On July 10, 1797, Adams County was formed from Hamilton County by proclamation of Winthrop Sargent, secretary of the Northwest Territory. The county was named for President John Adams.
The first county seat was Manchester, settled along the Ohio River at a point known as Three Islands. Because of the narrow channels between the islands, Native Americans could easily ambush white settlers on their way down the river. The county seat was moved to West Union in 1803 - the year Ohio became a state.
One of Adams County's first settlers was Thomas Kirker, an Irish immigrant, who was elected to the Ohio House and Senate and served as the state's governor.
Zane's Trace, the first official road cut through the wilderness of Ohio, crossed diagonally through Adams County.
And, during the 19th century, Adams County had at least 30 stations on the Underground Railroad.
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