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Adams County, Washington

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Adams County, Washington

Adams County, Washington
Map of Washington highlighting Adams County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location in the U.S.
Founded November 28, 1883
Named for John Adams
Seat Ritzville
Largest city Othello
 • Total 1,930 sq mi (4,999 km2)
 • Land 1,925 sq mi (4,986 km2)
 • Water 4.9 sq mi (13 km2), 0.3%
Population (Est.)
 • (2013) 19,067
 • Density 10/sq mi (3.7/km²)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Website .us.wa.adams.cowww

Adams County is a county located in the State of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,728.[1] The county seat is at Ritzville, and its largest city is Othello. The county was formed out of Whitman County on November 28, 1883[2] and is named for the second President of the United States, John Adams.

Adams County comprises the Othello, WA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Moses Lake-Othello, WA Combined Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,930 square miles (5,000 km2), of which 1,925 square miles (4,990 km2) is land and 4.9 square miles (13 km2) (0.3%) is water.[3]

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 18,728 people residing in the county. 62.5% were White, 1.9% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.6% Black or African American, 31.5% of some other race and 2.8% of two or more races. 59.3% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 16,428 people, 5,229 households, and 4,094 families residing in the county. The population density was 8 people per square mile (3/km²). There were 5,773 housing units at an average density of 3 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 64.96% White, 0.28% Black or African American, 0.68% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 30.69% from other races, and 2.75% from two or more races. 16.3% were of German, 6.2% United States or American and 5.6% English ancestry. 57.0% spoke English, 41.7% Spanish and 1.2% German as their first language.

There were 5,229 households out of which 44.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.50% were married couples living together, 10.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.70% were non-families. 18.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.09 and the average family size was 3.52.

In the county, the population was spread out with 34.20% under the age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 26.30% from 25 to 44, 19.40% from 45 to 64, and 10.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 104.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,888, and the median income for a family was $37,075. Males had a median income of $28,740 versus $21,597 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,534. About 13.60% of families and 18.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.00% of those under age 18 and 8.90% of those age 65 or over.


Adams County is a historically [11]

In state elections the results are similarly Republican. In the last thirteen elections no Democratic candidate for governor has carried Adams County.[12] The last Democratic candidate for US Senate to win the county was Henry M. Jackson in 1982.[13]

In the 2008 elections John McCain received 66.32% of the county's vote. Meanwhile Republican nominee for governor Dino Rossi received 69.83% of the county's vote. They also gave Republican representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers 82.45% of their vote. In other results Republican Sam Reed received 74.6% of the county's vote in his run for re-election as Washington Secretary of State; Republican Allan Martin received 67.25% of the vote for state treasurer; and Republican Rob McKenna received 76.28% in his re-election run for Attorney general. All county positions, where party are mentioned, also went to the Republican.[14]


The current Adams County Courthouse, built 1941

From Ritzville's designation as county seat in 1884 until 1892, courts were briefly held in rented space before the county purchased a building from N.H. Greene in 1885. In 1891 the commission bonded $20,000 in order to erect a permanent court house. The building was built by the Spokane firm of Burnham and Clapp and completed by August 20, 1891 when it was accepted by the county. It was a two story brick building with a four story tower and a stone basement. A two story addition was added to the front in 1905 with a new four story tower giving the courthouse a whole new appearance. This building was replaced by the current art-deco courthouse in 1941.


  1. 7,532 - Othello
  2. 1,678 - Ritzville
  3. 572 - Lind
  4. 207 - Washtucna
  5. 102 - Hatton

2012 Estimate population[15]

Other communities

Ghost Towns

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  3. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  7. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  8. ^ David Leip's Presidential Atlas (Maps for Washington by election)
  9. ^ Geographie Electorale
  10. ^ The New York Times Electoral Map (Zoom in on Washington state)
  11. ^ David Leip's US Election Atlas (Washington state maps)
  12. ^ David Leip's US Election Atlas (Washington state maps)
  13. ^ Election results for Adams County at Washington governmental site
  14. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions: Washington". Population Census. United States Census Bureau. 2013-09-25. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 

Further reading

  • An illustrated history of the Big Bend country : embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams, and Franklin counties, state of Washington. Western Historical Pub. Co. 1904. Available online through the Washington State Library's Classics in Washington History collection

Amber Waves and Undertow -Peril, Hope, Sweat, and Downright Nonchalance in Dry Wheat Country- a book written by Steve Turner and published by the University of Oklahoma Press 2009 - ISBN 978-0-8061-4005-6

External links

  • Adams County, Washington
  • Image of 1892 Adams County Courthouse at the Washington State Digital Archives.
  • Image of 1905 Adams County Courthouse addition at the Washington State Digital Archives.
  • Image of 1941 Adams County Courthouse at the Washington State Digital Archives.

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