The state legislature created Newton County on December 14, 1842, naming it after U.S. marshal Thomas Willoughby Newton. After beginning his career as a mail carrier and serving as U.S. marshal for Arkansas, Newton was elected to serve in Congress after the resignation of Archibald Yell. John Belleh's house on Shop Creek was designated the county seat until the designation was given to Jasper in 1843. The county had ten post offices by 1856.
Boone, Searcy, Pope, Johnson, Madison and Carroll counties.