The story of this company starts well before its founding. Oliver A. Newton, born in 1862, settled in Bridgeville, Delaware in 1884, and made a living as a fruit farmer. Throughout his life, O.A. Newton served as a member of the state House of Representatives, as state Senator during World War I, as a member of and eventually President of the State Board of Agriculture, a member of the Sussex County Highway Commission, and a director of the state fair of Delaware. He was President of the Baltimore Trust Company of Bridgeville, a Vice President and Director of the Delaware Railroad, a member of the Regional Agricultural Credit Corporation, and a President of the Board of Trustees of Delaware State College.
Oliver is driving and Warren (approximately 13 or 14 years old at the time) is on the tailgate in the back in this picture taken around 1908
In 1916 Warren C. Newton graduated from (what is now) the University of Delaware and returned home to his father’s farm near Bridgeville. At the time his father, Oliver A. Newton, had a flock of White Leghorn Chicken and several small incubators, but they were poor producers. With the newfound knowledge from the U of D and a 3-month course in Poultry Husbandry from Cornell, Warren starts blending a more balanced feed for the flock. Flock production and the quality of the chickens improve dramatically. Something that didn’t go unnoticed by his neighbors, and they started buying a bag or two of his feed when it was available. A new business is born.
The business is still a one man operation as egg production continues to improve. These incubators were located in the cellar of the farm building.
This is the original building for Newton Chemical & Supply Company which supplied farmers in the area with the pesticides and fertilizers needed to grow better crops.
Administrative offices were moved from ‘The Old Farm House’ to this building on Rt 404. Over the years, It has housed the offices for O.A. Newton’s administration, accounting and engineering. It’s now home to the S.C.O.P.E.School.
O.A. Newton Evolves: Using the knowledge and experience gain from growing chicks the company begins to supply Grain Handling equipment to other chicken growers.
By 1943, O.A. Newton & Son Co. was producing 20,000 tons of feed at this mill in Bridgeville.
The continued demand for chicks warranted the purchase of modern equipment, moving the hatchery twice to larger quarters and the construction of a hatchery with the capacity of 563,000 eggs.
By 1946 Newton Chemicals had built, and moved into this building behind the grain elevator near Rt 404. The operation, and building is now owned by Helena Chemical, and is still in operation today.
International Harvester farm machinery and display building with paint and repair shops, built on the corner of US Route 13 and DE Route 404.
This grain elevator was built to replace the outmoded corn crib to insure closer-to-home market for the farmer, and a better supply of grain for the mill. In its day, it could shell 1500 bushels of corn an hour and had a storage capacity of 65,000 bushels. It has since been purchased by Perdue, and is still in operation today and still processing feed for chicken.
O.A. Newton & Son Company’s chicken place 1st and 3rd in Delaware’s Chicken-Of-Tomorrow Contest. The contest was staged by The Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) to encourage the development of better meat-type chicken.
An early aerial photograph of O.A. Newton on the corner of Route 13, and what will become Route 404
For many years, O.A. Newton sold appliances out of the show room on Rt 13. Although that business was shut down in the mid 80’s, we still occasionally get calls from people asking for spare parts.
O.A. Newton acquires and absorbs Eastern Chemical, a Material Handling Engineering company, to augment its grain handling solutions. The company now has the ability to move not just grain, but any dry bulk solids (such as pvc powder, or wood flour composites). Since this point O.A. Newton, has performed hundreds of installations here in the united states and around the world – helping companies like CertainTeed, Solo Cup, GAF, and Dow Chemical, produce their products as efficiently and inexpensively as possible.