Area History
The Civil War in Newton County - The fight for Mines and Mills

Newton County saw much activity during the Civil War. Although there were a few significant battles, many of the conflicts were small skirmishes or revenge, one-on-one, killings that could hardly be considered military actions. These small engagements occurred in every section of the county.

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Native Americans in Newton County

In practical terms, Native Americans had left Newton County by the 1820s. The Osage were the last tribe to have full-time inhabitation in the county. Members of this tribe did wander back and forth for a time, but they never set up permanent villages again. One of the last recorded contacts between white settlers and the Osage came in the early 1830s. The story goes that two early settlers, Matthew H. Ritchey and Gideon Henderson, went with about ten armed men to see a band of Osage who had come to camp near the home of the two men. After suffering several losses through theft, the men took other settlers with them and "reasoned" forcefully with the Osage, causing the Indians to move on out of the county.

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Camp Crowder History

Camp Crowder was constructed in 1941-42 as a signal corps training center for the United States Army. The camp was named for General Enoch Crowder, a prominent military lawyer who was born on April 11, 1859, in Grundy County, Missouri.

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Mining History in Newton County

Even though there were many small or even one-man mining operations in the early years of Newton County , the undisputed center of mining was in and around Granby. Billed as the "Oldest Mining Town in the Southwest" Granby has a proud mining history. According to local historians, Madison Vickery found lead in what is now Granby in 1840, but he did not establish a mine. In 1853, William Foster came to the Granby area and started mining in what turned out to be a very rich deposit.

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Aviation and Space in Newton County

Newton County has a prominent role in the development of flight. Hugh Armstrong Robinson, born in 1882, is a member of a very select class of pioneer aviators and much of his success can be traced back to his childhood in Neosho. After gaining an education, taking a bride and starting a business, Hugh Robinson left Neosho and became the chief engineer for Curtiss Aviation, one of the world's premiere aviation companies.

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Neosho Resident Saves French Wine Industry

Newton County has a rich agricultural history, but the story of its more famous grape grower is the stuff of legends. Herman Jaeger was born on March 23, 1844, in Switzerland. He came from a well known and highly educated family. In fact, his great grandfather was Pestalozzi, founder of the public school system. As a young man Jaeger took a job in a wine warehouse on Lake Geneva and then immigrated to the United States. In 1865, he settled east of Neosho in the Monark Springs area. The following year he and his brother, John, planted a vineyard and became grape growers and wine makers.

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