F. Rigby was appointed as the bishop of the ward.
The settlers began to build their homes (log homes) and plant their crops. Some of the first houses had dirt roofs, dirt floors and quilts and other materials for windows and doors. The head of each family received the acres of land in the south field, and five acres of land in the north field.
The first religious and other meetings were held in the home of William Bell. Jonas Beck was the presiding elder. Bessie Griffin was the first schoolteacher. She taught in the little log house, a private home.
The following year more new settlers arrived. Among these were the families of Peter Jenson, John H. Barker, Franklin Young, a nephew of President Brigham Young; John Peterson, a Mr. Cummings, a Mr. Paulson, John Seiter, Alfred Atkinson, Ole Anderson, Will Sparks, Uric Loosle, Alfred Goodsell, James Christensen, Joseph Wilson, Chris Nelson, Otto Gasburg, Ras. P. Anderson, Hans Sorenson and perhaps others.
The first combination log school and meeting house was acquired by purchase for $50.00 from Franklin Young. Mr. Young had built a rather large house in which to live. The settlers had assisted him. Elizabeth Anne Griffin taught school in this house.
History above is taken from the Logan Journal
- Population as of the 2010 Census is 789
- Zip 84327
- Mountain Standard Time
- Elevation 4,534 feet