The state of Missouri was actually named after a tribe of Sioux Indians called the Missouris, whose name means "town of the large canoes".
Adair County, Missouri, located in the northeastern part of the state, has a rich and diverse history. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Sac and Fox. European settlers began arriving in the early 19th century, with the establishment of Adair County in 1841.

One significant event in the county's history is the Battle of Kirksville, which took place during the American Civil War in 1862. Confederate troops, led by Colonel Joseph Porter, attacked Union soldiers stationed in Kirksville. Though the Union forces were outnumbered, they successfully defended the town, resulting in a Union victory. This battle played a crucial role in securing Missouri as a Union state and influenced the course of the war.

Agriculture has always been a vital part of Adair County's economy. The fertile soil and favorable climate allowed for the growth of various crops, including corn, soybeans, and wheat. In the late 19th century, the development of railroads facilitated the transportation of agricultural goods, boosting the region's economic growth.

Education has also played an essential role in the county's history. Northeast Missouri State Normal School, which later became Truman State University, was established in 1867. The university has remained a prominent educational institution, providing opportunities for higher education in Adair County and beyond.

Today, Adair County continues to thrive as a vibrant community. It is home to numerous attractions, including Thousand Hills State Park, which offers recreational activities such as camping, fishing, and hiking. The rich history and strong sense of community make Adair County a unique and captivating place to visit and live.

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

  • 1804 - The Louisiana Purchase officially takes effect, including what is now Adair County, MO.
  • 1836 - Adair County is established as a county in the state of Missouri.
  • 1844 - The first permanent settlement, Brashear (now known as Kirksville), is established.
  • 1847 - The county's first newspaper, The Prairie Register, is published.
  • 1855 - The first courthouse in Adair County is built in Kirksville.
  • 1862 - Kirksville becomes the county seat of Adair County.
  • 1864 - The Battle of Kirksville takes place during the American Civil War.
  • 1876 - The first public high school in the county is established in Kirksville.
  • 1890 - Truman State University (formerly known as Northeast Missouri State Normal School) is established.
  • 1929 - The Baldwin Gymnasium, now a National Historic Landmark, is constructed on the Truman State University campus.
  • 1938 - The Thousand Hills State Park is established, providing recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.
  • 1961 - The Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (now A.T. Still University) is founded.
  • 1984 - The Adair County Courthouse, a Second Empire-style building, is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1997 - The Kirksville Micropolitan Statistical Area is established, recognizing the economic and demographic influence of the city on the surrounding area.