North Newton is a unique community-oriented small town dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all its residents. Government services are provided in a friendly and efficient manner, taxes are reasonable, and the physical environment is respected. Citizens are encouraged to voice their views on common issues.
North Newton, attached to the north of Newton, is close to Interstate 135 & KS-15 & has easy access to Amtrak Train station in Newton. Hesston is 7 miles northwest, Wichita is an easy commute 30 miles south, & Hutchinson is 40 miles west.
Bethel College is the oldest Mennonite liberal arts college in North America with a regional reputation for academic excellence. The school's Romanesque Revival-style administration building was built in the late 1800s with native limestone and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to scholarship, the college also offers art displays, lectures, concerts and sporting events.
Kaufman Museum is located on the Bethel College campus. The nationally recognized museum features a tallgrass prairie reconstruction, historic farmstead, exhibits on Mennonite immigrant culture and a museum store.
North Newton grew up around Bethel College. After Bethel College was chartered in 1887, a primarily Mennonite community began building around the campus. The community's residents were mostly people associated with the college. As the college grew, so did the community, which continued to be closely associated with the college and the General Conference Mennonite Church.
Although the college was founded in 1887 and a public water system installed in 1912, it wasn't until September 20, 1938, that North Newton actually incorporated as a city.
John F. Schmidt, a former mayor of North Newton, said sewer problems spurred community leaders to incorporate the city. There was no sanitary system of sewage disposal on campus. Federal funds were available, but only to incorporated municipalities.
"Newton didn't want to take on any more area in those days, in the Depression years," Schmidt recalled. "There was no provision for jump annexing," he said, explaining that, at the time, land north of 12th Street in Newton was mostly undeveloped and rural.
Thus, residents incorporated North Newton in order to take advantage of one of then President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal grants and establish sewer lines between Newton and North Newton. Residents had originally wanted to call the new city "Bethel" after Bethel College, but couldn't because another Kansas town already carried the college's namesake.