Named in honor of John Newton, celebrated hero in the siege of Savannah. Along with Sgt. William Jasper, Newton freed a group of American Patriots on the way to Savannah to be tried as traitors. In addition to rescuing the prisoners, Newton is credited with securing a British cache of arms and a number of prisoners (perhaps ten). Newton died on a British POW ship after the surrender of Charleston, South Carolina by American forces.
Creek cession of January 22, 1818, and January 8, 1821 plus earlier cessions
Taken from: Henry County, Georgia
, Jasper County, Georgia
and Walton County, Georgia
Counties created from:
Rockdale County, Georgia
Covington (county seat), Mansfield, Newborn, Oxford, Porterdale
National Register of Historic Places in Newton County, Georgia
Newton County, Georgia, links
Newton County Chamber of Commerce
Newton County Library
Newton County Board
History and description
As the Creek were forced west by the push of the settlers, land became available in present-day Newton County in the first Georgia land lottery in 1805. Additional land, from Georgia's 3rd and 4th land lotteries, originally distributed as part of Walton and Henry Counties respectively, was incorporated into Newton County.
When Henry County was formed early in 1821 legislators almost immediately realized that the county was too large to effectively manage the area. They created Newton County later the same year. In 1828 Salem Campground
, was founded. It is listed on the National Register. That same year Wilson Lumpkin (then U. S. Senator) and Hamilton Fulton rode through Covington as they explored the possibility of building a canal from Augusta west. By the time they returned to Augusta after completing a trip through the Cherokee Nation, the concept had changed from a canal to a railroad and Covington was desiginated a stop on the Georgia Railroad.
Beginning in 1833 and continuing until 1842, the city of Covington was proposed to be the site of a train running to Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 1837 Western and Atlantic Railroad
Chief Engineer Stephen Long opted for a rural area west of Covington today known as Atlanta. North of the city an area known as Midway developed as a warehousing district for the railroads.
Emory College was founded in Newton County in 1834 as the Georgia Methodist Conference Manual Labor School. Following the death of beloved Bishop John Emory, the name was changed to honor him. When Emory moved west to Atlanta in 1919, the name of the college changed to Oxford College of Emory University.
In 1864 General William Tecumseh Sherman's Right Wing rode through county from west to east. Although some buildings were destroyed in Covington and livestock and crops were confiscated, few non-rail related buildings were damaged.
With the coming of the railroad cotton-growing began to replace farming as the major source of income. At the start of the 20th century Covington Mills was added to the relatively small industrial base, creating local jobs.