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The first American casualty of World War I was a sailor from Iowa named Merle Hay. He was killed when the German submarine U-58 torpedoed the USS Jacob Jones on December 6, 1917.
Adair County, located in Iowa, has a rich history dating back to its early settlement in the mid-19th century. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, namely the Sauk and Meskwaki. The first European presence came in the 1830s with the establishment of a trading post. However, it wasn't until the 1850s that permanent settlements were established by white settlers.

Adair County was officially organized in 1851 and named after John Adair, a prominent Kentucky governor and U.S. Congressman. The county experienced rapid population growth during this time, with immigrants from the eastern United States and European countries moving in to take advantage of the fertile farming lands and economic opportunities. Additionally, the arrival of the railroad in the late 1800s further spurred development in the area, facilitating transportation and trade.

Agriculture has always been a significant economic driver in Adair County. Farmers primarily cultivated crops such as corn, soybeans, and wheat. Livestock farming also played a crucial role, with cattle and hog production becoming important sectors. The county's agricultural output continued to expand, and improvements in technology and irrigation methods further boosted productivity.

Throughout its history, Adair County has faced challenges, including extreme weather events such as floods, tornadoes, and droughts. The Great Depression of the 1930s also impacted the county's economy, leading to significant population decline. However, the resilience and determination of the residents helped the area recover and prosper in the subsequent years.

Today, Adair County thrives as a vibrant community with a diverse economy. While agriculture remains a vital industry, the county has also seen growth in manufacturing, education, healthcare, and tourism sectors. With its rich history and commitment to progress, Adair County continues to be a place where both residents and visitors can enjoy a high quality of life.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Adair County, Iowa.

  • 1851: Adair County was officially established.
  • 1853: The first recorded settlement, called Adair City, was established.
  • 1855: The county seat was temporarily moved to Fontanelle.
  • 1855: The county seat was permanently established in Greenfield.
  • 1890: The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad reached Adair County.
  • 1895: The Creston and Northern Railway was built through Adair County.
  • 1912: The Orient Railway was extended into Adair County, providing another transportation route.
  • 1945: The Greenfield Municipal Airport was established.
  • 1980: The Van Meter State Park was officially dedicated.