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Adair County, Missouri
Adair County MO Courthouse 20141022 A.jpg
Adair County Courthouse in Kirksville
Map of Missouri highlighting Adair County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded January 29, 1841
Named for Adair County, Kentucky
Seat Kirksville
Largest city Kirksville
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

569 sq mi (1,474 km²)
567 sq mi (1,469 km²)
2.1 sq mi (5 km²), 0.4
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

25,314
Congressional district 6th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website adaircountymissouri.com

Adair County is a county located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 25,314.[1] Its county seat is Kirksville.[2] The county was first settled by immigrants from Kentucky and organized on January 29, 1841.

Adair County comprises the Kirksville, MO Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History[]

The first permanent settlement in Adair County began in 1828. Many of the first settlers were from Adair County in Kentucky, for which the Missouri county was named.[3] The county in Kentucky was named for John Adair, a respected Governor of Kentucky.[4][5] This was 25 years after the Louisiana Purchase, seven years after Missouri was granted statehood, and four years after the Sac and Fox Native American tribes surrendered their claims to the land. The original settlement was called "Cabins of White Folks," or simply, "The Cabins," and was located 6 miles (9.7 km) west of present-day Kirksville along the Chariton River.

The Big Neck War: In July 1829, a large party of Iowa (or Ioway) Native Americans, led by Chief Big Neck, returned to their former hunting grounds in violation of treaty. One of the Ioway's dogs killed a pig, and some tribe members threatened (or insulted, according to some sources) the white women. The settlers sent messengers south to Randolph and Macon counties asking for help. Captain William Trammell responded with a party of some two dozen men to help. By the time of their arrival, the Ioways had left the area and moved up the Chariton into what is now Schuyler County. Trammell's force, augmented by several of the men from The Cabins, pursued and engaged the Ioway at a place called Battle Creek, killing several Native Americans including Big Neck's brother, sister-in-law, and their child.[6] The Trammell party lost three men in the skirmish, including Captain Trammell himself, and one additional casualty died of his wounds shortly afterward. The surviving whites returned to the cabins, collected the women and children, and headed south for the Randolph County settlement of Huntsville. Later, a group of militia under General John B. Clark pursued and apprehended Big Neck and his braves, capturing them in March 1830. Several of them soon escaped from jail and fled to the current state of Iowa; however, Big Neck himself and the remainder were put on trial by a grand jury convened in Randolph County. The jury found on March 31, 1830, that: "After examining all the witnesses, and maturely considering the charges for which these Iowa Indians are now in confinement, we find them not guilty, and they are at once discharged."[7] The acquittal of Big Neck seemed to have brought the war to a peaceful, if uneasy, conclusion. A few months later, white settlers returned to The Cabins in greater numbers than before, and this time to stay permanently. The outbreak of the Blackhawk War in 1832 again caused consternation among the early settlers although all fighting was hundreds of miles away in present-day Illinois and Wisconsin. To ease fears in the area, militia units were dispatched and two small forts were constructed. One, Fort Clark, was located on high ground adjacent to The Cabins. Several miles to the northeast, another detachment of troops established Fort Matson. After months of no hostile Native American activity in the Adair County area, both forts were abandoned. The site of Fort Clark is now marked by a large boulder and plaque, while the Fort Matson site was later the location for a church and its name corrupted to Fort Madison (not to be confused with the Iowa city). The Fort Matson/Madison Cemetery still remains.[8]

Courthouse[]

The Adair County courthouse is a three-story Romanesque structure in the center of the Kirksville city square that was completed in 1899. The architect was Robert G. Kirsch who would later also design the courthouses for Carroll, Polk, Vernon, and Cooper counties. The county had no dedicated courthouse from 1865 until 1899, operating out of temporary rented quarters on or near the square. The county voters finally approved a $50,000 bond issue in 1897 to build the current courthouse after four failed attempts between 1872 and 1896. The courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[9][10]

Geography[]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 569 square miles (1,470 km2), of which 567 square miles (1,470 km2) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) (0.4%) is water.[11]

Adjacent counties[]

Major highways[]

  • US 63.svg U.S. Route 63
  • MO-3.svg Route 3
  • MO-6.svg Route 6
  • MO-11.svg Route 11
  • MO-149.svg Route 149

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 2,283
1860 8,436 269.5%
1870 11,448 35.7%
1880 15,190 32.7%
1890 17,417 14.7%
1900 21,728 24.8%
1910 22,700 4.5%
1920 21,404 −5.7%
1930 19,436 −9.2%
1940 20,246 4.2%
1950 19,689 −2.8%
1960 20,105 2.1%
1970 22,472 11.8%
1980 24,870 10.7%
1990 24,577 −1.2%
2000 24,977 1.6%
2010 25,607 2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2020[1]

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 24,977 people, 9,669 households, and 5,346 families residing in the county. The population density was 44 people per square mile (17/km2). There were 10,826 housing units at an average density of 19 per square mile (7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.82% White, 1.20% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 1.39% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Approximately 1.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 9,669 households, out of which 25.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.50% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.70% were non-families. 31.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 19.20% under the age of 18, 27.40% from 18 to 24, 22.80% from 25 to 44, 18.40% from 45 to 64, and 12.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,677, and the median income for a family was $38,085. Males had a median income of $26,323 versus $21,837 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,484. About 11.90% of families and 23.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.80% of those under age 18 and 12.00% of those age 65 or over.

Religion[]

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2010), Adair County is sometimes regarded as being on the northern edge of the Bible Belt, with evangelical Protestantism being the most predominant religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Adair County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (19.73%), United Methodists (14.27%), and Roman Catholics (12.72%).

Education[]

Public schools[]

− ** La Plata R-2 Elementary School (K-06) − ** La Plata R-2 High School (07-12) − ** The La Plata R-2 facilities are located in La Plata, Missouri, in northern Macon County, Missouri, however the district boundaries encompass part of southern Adair County as well.

Private schools[]

Post-secondary education[]

Public libraries[]

Politics[]

Local[]

Adair County is governed by a three-member commission. The presiding commissioner is elected by the county voters at large. The first district and second district commissioners are voted on by the residents living in the eastern half of the county, and western half of the county respectively. Each commissioner has an equal vote in all county business. Most offices are housed in the Adair County Courthouse, a structure dating from 1896 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Adair County Sheriff's Office is located in the Adair County Detention Center one block north of the courthouse, while the Prosecuting Attorney's office resides in the County Annex building across from the detention center.

The Republican Party controls politics at the local level in Adair County. Republicans hold all but four of the elected positions in the county.

Adair County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Kent Bryant Republican
Circuit Clerk Linda Decker Democratic
County Clerk Sandra Collop Democratic
Collector Sonja Harden Democratic
Commissioner
(Presiding)
Mark Shahan Republican
Commissioner
(District 1)
William J. King Republican
Commissioner
(District 2)
Mark Thompson Republican
Coroner Brian C. Noe Republican
Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wilson Democratic
Public Administrator Rhonda Noe Republican
Recorder Pat Shoush Republican
Sheriff Eldon Grissom Republican
Treasurer Lori J. Smith Republican
United States presidential election results for Adair County, Missouri[19]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 6,413 62.05% 3,710 35.89% 213 2.06%
2016 6,030 58.97% 3,500 34.23% 696 6.81%
2012 5,651 55.81% 4,219 41.67% 256 2.53%
2008 5,891 49.63% 5,735 48.31% 245 2.06%
2004 6,367 55.83% 4,938 43.30% 99 0.87%
2000 6,050 57.34% 4,101 38.86% 401 3.80%
1996 4,656 44.78% 4,441 42.71% 1,300 12.50%
1992 4,141 38.92% 4,232 39.77% 2,267 21.31%
1988 5,721 61.29% 3,571 38.26% 42 0.45%
1984 6,430 67.34% 3,119 32.66% 0 0.00%
1980 5,513 57.90% 3,507 36.83% 502 5.27%
1976 5,249 57.47% 3,684 40.34% 200 2.19%
1972 6,157 72.92% 2,286 27.08% 0 0.00%
1968 4,624 58.82% 2,645 33.65% 592 7.53%
1964 3,573 45.76% 4,235 54.24% 0 0.00%
1960 5,469 63.38% 3,160 36.62% 0 0.00%
1956 5,322 60.89% 3,418 39.11% 0 0.00%
1952 5,748 63.03% 3,339 36.61% 33 0.36%
1948 4,024 49.07% 4,136 50.43% 41 0.50%
1944 4,909 57.48% 3,606 42.22% 26 0.30%
1940 5,688 53.83% 4,813 45.55% 65 0.62%
1936 4,685 46.26% 5,315 52.48% 127 1.25%
1932 2,991 38.54% 4,623 59.57% 146 1.88%
1928 5,538 65.70% 2,841 33.71% 50 0.59%
1924 4,383 53.56% 2,800 34.22% 1,000 12.22%
1920 4,861 61.70% 2,534 32.17% 483 6.13%
1916 2,681 51.10% 2,275 43.36% 291 5.55%
1912 1,427 29.16% 1,784 36.46% 1,682 34.38%
1908 2,514 51.38% 1,992 40.71% 387 7.91%
1904 2,791 57.76% 1,687 34.91% 354 7.33%
1900 2,673 52.91% 2,180 43.15% 199 3.94%
1896 2,402 50.63% 2,311 48.71% 31 0.65%
1892 1,953 50.05% 1,039 26.63% 910 23.32%
1888 2,228 57.87% 1,531 39.77% 91 2.36%



At the presidential level, Adair County is reliably Republican. Adair County strongly favored Donald Trump in both 2016 and 2020. Bill Clinton was the last Democratic presidential nominee to carry Adair County in 1992 with a plurality of the vote, and a Democrat hasn't won majority support from the county's voters in a presidential election since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

State[]

Adair County is split between two legislative districts in the Missouri House of Representatives, both of which are held by Republicans.

  • District 3 — Danny Busick (R-Newtown). Consists of the city of Kirksville and the western half of the rest of the county.
  • District 4 — Greg Sharpe (R-Ewing). Consists of the eastern half of the county.


All of Adair County is a part of Missouri's 18th District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by Cindy O'Laughlin (R-Shelbina).

Communities[]

Cities[]

Villages[]

  • Gibbs
  • Millard

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Adair
  • Bullion
  • Clay
  • Connelsville
  • Danforth
  • Fegley
  • Nind
  • Nineveh
  • Paultown
  • Ringo Point
  • Shibleys Point
  • Sperry
  • Stahl
  • Sublette
  • Troy Mills
  • Willmathsville
  • Yarrow
  • Youngstown

Townships[]

Adair County is divided into ten townships:

  • Benton
  • Clay
  • Liberty
  • Morrow
  • Nineveh
  • Pettis
  • Polk
  • Salt River
  • Walnut
  • Wilson

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Adair County, Missouri

References[]

  1. ^ a b "2020 Population and Housing State Data". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/interactive/2020-population-and-housing-state-data.html. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  3. ^ Ramsay, Robert L. (1928–1945). "Adair County". Survey of Missouri Place Names. University of Missouri. https://shsmo.org/manuscripts/ramsay/ramsay_adair.html. 
  4. ^ Violette, E. M. (1911). History of Adair County. The Denslow History Company. pp. 34. https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_pX0UAAAAYAAJ. 
  5. ^ Eaton, David Wolfe (1916). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. pp. 200. https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_RfAuAAAAYAAJ. 
  6. ^ A Book Of Adair County History, page 34-36. Published 1976 by The Kirksville-Adair County Bicentennial Committee
  7. ^ "Archived copy". http://freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~towlescanote/history.html.  History of Randolph County
  8. ^ A Book Of Adair County History, page 37-38. Published 1976 by The Kirksville-Adair County Bicentennial Committee
  9. ^ "National Register - Adair County". Missouri Department of Natural Resources State Historic Preservation Office. http://www.dnr.mo.gov/shpo/Adair.htm. 
  10. ^ March, David D. (1977). "Adair County Courthouse National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form". http://www.dnr.mo.gov/shpo/nps-nr/78001636.pdf. 
  11. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/docs/gazetteer/counties_list_29.txt. 
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  14. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/mo190090.txt. 
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  16. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
  17. ^ Breeding, Marshall. "Adair County Public Library". Libraries.org. https://librarytechnology.org/library/13627. 
  18. ^ "Adair County Public Library (Main Library)". Missouri State Library. https://s1.sos.mo.gov/library/molli/SearchDetails.aspx?id=20879. 
  19. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 

External links[]

Coordinates: 40°11′N 92°36′W / 40.19, -92.60


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Adair County, Missouri. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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