Newton is located near the headwaters of the east branch of the Paulins Kill, a 41.6-mile (66.9 km) tributary of the Delaware River. In October 1715, Colonial surveyor Samuel Green plotted a tract of 2,500 acres (1,000 ha) at the head of the Paulins Kill, then known as the Tohokenetcunck River, on behalf of William Penn. This tract, which would not be settled for approximately 30–35 years, was part of the survey and division of the Last Indian Purchase by the West Jersey Board of Proprietors. At the time of Green's survey, northwestern New Jersey was populated with bands of the Munsee, the northern branch of the Lenni Lenape peoples.
The first recorded settler within the boundaries of present-day Newton was a German Palatine immigrant named Henry Hairlocker who arrived sometime before 1751 when he appears in Morris County records as receiving a tavern license. The Newtown Precinct, a large township, was created in 1751, and Sussex County was created from Morris two years later on June 8, 1753.[a] The township would be named Newtown after the colonial village of Newtown in Queens, New York from where the Pettit family originated (the six Pettit brothers, all prominent landowners and influential figures in early local government, settled in northwestern New Jersey in the 1740s) or from its status as a "new town".
In 1797, the village's post office was renamed Newtown and later, in 1825, the spelling was altered to Newton. Newton Township would cede land to create new townships on several occasions in the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries, until a final division dissolved the township on April 11, 1864, through a legislative act of New Jersey Legislature that created the village of Newton as an incorporated town and two rural townships—Hampton and Andover.
Newton's land area drains into the watersheds of the Paulins Kill and Pequest River—two rivers that are tributaries of the Delaware River. These watersheds are separated by slate ridges that are part of the Martinsburg Formation. These slate ridges were quarried for slate for roofs and other industrial purposes beginning with a quarry opened by Elijah Blackwell in 1859 that operated under a series of different owners and commercial entities until 1930.
Because of its location in the higher elevations of northwestern New Jersey's Appalachian mountains, Newton, as well as the rest of Sussex County, has a cooler humid continental climate or microthermal climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) which indicates patterns of significant precipitation in all seasons and at least four months where the average temperature rises above 10 °C (50 °F) This differs from the rest of the state which is generally a humid mesothermal climate, in which temperatures range between -3 °C (27 °F) and 18 °C (64 °F) during the year's coldest month. Sussex County is part of USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6.
In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Newton have ranged from a low of 17 °F (−8 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.86 inches (73 mm) in February to 4.76 inches (121 mm) in June.
According to the USDANatural Resource Conservation Servicesoil survey, the area receives sunshine approximately 62% of the time in summer and 48% in winter. Prevailing winds are typically from the southwest for most of year; but in late winter and early spring come from the northwest. The lowest recorded temperature was −26 °F on January 21, 1994. The highest recorded temperature was 104 °F (40 °C) on September 3, 1953. The heaviest one-day snowfall was 24 inches recorded on January 8, 1996 (combined with the next day, total snowfall was 40 inches). The heaviest one-day rainfall—6.70 inches— was recorded on August 19, 1955.
There were 3,170 households out of which 27.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.1% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 36.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the town, the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.9 years. For every 100 females there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 87.6 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $48,702 (with a margin of error of +/- $7,922) and the median family income was $72,266 (+/- $10,712). Males had a median income of $57,369 (+/- $5,859) versus $29,676 (+/- $3,910) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $25,296 (+/- $2,141). About 10.9% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.2% of those under age 18 and 16.6% of those age 65 or over.
There were 3,258 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.0% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.4% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the town, the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 92 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $44,667, and the median income for a family was $56,484. Males had a median income of $41,089 versus $30,016 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,577. About 6.9% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 11% of those age 65 or over.
Arts and culture
Museums, galleries, and libraries
Newton is home to the Sussex County Historical Society's Hill Memorial Museum, the oldest continuously operating museum building in the state. The society, founded in 1904, offers a research and genealogical collection, and displays focused on the region's history, from Mastodon bones and Native American artifacts and from the Revolutionary War to World War II.
Newton Fire Museum on Spring Street
Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council operates a gallery on Spring Street.
Dennis Library, founded as a private library association in the mid-19th century, now part of the Sussex County Library System.
The Newton Theatre is a former Reilly and Hall movie theater originally constructed in 1924 that has been converted into a 605-seat performing arts center. 
Drama Geek Studios is a non-profit community theatre group, based in Newton, NJ by the Newton Theatre. They offer classes, workshops, and performances to people of all ages in Sussex County.
Newton's community offers a range of Christian houses of worship and one Jewish synagogue. These include:
Memory Park, established with 10 acres (4.0 ha) of land donated by Newman E. Drake in 1928.
Newton's municipal building, located on Trinity Street, houses the town's offices, municipal court, and police department.
Of New Jersey's 565 municipalities, Newton is one of 15 municipalities in the state organized as a town. It operates under the Council-Manager form of municipal government (Plan B), in accordance with the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law. This form of government was implemented based on the recommendations of a Charter Study Commission as of July 1, 1978. The town is governed by a five-member Town Council, whose members are chosen at-large in nonpartisan elections to four-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election in May of even years in alternating fashion. The council selects a mayor and deputy mayor from among its members to serve one-year terms of office, at a reorganization meeting held annually in July.
As of 2018[update], members of the Town Council are Mayor Helen R. Le Frois (term on council ends June 30, 2020; term as mayor ends 2019), Deputy Mayor Daniel G. Flynn (term on committee ends 2020; term as deputy mayor ends 2019), Matthew S. Dickson (2022), Sandra Lee Diglio (2022) and Jason J. Schlaffer (2022).
A binding referendum was held in July 2018 in which voters a shift in municipal elections from May to November, a change that could increase participation and save $10,000 in expenses related to the standalone municipal vote; the next municipal election will be in November 2020 and the terms of all five currently serving councilmembers will be extended by six months.
Federal, state and county representation
The administrative offices for the County of Sussex are located in the center of Newton at One Spring Street.
Since 1762, Newton has been the county seat of Sussex County. It is the location of the county's administrative offices, court facilities, and county jail. The town is located in the 5th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 24th state legislative district.
Sussex County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders whose five members are elected at-large in partisan elections on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects a Freeholder Director and Deputy Director from among its members, with day-to-day supervision of the operation of the county delegated to a County Administrator. As of 2014[update], Sussex County's Freeholders are
Freeholder Director Richard Vohden (R, Green Township, 2016),
Deputy Director Dennis J. Mudrick (R, Sparta Township, 2015),
Phillip R. Crabb (R, Franklin, 2014),
George Graham (R, Stanhope, 2016) and
Gail Phoebus (R, Andover Township, 2015). Graham was chosen in April 2013 to fill the seat vacated by Parker Space, who had been chosen to fill a vacancy in the New Jersey General Assembly.
Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are
County Clerk Jeff Parrott (R, 2016),
Sheriff Michael F. Strada (R, 2016) and
Surrogate Gary R. Chiusano (R, filling the vacancy after the resignation of Nancy Fitzgibbons). The County Administrator is John Eskilson.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 4,476 registered voters in Newton, of which 881 (19.7% vs. 16.5% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,537 (34.3% vs. 39.3%) were registered as Republicans and 2,052 (45.8% vs. 44.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 6 voters registered to other parties. Among the town's 2010 Census population, 56.0% (vs. 65.8% in Sussex County) were registered to vote, including 71.0% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 86.5% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 1,546 votes (50.9% vs. 59.4% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 1,395 votes (45.9% vs. 38.2%) and other candidates with 87 votes (2.9% vs. 2.1%), among the 3,038 ballots cast by the town's 4,645 registered voters, for a turnout of 65.4% (vs. 68.3% in Sussex County). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 1,747 votes (54.8% vs. 59.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 1,359 votes (42.6% vs. 38.7%) and other candidates with 62 votes (1.9% vs. 1.5%), among the 3,189 ballots cast by the town's 4,418 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.2% (vs. 76.9% in Sussex County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 1,903 votes (59.6% vs. 63.9% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 1,220 votes (38.2% vs. 34.4%) and other candidates with 54 votes (1.7% vs. 1.3%), among the 3,191 ballots cast by the town's 4,359 registered voters, for a turnout of 73.2% (vs. 77.7% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 67.3% of the vote (1,210 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 29.5% (531 votes), and other candidates with 3.2% (58 votes), among the 1,808 ballots cast by the town's 4,705 registered voters (9 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 38.4%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 1,161 votes (57.0% vs. 63.3% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 620 votes (30.4% vs. 25.7%), Independent Chris Daggett with 203 votes (10.0% vs. 9.1%) and other candidates with 34 votes (1.7% vs. 1.3%), among the 2,037 ballots cast by the town's 4,323 registered voters, yielding a 47.1% turnout (vs. 52.3% in the county).
Founded in 1956, the Saint Joseph's Regional School was a private school affiliated with parish of Newton's Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic Church and overseen by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson. St Joseph's provided classes from pre-kindergarten (ages 3–5) to seventh-grade for a total enrollment of 140 students. The school closed in June 2016 and was one of four schools that were merged to form Reverend George Brown School in Sparta Township, New Jersey.
Merriam Avenue Elementary School (Public, Grades K–5)
Halsted Street Middle School (Public, Grades 6–8)
Saint Joseph's Regional School (Private, PreK–8)
Newton High School (Public, Grades 9–12)
Formerly the campus of Don Bosco College, a Roman Catholic seminary, the county government purchased the school's Newton property in 1989 for the use of Sussex County Community College, founded in 1981.
View south along US 206, Route 94 and CR 519 in Newton
Roads and highways
Newton is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 206 (known within Newton as Woodside Avenue, Main Street, and Water Street), New Jersey Route 94 (known within Newton as High Street and Water Street), and County Route 519 (known within Newton as West End Avenue and Mill Street) and County Route 616 (known within Newton as Spring Street and Sparta Avenue). As of May 2010[update], the town had a total of 28.75 miles (46.27 km) of roadways, of which 21.18 miles (34.09 km) were maintained by the municipality, 4.47 miles (7.19 km) by Sussex County and 3.10 miles (4.99 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Interstate 80 is accessible approximately 13 miles (21 km) to the south.
Newton Station in 1873 was served by the Sussex Railroad. Newton has not had train service since the 1960s.
The nearest NJ Transit rail station is Netcong, approximately 12 miles (19 km) to the south.
Newton Memorial Hospital opened in the early 1930s during the Great Depression. The medical center was established using funds from a willed gift of $35,000 from Thomas Murray (to be specifically used to establish a hospital in Newton) and a $100,000 bequest from Clarence Linn. The hospital "is a short-term, fully accredited, 146-bed acute care, not-for-profit hospital serving more than 250,000 people in Warren and Sussex counties in New Jersey, Pike County in Pennsylvania and southern Orange County in New York." Newton Memorial Hospital was bought by Atlantic Health System and changed its name to Newton Medical Center in 2011.
Newton is home to the editorial offices of New Jersey Herald, the state's oldest newspaper, founded in 1829.
Radio and television
The town of Newton has two radio stations within its borders: WNNJ, on 103.7 FM, with a format of Rock and WTOC (AM), which serves Newton in Spanish at 1360 AM.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Newton include:
Thomas Oakley Anderson (1783–1844), American naval officer, involved in the raiding party, led by Stephen Decatur on February 16, 1804, to destroy the U.S. frigate Philadelphia which ran aground in Tripoli harbor during the First Barbary War.
^Created in 1739, Morris County encompassed the area of present-day Morris County, Sussex County (created 1753), and Warren County (created from Sussex in 1824) in northwestern New Jersey. Sussex County was created with four large precincts (or townships)—Walpack (created before 1731), Greenwich (created 1738), Hardwick (1750), and Newtown (1751).
^Bartholomew, M.J., and Whitaker, A.E., 2010, The Alleghanian deformational sequence at the foreland junction of the Central and Southern Appalachians in Tollo, R.P., Bartholomew, M.J., Hibbard, J.P., and Karabinos, P.M., eds., From Rodinia to Pangea: The Lithotectonic Record of the Appalachian Region, GSA Memoir 206, p. 431-454.
^Kevin W. Wright, "Newton Industries", Newton NJ: Pearl of the Kittatinny (newtonnj.net). Accessed May 12, 2015.
^Master Plan August 2008, Town of Newton. Accessed August 2, 2016. "Newton is located in the approximate geographic center of Sussex County and shares borders with Hampton Township to the north and east, Fredon Township to the west and Andover Township to the south."
^The determination of Dfb (warm summer subtype) region is from Peel, M. C., Finlayson, B. L., and McMahon, T. A. (University of Melbourne). Updated world map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification from Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (2007), 11:1633–1644, doi:10.5194/hess-11-1633-2007. Accessed August 3, 2011.
^ abThornthwaite, Charles Warren. Atlas of Climatic Types in the United States 1900-1939: U.S. Department of Agriculture Miscellaneous Publication 421. (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1941); and Thornthwaite. "The Climates of North America: According to a New Classification" in Geographical Review (October 1931), 21(4):633-655.
^About Us, The Newton Theatre. Accessed November 11, 2018. "The historic Newton Theatre, founded in 1924, is a beautifully restored 605 seat performing arts center in the heart of Sussex County, presenting diverse programming, including world-renowned music acts, comedians, family productions, holiday shows and much more, in an intimate setting."
^Wright, Kevin W. Memory Park, Newton, NJ. Accessed May 30, 2015. "Newman E. Drake acquired 10.84 acres along Moore's Brook from William T. Hixson on September 5, 1928. On November 5, 1928, Newman and Elizabeth Drake donated this tract for use as 'a playground and general recreation field under direction of the Town of Newton.'"
^Scruton, Bruce A. "May or November? Newton voters decide today", New Jersey Herald, July 31, 2018. Accessed July 31, 2018. "Registered voters in the town have the opportunity to go to the polls today to vote on whether future Newton elections should continue to be held in May or moved to general elections in November. Those favoring the move argue the town would save about $10,000 per year -- the council budgets each year although the election is held in even-numbered years -- and holding the election concurrent with the November election will increase participation."
^Scruton, Bruce A. "Newton voters OK November town elections", New Jersey Herald, August 1, 2018. Accessed August 1, 2018. "With a turnout of just 16.5 percent, voters in Newton approved a citizen-initiated referendum to move the municipal election from its traditional May date to coincide with the general election in November.... Because Newton holds municipal elections in even-numbered years, the next council election will taken place in November 2020, a presidential year. Those favoring the move, in addition to saving the cost of a May election, said holding elections in November will increase voter turnout, and therefore, participation."
^Biography, Congressman Josh Gottheimer. Accessed January 3, 2019. "Josh now lives in Wyckoff, New Jersey with Marla, his wife who was a federal prosecutor, and their two young children, Ellie and Ben."
^Gail Phoebus, Sussex County, New Jersey. Accessed July 28, 2014.
^ abMiller, Jennifer Jean. "George Graham Chosen as Freeholder at Sussex County Republican Convention", TheAlternativePress.com, April 13, 2013. Accessed April 25, 2013. "Graham will fill the freeholder seat that New Jersey Assemblyman Parker Space left to take his new position. Space recently took the seat, which formerly belonged to Gary Chiusano, who in turn, was appointed to the spot of Sussex County Surrogate, following the retirement of Surrogate Nancy Fitzgibbons."
^Home Page, Sussex County Clerk's Office. Accessed July 28, 2014.
^Scruton, Bruce A. "Catholic schools to merge at Pope John campus", New Jersey Herald, January 28, 2016. Accessed September 17, 2018. "Four Catholic elementary schools, three in Sussex County and the fourth in Netcong, are merging, and by the end of the next school year, students will be housed on a campus at Pope John XXIII Regional High School that will include a new Pope John Middle School, parents were told at a meeting Wednesday.... With the opening of Pope John XXIII Middle School, three current elementary schools -- Immaculate Conception Regional School in Franklin, St. Joseph Regional School in Newton and St. Michael School in Netcong -- will close."
^Sussex County Clerk's Office (Newton, New Jersey), Register of Deeds. Deed between the Salesian Society, Inc., a corporation of the State of New York being the parent company of Don Bosco College and the Salesian Society of New Jersey, Inc., and The County of Sussex, a political division of the State of New Jersey (May 10, 1989, filed June 22, 1989) in Deed Book 1662, page 022 et seq. (Instrument No. 89-39284).
^About the New Jersey Herald, New Jersey Herald, July 31, 2018. Accessed July 31, 2018. "The New Jersey Herald has been a key source for news and advertising for Sussex County and the surrounding area since 1829 when Col. Grant Fitch, a Newton merchant, established the Herald as a weekly newspaper in a building at the corner of Main and Spring streets."
^About Us, WMBC-TV. Accessed July 31, 2018. "WMBC-TV is an independent, full-power, commercial TV station licensed to Newton, NJ and serving a NY metropolital area of 18 million people."
^Lee, Francis Bazley. Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey, p. 1550. Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1910. Accessed October 25, 2013. "Thomas Oakley Anderson, son of Thomas and Letitia Anderson, was born in Newton, Sussex county, New Jersey, in 1793, and died there in 1844. In his minority he entered the United States navy, and as an ensign at the age of eighteen years, he took part in the daring attempt of Commodore Decatur to rescue the frigate Philadelphia from the Tripolitans who had captured it."
^Perry, Michael. "Fogelson AD candidate at 'Nova", 'The Cincinnati Enquirer, July 9, 1993. Accessed June 28, 2018. "A native of Newton, N.J., he graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., and worked nine years at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., before coming to Xavier."
^Staff. "Book details Sausalito artist's life", Twin Cities Times, November 24, 2010. Accessed October 25, 2013. "Born in Newton, N.J., and raised in Tucson, Ariz., Tuthill arrived in California in 1928."
^Henry W. Merriam (1828-1900), Sussex County, New Jersey. Accessed September 10, 2015. "Merriam's Home, built in 1883, is an example of 'exuberant Victorian architecture. Upon his death in 1900, the home was bequeathed to the Presbyterian Church for the housing of retired ministers.'"
^"Sussex County maple syrup available". The Advertiser-News. Straus Newspapers. March 27, 2008. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. "We collected 800 gallons of sap from our sugar maples and had it boiled down to 24 gallons of delicious, pure maple syrup that area residents can sample from the local shops that have agreed to carry our glass-jarred, locally made syrup," said FoxNews commentator Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, proprietor of Vine Hill Farm.