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Adair County, Kentucky

Adair County, Kentucky
Adair County Courthouse in Columbia
Map of Kentucky highlighting Adair County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of the United States highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
Founded 1801
Named for John Adair
Seat Columbia
Largest city Columbia
 • Total 412 sq mi (1,067 km2)
 • Land 405 sq mi (1,049 km2)
 • Water 7.1 sq mi (18 km2), 1.7%
 • (2010) 18,656
 • Density 46/sq mi (18/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website .com.columbia-adaircountywww

Adair County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,656.[1] Its county seat is Columbia.[2] The county was founded in 1801 and named for John Adair, then Speaker of the House in Kentucky and later Governor of Kentucky (1820 - 1824).[3][4]

Adair County also has one of the few remaining American Chestnut trees in America.

Adair County is a prohibition or completely dry county.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent counties 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
  • Education 5
  • Communities 6
    • City 6.1
    • Unincorporated communities 6.2
  • Notable residents 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10
  • External links 11


Adair County was formed on December 11, 1801 from sections of Green County.[5] Columbia was chosen as the county seat the following year.[5] It was named in honor of John Adair, later commander of Kentucky troops in the Battle of New Orleans and the eighth Governor of Kentucky.[5] It was the 44th of Kentucky's 120 counties to be formed.[5]

A gang of five men, believed to include Frank and Jesse James, robbed the Bank of Columbia of $600 on April 29, 1872, and killed the cashier, R.A.C. Martin.[6]

The courthouse on the Columbia town square, completed in 1884, replaced the original 1806 courthouse.[7]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 412 square miles (1,070 km2), of which 405 square miles (1,050 km2) is land and 7.1 square miles (18 km2) (1.7%) is water.[8] It is part of the Pennyroyal Plateau region of Kentucky and is part of western Appalachia.[5] Over 40% of the county's land is covered with timber.[5]

The Green River is the county's major waterway.[5] The river was impounded to form Green River Lake, the major feature of Green River Lake State Park, which lies in Adair and Taylor counties.[5]

Adjacent counties


As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 17,244 people, 6,747 households, and 4,803 families residing in the county. The population density was 42 per square mile (16/km2). There were 7,792 housing units at an average density of 19 per square mile (7.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.00% White, 2.55% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 0.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,747 households out of which 31.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.60% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.80% were non-families. 26.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.50% under the age of 18, 10.70% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 94.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $24,055, and the median income for a family was $29,779. Males had a median income of $23,183 versus $17,009 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,931. About 18.20% of families and 24.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.60% of those under age 18 and 21.70% of those age 65 or over.


Adair County's agrarian economy produces livestock, dairy products, corn, and tobacco.[5] The county experienced a minor oil boom in the 1960s.[5]

Lack of adequate transportation infrastructure hindered the county's prosperity well into the 20th century.[5] The completion of the Cumberland Parkway in 1973 significantly ameliorated this problem.[5]


The county is served by Adair County Schools.[15]

Its schools are:[16]

  • Colonel William Casey Elementary School (Principal: Patty R. Jones; Asst. Principal: Laura H. Murrell[17])
  • Adair County Elementary School (Principal: Robbie Harmon; Assistant Principal: Sandy Wilson[18])
  • Adair County Middle School (Principal: Alma Rich; Assistant Principal: Donna Owens[19])
  • Adair County High School (Principal: Troy Young; Assistant Principal: Doug Holmes[20]).



Unincorporated communities

Below is partial listing of known unincorporated communities within Adair County. A complete listing is available

Notable residents

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d Adair County Government (2007-06-06). "Kentucky: Adair County - Overview". Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Kleber, p. 2
  6. ^ William A. Settle, Jr., Jesse James Was His Name 44 (1977).
  7. ^ Hogan, Roseann Reinemuth (1992). Kentucky Ancestry: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research. Ancestry Publishing. p. 185. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  15. ^ Education, Kentucky Department of (2008-12-12). "County & Independent School Districts" (PDF). Kentucky Department of Education. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  16. ^ Adair County Schools (2009-12-05). "ADAIR COUNTY SCHOOLS". Adair County Schools. Archived from the original on 7 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  17. ^ Colonel William Casey Elementary School (2009-12-15). "CWC Home Page". Colonel William Casey Elementary School. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  18. ^ Adair County Elementary School. "Adair County Elementary School". Adair County Elementary School. Archived from the original on 7 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  19. ^ Adair County Middle School. "Untitled Document". Adair County Middle School. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  20. ^ Adair County High School. "Adair County High School - Columbia, Kentucky". Adair County High School. Archived from the original on 18 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  21. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1967. 
  22. ^ Western Kentucky University (2011). "Coach E.A. Diddle". Western Kentucky University. Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  23. ^ Janice Holt Giles.
  24. ^ Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (2011). "Life - Dakota Meyer - Honoring Marines by Educating Their Children". Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  25. ^ 'Prominent Men Dead-Judge Pinkney H. Walker,' Chicago Tribune, February 9, 1885, pg. 1
  26. ^, Inc. (2011). "Evelyn West - IMDb"., Inc. Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  • Kleber, John E. (1992). "Adair County". In John E. Kleber. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Associate editors:  

Further reading

Flowers, Randy; Nancy S. Willis, Beverly England, and Dorothy Gerrick. Adair County, Kentucky: A Pictorial History.

  • Columbia & Adair Chamber of Commerce
  • Columbia Magazine
  • Burtons of Adair County

External links


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