Adair County Historical Society Building
211 South Elson Street, Kirksville, Missouri 63501-3466. 1-660-665-6502

Windows to the Past

We Need Your Help!

Our museum needs new windows. The Adair County Historical Society building is 103 years old, so our wooden window sashes are decaying and the single layer panes are getting drafty. The costs for heating the museum are soaring, so we plan to replace our windows in July 2019. Since the windows were made before standard sizing, our Windows to the Past campaign requires extra money for the custom sizing of new windows. We need your help to raise $26,000 to replace 36 windows and the old balcony door. Click here to learn more and download a form for donations. We will be commemorating all donations from $100 and up and those who replace a whole window will get a plaque on that window. Donations are also tax-deductible! Thank you for helping us with Windows to the Past.

2019 calendar cover

ACHS 2019 Calendar - Mysteries of Adair County

The Adair County Historical Society 2019 calendars are available. $5.00 each
The theme this year is The Mysteries of Adair County.
You can pick one up at the Adair County Historical Society Wed., Thurs., Fri. 1:00 - 4:00
or call during those hours to have one sent to you. You will need to include postage.

If you have pictures please email them to

Annual Fall Banquet/Meeting

Harold Linder

Our 2019 banquet will take place November 9th and Harold Linder will be our speaker. Save the date!

The Adair Historian

Current Issue

April 2019 Magazine Cover

Our April 2019 issue of the Adair Historian has been published. It contains Pam Sylvara's biography of Staff Sgt. Don E. Clay, Linda Hudnall's history of the Kirksville Presbyterians, and Katie Maag's piece on the Riverside Mining Camp. For members, this 36-page publication is in the mail. If you are not a member but would like a copy, they are $5 at the museum or $8 by mail. Mail to 211 S. Elson St., Kirksville, MO 63501. We are open Wed., Thurs., and Fri. 1:00 to 4:00. Back issues of our magazine are also available! Become a Historical Society member and receive future quarterly issues free!

Online Archive
This is a list of articles published in the The Adair Historian published by the Adair County Historical Society beginning in 1998 through 2009. The article titles are listed in chronological order by date printed. One can use a browser’s search feature (ctrl + f) to check for particular names or words.
To Obtain Hard Copies: The ACHS will send up to three articles from this index for a $10.00 minimum charge plus $3.00 each thereafter. Send your request including the article names, and where they are located including the year, season, volume and page number plus a check made payable to the Adair County Historical Society at 211 South Elson, Kirksville, MO 63501. The request must include a self-addressed envelope (legal sized) with enough postage to cover the return mailing by first class (up to 4 pages = 1 oz. postage, 5-9 pages = 2 oz. and 10-15 pages = 3 oz.).
Researchers may also view all volumes of The Adair Historian at the Society’s museum and library at the above address and make copies for twenty-five cents a page. Regular visiting hours are 1 - 4 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Call 660-665-6502 if you have questions.

Mostly Ghosts

Novinger Photo Collection

The Adair County Historical Society "Mostly Ghosts" photo collection by Cyrus Truitt is available at the ACHS. It has one thousand pictures, mostly in or around Novinger. The information is available by photo number, subject, and surname. Click here for more information.

Novinger History Book

Novinger Renewal has been considering making a reprint of its 2001 history book - Novinger (Adair County), Missouri The People, The Town and The Surrounding Communities * 768 pages * hardbound * 134 biographies * coal mines * railroads * history of all place-names in county west of the Chariton River * businesses * complete 76 page all-name index * 17 maps * 669 photos and much more...

2001 history books will be available at the cost of $55. Arrangements can be made to pick up books in Novinger or Kirksville locations by calling 660-488-5280. To request a copy by mail send the $55 payment, along with shipping costs of book rate ($5.25) OR priority mail ($10.95), to Novinger Renewal, 15892 State Highway 6, Novinger, MO 63559.
Gary's email address .

The index for the book can be viewed at:
It is a large document and may take a little while to open.


The Adair County Historical Society was established in November 1916. In 2016, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of our Historical Society. This is how we came into existence: The Missouri STATE Historical Society was active in 1916, and they anticipated celebrating Missouri's 100th anniversary of statehood in 1921. As part of this celebration, they asked that all counties in Missouri seek to establish their own historical societies. Most counties did just that. In Adair County, the proposal for a Historical Society was presented at the Rural Life Conference held at the Kirksville Normal School in November 1916. After that conference, about 30 people indicated their interest in setting up an Adair County Historical Society. Dr. Charles E. Still was the first President, Miss Abbie Leavitt was Vice President, and Professor E. M.Violette was secretary-treasurer. This group organized a Missouri Centennial Celebration in 1921 honoring Missouri's 100 years of statehood, and this was held at Ownbey Lake in Kirksville. By 1922, the Adair County Historical Society had 250 members. They set up their first museum at the Kirksville Normal School which later became the Teacher's College, and now Truman State University. The Society, unfortunately, experienced some years of inactivity, but was revived in 1975. Today, it happily boasts over 450 households as members, and many more members if individuals were counted. Our museum at 211 S. Elson St. in Kirksville was originally built in 1916 for the Sojourners Club, a ladies literary club, and had the only public library in Kirksville for eighty years. This building is now the home of the Adair County Historical Society's offices, genealogy department, and museum.

Located at 211 South Elson Street
Kirksville, Missouri 63501-3466.
Phone: 1-660-665-6502

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Show Me The Way

Have a question about Adair? Ask the Historians at the Adair County Museum!
211 South Elson Street, Kirksville, Missouri 63501-3466.
The ACHS museum hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 1 - 4 p.m.

Board Members:

Missouri State Archives - website, and Facebook page ( for more information.