Prior to Oregon' statehood, Indian tribes and bands lived throughout the Willamette Valley including within the Newberg area. The Kalapuyas were the main Indian in the Willamette Valley. Not much is known about the Kalapuyas because they rapidly declined in population after the settler arrived. They were hunters and gatherers, and were semi-nomadic, living on the prairies in the summers and on the forest edges in the winters.
Hudson Bay Company trappers populated the first European settlement in the area in a place called Champoeg, which is located approximately seven miles southeast of Newberg. In fact, Champoeg was the site where Oregon's provisional government was established in 1843. An increasing influx of pioneers subsequently found the Newberg area as an attractive place to settle and began clearing land for farming.
In 1869, Newberg was given its name by its first postmaster, Sebastian Brutscher, who named the town after his Bavarian hometown of Newburgh.
The early years of Newberg were heavily influenced by the Friends Church. In the 1870's, William Hobson, a zealous Quaker minister from Iowa, visited Oregon. After determining that the rainfall, temperature and agricultural productivity was suitable, he settled in Chehalem Valley and began preaching. He attracted a sizable number of Quakers to the valley, mainly from Indiana and Iowa. In 1885, the Quakers started the Pacific Academy (now George Fox University), with Dr. Henry Minthorn assuming the position of superintendent of the Academy.
In 1885, a young man at the age of 9 years old came to Newberg to live with his aunt and uncle, the Minthorns. The young man remained in Newberg and made it his boyhood home. That young man's name was Herbert Hoover, who later would become the 31st president of the United States.
Records show that by 1887, the population of the Newberg area had grown to around 200. Newberg became incorporated as a town in 1889 and as a city in 1893. All this activity was documented by a local newspaper that still exists today, the Newberg Graphic, which began in 1888.
The Oregon Historical Society is a valuable resource for information regarding Oregon history.
Source: Newberg Area Chamber of Commerce