Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County, with an area of 736 square miles, was named in honor of Revolutionary War hero Sergeant William Jasper. The county seat Newton was named after Sergeant Newton. Newton and Jasper both served under General Francis Marion, “The Swamp Fox.”
The first county elections were held on April 6, 1846, and the first county business was conducted on April 14, 1846. In the summer of 1846 the commissioners selected Newton City as the county seat. On February 3, 1847 the legislature shortened the name to Newton.
In 1846, before a courthouse had been constructed at Newton, one was built at Adamson’s Grove. This building was offered to the county but it was declined.
Finally, in 1847, the first courthouse was constructed at Newton. It was a small, inexpensive building. Evan Adamson was paid $87.50 to construct it. In 1857 this building was sold and moved to a farm.
In 1858 a more elaborate and appropriate building was built. The 62-foot x 50-foot two-story structure was sandstone and brick and faced with limestone. The building served the county for several years until it became unsanitary and a firetrap. In 1909 it was torn down.
The present courthouse was dedicated on April 6, 1911. The large three-story building is made entirely of Bedford limestone. Only the doors and window casings are made from wood. The interior is decorated with ceramic tile and marble wainscoting.
A clock tower rises 56 feet above the roof. The four dials of the clock measure 8 feet in height. Private funds in the amount of $1,200 were donated for its purchase. Total cost, including furnishings, was $200,226.

Source: Nancy Parrot, Jasper County Recorder, 2002

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