Geography of Newton Township
Newton Township, a “Township of Second Class,” is located in the west-central section of Lackawanna County and contains some 22.4 square miles (approximately 14,340 acres). The Township is bounded on the west by Falls Township, Wyoming County, and by the Susquehanna River in the south and west, which separates Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties. The eastern border of the Township consists almost wholly of Ransom Township, including the formidable physical barriers of West Mountain and Bald Mountain. In the North, Newton Township is bounded by West Abington, Glenburn and South Abington Townships.
Because Newton Township lies at the edge of the Scranton perimeter, the demographic composition has changed significantly over the past thirty years. The transformation in character from a primarily rural, agricultural community to a more residential, bedroom community has resulted from an area population shift and contributed to the growth of the Township. The population of Newton Township, as reported in the 2000 census was 2,699.
History of Newton Township
Very few publications exist which chart the history of Newton Township. The only book in print which provides sufficient detail about the Township is The History of Newton and Ransom Townships published by J.B. Stephens in 1912. This book is now out of print. A portion of the following perspective was taken from this informative book.
The first pioneer settler to establish a residence in what is now known as Newton Township was Richard Garner, who came to this Township in 1803. He was shortly followed by Barronet Rodney in 1803 also. The many settlers that followed endured many privations and hardships in developing a viable community. In addition to those previously mentioned, many of the early settlers have names we are quite familiar with, including: Ayres, Beemer, Biesecker, Brink, Corselius, Cosner, Garrison, Hopkins, Jacoby, Kresge, LaCoe, LaRue, Richards, Rosenkrans, Saxe, Shook, Smith, Spenser, Thompson, Veety, Vosburg and many others. Many of our friends and neighbors are descendants of the original settlers.
Newton was organized in 1844 and is the ninth oldest township in Lackawanna County. The community was formed out of that portion of Falls Township which remained in Luzerne County after the creation of Wyoming County. The name bestowed upon our Township was done so in recognition of the many pioneer settlers who migrated from Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey.