New Mexico's

"Home on the Range"


Abbott & Newton

Little is known about the history of the town. What is known is that it was a ranching and farming community. At one time, it did have several stores and hotels. Two brothers with the last name of Newton organized the schools. The schools were set up to educate students in the Abbott area. The school had three different locations. The drought in the 1930's forced many people to leave the area. The school remained open from 1943-1956, serving grades 1-6. In the fall of 1956, the school closed, and students began attending Farley schools. Today, only a couple of houses remain in the area.

The reason you won't find Newton on the map is because there was never a post office there, we got our mail from the Abbott Post Office. If you have a copy of Schools in Colfax County by Bill Litrell you will find it to be very interesting and informational. Another great book is Ghost Town Basketball by Steve Flores, where we got some of our information.

The Newton  school was located one mile west and one and one half miles south of the intersection of Highways 39 and the Clayton -Springer highway. The old schoolhouse is now located on the north side of the highway at Abbott.

At one time Abbott School had an enrollment of 81 and a faculty of six. Newton sent two teams to state competition, one in 1928 and one in 1933.

Contributed by Tom Wesson:

I did attend the Newton School after it was moved to the present location. I knew it was called Newton School although I always thought of it as the Abbott School. I believe it was always a part of Colfax County.

I took some notes during past family conversations about the Newton School that might be interesting to someone. The first Newton school was on the homestead land of Samuel Newton. The Newton families of two brothers, Samuel and John Erwin "J.E." were located on the east side of highway 39 south of the Abbott intersection. The building served as a small community school and church.

"Erwin was my grandfather According to family history J.E. pulled the original school house by tractor over to the site near old Abbott.

All of my Aunts and Uncles graduated from Newton School including my mother Inez Newton. Lura Shaw Rotruck"

In 1924 Newton School consolidated with Chateau Hill School (across the road from Richard Shaw's home) and Woodrow Wilson School (1 mile west and 1/2 mile north of the Abbott intersection.) Some of the buildings from Woodrow Wilson and Newton Schools were moved to 40 acres of land donated by James C. Tarpley for purposes of building a school. A rock or cinder block building was built for an auditorium.

Part of the Tarpley homestead (east and south of Abbott intersection,) the deed stipulated if the land was no longer needed for a school, it would revert back to the Tarpley family. I heard that the Tarpley family now has that deed.

The school served grades one through twelve with four teachers and a principal. At one time, around 80 students were enrolled served by four school bus routes. The families owned their own buses and at age 18, students could drive a bus and attend school. Three driver/students were Travis Wood, Clem Tarpley, and Albert Brown.

When the post office was moved from Old Abbott up to the community formed at the intersection of the two highways, it was decided to move the school. Part of the original buildings were moved again. The school was closed in the 50s and the students went to Springer or Farley.