Adams County Timeline 1819-1849

Our thanks to Linda Lee for this information.

1819John Wood and Willard Keyes float down the Mississippi on a lumber raft, passing by the future site of Adams County on May 10, 1819
1820Wood and Keyes lead an exploration party into the future Adams County site during the month of February 1820.
1821Mr. Flynn arrives in February 1821, to check out his Military Bounty Land. Flynn expresses disappointment in his primitive quarter section of land.
1822Wood and Keyes pooled their funds, borrowed $40 from a Pike County neighbor and purchased the future site of Quincy for $60 from Mr. Flynn.
1823Jeremiah Rose, his wife and daughter, move to the area in March 1823. Mrs. Rose has the1830 honor ob eing the first white woman to live in Quincy.
1824John Droulard, a French shoemaker, acquired 160 acres on the Quincy site. Droulard built the third cabin home in Quincy in 1824.
1825The Illinois General Assemby created Adams County, January 14, 1825. In honor of the newly elected president, the county was named Adams, the county seat named Quincy and the county seat’s public square was named John’s Square.
1826In 1826 John Soule was paid $79 to build the first Adams County Courthouse, a two-story log structure with oak clapboards, a door and eight windows. Willard Keyes put in the windows and Levi Hadley built the chimney.
1827Many Adams County residents went to the lead mines in Galena, Illinois, during 1827.
1828Daniel Whipple built the first mill, Whipple’s Mill near Quincy for a cost of $30.
1829Obadiah Hicks and his family were the first settlers in Clayton township. The Hicks family established their home in 1829.
1830The deepest Illinois snow ever known fell in 1830.
1831Hanson Marlow was born in 1831 in the Northeast Township. He was the first white child born there.
1832The Black Hawk War was underway. In April 1832, two companies of men were raised in Adams County to fight. A treaty was signed September 15, 1832.
1833A cholera epidemic broke out July 4th, 1833. Ten percent of the population of Quincy was dead within ten days.
1834Adams County farmers lost much of their livestock and many fruit trees to a very harsh winter.
1835The first Adams County Courthouse destroyed by fire in December.
1836May, 1836: the first large public confrontation over slavery happened in Adams County.
1837The Quincy Public Library was established.
1838In May the first ferry began service in the Quincy area. Woodford Lawrence’s ferry had two canoes connected by a platform with a railing. The ferry transported people and goods across the Mississippi.
1839The village of Columbus in the center of Adams County was incorporated and attempts were made to move the county seat there from Quincy.
1840The election of 1840 was contentious. Irish railroad workers in Quincy took over the Polls, a riot ensued and the militia was called out to restore order.
1842The first school tax was levied in Quincy. It was $.125 per $100 and used exclusively for school purposes.
1843The State Legislature created Marquette County February 11, 1843. This new county was composed of the ten eastern townships formerly of Adams County.
1844The Great Flood of 1844 occurred during May and June. After the flood there was an unusual amount of sickness in the county.
1845A state census showed Adams County to have a population of 13,511. About 1/5 lived in Quincy.
1846One June 14, 96 members of the Quincy Riflemen left by steamboat to fight in the Mexican War.
1847Marquette County was renamed Highland County by the State Legislature in February.
1848Adams County was one of Illinois’ first to adopt the township system of organization.
1849A cholera epidemic broke out in spring, lasting until fall. Nearly 300 people in the Quincy area died. Learn more


Adams County Illinois Odds and Ends

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