Newton, Iowa

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Newton is a city in and the county seat of Jasper County, Iowa, United States[1]. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 15,579. It is the home of Maytag Dairy Farms and was formerly home to the Maytag Corporation's corporate headquarters until the Whirlpool Corporation acquired it in 2006. It is also the location of Iowa Speedway.

Contents

History

Newton was founded in 1850 and 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.[2] 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.[3]

In 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. Maytag company beat the strike and forced workers to return to work with a 10% pay cut.

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