Adams County was created by statute on February 7, 1835, and organized March 1, 1836.
Its name honors the sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams.
The site of the county seat was chosen May 18, 1836
- Adams County is divided into 12 Civil Townships as follows: Blue Creek, French, Hartford,
- Jefferson, Kirkland, Monroe, Preble, Root, St. Marys, Union, Wabash and Washington.
- Adams County was organized March 1, 1836. A large tract of land lying between Allen and
- Randolph counties had been previously called Adams County, however, no organization had been effected.
- Decatur is the County Seat. Samuel Johnson offered as an inducement to have the county
- seat located on his land, the sum of $3,100, four church lots, half an acre for a public square,
- one acre for a seminary and two acres for a cemetery. He further agreed to pay the expenses
- of the locating commissioners, and furnish a house to hold court in until suitable buildings
- could be erected. The county commissioners promptly accepted the offer "and proceeded to
- the aforesaid town site, and marked a white oak tree with blazes on four sides, on each of
- which they individually inscribed their names."
- Decatur was probably named in honor of Commodore Stephen Decatur and in 1849 it had
- seventy houses (three of which were brick, twenty-one frame and the remainder of logs) with
- a population of about 400.
"But few of the pioneer residents of Adams county are now living to relate their story of its
beginning as a county. The written details of who was its first white residents, or of the early
events that transpired in the days of its organization are few and hard to find. However, it has
been the purpose of the author of this work, as far as possible, to give a record of the events of the
government of the territory, along with what is of only local interest. It is a matter of fact that the
general and state governments are of as much, or more, historical interest to the county, as is its
local history — for the reason that they are inseparable from it.
"The county is taxed for their support, for its quota of men in time of war — and for its share
of money for government expenses in time of peace. It joins in the general elections of governors,
congressmen and presidents of the United States. It gets in return the protection of the federal
and state laws, which control the township, as well as the county, state and nation. For the
reasons stated, the actual history of Adams county begins with the colonial grants made by
the European governments to the various colonies. The ownership as determined from time to
time in their contentions for mastery of this region and finally the control at the
time actual permanent settlement was made, claims a share of the county's history. Until the
close of the Revolutionary war — 1783 — Virginia claimed dominion of most of the actual
settlements throughout the Ohio valley. That lying north west of the Ohio river was known
as the county of Illinois, and that south, as the county of Kentucky.
"The laws of Virginia prevailed in her settlements in these counties until 1787.
Then the federal government came into control of Illinois county, known later as the Northwest Territory,
and thereafter, appointed its governors, who were largely instrumental in making the laws of the territory.
About one of the first acts of the first territorial governor was to divide the territory into two counties,
the west as Knox county with its seat of justice at Vincennes, or "Saint Vincent" as it was then known,
and Wayne county, the eastern part, with its seat of justice or county seat at Detroit. In 1800, Indiana
Territory was organized which in 1816 became a state, with the privilege of forming its constitution
and enacting its own laws. At the date of its admission, as a state, Indiana was divided into thirteen
counties, Randolph county being one of the number. Thirteen years later, in 1836, Adams county began
its existence as a distinct and separate civil corporation. In our preparation of this work we make no
special claim for originality, but have endeavored to, as nearly as possible, arrive at facts, as received
from the writings and reminiscences of those who were intimately acquainted, at first hand, with the
organization and development of the county, however, the author hereof has been a resident of Adams
county for more than forty-six years, and has seen much of the development himself of the county's
resources, and has also listened to the reminiscences as related by many of the oldest residents of the
county themselves. Much interesting historical matter is forever lost, to future generations from the
fact that its actors' names remain as a tradition of the past; their grave stones mark their only span
of life as an unwritten book."