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Trip Planner USA  /  Iowa  /  Newton

Newton

4.4
History Museums · Movie Theaters
Newton is the county seat and most populous city in Jasper County, Iowa, United States. Located 30mi east of Des Moines, Newton is in Central Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 15,254. It is the home of Iowa Speedway, Maytag Dairy Farms, and the Iowa Sculpture Festival.HistoryEarly historyNewton was founded in 1846 as Newton City, the name was changed to Newton in 1847 and Newton was incorporated as a city in 1857. In the late 19th century, Newton's growth was fueled by the development of coal mines in the region. The first significant mine in the area was the Couch mine of the Jasper County Coal and Railway Company, opened in the 1870s. It was, for a while, the largest mine in the county, producing 70 tons per day. William Snooks opened a mine near Newton in 1886. In the early 20th century, large scale mining in the Newton area had declined, but there were still several mines in the area that were worked intermittently.Maytag and the era of growthIn the 20th century, Newton was a manufacturing community, much of its growth derived from the washing machine industry. Its most distinctive landmark, the Jasper County Courthouse, was built in 1911.Newton entered the national stage in 1938 when martial law was declared during a strike at the Maytag Washing Machine Company. Iowa governor Nelson Kraschel ordered the Iowa National Guard to protect the company with tanks and machine guns ready against the workers. With the backing of four troops (companies) of the 113th Cavalry Regiment, Maytag company beat the strike and forced workers to return to work with a 10% pay cut.
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