Adair County is named for John Adair, who was a pioneer, soldier and the seventh Governor of Kentucky.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
E – Knox County
S – Macon County
W – Sullivan County
Created: January 29, 1841
Kirksville 1841 – present
County Courthouse – Kirksville
Location: 106 West Washington Street / North Elson Street
Built: 1898 – 1899
Style: Romanesque Revival
Architect: Robert G Kirsch of Kirsch and Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Contractor: Anderson and Menke of Quincy, Illinois
Description: The building faces north and is a three story Ohio blue sandstone and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Kirksville.The building is 112 feet by 85 feet. The four sides have small porticos with arched entrance with granite columns and small balcony above. The foundation is Quincy limestone. There was a copper cornice and a slate roof. Each corner has a large square stone tower with peaked roof. There are dormers on the hipped roof. In the interior, granolithic and tile floors are supported by a steel and concrete foundation. The walls are plaster and wood paneling. Two sets of metal stairways on the south have birch handrails. All of the stair treads, risers, and newels are of iron, as are the railings which feature simple “rams horn” curves. The original terrazo floors laid in one-foot squares in the rotundas and the landings are bordered with a “Greek Key” design. Floral capitals of heavily glazed terra cotta used throughout. The courtroom is located on the south side of the third story. The white, coffered ceiling is decorated with a painted wreath in the center and various molded rosettes and medallions, while the turquoise walls are plain. An original oak railing separates the spectators from those having business before the court. The golden oak jury box and judge’s bench are also original. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 2nd Judicial Circuit..
See: The architect, Robert Geoege Kirsch designed courthouses in Missouri in Carroll County, Cooper County, Polk County and Vernon County, in Texas in Hemphill County and Randall County, and in Wisconsin in Oconto County and Waukesha County.
See: National Register of Historic Places – Adair County Courthouse
History: The county was created in 1841 and Kirksville was designated as the county seat. The county officers first met in a schoolhouse south of Kirksville. The first courthouse was built by John B Earhart and John D Callison, a carpenter, in 1843 on the northwest corner of Harrison Street and Elson Street at a cost of $1,000. The second courthouse was built by Galyon and Douglass in 1853 at a cost of $2,350 using the plans for the Knox County Courthouse. The building was destroyed by fire on April 12, 1865 and the county had no courthouse for the next 30 years. The county rented space in buildings surrounding the courthouse square. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1898 to 1899 at a cost of $46,695.
County Courthouse – Kirksville
Photos taken 2009