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Wisconsin CountiesThere are 72 counties in the state of Wisconsin.
Adams County, Wisconsin
Adams County History, Geography, Demographics, Cities and Towns, and Education
Etymology - Origin of County Name
Adams County was named for one of the presidents of that name. Henry Gannett, credits as the name
giver, John Quincy Adams, the sixth president. History of Northern Wisconsin (Chicago, 1881), p. 60, says that this
county was named for John Adams, the second president.
County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts
Adams County, created in 1848 from Portage County, is named after John Quincy Adams. Located in central Wisconsin, the county seat is Friendship.
The area covered by present-day Adams County has been part of several other counties throughout Wisconsin's history.
In 1840, when Wisconsin was still a territory, Adams County was the south-western section of Brown County (today,
Brown County includes the area around the southern part of Green Bay). In 1836, Portage County was created and
included most of present day Columbia County, including the city of Portage, Wisconsin. In 1846, Portage County was
renamed Columbia County. The area from the northern boundary of Columbia County to Lake Superior was removed from Brown
County and was then called Portage County. In 1848, the southern part of Portage County was renamed Adams County and
included all of current-day Adams County and the northern section of Juneau County. In 1858, The northwestern part of
Adams County was joined with the northern part of Sauk County to form present-day Juneau County. At this time, Adams
County took its current shape.
In many important ways, the history of Adams County is linked closely with the history of transportation and the
resources in search of which travelers set forth. Beginning with the native peoples who first settled the area, its
western border on the Wisconsin River and its prominent natural landmarks placed Adams County along trading routes.
Friendship was founded by settlers coming from Friendship, New York. Today, Adams is the largest community in Adams County, but this was not always so. In the 1880s, there were plans for a railroad that connected Chicago and St. Paul to pass through Friendship. It appears that once this was decided, local landowners increased their demands. Instead of paying more for the land in Friendship, the railroad placed the tracks two miles south of Friendship. To service workers, boxcars were stacked to form housing, and the town of Adams was created. This stretch of track would become the famous "400" route. Today, Adams has about 3 times as many people as Friendship.
|- Adams||city||Incorporated Area|
|- Big Flats||town|
|- Dell Prairie||town|
|- Friendship (County Seat)||village||Incorporated Area|
|- New Chester||town|
|- Strongs Prairie||town|
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