The town of Newton was settled in 1870, Because of the lack of sufficient rainfall for the growing of crops it was necessary to construct a long canal to bring irrigation water from Clarkston Creek, When it appeared that the creek would not provide sufficient water during the dry summer months a meeting was held in March, 1871 and a decision made to build a dam to impound the waters of Clarkston Creek.
The dam was built in 1871 and the resulting reservoir was the first irrigation reservoir built by Americans.
The dam washed out in heavy runoffs in 1874, 1877, and 1888. Each time it was rebuilt. In 1897 the dam was lined with rock and its height raised three feet.
In 1941-1946 a new dam was constructed below the old by the Work Projects Administration and the Bureau of Reclamation, The capacity of the reservoir was increased from 1566 to 5300 acre feet and the irrigable land from 1600 to 2225 acres.
Newton Reservoir is located at Newton, Utah and was added to the National Historic Register (#73001860) on November 30, 1973.
The new dam site constructed in the 1940’s is located 1 and 1/2 miles downstream from the original dam site. After the waters of the new dam backed up to the old dam a portion of a swale on the west of the old dam was cut to allow waters from the new dam to enter the old reservoir and vice-versa. The major portion of the reservoir exists as it was built and rebuilt, 1871-1888. Only the original spillway has been removed.