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Kirksville in Adair County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Early Days of Adair County, Missouri

 
 
Early Days of Adair County, Missouri Marker front image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael E Sanchez, Jr., March 24, 2017
1. Early Days of Adair County, Missouri Marker front
Inscription.  The first attempt at a settlement by Whites in this county was in 1828, twenty-five years after the Louisiana Purchase and three years after extinction of the Indian title. Settlers from Howard County decided to locate on the east side of the Chariton River. About six miles west of present day Kirksville in an area known as the Cabins, which had long been the hunting ground of the Sac and Fox Indian tribes. Broken up by the Indians in 1829 and restored in 1830, this settlement was more than 30 miles from the nearest neighbor to the south. Hannibal and Quincy to the east and Huntsville to the south provided trading posts for the early settlers. Conditions of the first years of the early settlement were hard and primitive. Circuit riding ministers served early pioneer settlers. The first church in Adair County was the Bear Creek Baptist Church in 1838. By 1840, settlers had located in practically all the county. Created January 29, 1841, Adair County was named for the Honorable John Adair of Kentucky. Immigrants from Kentucky wanted this prominent public figure remembered. Kirksville was established as the county seat by 1842; the county was
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originally divided into five townships: Morrow, Liberty, Benton, Pettis and Wilson. In 1865, five more were added: Walnut, Nineveh, Clay, Polk and Salt River. The county had no official seal until 1948. Adair County is rectangular in form, with twenty-one miles north to south and twenty-seven miles east to west. It developed into many small communities with some fifty-seven post offices; in 2008 it had three. Initially, the mail came by horseback or stage from Bloomington in Macon County. In these early days, no postage stamps existed and the receiver of the mail paid the postage. Frequently the addressee had to borrow a dime to receive the addressed letter. The railroads that came in 1868 and 1870 provided daily mail service. The first public school began in Kirksville in 1867, in two building: the Free Will Baptist Church and the Mercer building. By 1873, 4,957 students attended 76 schools in the county. As roads and highways improved, schools consolidated; in 2008, three school districts existed: Novinger, Brashear and Kirksville. Agriculture, timber, coal mining resources and some manufacturing, coupled with the founding of the First District Normal School (Truman State University) in 1867, and the founding of the osteopathic professional in 1892, caused early growth in Adair County. The population rose from 2,342 in 1850 to 22,700 in 1910. During the same period the assessed
Early Days of Adair County, Missouri Marker back image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael E Sanchez, Jr., March 24, 2017
2. Early Days of Adair County, Missouri Marker back
wealth of the county rose from $90,290 to $5,840,078. In 2007, the population of the county was slightly less than 25, 000 with an assessed wealth of $243,233,734.
 
Erected 2008 by Adair County Historical Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureChurches & ReligionEducationSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1828.
 
Location. 40° 11.717′ N, 92° 35.002′ W. Marker is in Kirksville, Missouri, in Adair County. Marker is on North Franklin Street just north of West Washington Street, on the left when traveling north. This marker is located on the northeast corner of the courthouse lawn. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 106 West Washington Street, Kirksville MO 63501, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Battle of Kirksville (within shouting distance of this marker); Adair County, Missouri Courthouses / Early Days of Adair County, Missouri (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cyclone (within shouting distance of this marker); La Plata Square Historic District (approx. 12.9 miles away).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 20, 2020, by Michael E Sanchez, Jr. of Kansas City, Missouri. This page has been viewed 366 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 20, 2020, by Michael E Sanchez, Jr. of Kansas City, Missouri. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 18, 2024