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Adrian, Michigan
City of Adrian
Downtown Adrian along Maumee Street
Downtown Adrian along Maumee Street
Location within Lenawee County
Location within Lenawee County
Adrian, Michigan is located in Michigan
Adrian, Michigan
Adrian, Michigan
Location in Michigan
Adrian, Michigan is located in the United States
Adrian, Michigan
Adrian, Michigan
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Michigan
County Lenawee
Founded 1826
 • Type City commission
 • Total 8.16 sq mi (21.12 km2)
 • Land 8.01 sq mi (20.74 km2)
 • Water 0.15 sq mi (0.38 km2)
787 ft (240 m)
 • Total 21,133
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,572.75/sq mi (993.32/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s) 517
FIPS code 26-00440
GNIS feature ID 0619846

Adrian is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Lenawee County. The population was 20,645 at the 2020 census. Adrian lies in Michigan's 7th congressional district.


Adrian Comstock Land Certificate
A copy of the original land purchase by Addison Comstock for what would become the City of Adrian, dated 10 May 1826

Adrian was founded on June 18, 1826 by Addison Comstock, promoter of the Erie and Kalamazoo Railroad, and was originally named Logan. In 1828 Addison's wife renamed the village to Adrian after the Roman Emperor Hadrian.

The only remaining piece of the Bank of Pennsylvania— one of the stone pillars — was moved to Adrian, Michigan and erected as the Civil War Memorial in commemoration of those in Adrian who died in the American Civil War.

Erie and Kalamazoo Banknote 1853
The Erie & Kalamazoo Rail Road Bank was chartered by the Territory of Michigan and opened in the village of Adrian in 1835.

In the late 19th century through early 20th century Adrian was known as the "fence capital of the world," when J. Wallace Page invented the first successful wire fence. Throughout this period, Adrian was one of the first fencing manufacturers in the world and its fences were shipped as far as New York, Berlin, Asia, and Africa. The company sponsored the highly successful Page Fence Giants black baseball team.

One of the first motor vehicles, the Lion automobile, was created in Adrian. Between 1900 and 1912, Adrian was shaping up to be one of the motor capitals of the world, with three car models manufactured in Adrian during those 12 years. But due to some unfortunate turn of events, it never came to be.

The first two were the Murry Motor Car and Lenawee Car: both made by the Church Manufacturing Company. Although the cars were a hit at the 1910 Chicago Automobile show and they sold hundreds of cars, due to bad financial decisions the Church Manufacturing Company ran out of money and had to close.

The third car manufactured in Adrian was the Lion made by the Lion Motor Car Company. The Lion was immensely popular and successful; Lion Motor Car Company was taking the lead in the auto industry. However, on June 12, 1912, the plant caught on fire, destroyed about 200 cars, and ultimately ended the company.

Culture and life

Adrian is approximately 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Ann Arbor, 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Jackson, and 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Toledo, Ohio. A portion of the city is on the border between Adrian Township and Madison Charter Township, although the city is politically independent of both. The city's urban area extends beyond the city limits into both of those townships as well as into nearby Raisin Township and Palmyra Township.

Adrian is sometimes referred to as "the Maple City" due in part to the many sugar maple and other maple tree species found throughout the city. The Adrian High School sports teams are known as the "Adrian Maples" and several local businesses use maple in their names.

Adrian's cultural life has connections to the mid-19th century. The Adrian City Band is one of the oldest continuously active community bands in the country, founded in 1836. Also of historical note is the Croswell Opera House. The Adrian Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1981. Adrian College and Siena Heights University also offer many cultural opportunities.

Heritage Park and Trestle Park have extensive mountain bike trails and boardwalks along the river. Trestle Park features a pedestrian walkway along a former railroad trestle.


Adrian, Michigan (14203774855)
Aerial photo of Adrian, 2014

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.10 square miles (20.98 km2), of which 7.95 square miles (20.59 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.39 km2) is water.

The town is approximately 15 miles (24 km) southeast of the Irish Hills area of Michigan, an area known for its many lakes and rolling hills, and home to the Irish Famine Memorial and Michigan International Speedway. Many town residents take advantage of this area for boating and recreation. Devils Lake, Round Lake, Posey Lake and Wamplers Lake are popular weekend destinations within a few miles.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,219
1860 6,213 180.0%
1870 8,438 35.8%
1880 7,849 −7.0%
1890 8,756 11.6%
1900 9,654 10.3%
1910 10,763 11.5%
1920 11,878 10.4%
1930 13,064 10.0%
1940 14,230 8.9%
1950 18,393 29.3%
1960 20,347 10.6%
1970 20,382 0.2%
1980 21,276 4.4%
1990 22,097 3.9%
2000 21,574 −2.4%
2010 21,133 −2.0%
2019 (est.) 20,600 −2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 21,133 people, 7,831 households, and 4,531 families living in the city. The population density was 2,658.2 inhabitants per square mile (1,026.3/km2). There were 8,977 housing units at an average density of 1,129.2 per square mile (436.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.1% White, 4.4% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 5.9% from other races, and 4.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.8% of the population.

There were 7,831 households, of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.8% were married couples living together, 16.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.1% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.06.

The median age in the city was 32.5 years. 23% of residents were under the age of 18; 17.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.5% were from 25 to 44; 22.1% were from 45 to 64; and 14.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.8% male and 52.2% female.


Top employers

According to Adrian's 2021 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Lenawee County 564
2 Siena Heights University 498
3 Adrian College 400
4 Adrian Public Schools 400
5 Lenawee Intermediate School District 366
6 Inteva Products, LLC 329
7 Adrian Dominican Sisters 328
8 Adrian Steel 300
9 Inergy 256
10 Lenawee Christian School 133


Herrick Tower Adrian College
Herrick Tower, Adrian College

Adrian Public Schools serves Adrian and the surrounding area.

St. Stephen Lutheran School is a Christian PreK-8 school of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Adrian.

There are three colleges and universities in the city, namely:

  • Adrian College
  • Siena Heights University
  • Jackson College

Notable people

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Adrian (Míchigan) para niños

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