History of the Adair County Commission

Prior to 1877, Adair County had a variety of district, associate, or township judges (commissioners). The terms of office were sometimes two years, four years, and for one period six years.

That all changed in 1877 when the Missouri Legislature provided for a court (office) of three judges (commissioners). One person was to be the Presiding Judge (Commissioner) who was elected on a county-wide basis for a four year term and two District Judges (Commissioners) elected by their individual districts for a term of four years.

For more than fifty years, the districts in Adair County were (1) Benton and Nineveh Townships, and (2) the other eight townships. Due to population density, this became an unequal division. The first district having 83% of the population and the larger 2nd District having only 17% of the population.

In 1974, a new division was created. District 1 would consist of the entire city of Kirksville east of the Norfolk & Western Railroad while District 2 would encompass of the remainder of the county. This new division made for a more equal distribution of the county between the two districts.


Past and Present Adair County Judges (Commissioners)

Presiding Commissioner

Name Dates Party
Mark Shahan 2019-Current R
Stanley Pickens 2011-2017 R
Gary Jones 1999-2010 D
Bill Novinger 1991-1998 D
Alvin Henderson 1987-1990 R
Gail Novinger 1985-1986 R
Jack Shelton 1975-1984 R
Stanley Ambrosia 1971-1975 R
Walter Hoffman 1963-1971 R
Waldo Shokey 1959-1963 D
Grover H. Belfield 1951-1959 R
Arlie Fast 1949-1951 D
Bert Elsea 1943-1949 R
Joe E. Johnson 1939-1943 R
Ray Bennett 1931-1939 D
Amos Propst 1927-1931 R
George W. Newton 1925-1919 R
Leander L. Mikel 1923-1927 R
C.B. McClanahan 1919-1923 D
Aaron P. Hopson 1907-1915 D
George W. Newton 1903-1907 R
Joseph S. Hickman 1899-1903 R
J.A. Bragg 1895-1899 R
J.J. Keim 1891-1895 R
W.P Linder 1887-1891 R
J.L. Hawkins 1883-1887 R
M.G. Clem 1879-1883 R
Noah Stukey 1877-1879 R


1st District Commissioner

Name Dates Party
William King 2017-current R
Carson Adams 2009-2016 D
Gene Schneider 2005-2008 R
Ray Klinginsmith 2001-2004 R
Herman Truitt 1993-2000 R
Bobby Leavitt 1991-1992 D
Jack Shelton 1989-1990 R
Bobby Leavitt 1987-1988 D
Stanley Ambrosia 1979-1986 R
Leon G. Coy 1977-1978 D
Alva Bowes 1971-1976 R
Stanley Ambrosia 1963-1971 R
Walter Huffman 1951-1963 R
Dewey Conner 1949-1951 R
Harry Balch 1945-1949 R
H.B. Umbarger 1943-1945 R
Bert Elsea 1939-1943 R
Pearl E. Arnold 1937-1939 D
Fred Miller 1933-1937 D
W.M. Willis 1931-1933 D
F.L. Rogers 1927-1931 R
Amos Propst 1925-1927 R
F.L. Rogers 1923-1925 R
Leander L. Mikel 1919-1923 R
Andrew J. Houston 1917-1919 R
Samuel F. Shoop 1915-1917 R
Jacob H. Shoop 1911-1915 D
Z.T. Hagans (resigned)

Thomas W. Fickel (appointed)

1909-1911 R


C.E. Markey 1905-1909 R
W.C. Ditmars 1901-1905 R
R.N. Toler 1899-1901 R
Joseph Hickman 1895-1899 R
Adam Shoop 1889-1895 R
A.N. Toler 1887-1889 R
J.H. Novinger 1885-1887 R
G.W. Novinger 1883-1885 R
S.F. Stahl 1881-1883 R
P.D. Shoop 1879-1881 R


2nd District Commissioner

Name Dates Party
Mark Thompson 2009-current R
Sid Osborn 2001-2008 D
Bob Brawner 1991-2000 D
Myrl Ferguson 1987-1990 R
Jack Ward 1985-1986 D
Dale Miller 1981-1984 R
Larry Smith 1979-1980 D
Wilson Stribling 1971-1978 R
Earl D. Platz 1969-1971 R
Homer Johnson 1967-1969 R
Ray Pierce 1965-1967 D
Raymond Rummerfield 1959-1965 R
Oliver Stribling 1951-1959 R
A.D. Waddill 1947-1951 R
Oliver Stribling 1943-1947 R
Grover H. Belfield 1941-1943 R
Reuel W. Roberts 1939-1941 R
Charles C. Martin 1935-1939 R
J.P. Sleeth 1933-1935 D
Sampson Boyland 1931-1933 D
Joe E. Johnson 1927-1931 R
Ray Bennett 1925-1927 D
W.H. Wilkins 1923-1925 R
Amos Probst 1919-1923 R
Ray Bennett 1917-1919 D
Robert McClanahan 1915-1917 D
Seymour J. Reed 1911-1915 R
R.W. Hart 1907-1911 R
Baxter R. Hawkins 1903-1907 R
George W. Newton 1897-1903 R
Daniel Tuttle 1893-1897 R
J.J. Keim 1891-1893 R
William Hart 1889-1891 R
George R. Huston 1885-1889 R
J.T. Johnson 1881-1885 R
John H. Rainer 1879-1881 R


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