Adams County, Pennsylvania



Gettysburg Gas Company 

Cabinet card image of the Gas company's staff, standing in front of their office in the old George Arnold Building on Lincoln Square.

(Photo courtesy of Adams County Historical Society)



Adams County History


Adams County was originally part York County which was formed 9 August 1749 from Lancaster County which, in turn, was formed 10 May 1729 from Chester  County. York was a rather large county and efforts began in 1790 to divide it. Much turmoil ensued and the matter was not resolved until 1800 when an act of The Pennsylvania Assembly dated January 22, 1800 established  the new county named ADAMS, in honor of John Adams,  second President of the United States from 1797 to 1801. The commissioners to mark and run the line dividing Adams from York county were Jacob Spangler, deputy surveyor of York county, Samuel Sloan, deputy surveyor of Adams county, and William Waugh. In 1790 when the idea of this new county emerged James Cunningham, Jonathan Hoge, and James Johnston were appointed commissioners to identify the site for the county seat. After some deliberation those Commissioners selected   a tract of one hundred and twenty-five acres, in Straban township, belonging to Garret Vanasdal, and described as “lying between the two roads leading from Hunter and Gettys" towns to the Brick House, including part of each road to Swift run,”  being in part the present site of Hunterstown. In 1791, The Reverend Alexander Dobbin and David Moore, Sen., were appointed trustees for the new county “with foil powers, for them and their representatives to take assurances of all ofters for the payment of money, or for the conveyance or transfer of any Property in trust, for the use of public buildings to be erected in the town of Gettysburg”. 





Adams County Today 


County Seat:   Gettysburg 

Population: 101,407 

Adjacent Counties: 

   Cumberland County (north)  

   York County (east)  

   Carroll County, Maryland (southeast)  

   Frederick County, Maryland (southwest)  

   Franklin County (west) 







Adams County Historical Society


Adams County Library System


Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau


South Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society




(Adams County Township Map courtesy of Kristin Bryson and Bare Roots Publishing)