The Jasper-Newton Connection

Sgt. William Jasper defending the flag.

My fifth grade teacher, Mr. Swanson, once told me that everywhere you find a Jasper there will be a Newton close by. He wasn't far from wrong. In the United States there are eight counties named Jasper and six named Newton. Five states have both counties, and in each case, Jasper and Newton are adjacently located. These states include Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

There are twenty-one sites with Jasper as part of their name in eighteen states. Fifty-five places have Newton as part of their name covering twenty-nine states.

In all, there are seventeen states that have places named after both Jasper and Newton.

As a native of Jasper and Newton counties in southwest Missouri, I became interested in who the counties were named after. Well, there were two heroes of the Revolutionary War, Sergeants William Jasper and John Newton. In May of 1779 the British were bringing ten captured Americans to Savannah, Georgia to be hanged. Jasper and Newton waited until the Brits were away from their weapons and rescued the ten Americans. Both served under "The Swamp Fox," General Francis Marion.

Sergeant Jasper also had claim to fame by saving the flags in two battles. Once on June 28, 1776 at the battle of Fort Moultrie and again on October 9, 1779 at the Spring Hill Redoubt battle in Savannah. The last effort proved fatal.

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