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Adams County, Indiana facts for kids

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Adams County
Adams County courthouse in Decatur
Adams County courthouse in Decatur
Map of Indiana highlighting Adams County
Location within the U.S. state of Indiana
Map of the United States highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Indiana
Founded 1 March 1836
Named for John Quincy Adams
Seat Decatur
Largest city Decatur
 • Total 339.97 sq mi (880.5 km2)
 • Land 339.03 sq mi (878.1 km2)
 • Water 0.94 sq mi (2.4 km2)  0.28%%
 • Total 34,387
 • Density 101/sq mi (39.1/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 3rd
Indiana county number 1

Adams County lies in northeastern Indiana in the United States and shares its eastern border with Ohio. It was officially established in 1836. The county seat is Decatur.

According to the 2010 census, its population was 34,387, an increase of 2.27% from 33,625 in 2000. The county has four incorporated cities and towns with a total population of over 15,000, as well as many small unincorporated communities. The county is divided into 12 townships which provide local services. There are four Indiana state roads in the county, as well as three U.S. Routes and one railroad line.


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.

The first non-Native American settlers arrived in what is now Adams County in 1835. They arrived as a result of the end of the Black Hawk War as well as the completion of the Erie Canal. They consisted entirely of settlers from New England. These were "Yankee" settlers, that is to say they were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the colonial era. They were primarily members of the Congregational Church though due to the Second Great Awakening many of them had converted to Methodism and some had become Baptists before coming to what is now Adams County. The Congregational Church subsequently has gone through many divisions and some factions are now known as the Church of Christ and the United Church of Christ. When the New England settlers arrived in what is now Adams County there was nothing but a dense virgin forest and wild prairie.

The New England settlers commissioned the first courthouse in 1839, it was a two-story frame building. The first jail was a log building that was completed in 1837. The present Adams County courthouse was built in Decatur in 1872–1873 at a cost of $78,979. The designer was J. C. Johnson, who had been trained as a carpenter and joiner and became a self-taught architect; he won second place in the Indiana State Capitol design competition. The construction was done by Christian Boseker of Fort Wayne. It is built of red brick with stone ornamentation.


Map of Adams County, Indiana
Map of Adams County
Adams County superior court, Decatur, Indiana, 2006.

According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 339.97 square miles (880.5 km2), of which 339.03 square miles (878.1 km2) (or 99.72%) is land and 0.94 square miles (2.4 km2) (or 0.28%) is water.

Adams County is bordered on the north by Allen County, on the west by Wells County, and on the south by Jay County. The two Ohio counties of Van Wert and Mercer lie to the northeast and southeast, respectively.

The county has four incorporated settlements, all of which lie in a rough north–south line. The city of Decatur is the largest and is also the county seat, and is in the northern part of the county where U.S. Route 27 and U.S. Route 33 intersect with the east–west U.S. Route 224. U.S. Route 27 continues south through the town of Monroe, near the center of the county, and then on through Berne and Geneva.

Unincorporated towns


Adams County is divided into twelve townships:

  • Blue Creek
  • French
  • Hartford
  • Jefferson
  • Kirkland
  • Monroe
  • Preble
  • Root
  • Saint Marys
  • Union
  • Wabash
  • Washington

Climate and weather

Weather chart for Decatur, Indiana
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

Adams County is in the humid continental climate region of the United States along with most of Indiana. Its Köppen climate classification is Dfa, meaning that it is cold, has no dry season, and has a hot summer. In recent years, average temperatures in Decatur have ranged from a low of 17 °F (−8 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −24 °F (−31 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 107 °F (42 °C) was recorded in July 1934. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.16 inches (55 mm) in February to 4.42 inches (112 mm) in June.


Three U.S Routes cross the county. U.S. Route 27 and U.S. Route 33 enter the north end of the county from Fort Wayne in neighboring Allen County. Passing through Decatur, they split; U.S. Route 27 goes south through Monroe, Berne and Geneva and continues into Jay County, whereas U.S. Route 33 heads southeast into Ohio. U.S. Route 224 passes from west to east through the north part of the county, intersecting U.S. Routes 27 and 33 in Decatur, then continuing into Ohio.

Indiana State Road 124 cross the center of the county from west to east, passing from Bluffton in neighboring Wells County through Monroe and on to the Ohio border. Indiana State Road 101 is a north–south road that begins near the Ohio border at State Road 124; it runs north through Pleasant Mills and Rivare and continues into Allen County to the north. Indiana State Road 116 enters the county from Bluffton to the west, runs southwest and then south to Perryville, then runs east and terminates at U.S. Route 27 in Geneva. Indiana State Road 218 runs across the south part of the county from west to east and passes through Berne.

CSX Transportation operates a rail line that runs from Decatur to the northwest toward Fort Wayne.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 2,264
1850 5,797 156.1%
1860 9,252 59.6%
1870 11,382 23.0%
1880 15,385 35.2%
1890 20,181 31.2%
1900 22,232 10.2%
1910 21,840 −1.8%
1920 20,503 −6.1%
1930 19,957 −2.7%
1940 21,254 6.5%
1950 22,393 5.4%
1960 24,643 10.0%
1970 26,871 9.0%
1980 29,619 10.2%
1990 31,095 5.0%
2000 33,625 8.1%
2010 34,387 2.3%
Est. 2015 34,980 1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 34,387 people, 12,011 households, and 8,673 families residing in the county. The population density was 101.4 inhabitants per square mile (39.2/km2). There were 13,014 housing units at an average density of 38.4 per square mile (14.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.0% white, 0.3% black or African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 1.4% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.1% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 42.9% were German, 8.2% were Irish, 7.9% were American, and 6.9% were English.

Of the 12,011 households, 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.4% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 27.8% were non-families, and 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.41. The median age was 34.0 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $53,106. Males had a median income of $40,133 versus $29,907 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,089. About 11.8% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.9% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.

Festivals and Fairs in Adams County

  • Adams County 4-H Fair (Monroe)
  • Swiss Days (Berne)
  • Calithumpian Festival (Decatur)
  • Festival of Kekionga (Decatur)
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