Snow's history of Adams County, Indiana

But few of the pioneer residents of Adams county are now living to relate their story of its beginning as a county. The written details of who was its first white residents, or of the early events that transpired in the days of its organization are few and hard to find. However, it has been the purpose of the author of this work, as far as possible, to give a record of the events of the government of the territory, along with what is of only local interest. It is a matter of fact that the general and state governments are of as much, or more, historical interest to the county, as is its local history for the reason that they are inseparable from it. The county is taxed for their support, for its quota of men in time of war and for its share of money for government expenses in time of peace. It joins in the general elections of governors, congressmen and presidents of the United States. It gets in return the protection of the federal and state laws, which control the township, as well as the county, state and nation. For the reasons stated, the actual history of Adams county begins with the colonial grants made by the European governments to the various colonies. The ownership as determined from time to time in their contentions for mastery of this region and finally the control at the time actual permanent settlement was made, claims a share of the county's history. Until the close of the Revolutionary war 1783 Virginia claimed dominion of most of the actual settlements throughout the Ohio valley. That lying north west of the Ohio river was known as the county of Illinois, and that south, as the county of Kentucky. The laws of Virginia prevailed in her settlements in these counties until 1787. Then the federal government came into control of Illinois county, known later as the Northwest Territory, and thereafter, appointed its governors, who were largely instrumental in making the laws of the territory. About one of the first acts of the first territorial governor was to divide the territory into two counties, the west as Knox county with its seat of justice at Vincennes, or "Saint Vincent" as it was then known, and Wayne county, the eastern part, with its seat of justice or county seat at Detroit. In 1800, Indiana Territory was organized which in 1816 became a state, with the privilege of forming its constitution and enacting it- own laws. At the date of its admission, as a state, Indiana was divided into thirteen counties, Randolph county being one of the number. In 1823 this was divided and Allen county was organized. Thirteen years later, in 1836, Adams county began its existence as a distinct and separate civil corporation. In our preparation of this work we make no special claim for originality, but have endeavored to, as nearly as possible, arrive at facts, as received from the writings and reminiscences of those who were intimately acquainted, at first hand, with the organization and development of the county, however, the author hereof has been a resident of Adams county for more than forty-six years, and has seen much of the development himself of the county's resources, and has also listened to the reminiscences as related by many of the oldest residents of the county themselves. Much interesting historical matter is forever lost, to future generations from the fact that its actors' names remain as a tradition of the past; their grave stones mark their only span of life as an unwritten book.

In conclusion, I wish to acknowledge the valuable encouragement received from many of the pioneer residents of Adams county, and also, the assistance gotten from the valuable histories of Randolph, Jay, Allen and Van Wert counties. Also the state histories of Indiana, and Howe's Historical Notes of Ohio.

How nearly we have succeeded in presenting a plain straightforward impartial and interesting historical record of events, is left to the judgment of each individual reader to decide for himself.


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Nature with her bounteous hand has provided her children with a great variety of landscapes. None of these can be more beautiful than those which may be seen at harvest time. The green meadows of the yellow grain fields, just ready for the sickle, the rolling pasture lands with their herds of fine cattle, the orchard nestling around the neat cozy cottage is a picture of civilization an and contentment. A hundred years ago these farms were a part of an unbroken forest reaching from western Indiana, along the Wabash, to the Atlantic sea-board, at the east, with the exception of a few small prairies along the lakes. The constant labor of the pioneer has wrought the wonderful change, within the last few decades. Then, the only routes of travel were the lakes and the navigable rivers. Wild beasts, and wilder Indians held dominion over what is now the finest farm lands and the most populous cities. The French were the earliest explorers of the lake region and the Mississippi valley, Cadillac, in 1701, founded Detroit, and some years previous to this time the French traders and missionaries ascended the Maumec river to where Fort Wayne is now situated, to the Indian village of Kekionga. New Orleans, Natchez, Vincennes, Marietta, and DuQuesne, are lasting mementoes of the French occupancy of this region. Until 1763 the French had nominal control and possession of the lands and country west of the Alleghanies. Her traders were chiefly engaged in traffic with the Indians.