Community – a place where people live, work, play, and go to school. What sets Adair County apart from communities all across the country is the unique diversity found in this place we call home. With the city of Kirksville as its county seat and with many small towns punctuating the local highways, the residents of the area stand in partnership growing from the solid roots of the community. Recent population estimates show Adair County with approximately 25,000 citizens.
Adair County features beautiful natural settings in 569 square miles of land and water. The land ranges from rolling farmland to timbered ridge lines all wrapped with ribbons of ancient rivers and creeks. There are approximately 900 farms (USDA) and approximately 26,000 head of livestock (Assessor’s Office) in Adair County.
Thousands of acres of public recreation and conservation land dot the countryside highlighted by Thousand Hills State Park and Forest Lake. This place we call home has even received national recognition for the hunting and fishing opportunities that abound here.
Education plays a vital role in Adair County. The community is home to the historic A.T. Still University at the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. The University is the home of the world’s first osteopathic medical school founded in 1892 by Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., D.O. The school provides graduate and professional programs in the health care fields emphasizing the principles of whole-person care.
The community is also home to Truman State University. The college is a public liberal arts and sciences university with highly selective admission standards. Truman State University is consistently recognized nationally for its commitment to academic excellence and is a public college best value due to its affordability and educational quality.
The local public schools at both the primary and secondary levels have received state recognition for “Distinction in Performance”. The private schools in the area have experienced similar success. Through the years, many academic and athletic teams from both the public and private schools in Adair County have triumphed at varying levels of competition.
In Adair County, we take pride in our Special Olympians who have brought home national honors from competitions in several different sports.
The community’s office of the University of Missouri Extension Service sponsors many events that provide both education and entertainment for our residents. The events feature the two-day Livestock Symposium, numerous 4-H youth activities, Food Fest, Master Gardener classes, and other classes and assistance to those with interests in the green side of Adair County.
Adair County offers a multitude of opportunities to enhance the artistic side of our lives. The Adair County Public Library provides an exceptional variety of services for all ages. The Library grounds feature an inspirational sculpture called “The Gift” by local artist, Brandon Crandall. The Kirksville Arts Association and Arts Center sponsors activities ranging from arts festivals to weekly concerts and special events for the enrichment of the community’s cultural needs.
Many citizens of Adair County have contributed to the area’s rich heritage of service to our country. Dating back to the Civil War and in all subsequent military conflicts, our family members and friends have fought for our freedom and many of them have paid the ultimate price. The sacrifices of these brave individuals have been recognized at our inspiring Veteran’s Memorial in Kirksville’s Rotary Park.
Adair County is home to businesses of all sizes. The local enterprises are exceptionally involved in and dedicated to the growth and success of our community. The businesses provide generous support for the many wonderful causes in our area. Among our local businesses are the nationally recognized Northeast Regional Medical Center and the Kraft Foods-Adair Foods which prides itself in “helping people around the world eat and live better”. One of the first industries in Adair County was coal mining. Immigrants from many different countries worked hard in these back-breaking jobs. Though the coal mining no longer exists in the area, the people of Adair County continue the tradition of hard work in a variety of industries.
The people of Adair County are generous in volunteering their time and supporting the needs of our community. Everywhere you look, you can see evidence of commitment to improving the quality of life in Adair County. Our community is safer because of the dedication of our numerous volunteer first responders. The area is the home of Mr. Ray Klinginsmith, the Rotary International President for 2010-2011. Our local Master Gardeners maintain the plantings at the Library and the Veteran’s Memorial. The fraternities and sororities from the local colleges provide youthful enthusiasm and much-needed helping hands to our schools, the library, the environment, and throughout the community.
Our community is a place we are proud to simply call home because of our strong and varied heritage, because of the natural beauty around us, because of our commitment to excellence, and because of the unselfish gifts of our citizens.