Adams County History & Genealogy

Adams County, Ohio History

Adams County's First Court

The first court in this county was held in Manchester. Winthrop Sargent, the secretary of the territory, acting in the absence of the governor, appointed commissioners, who located the county seat at an out-of-the- way place, a few miles above the mouth of Brush creek, which they called Adamsville. The locality was soon named, in derision, Scant. At the next session of the court its members became divided, and part sat in Manchester and part at Adamsville. The governor, on his return to the territory, finding the people in great confusion, and much bickering between them, removed the seat of justice to the mouth of Brush Creek, where the first court was held in 1798. Here a town was laid out by Noble Grimes, under the name of Washington.

A large log court-house was built, with a jail in the lower story, and the governor appointed two more of the Scant party judges, which gave them a majority. In 1800, Charles Willing Byrd, secretary of the territory, in the absence of the governor, appointed two more of the Manchester party judges, which balanced the parties, and the contest was maintained until West Union became the county seat. Joseph Darlinton and Israel Donalson, were among the first judges of the Common Pleas.

[In 1847 on the publication of the first edition of this source, both of these gentlemen were living in the county, Gen. Darlinton being at the time clerk of the court, an office he had held since 1803. They were also members of the convention for forming the first Constitution of Ohio, only three others of that body being then living.]

An Encyclopedia of the state: History both general and local, geography with descriptions of its counties, cities and villages, its agricultural, manufacturing, mining and business development, sketches of eminent and interesting characters, etc., with notes of a tour over it in 1886.
The Ohio Centennial Edition
- Henry Howe, LL.D. [© 1888]